Thursday, August 04, 2011

Interview with an(other) Intern, Part II

Thank you so much for all the kind birthday wishes, and also for the bit of commiserating regarding age and the disbelief of such. But I gotta say, looking back over so much in my life, its a wonder I'm not 79. My age shock doesn't lie in wishing it were different, its just that I am amazed how life goes by, its so surreal and almost intangible.... no other words. I wouldn't trade places with any twenty year old, though, that I can say for sure. But speaking of, I am so glad you enjoyed my chat with Anna. She was blushing through the whole thing, it was kind of fun to torture the intern (that's the whole point right?).

Well I've corralled Crista, my other intern, to answer some of the same and some different questions. This is sweet Crista above wearing my new almost printed pattern, the Painted Portrait Blouse & Dress- wuuhhhl obviously she's just wearing the blouse version not the dress too. I like explaining obvious things like that, because it gives me typing practice. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Anyway, the moment I said hullo to her for the first time, I asked her to model this blouse in the same breath. We had been on the hunt for a fair girl for the next pattern cover, and we had no idea that she would just walk right in. But she did. And I am glad for many reasons.

bossy: How old are you?
bossy: (Runs to get a bottle of wine) Is it easy to be 21?
interny: Most days. How much of this do you actually type? (sees typing) Whhaaahh? I'm so embarrassed already, uhh, red faces are contagious....(mmm, thats good (referring to her glass of wine)) I do have occasional bank account panic, or a hard day due to lack of sleep, you know from being 21.
bossy: You're a student. Where are you studying, what are you studying, and what impression do you have about how important your degree is to your life's work?
interny: O'More College of Design (I'm totally friends with Anna-I really do think she is the best, not just saying that)and I'm studying fashion. It remains to be seen, and this topic--education- is currently up for debate among my friends, how important it is....I love to learn, so ultimately, I'm not concerned with a piece of paper as long as I keep learning and growing at O'More. My dad seems to think that the piece of paper is a good idea.
bossy: What else do you consider an education, besides school or what single thing in life so far has taught you the most?
interny: I think at this point in my life, just watching and observing, doing my alterations job at a dry cleaners, my time here with you, just watching how a business works, and how I fit into that....learning about women's roles... its all so important to me. Growing up without a mom (she died when I was 9) there have always been my aunts, grandma, various mentors, in big and small ways. But being a woman, what that means, and ......I dunno, I can't even pick an ice cream flavor....its hard to say what one thing has influenced me. This past year alone has been a big deal, trying to carve out my own space, where I live, where I work, where I study, that everything be intentional.... so I guess just the process of becoming my own person has taught me a lot.
bossy: Picture yourself in 10 years -what-- you'll be like 14 then, right? What else do you picture yourself to be? Besides 14.
interny: I'll be drinking more wine (snicker). Man, 10 years, hmm. I can't wait to be 31... I've been wearing pencil skirts since I was 10, so finally I think I'll be dressing my age. As a really little kid I was a fighter, I wasn't afraid to talk back....I thought of bmw's, being a lawyer, (pencil skirts).... But now....I still see cities, but I see myself using that fighter instinct for good, for helping women, giving them a voice and empowering them with skills.
bossy: So how do you see that pairing itself with fashion design?
interny: Good question, sometimes I don't know. But my voice of reason tells me that I could use both my nature and my skills to do something wonderful and good. I'd like to empower women with sewing skills, and hopefully employ them too, to create a line of cute, and affordable clothing, that was created by women who are earning a real living for their work and not taken advantage of.
bossy: When I responded to your first several emails, did you believe me when I said that I was waiting for the right time to bring in an intern, or did you think I was feeding you a line?
interny: No way. I wanted to believe it, because I like you so much. But whenever I hear of other people getting internships, they have to show up, be persistent, beat doors down, etc. I figured I could either be annoying or forgotten.
bossy: You were neither. Do you have any take-away thought/lesson/idea/regret from your time here?
interny: I wanted to see how you do this, and I did. I learned that even though there are screaming babies at times (okay maybe just once, I expected more), that you really can have it all. The way that you write and communicate is exactly like you are. Which is cool. But really, the happiness and success that you have experienced is not by accident. You are careful with your children, careful with your time and energy. You are driven. It's been especially important for me to talk about business decisions with you-- even if I may never be faced with the same choices. I admire your thoughtfulness. (She had to leave while I typed this. You should know that. Also, she's not perfect and wouldn't claim to be. If I remember right, she wasn't even sure how to sew a buttonhole on her machine. That gives me hope.)
bossy: Did anything surprise you about this place/house/studio/chaos after your first visit? You can say that my house was a mess or whatever.
interny: Yes, it was a total mess. I walked up to the door, saw shoes, packages, toys, and more packages, and I figured I had the right house. I think I expected something more pristine, and then I opened the door and two little kind faces greeted me, led me to you and on the way I saw the most beautiful colors and prints, but everything was a little off, the rugs were askew, the pillows were on the floor, there was sort of stuff everywhere, really lived-in...... and you never apologized. Which I loved.
bossy: Are you in love? Loving me doesn't count.
interny: Just with you. I just wasted part of my summer on love, so no.
bossy: Does that matter?
interny: I feel that I want to share with someone, but realistically that's not now.....I want to take care of myself and the rest will work out.
bossy: Did you have fun taking Isabela out for sushi today?
interny: It was closed! Biggest bummer ever, she was so sad. For weeks she's been asking me: "Did you ask my mom about taking me for sushi?" I was like do I need to create a permission slip?... anyway we went to Five Guys.
bossy: And did you know that you would have to do horrible things like that if you worked here?

