.......the business of me.........

ok, so i read this interview in porter magazine with elle macpherson and enjoyed the questions so much that i thought i'd interview myself for you..... 

MY DAY:

wake up time? 6:45am. i love the early start to the day and getting outside for playtime with jack before working out. plus, the smell of the mountains early is perfect.

morning routine? 20 minutes in bed to talk to my man, check emails and upload an instagram. play with jack & then work out for an hour. breakfast is 99% of the time oatmeal with berries & chia seeds, a homemade smoothie & half an english muffin with almond butter. then feed jack & bodhi & run to shower because i am now always running late now that i take the time for this routine...ritual?

working day? high season i am in the store 10-6 monday - saturday so that is working with customers, photos of new merchandise and then uploading to web & social media, working on blog, researching new designers & collections, answering many, MANY emails and texts and avoiding the phone. i am a fan of email. in the off season i am only open wednesday thru friday so that i can knit the other days to start making my inventory for high season. on these 'knitting days' i start at 10am and generally finish at 11pm....yes, it's crazy. but i do take my time in the morning for a hike or run and get outside for a few minutes every hour. plus, i get to indulge in an actual lunch break which doesn't happen while working in the store. 

one activity you do every day without fail? put on lipstick.......

 

MY ESSENTIALS:

your most overused phrase? .......coolio or hot stuff......

how do you stay in shape? my new life changing addiction is jumping rope. i do it at least 30 minutes everyday but generally 45. i recently started weight lifting to build some muscle as i get older...nobody wants a bony butt! i also love hiking and trail runs.

how do you unwind? getting outdoors with jack will cure any mood. weekends it's a hot tub with a glass of wine or cocktail with my man while just 'being' in the backyard looking at the beauty around us. it really is a magical backyard.

on your desk? ...um, i envision it with some cool mugs with colored pencils in one, pens in the other. a stack of read magazines that i have already put post-it's on for inspiration.....this has yet to happen. usually, piled with post it's of messy sketches of sweater ideas, stacks of unread magazines & art books i had to have..... one day.

guilty pleasures? homemade oatmeal spice cookies....i am addicted to a recipe and make them every week. it really is a problem.... and warm bread with butter & salt........ahhhhh

computer screensaver? sunset over the caldera in santorini...perfect.

how do you cure creative block? get outdoors and go on a hike/run to clear my head. then hit the computer and research something other than fashion to stimulate the brain.... interior design, painters, ceramics, music.... anything that gets me thinking about anything else but what i am blocked on.

 

MY THINKING:

strengths? i consider myself a driven, hard working, risk taking woman without an ego. ups and downs happen all the time...my business is me but it's not about me.

weaknesses? take on more than time allows for sure. and, personally, i can over analyze with the best of them...

what advice would you giver your 20 year old self? to accept and appreciate your body as it is only going to get lower! i think women are so hard on themselves and it starts at such a young age. truly ridiculous! at 15, 20, 25, 30 (you get the point) i thought i was fat. insane! i think at 40 i realized i need to just shut up and enjoy what my body could do. shift the perspective and you realize how amazing it is. then the fog clears and you realize you're not fat. it's sad and funny. i still hear the beat down every day in the store with women who have beautiful bodies. we need to stop. 

fictional figure you most identify with? i have never thought of this so at the top of my head i'd say pippi longstocking. she was a strong, fearless kid, a bit scrappy, who always figured things out. a bit wacky on style and the red hair and freckles was totally me. loved pippi...

favorite quote? can't remember the book i read it in but, 'i'd rather a life full of mistakes than a life of regrets'. i have often considered this as a tattoo but haven't done it...yet?

what can women learn from men? to say what you mean in as few words as possible. 

what can men learn from women? that sometimes, more words are necessary. and, to choose those words carefully as we will analyze them :)

personal motto? be nice and life will bring you good people and a lot of happiness.

real life figure you most identify with? again, i have never thought about this. oddly, the first person i thought of was diane keaton. she's a success in her field, strong, smart, funny, has a look/style that is consistently her, witty and never been married. but, i don't wear gloves and rarely a turtleneck....

people are surprised that i.... am only 5'2

one thing you would change about your profession? i would make it a criminal offense punishable by a year of working in retail if you walk into a store & decide to purchase something and then ask for a discount or my favorite 'is this the best you can do?'. it's not nice and it's tacky.

