Discover more from THE LOVE LIST
The Anniversary Issue
We're two years old! Some of our best interviews, letters, shopping recs and more.
Hello from New York City, where I now live (!) We’ve settled into our apartment in Gramercy really nicely — it felt like home right away. I’m perched on the rooftop at The Ned, with a Caesar salad, an Aperol Spritz, and my laptop, working away in the sunshine. It’s a perfect afternoon. I went to the plant wholesalers yesterday and outfitted my backyard with herbs, hydrangeas, air plants, and ferns, and Kevin and I sat outside with the dogs and had Apertivo with a board of nosh from Bedford Cheese Shop. Tomorrow, I head out east for a few days of work and play. Welcome to my Nancy Meyers movie! It’s a milestone.
If you’re just now joining us, you might be like, who is this bitch? But if you’ve been around a minute, you know it’s been a loooooong road to get here, and this little reward phase is well-needed and if I may say so, deserved.
I loved my years in Atlanta, it was very good to me. I don’t look back on that time in my life with anything but fondness. But it was a massive grind at times, as your 20s and early 30s can be: dating was a full-fledged trauma trip, I learned some powerful career lessons and got stabbed in the back once or twice. But I grew my career there, started my company, met my love, and made lifelong friends. I’m looking forward to seeing that experience connect and feed into my new life in Manhattan. And for my friends to visit, of course!
Speaking of milestones, this newsletter is celebrating one too: two years of publishing. That feels a bit surreal because my decision to re-launch this brand was one I thought would be met with a tepid reception at best. I thought the moment had passed! But I missed having a creative outlet enough to hit publish, even if nobody read it. And when Substack came along, I thought why not.
In that time, we’ve shifted from a tiny newsletter with a broader lifestyle focus to a Substack Best Seller exclusively focused on shopping. Our ethos is about buying fewer, better things, wearing them often, taking great care of them, and having them for a long time. Add in some beauty content, some chats with our favorite Founders and Designers, some heartfelt essays, and the occasional playlist, and here we are.
I know you’re sick of hearing it, but paid subscribers are what keeps the free content free for everyone else. If you love a publication, try to support it if you can, it makes a huge difference in ensuring it continues to exist, and it’s also a nice little vote of reassurance for us writers who sometimes wonder if we’re hollering into the void. If you are already a paid subscriber, THANK YOU for getting us to two years!! You are IT.
I’m hoping in the next few months to begin contributing to magazines and other outlets again. I’ve missed writing for other people. Editors, I’m here!
I do mean “we” in a literal way and not the royal one, for the record. I’m the primary voice here, but the newsletter is powered by our team as an extension of my company, Graves Creative. Natalie, Erica, Caroline, and Brittany have all chipped in with design, playlists, back-end help, and photography. I realize I owe you a proper introduction to what we do, and that’s coming soon, I promise.
I thought it would be fun to comb back through the archives and re-share our most popular newsletters, cull together the products that data shows y’all have loved the most, and to re-visit some of our best interviews and collaborations. Got a minute?
Our Most Popular Newsletters:
The Low-Key Rich Bitch Capsule Closet: semi-sardonic styling inspiration because I refuse to say qu*et l*xury.
High-Maintenance to Be Low-Maintenance: on front-loading my self-care, and giving less fucks.
Why Being Defensive is Career Suicide: thoughts on how to be a seasoned pro and not a workplace punch line.
Aren’t You Jealous? notes on the art of online performance.
The Love List’s Guide to Atlanta: “Virtual treasure maps. Elite e-itineraries. Password-protected pushpins.”
Inbox Stylist: Sets in the City
Your No-B.S. Guide to Everyday Makeup: all hail the workhorses.
Monday Mood: Neo-Elegance. Denim, leather, black, and diamonds.
The Bling Ring Runs Away with the Uniform: for pulling real-life styling inspiration from the runways.
The Exhaustive Guide to Skincare Lessons Learned: this issue has everything. Morpheus 8! Filler! Better sunscreens! Retinol peelies!
6 Ways to Style Leggings: new legs for an old standby.
My Body Image Spiral: trauma? dysmorphia? Or am I just spoiled?
The Best Interviews, Press, and Collabs:
Dorsey Founder Meg Strachan Talks Denim, Diamonds, and Packing for Paris was a long time in the works and a huge reader request. I adore Meg’s brand and adore Meg herself. Meg also introduced me to Olivia at Chava Studio whose brand ended up becoming a staple of my summer wardrobe and one of my favorite interviews.
Our first brand collaboration was with MyTheresa, a brand I have a personal affection for as a customer and friend. We hosted a three-day shopping pop-up last holiday season at St. Regis Atlanta and kicked the whole thing off with what MyTheresa is best known for on IG… a really fabulous brand dinner. It was a joy to work with their entire team.
Yolo Journal’s Yolanda Edwards talked about packing for The Love List while I contributed a travel guide to Carmel and Pebble Beach to YOLO Journal plus a companion packing list. And y’all really love her friend (and mine) Ann Mashburn, who gave us a great interview. (She’s who Yolanda goes to for packing advice, btw.)
I worked with legendary Editor Atoosa Rubenstein on an essay about my relationship with my Dad that’s been bubbling up for ten years. Read here about why it was so special to work with her. I love this woman.
The Women of The Home Edit Spill Their (Very Organized) Bags was our first big “get”.
Our first big subscriber boost was from Grace at The Stripe, who I jokingly call my Fairy Blog-mother. She’s been an immense supporter from day one and the way she wields her influence so generously to uplift other people is extraordinary. It’s no wonder she’s had the career she has.
One of my favorite podcasts is “Add to Cart” so I had to get hosts Kulap and SuChin to contribute their own (very good) lists of favorites to the newsletter. I was extra stoked because I was a fan of SuChin dating back to her MTV News days.
Southern Charm’s Venita Aspen Spills Her Hot-Weather Beauty Secrets was a fun one because it was the perfect organic cross-section between someone our readers are genuinely interested in and one of my real-life friends.
How to Make a Perfect, Sexy Espresso Martini came from my friend Robert who is one of those people that is always right about everything, including this. My friend Miles has been nominated for a few James Beard awards so his classic martini recipe is also exactly right.
Substack named us a featured publication and a Best-Seller, which boosted our subscriber numbers big-time.
Shout-outs from other newsletters like The Nat Note,, , and Gloria made my day.
Your Favorite Stuff to Shop:
Far and away, the most-shopped fashion brand on this newsletter is Toteme.
And you also really love Dorsey.
Khaite knitwear and High Sport kick pants rank pretty high, too.
The most-clicked piece of jewelry is from Sherman Field.
This Acne leather jacket was a huge hit, not a single person who bought it returned it, according to our data. I can attest it does have a really great fit.
The Wardrobe.NYC x Hailey Bieber collab, especially the blazer, was a winner last fall.
Everybody still loves Venetian slippers.
We sold something like 600 pairs of these GAP jeans.
As far as enduring trends go, it’s still Dad sandals, penny loafers (flat sole, not lug sole) and wine-colored nails.