In the downstairs pub, a lone woman nurses a glass of white wine.
“You have no idea how relaxing this is for me,” says Carroll Ivy Laurence, a busy mother of two who serves the fashion world as the sales and marketing manager for Cass and Co., a luxury shapewear collection perfect for today’s women: they who go from “9 to jive.”
All around her, men in jeans and T-shirts talk sports, but Laurence, showcasing her effortless style in a chic frock and heels, doesn’t notice that one of these things is not like the other.
She has all the ingredients to be haughty fashion elite. Her resume boasts glamorous jobs with Michael Kors and Anne Klein in Manhattan and a stint in the interior design world with Sue Fisher King in San Francisco, which saw her trauling Europe for decadent design fixtures. Yet she remains down to earth. “I’m headed to a parent-teaching meeting at school after this,” she says with a laugh.
On New York: “I was just this little girl from Delaware, and then all of a sudden, I was out on the runways. It was just like ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’”
Before joining Cass and Co., Laurence did fashion marketing for woman-owned companies. “I have a passion for working with women who launch businesses,” she says. She counted among her clients Houppette in Greenville—“where I get all my little treats”—and Kara James, a luxury Canadian handbag label (Jill Biden just snagged one from Ellie in Greenville.)
“I was never a corporate girl,” Laurence says. “I like having my hands in a lot of things and watching it evolve.”
Always on the go—business trips to New York or everyday mom stuff—Laurence’s fashion M.O. is sensual and comfortable. “I wear what I’m comfortable in, and it’s fun to do the unexpected by adding a bit of flair,” she says. Since she’s never quite sure where her day will take her, she adores layering one great look after another.
“My goal is to feel confident and chic in my clothes all day long,” she says.
Laurence starts her day in Lululemon athletic, which outfits her perfectly for her daily four-mile run.
She’ll shed her Lululemon for a wrap dress (Donna Karen is a fave) and perhaps throw on an Etro scarf to complete the look. “It’s really all about one great thing,” she says. “If you have one great item, you can build an outfit around it. I usually start with shoes”—perhaps Pucci from one of her new favorite stores, Vivi G in Glen Mills.
Or 4-inch cork wedges, which she confesses to wearing even when she’s at her computer developing Cass’s online marketing.
And of course, the boots. “I love boots,” she says. “Boots with a dress is one of my favorite looks.”
She cops her looks from all over the state—Ellie for dresses, Downtown Cowgirl for Sweet Pea, Blair Elizabeth for unique jewelry finds and Houppette for the flirty Cosabella collection.
“I need something that takes me from one gear to the next,” she says. “I love shopping. I love that added pop. Do I love walking into Barney’s and seeing all the women dressed to the nines? Yes. But I love jeans and a T-shirt, too.”
For Laurence, it’s all about finding balance between family and work and, of course, looking fabulous.
“Every day is a marathon,” she says.
At least she has fantastic shoes to run it in.
Page 2: Buy the Book… | …at any of these purveyors of used and vintage volumes
…at any of these purveyors of used and vintage volumes.
Book lovers agree: There is no such thing as owning too many books. There are several unique shops where bibliophiles can find great bargains, score vintage volumes or add a treasured early edition by a favorite author.
Family owned since 1946, Baldwin’s Book Barn (865 Lenape Road, West Chester, Pa., 610-696-0816) has 200 categories of books, “everything from knitting to architecture to U.S. history,” says owner Tom Baldwin. Just try to absorb the 300,000 volumes that are housed on five floors of the old dairy barn. Of the collection, only 8,000 books are new. The rest are “read once or twice,” he says.
Another bookstore held in high regard in antique book collecting circles is Oak Knoll Books (310 Delaware St., New Castle, 328-7232). Specializing in books about books, Oak Knoll also boasts the largest inventory of titles about Delaware. Bob Fleck, a chemical engineer, made a career shift 30 years ago when he opened the business. “I love books. I love to touch and feel and read them,” he says.
