A Spring Salad with Jessie Randall
Photography by Sarah Elliott
Do you know those scenarios in life, particularly in those tense(ish) moments of creation when you are both executing something with laser focus to get it juuuuust right but at the same time you also need to be warm and communicative and friendly? You are rushing around frantically (story of my life) to execute your precise vision but then life and the people around you, whom you genuinely care for, want to chat and you are pulled in two directions and feel like a schizophrenic scatterbrain who is short circuiting? Do I drape the napkin just right once last time so it is perfectly imperfect and organize the herbs, knife and cutting board so the composition is just so?? Or do I stop, act like a normal person for just a sec and carry on a conversation? Can you feel my neurosis?? Am I even making any sense right now?
Jessie Randall and I share a bit of an obsession, a kinship of sorts. It’s our blessing and our curse. Okay, perhaps that is slightly dramatic — it is without a doubt a blessing — but it sure can annoy people at times. We see it all, almost to a fault, but also to a success. Every minute detail, fold, crevice, angle and composition is experienced under a 10,000x zoom lens – ALWAYS! It can be distracting to ourselves, believe me. When I was prepping this springy snap pea salad in the kitchen of the brand new Loeffler Randall showroom — which by the way completely blew my mind in its swoony crisp pink and nude palette and cohesive design — Jessie caught a glimpse of me in action, acting out my neurosis. And she was like, “oooooooohhhhh, I get it. You are like me!” She saw me, I saw her, it was an ahhhhhhhhaaaaaa, unspoken understanding that we are both freaks! We giggled about how our eyes fall upon a grain of sand that could be out of place and with blinders on it is ALL we can focus on…or on the flip side, we can appreciate its perfect placement so vividly that we are giddy with excitement.
All joking aside, this care for detail and specificity is what makes Jessie’s brand, Loeffler Randall, so swoony and, well, perfect. The impetus that inspired the journey to success happened 10 years ago. It was simply sparked by the struggle to find the precise shoe she wanted to wear. She manifested that shoe after having it trapped inside her consciousness, and together with her husband Brian, Loeffler Randall was born. It really was that simple. As Jessie and I got to talking and cooking together, we discussed the importance of having a clear vision, which she certainly had from day one. Being a visionary, part of Jessie’s inspired process is to create a tangible mood board. It acts as a roadmap, a visual affirmation she can absorb every day, reminding her not to stray too far. I mean, Jessie even unknowingly steered me to create a salad that harmonized so swooningly with her brand. When you approach what you love with certitude, when you visualize it, it is far easier to execute. This holds true from her designs for the Loeffler Randall collection to the décor of the new showroom, and for the brand values LR represents. When I asked Jessie what those values were, it was, guess what, laser clear!
-Celebrate authenticity and individuality.
-Be design-driven and cool while remaining joyful, warm and approachable.
-Treasure taste and quality.
-Create product that is effortless, modern and functional for real women who live multi-faceted and dynamic lives.
-Delight our customer.
-Think unconventionally and make thoughtful decisions.
I think we all might have a life lesson here that we can put into action for most everything in our multifaceted lives. Each of these values can be applied to business, creativity, a relationship, parenting, life…
I suppose when my brain is short-circuiting, I will follow your wise and swoony words, Mrs. Randall. And also take solace that I am not alone in my freakish, telescopic tendencies. I will close with this note: as I walked through the LR offices from the kitchen to the design studio to Jessie’s office and the showroom, my eyes fell upon so many moments, details, that were the truest expression of Jessie’s world. The space was revealing materials, a palette, an energy, a synergy, a family. I was easily able to understand the brand’s vision as it was so holistic, thoughtful, cohesive and intuitive – it was telling a clear visual story through and through, and not only did it make me swoon, it also left me deeply and utterly inspired.