 

MY LIFE:

 

what was your dream job as a kid and why? flight attendant. i thought it was amazing that you could fly for free anywhere in the world. second, was to be a writer and travel the world living in random places writing stories. i still hope for option 2.

who is your greatest mentor? personally, my grandmother. she was unbelievably kind and generous with a gentle, patient heart. never did i hear her say something negative about someone. and, she was always optimistic and happy. business mentor would be my man....so driven and a problem solver who has the best disposition for calming situations.

what one meeting changed your life? the day i walked down the street for basalt's block party and was introduced to david...... my life is still changing everyday....

biggest risk that has paid off? on a whim i packed up and moved to colorado. it was suppose to be a 6 month escape. but 3 weeks in i knew i was staying. i didn't know anyone and i had only been in aspen once for 24 hours. the BEST decision ever.

proudest moment? ....a tie..... getting a call from nina garcia's office when she was at ELLE saying she'd like to see my spring '99 collection. she was incredible and then put 2 of my pieces in ELLE as 'one to watch'. still can't believe that. the other, getting a call from vogue magazine in the summer of '99 saying they were doing a story on san francisco designers and i was chosen to be featured in the magazine. a stylist and writer would be out the following week.... that article was featured in the september issue 1999. BOTH, still bring a smile to my face....

hardest piece of criticism you've received? i'm not sure this was the 'hardest' but it most certainly was the hardest to take. 'well, you were just lucky....' no, i wasn't lucky.... yes, amazing things have happened but i worked hard for everything and have taken lots of risks and given things up to make them happen. luck doesn't have anything to do with it. luck is winning the lottery. 

 

XO

suzi

 

 


Suzanne Johnson
Suzanne Johnson

Author



20 Comments

Karen
Karen

September 12, 2016

I fell in love with your Claudia cowl neck sweater when I saw it on pintrest. The design was beautiful and I appreciate beautiful hand made clothing. Then I took a closer look at the description and it made me sad. Unlike you I’m 6 feet tall and wear a size 12. According to your description I would need a size 14 or 16 sweater to get a similar fit to the model and I’m not fat. That would put me at XXXL! Seriously! Who are you to write about body acceptance? Or should only super skinny or petite women accept their bodies? Because obviously based on your sizing the rest of us are not ok.

Phoebe
Phoebe

August 24, 2016

I want the hats in both of your photos…and from the sound of it, your backyard as well.

xo

Courtney
Courtney

August 21, 2016

Suzi: You are such a talented designer and we have known each other for awhile (I am not going to say how long) and every time we talk you are reinventing yourself and your brand! You are an inspiration. Hope we can see each other in Aspen in 2017. Come visit in Chicago too! Xo

caryn
caryn

August 20, 2016

Indicative of Suzi —rock solid and rockin’, aware and thoughtful, insanely creative.
And you tunnel all of it into your business. Even more obvious why i have a Souchi addiction.

paula larmore
paula larmore

August 20, 2016

Loved the post! There is a lot of wisdom in what you say. Besides being a lovely, creative artist, who makes incredible sweaters, you have a compassionate and caring spirit. xxoo

Whitney
Whitney

August 18, 2016

I miss you so so so so much Suzi. Reading this just confirmed it again. xoxo

Katie
Katie

August 17, 2016

People should know that Jack is Suzi’s beloved yellow lab, and that “playing with Jack” usually involves some kind of a throw toy! Just thought I should make that clear….love everything about you!

Mary
Mary

August 17, 2016

Love it! A pleasure to read and great inspiration for anyone to live life on your own terms. And be kind ;-)

Lisa Mills
Lisa Mills

August 17, 2016

Loved reading this. I love your work!! I miss seeing you sweet face. Let’s get together. Be in touch ?

Cindy Kirk
Cindy Kirk

August 17, 2016

Awesome . . . Yes, we all need to appreciate our bodies and what they do for us! Great job . . . .

Sam Finzi
Sam Finzi

August 16, 2016

I envy the fact that you were able to leave the world that you new behind and move to Aspen! I remember the night we were having dinner in the city and you said to me I am moving " I will try it for 6months" just one of the many brave things you have done in your life. All your hard work is paying off……and not just in business…You look Fabulous!!!!xxx

Anne
Anne

August 16, 2016

Love you Suz! You will always be my style icon. xo

Tracey
Tracey

August 16, 2016

Your adorable, I love you and I am gonna take the oath now – no more negative body talk.

I most likely lusted after your gorgeous sweaters in Elle in 99. Not surprised at all. Xo Tracey

Whitney
Whitney

August 16, 2016

Sweet Suzi! So much good stuff to love in those words. Keep up the good work, keep smiling, and give Jack a smooch from me!

susan
susan

August 16, 2016

YOU make your own magic and it is something so amazing to witness. I love that your eyes are always wide open and you find beauty in places many won’t take the time to notice.
Wait… one more over used phrase! “OH MY GOD!”
xoxo

Pila
Pila

August 16, 2016

45 minutes of jump roping? you are an inspiration!

Kristin
Kristin

August 16, 2016

Suzi….I knew a lot of this about you, but you keep on amazing me and inspiring me. You are an amazing friend and business woman. Your work ethic is like no one else…..you have worked for everything you have received…and that is a huge accomplishment. Loved this post!

Jody
Jody

August 16, 2016

I loved learning a bit more about you….. You are fabulous, as I’m sure I must have said to your face before, but in case I haven’t, “YOU are fabulous”! I loved reading this. I love the store, your style and you.

Ruth
Ruth

August 16, 2016

The fact you never stop dreaming n creating is beautuful. Your honesty n drive are some of your best traits. You are beautiful.

20 something
20 something

August 16, 2016

Pretty sure I’ve been one of those people in your store! So true, love the body you’re in!

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