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If you stopped by the store recently, you probably noticed the colorful pillows, gorgeous candles, cool upcycled grain sack bags, and lavender eye pillows from Vivienne O'Neill Designs. Her handiwork has really brightened up the space and we're moving more of her lovely items in this week. Like her wares, Vivienne has a beautiful understated style with a dash of flare. Here's a conversation we had with her recently:
GSC: What's your day job?
Vivienne: I am the Sr. Director of Volunteer Programs and Corporate Engagement for Citymeals on Wheels - a private non-profit that provide meals to NYC's homebound elderly. I've been there for nearly 16 years.
GSC: What town do you live in?
Vivienne: I recently moved to the historic section of Newark, NJ
GSC: When did you start designing and making and why?
Vivienne: I started designing and making clothes when I was 13/14 years old to wear to church. Every Sunday, I would have a new outfit. I did not know how to sew zippers at the time, so I would use pins. Now I know how to sew in zippers ☺
GSC: What's your favorite thing to spend time doing (other than making)?
Vivienne: I love to cook and entertain friends and family – preparing elegant meals and spending quality time, and I LOVE to garden.
GSC: Who do you most admire?
Vivienne: Aside of my late grandmother, my mom (she’s in charge of quality control of all products I design/make). I admire people who give of themselves for the betterment of humanity. Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle & Barack Obama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Barbara Elaine Smith, professionally known as B. Smith – “Whatever you do, do it with style”., Helen Keller, Madam C. J. Walker, Harriet Tubman, and the list goes on, and on
GSC: Any fashion tips? You're always so put together :-)
Vivienne: Aww, thank you, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel – Coco Chanel - : Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”
GSC: Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
Vivienne: I am my own person, I act, think, and work independently. I do not accept or am I swayed by outside influences. I design and make what I love. If you see any of my products in stores or on my social media, they are also in my home.
Come check out Vivienne's wares in store. We're open Wednesdays through Sundays. W-F 8am to 5pm; weekends 8am to 4pm.