I first saw Carmel Valley in 1979, coming over with my first sale of linens for an American restaurant, Casanova in Carmel, a fine restaurant owned by a fine Belgian man, Walter Georis. I was bewitched. Deep in the Valley, the landscape has the premier virtue of looking a lot like the Pyrenees—mountains rolling down to the sea. These hills are not as high and tortuous as the Pyrenees, but evocative, and sunnier, warmer.
The dream of living here didn’t evaporate. Almost two decades later, after being sure that my wife would love it, too, I sold the French stores and European production, and moved the family over in 1996.
In the eight years since unpacking the crates, we have established production of the linens, opened three company-owned retail stores and two licensees, and greatly expanded the second aspect of the business—antique furnishings and architectural elements.
And whats most exciting is the embracing American spirit. The liberty here is startling. The openness is demanding and refreshing. I delight in the irony that my business success relies on “young” America appreciating the quality of artisan linens and antiques with the luxuriant patina of time.