A La Carte
Managing a real estate development business, a couture consignment shop, and serving as architect and general contractor on T-Square, her new venture, is well, all in a day’s work for Sara Mokhtari.
The inspiration for the name of her Georgetown boutique, Tari came from a dear friend Ari, now deceased. Touching her heart she said, “I wanted to keep him within me, and now his name is part of mine.”
For this self-described design junkie, creating the logo for T-Square, the new corporate and private events space currently in construction above Tari, and selecting the perfect square Porcelenosa toilets, is great fun.
With plans for adding a shoe room and expanding the men’s wear section, Sara explains, “I wanted in the first phase to open up the pop-up, and get it going.” With a background in finance and money management this meant creating structure.
Quick to give credit, Sara said, “Soma Choudhury, a luxury branding and marketing specialist who runs her own company, Leela, helps launch new designers. She was so helpful connecting me with other boutiques. We get amazing stuff all the time.”
Establishing an e-commerce website, marketing, and creating a great sales team (“keeping staff happy is key”) came together quickly. Manager Maria Palacios used to run her own boutique in Miami, and Nya Gill, who has her own jewelry line, Mother of Men, recently came from Nanette Lepore.
While Tari opened last November, the official grand launch party with T-Square is planned for later this fall.
“I love providing a service that makes everyone happy.” Felipe Da Silva, who had seen them on his last visit, zooms right in to show his sister, Marcela a pair of Louboutins in her size.
Despite construction challenges, always compounded when building in historic Georgetown, Sara is on track to have the entire project completed later this year.
Of course, having friendly neighbors like Rashid Hassouni with an espresso machine helps. Tari’s building abuts Puro Cafe, and her daily dose of soy lattes are always steaming hot.
Tari is at 1525 Wisconsin Avenue. Tel: 202.621.7500
Before the floral shears are passed to Fabio Ripoli next New Year’s Day, meet the woman who created Ultra Violet Flowers.
“I thought owning a flower shop would be rosy, and that the neighborhood would smile in scent.” Affirmative on both counts. Inspired by European travels that taught her to “embrace and nurture nature’s essence,” after 12 years, Robin Sutliff continues to delight in every season, “so chock full of glorious varieties … of sweet peas, fabulous funky tulips, and this year, anemones have stolen my heart.” Without missing a petal, “and a nod to hyacinth, poppies, lotus pods, monkey balls, snow berries, toad lilies, Siamese callas ...”.
“I guess the reasons I enjoy designing through the wee hours of the night is because then it's me and the flowers, doing what we do best, headphones on, and in the best, best zone.” As Robin explained, “I'm an artist and that's what I crave.”
Robin also discovered that running a flower shop is “a 100% on your feet job! It's not at all easy to answer phones, assist walk-in customers, make daily arrangements for delivery, sometimes making the deliveries, write enclosure cards, clean the flowers, fill the buckets, unpack the vases, buy the flowers from markets worldwide (being careful not to over buy),ring credit cards, meet with brides, draw up event proposals, answer emails, and feed ShopCat …” But Robin loves every bit of it. Come high spring, “It is roses all the time but there are plenty of broken vases too!”
Continuing on as design director, Robin will have more time to meet with brides and create special events. “Headphones on and in the zone, but maybe not all night long with time to market my flower photographs. Flowers are just my really great friends.”
“He is so talented and his heart is top notch. Ultra Violet Flowers can only be in the hands of one other and that’s Fabio Ripoli,”says Robin. Arriving in Georgetown from Peru 10 years ago looking for work, Fabio started as an Ultra Violet driver. One day, after routinely processing orders from Holland, he tried his hand at arranging. And after five years (he’s being much too modest), Fabio discovered, “I’m really good.”
Lush floral designs in signature square glass vases. Sounds simple but have you ever seen an arrangement this exquisite elsewhere?
Sharing Robin’s passion for creating awe-inspiring magical arrangements, Fabio points out, “People like the "wow, come again, what the heck is that factor that we showcase.” Unusual varieties, unique specimens, unexpected combinations of color and texture, and no fillers.
Ultra Violet Flowers is at 1218 31st Street. Tel: 202.333.3002
The cameras had been in position for over four hours when a blonde woman emerged from Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Georgetown home shortly before 1 pm. She returned a half hour later ... with lunch?
"It’s just an amazing story … he was well on his way to becoming president,” said Thierry Arnaud. For him and other, mainly French news reporters camped out in front of DSK's Georgetown home Tuesday, it's been a long summer covering the incident that derailed the career of ex-International Monetary Fund chief and French socialist presidential nominee, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Natalia Mendoza from TF1 TV agreed."It's a political earthquake."
In town to visit IMF headquarters and meet his successor, Christine Lagard, DSK and his wife Anne Sinclair returned to their Georgetown home Monday, as reported earlier today by Euro News.
"For two month, since May 14, I've been sitting on the sidewalk in front of DSK's house." World news reporter for i>Télé, Baptiste Muchensturm, accustomed to covering stories in the Middle East said, "It's not very exciting." Dubbing Georgetown, "DSK Beach 2.0," Baptiste was enjoying a change of venue from the sidewalk on Franklin Street in Tribeca, before DSK's release from house arrest last month.
"We were shell-shocked." Fabien Ortiz from TF1 TV explained. "It's been a marathon." Thanks to a very understanding neighbor, the reporters charged batteries and enjoyed front row seats across the street for the second day.
Asked whether DSK has a chance of resurrecting his career, Fabien said, " Absolutely not. Perhaps as a godfather figure or king-maker, in an advisory capacity, but he's lost all popularity in France, especially with women." On Anne Sinclair, "At TF1, Anne Sinclair is the star journalist. She's like Barbara Walters." Anne Sinclair, a French television and radio interviewer hosted a popular political show for more than 13 years on TF1, the largest European private TV channel. On their marriage, Fabian said, "The relationship is true affection. It's love."
When DSK leaves Washington, for Fabien, it's on to other states, covering American politics. "The French people love President Obama, so they're not so much interested in the Republican primaries, but there's always something interesting ..."
While DSK appeared to remain home all day, visitors were seen coming and going, starting in the morning with, as the reporters speculated, three groups of real estate representatives arriving and leaving separately.
Late afternoon, shortly before 5 pm, two men arrived by limousine and stayed for about an hour.
Anne Sinclair, in a white jacket and jeans left the home at 5:24 pm with the blonde woman seen earlier in the day, drove away in a black Audi, and returned at 6:40 pm carrying several bags including one from Whole Foods.
Tomorrow is another day.