interny: What? That's the best part, new friends. She's a gem.
bossy: Is there anything else you would like for these kind interwebual people to know about you or your time here?
interny: I know you won't type this but you are funny in real life too.
bossy: I just typed it, stupid.
interny: Also, you're a jerk.
bossy: I wuvoo.
interny: (blank stare)
bossy: I said I wuvoo.
interny: I wuvoo too, damnit!
bossy: Hey there's kids in here.
interny: (internal gasp, notices typing) Can you curse on your blog?
bossy: You need another glass of wine.

That was fun. I'll show up again here sometime next week, once I get just a bit more caught up. I've been wanting to share some stories behind the talented designers in my Visiting Artist's pool, spill my official Janome news, introduce you formally to my new sewing patterns, show some other needleworks projects on the horizon and just get back to plain old life snippets here. Sound good?

I'm hoping you are well, xo, Anna


  1. Making me smile, again. That happens quite often when I come to your blog. Happy Birthday, and cheers to a funny-messy-creative-working-real life woman.

  2. Loved both these interviews, it sounds like you had a marvelous summer with extra hands and talented young women learning from a great role model all the way around (I especially loved the comment about not apologizing for a cluttered house!)

  3. Awesome interview--by both of you. I love the little glimpse into your happy chaos as seen through the eyes of an outsider. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. My daughter introduced me to you through your fabric and then your blog. From both, I think it comes across that you are a very genuine person and what you see is what you get ( or what you read)! Your interns are lucky to have such a role model and mentor. I wish I had had their determination at 20ish! I want to be an intern!!!

  5. I love these posts - it's like a candid behind the scenes look. Glad to read about real people with real houses :)

  6. Anna, I love these interviews. It is really neat to hear from the interns. I feel like this is the True Hollywood Story of Anna Maria Horner! Keep them coming!!!
    xo Susan

  7. Happy burfday!!!!!!
    Fun interviews! Fun summer for you guys, I mean GALS! :)

    PS...when can we get our hands on the cross-stitchy looking fabrics? Real soon, hopefully?!


  8. Oh, I like her too! You really lucked out with your interns - both bright, creative young women!

  9. I love the interviews, but I died reading the random thoughts about the blouse vs dress and the quick brown fox. Thanks for the laugh!

  10. You know, I've only just got past that voice that said I couldn't make clothes to sell because I couldn't even sew buttonholes! You inspire me to keep doing what I love and what I think looks good even if I lack experience. Thanks!

  11. Employing women to make cute and affordable clothing? What an awesome idea!! She totally needs to get working on that!

  12. Awesome! :)
    Also - random thought but your "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." made me think. Have you ever read the fiction book "Ella Minnow Pea?" It's awesome and features that phrase.

  13. Love the intern interviews!! How long do you have them working for you? Are there more we can look forward to?

  14. lovely, just lovely!

  15. Great fun interviews- I love the banter:)

    I also love that your intern describes a slightly chaotic blend of work and family where things aren't "showhouse"perfect, but beautiful creative things are achieved- gives me hope:D

  16. i love these intern interviews. so fun! and also, in real life you are just like you write, but better. and funnier. you know, just in case people really did doubt that. ;)

  17. Anonymous6:16 AM

    It all sounds good. Thanks for asking - and sharings. I wuv your interns too.

