In addition to enjoying the sublime weather in New Orleans, I had the long anticipated pleasure of visiting with Jane Scott Hodges, founder of Leontine Linens that are distinguished by that elegant final statement…a personal monogram. I’ve always been a big fan of monograms, having grown up with them on silver, linens and towels (and anything else that wasn’t moving). But Jane Scott has taken them to new heights.
Jane Scott’s histoire is made all the more compelling because it is a wonderful “stars were aligned” story. Twenty years ago she was the right person – young and inspired; at the right time – the tenets of a gracious lifestyle were being promoted by Martha Stewart; and in the right place – the south, specifically New Orleans. Her goal? Innovating the world of fine linens, bringing a modern twist and contemporary practicality to an ages old tradition.
Jane Scott’s sensibilities- “Taking a fresh look at how you live and entertain,” and her generous mission- “What can I do to help you personalize your home?” resonated with a national audience. Truly (I can say this from a personal perspective) until Leontine Linens came along, monogramming was a “service” that was almost an afterthought. Jane Scott celebrated it …and touched a nerve with consumers as well as designers. Fine linens and monograms became an important part of paying attention to details that make your everyday more enjoyable.
But it is also the significance of handcrafted linens and hand-sewn monograms that brings a level of credibility and deserved success to Leontine Linens. As the company beautifully expresses it — “Who we are is sewn into every stitch…out of love for an art that was once fading.” And each sewer who works on a special order signs the card that is included in the outgoing package (I love the fact that Leontine Linens has an ongoing tradition of creating new monograms…a number of them are named after clients, family or friends for whom they were originally created).
Some milestones for Leontine Linens:
1996- Started in Jane Scott’s cottage on Leontine Street.
2002– Opens on iconic Magazine Street in New Orleans.
2003– Becomes exclusive linen line at Bergdorf Goodman in New York (and is mentioned in the best seller Bergdorf Blondes).
2014– Chosen as a “Fantasy Gift” in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog for that year.
2014– Jane Scott’s book, Linens:For Every Room and Occasion, is published. In addition to luscious photography, the Rizzoli coffee table book features welcome notes on monogram etiquette, a table place setting guide, and storage and care for fine linens.
2015-named one of ten recipients of Martha Stewart’s “American Made” award.
Jane Scott’s is a dedicated, and growing, clientele that appreciates Leontine Linens’ dedication to craft, quality and timelessness. And they are big believers in the joy and meaning of a personal monogram. One of my absolute favorites adds chic to the back of a dining chair.
Speaking of a lovely tradition…one gracious hostess has neck-roll pillows, monogrammed with the initials of her most frequent house guests, to place on their beds when they are visiting. Talk about feeling “at home” and pampered as a guest!
Thinking personally…and well-suited as a gift for a big anniversary… I would choose a new set of gorgeous linens for the bed you share, monogrammed with your joint initials.
Please enjoy my interview with Jane Scott Hodges. She’s such good company you’ll surely want her to make a “house call.”
An Interview with Jane Scott Hodges
1. When traveling, I’ve been most inspired by…
Watching the locals interact in their world.
2. I’m never too busy to…
Hop a plane anywhere I am invited.
3. My day is not complete without…
4. My favorite part of the day or night/why?
Settling into Leontine Linens in the evening, of course.
5. One of my current obsessions…
Always jewelry! You’ll never see me without a Jody Candrain cuff and I love my Fairchild Baldwin necklaces for a finishing touch.
6. I save/collect…
Anything linen or china!
7. Favorite piece of furniture/object in my house/why?
A painting from my great grandmothers home in New Orleans of a creole lady.
8. I feel really at home at…
I feel really at home in the company of dear friends and wherever they may live.
9. True glamour to me is…
My warm thanks, Jane Scott.
Featured Image Credit, Joseph Rey Au.