Who is Sally Lou?
Do you want the short answer or the long one? Sally Lou (for whom I have named my Etsy shop featuring vintage items and accessories) is my mother, Sally Louise. It’s pretty amazing how long you can go through life without really knowing your parents are as people. For me, it took my parents’ divorce to truly be able to learn that my mother was anything besides…well, “Mom.” Once she no longer had the burden of a struggling marriage and gained her independence she was finally able to remember her true self, and to share that person with her daughters. I was already about 16 when I met the real Sally Lou. 🙂
So many things about my mom are inspiring. First of all, she was and IS beautiful. My mother was in her twenties during the 1970s and displayed a fashion sense that continues to make me envious. She left home as soon as she was able to study acting, but quickly left college to hitchhike through Europe. Cool, right?
In her early twenties, my mom was a cocktail waitress at one of Hugh Hefner’s infamous Playboy Clubs. She stuffed her uncomfortable bustier with panty hose, experimented with wigs and wiglets, got asked out by Hugh, and learned the Bunny Dip.
Sally Lou wore high-waisted bell bottoms and wooden wedge shoes in the 1970s and paper shift dresses with pale lipstick in the 1960s. She wore skirts so short, my grandmother invented a category beyond the miniskirt that she dubbed “Sally skirts.”
Beyond being an aesthetic inspiration, Sally Lou is a brave woman, a tremendous mother, and the most loving person I know. And though the idea of who she once was is exciting, the reality of who she became is the most influential Sally Lou of all.
I guess that was the long answer, after all. Oops.