Woman of the Year
It was a perfect Autumn Sunday. I still get great pleasure from unwinding my Sunday papers from their plastic wrappers after they have been thrown onto my driveway. It’s as if they were presents. Yesterday I sat under the turquoise umbrella in my backyard, put my feet up while enjoying a cup of Yorkshire gold tea and began to look into my first package, the Cincinnati Sunday Enquirer. I read it section by section in order and by the third section I turned a page to see that the women of the year awards for The Enquirer had been announced.
I turned the page to see who was included in this honor. I am fortunate to know so many women who frequent my business and over my life at The BonBonerie have also had the great fortune to work on projects here and there with many wonderful women as well. It was a great delight to discover that not one, but two of my very talented and generous peers had been included in this prestigious honor. One was Suzy Adrian de Young, founder of LaSoupe, who I had just written about last week about her being a liaison for a young woman from Botswana to shadow at the Bonbonerie. The other was a most talented artist who I have known for many years, Pam Kravetz.
I have always collaborated with people at The BonBonerie as that’s the nature of business, but art endeavors seemed a more solitary pursuit to me. But after getting to know Pam through The Carnegie Arts Center’s Art of Food event, I suggested to her that perhaps we should collaborate on a project for a future show.
We met and talked over many months and ultimately came up with the idea of creating living versions of the classic French illustrations of a pastry woman whose skirt and bodice were covered with pastry, pots and pans and all things related to bakeries.
It was thrilling to work with her. She trusted my ideas and always came through to see where I was and to fill me in on her side of the vision. I was all about the skirts which were three metal hoops each covered with objects with three different themes: one pots and pans, one wedding and one celebration desserts. Her responsibility was to find models to stand inside each hoop and to design their bodices and hair pieces. We had to trust each other and had serious time restraints since we both worked. Truly, I never doubted for a minute it wouldn't turn out. That is who Pam is. On the night of the opening, which was the first time either of us had seen it all put together, I was elated at how perfectly it all came together …. it seemed like magic, but the truth is it was hours of inspired hard work .
That is what kind of artist and what kind of person Pam Kravetz is and we are lucky she shares that same vision and enthusiasm with all of her fellow Cincinnatians for the projects she puts her whole self into.
As an aside, I also remember when Mary Pat and I were celebrating our 30th anniversary in business, I had asked Pam if she would make a piece of art to commemorate the day and before I knew it she hand delivered one of her hand sewn wall hangings about girls and cookies . It is still hanging in the tearoom.
I feel so lucky that I get to know so many talented and interesting people and I am so proud that two of my friends will receive recognition from our city. Thank you for making Cincinnati a better place to live because of your perseverance, diligence and true grit .You both are an inspiration to our primarily female staff who not only work hard at their craft but who also raise families. Congratulations. You deserve it.