If simply looking for vintage or even bargain books, Around Again Books (1806 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 478-3333) is a good destination. Around Again deals exclusively in a collection of 10,000 to 15,000 used books on all subjects. Each volume costs an average of $2, though the shop operates mainly on a trade-for-credit policy, says owner Michael Land.
Another bookstore where vintage treasures might be found is Second Hand Prose (28 S. Walnut St., Milford, 424-7732). The collection of 10,000 books is derived from donations, and the store is staffed by dedicated volunteer Steve Johnson on the only day of the week it’s open—Saturday.
Auntie M’s Emporium in the old Lewes City Hall (116 W. Third St., Lewes, 644-1804) offers an eclectic mix of new and antique items housed in old jail cells. Auntie M’s partners with the Lewes Public Library, so a portion of the proceeds from the 1,000 donated books goes back into the library coffers, says Mike Rawl, who manages the collectible book section for his wife Mary, owner of Auntie M’s.
Of course, anyone who attended the University of Delaware knows about The Bookateria (70 E. Cleveland Ave., Newark, 737-4933). It is the go-to place to trade old titles for new reads.
John Milton and Company Quality Used Books (104 Federal St., Milton, 684-3514) was the longtime fantasy of retired George Washington University English professor James Brown until it opened in 1990. Finding a space in the old chamber of commerce office was serendipitous. Books in his inventory of 40,000 volumes range from $1 to $400 for a 12-volume set of the “New Interpreter’s Bible.” Brown delights in helping customers, and when the store is quiet, “I’m never at a loss for reading material,” he says. —Carrie Townsend
Page 3: Retro Cool
At very few places can you find a “Bewitched” bobblehead or a book called “The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You.” But for more than four years, Gidget’s Gadgets in Rehoboth Beach has survived by selling weird retro stuff like the original Bozo Bonanza Grand Prize game.
Surviving, that is, amid this technological era—or could it be because of it? At a time when 6-year-olds cry for Nintendo Wiis, consumers exhausted by mainstream glut might long for a good, old-fashioned Barrel of Monkeys.
“Our goal is to remind people that we weren’t always miserable,” says owner Steve Fallon. “Often, three generations of people will come in all at once. The grandmother fondly remembers buying the toy for her daughter, her daughter takes an interest, then the daughter buys it for her child.”
Fallon, fresh from toy conferences, has stocked new collectible Kid Robots from Japan, plus “Star Wars”, Betty Boop, and “The Wizard of Oz” figures.
Gidget’s also features original editions of popular games like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. You can also find the original Rubik’s Cube, wind-up toys, spyglasses and basic balsa gliders.
Contact Gidget’s Gadgets at 227-4434, or visit gidgetsgadgets.net. —Maria Hess
Page 4: Fantastic Glass | Marcie Tauber’s glass art is driven by passion.
Marcie Tauber’s glass art is driven by passion.
When remodeling the kitchen of her North Wilmington home several years ago, Marcie Tauber learned the stained glass cabinet door she wanted was too expensive. When she took a class on stained glass, upon her husband’s suggestion, she learned to make the cabinet herself.
“I fell in love with the art of glass creation,” Tauber says.
Now she creates fused glass bowls, platters, and sculptural pieces for herself and for clients. “Most people have a place in mind they want to fill with my art,” she says. “I just delivered a structural piece in blue and green, based on a black and orange piece my customer liked, to his office in Annapolis.”
Tauber, a business analyst by day, worked with stained glass for five years, creating pieces, including a Craftsman-style lamp for her sister, for family and friends. When Tauber became interested in fused glass, “My husband bought me a 20-by-20 inch 1,500-degree kiln for my birthday three years ago,” she says. “Now I work my 40 hours a week at my computer, come home, then play in my basement.”
Tauber takes her work to festivals such as ArtFest, the annual benefit for the Ronald McDonald House, and the Delaware Hospice Festival of Trees. She has won first place for fine arts at the Brandywine Arts Festival and also sells her work via her website, www.inspirationsinglass.com, and at Thornton Gallery in Thornton, Pennsylvania. — Katie Ginder-Vogel