    Any news on the new fabrics coming out (that were expected sometime in July)? Y'know - the ones with the cross stitch prints, such as seen in the yoke that loverly Crista is modeling??

    Waiting with bated breath... :-)

  18. You are so cracking me up. I love train of thought posts, they reveal so much about a person. :)

  19. I loved the interviews! How about interviewing your children next. Now that would be fun! And, honest. :)
    Also love the backdrop. Are all those pics, your family?

  20. I really love this top! Can't wait to see/buy/sew this one.

  21. have the best interns ever!

  22. That is really sweet. Lucky girls to be interning for you!

  23. Interny Interviews Interesring! Love the backdrop for the image on this post...burlap over some sort of board? Family photos? Attached how?

  24. Sorry 'bout the typo, maybe I need to practice the quick red fox jumped.... :D

  25. Something about Crista's photo... then, I realized.. she looks just like my high school portrait. Just wish I were closer to that age again.. but not too close.. hear you on that!

  26. I've missed your Blog posts!!! - glad they are a bit more regular at the moment :)
    Can I be your long distance all the way from Sydney intern???? :)

  27. Those are some seriously lucky girls to spend a summer interning with you! I'm older than you by 4 years and I know I would learn a LOT! (Including how to relax.)

  28. Isn't she gorgeous?! Can I be an intern with you next summer? And bring my kids?! Love these interviews... now I need a glass of wine...
    and oh ps- happy birthday- these numbers ARE crazy. My grandmother- at 95- just said to me, "I don't want to be lots younger- definitely not 40 or anything but oh to be 70 again!" So now I'm looking forward to 70- from 38.

  29. What a cute gal! I'm loving the photos in the background. Can you tell us more about your collage?

  30. Both these posts made me giggle- thanks for sharing them. Happy Belated Birthday too!

  31. Both those girls seem really smart about school and careers. That is a real gift. I hope that they carry the same wisdom tho their next adventure. As a side note, I love that wall of old photos - I have a collection of old photos, just love them. I was also curious about what kinds of things your interns are doing? During my internship I made really ugly newspaper ads, which surprisingly led to a career making really ugly newspaper ads. I'm going to assume that they are doing something quite the opposite.

  32. Anonymous12:13 PM

    You picked two really smart and savy girls. I enjoyed reading the interviews - they were very well written.

    Only thing is, I don't like the idea of interns. We are getting them a lot over here now (UK), it's a recession thing. No more jobs for young people - exploit their enthusiasm and at times desperation and call it a learning experience instead. Then send them on their way and get in more free labour.

    OK, yours are learning but you are possibly getting more than they are learning. Also, yes your name will look good on their CV's. But should the working environment be like that? (Not what you know but who you know). All I know is that when I was young, I didn't give my skills and time for free, I along with all my peers was paid for them. I didn't get exploited by having to give up to 3 months of my time free before I qualified to get paid.

    It's a system that stinks. One reason being, you can only work as an intern and get a foot up if you can support yourself while doing it (or parental support). That means it isn't necessarily talent that gets its time in the sun but rather money - the clout it has and the strings it can pull for you. For instance there have been cases where for the price of a raffle (lottery) ticket costing rather a lot of money - beyond the average students finances an internship to work with politicians could be won. This practice has now been banned for being elitist I gather.

    I believe it is still more common in the USA. There are lots of people who don't like it in the UK.

  33. Hi Anonymous, as with most anonymous comments that I receive here from time to time you make a lot of assumptions. If you have specific questions I am happy to answer. Or I imagine that either of the girls would be happy to.

    I don't think our experience here is anything like yours. Each of the girls has a full time job and only comes here once a week if they have time to. They are free to take on tasks or just observe and ask questions. Also they each are beginning school again next week and won't continue here as interns during their studies. They suffer through lunch with us as well.

  34. Let Crista know that if she reschedules the sushi date I want to come! Big stab-in-the-dark here, but I'm guessing she had plans to go to Peter's Sushi based on the second choice of 5 Guys. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE PETER'S! :)

    (can I come be an intern? even if I'm oh, 10 yrs. older than Christa, have a full time career, husband & 2 girls of my own? I would only be able to come when the rest of my family is sleeping. . . No? Hmmm. )

  35. I agree with Generic Viagra :)

  36. Please, please, please make a project pack for this blouse available in the shop! Did I say please??!?!?