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Sep 8, 2022

Your Reinvention Refresh

The long-anticipated highlight of the past month was a trip to Atlanta for the Design Influencers Conference. Heeding warnings about flight delays and cancellations, I left a day early and spent an extra night at my destination.

To fill the time, I contacted two admired colleagues I’ve known only virtually, both of whom live in the Atlanta area. Patti Siegel, an extraordinary client, met me for dinner the night before the conference began and gave me a car tour of her hometown, pointing out the mansions of Buckhead (the vivid setting for the Tom Wolfe novel, A Man in Full) and cultural highlights like the Atlanta History Center which I visited the next day.

Since my event didn’t kick off until 1pm on Wednesday, I invited Donna Cash to join me for breakfast that morning. Donna was introduced to me as “The Pillow Lady”. We’d met on Zoom nearly two years ago when I hired her to teach me about pillow insides (feather and down vs. polyfill), zippers, linings and how to avoid “puppy ears.” Our friendship and fandom have grown mutually.

The conference itself was enriching, enlightening and inspiring. It began and ended with talks about TikTok. Say what you will, Dearest Boomer Friends and Young‘uns, this is happening. The most concrete story I can share about its impact was told by Emily Shaw, the 24-year old closing speaker. She’s a renowned DIY-er on TikTok. When she shared a video project with her audience, a how-to using a toilet flange (I don’t know what that is either, but you get them at hardware stores), they sold out nationally at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Her following is so strong and deep that a recommended supply item on her viral post sent her audience to their local big box store to buy the required part. Now that’s influence!

My purpose in attending was to share my work with top interior designers. High on my list was Rachel Moriarty, The Queen of Color, who I’ve been following on Instagram and knew would be a Co-Emcee in Atlanta. I loved her energy and enthusiasm and was thrilled when she agreed to take a look at the samples I’d brought.

When I got home I typed up a 7-page memo for how I wish to capitalize on this experience. The conference was so rich and varied – contacts, PR, podcasts – that it will take me weeks and months to nurture the relationships I began there.

One in particular stands out. A woman who is the president of a major furniture company is a known lover of textiles. Showing her my work would be particularly meaningful, so I went to her booth at the opening of the event and introduced myself.

“I would love to show you some samples,” I said.
She smiled and replied, “I’d love to see, and I’m very busy today! Will you be here tomorrow?”
“Absolutely,” I responded.
Thursday was the only full day of the conference and I passed by her collection several times before I spotted her.
“Do you have a moment to take a look at my textiles?”
“Not today! Will you still be here tomorrow?”
“I will,” I replied.
Friday was my departure day. I didn’t see her before the ballroom sessions began, but kept my eyes open for her. During the final keynote, I glimpsed her in the back of the room. Once the Q+A began, I left my seat near the front and moved to be closer to her.
“I don’t want to miss you,” I stated.

As soon as the applause for the speaker had died down and the attendees began departing, I took my 4 samples from my tote and laid them on a chair between us.

“Thank you for waiting for me! These are gorgeous. Do you know…. and …. and .…?” She named several high level contacts, took out her phone and dictated the email address of the curator of a textile foundation and the editor of a quarterly textile magazine. I was elated!

When I told this sequence of events to a friend, he said, “You were on a hero’s journey, Jane. I would have quit on day 1. Congratulations on not giving up!”

One other highlight in August – My dear friend, Holly Cohen, went above and beyond reviewing my new website. I knew she wouldn’t accept a monetary gift, but I wanted to acknowledge her generosity to my business. I took her on a surprise expedition to Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon in Gramercy as a treat which I got to partake in as well.

As a New Yorker, I walk a ton and ride the subways for good chunks of time. Here are a few of my traveling companions:

Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend
 – e.g. Steven Yuen interview – I learn a lot about the entertainment industry and laugh out loud at least 3 times per episode.
Marc Maron – WTF – e.g. Naomi Ekperigin – Listening to an up-and-coming star talk about the ropes is enlightening and revealing. NO ONE HAS A SMOOTH JOURNEY TO THE TOP.
A Little Bit Culty – e.g. Tangled Up in Teal – Fascinating exploration of cult leaders and their devices to hook adherents
The New Yorker – where I read about Lady Mendl’s

Good Morning, Monster
 – by Catherine Gildiner – I love case studies of hero’s journeys aided by psychology professionals. Riveting and uplifting listening.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
 – Haute couture and great acting

Finally, I’m excited to offer some new upcoming coaching opportunities. You can read all about them here.

A Possible Comment Tag Line Here


  1. Jackie

    Hi Jane. I am fascinated to read all about your career which is so enlightening. British, I Ve lived most of my life in France. Embroidery is my passion and after a number of years running a shop at the age of 73 (how did that happen) I have started again making bird pictures with vintage fabrics etc. I’ve sold a few but need some help to market properly. I wonder if you can assist. Instagram #laiguilleestudio

    • Jane Pollak

      @jackie – I thought I had responded to you (maybe via IG). Would love to have a conversation if you’d like. My email is jane@janepollak.com. We could zoom or whatsapp.


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