It is no secret that I am focused on creating a more eco-friendly home. So, when my friend (and Style Setter) Agnes Baddoo suggested we cover her friend Priscilla Woolworth, I jumped at the chance. Although born in New York City, Priscilla spent much of her childhood in the south of France. It was there that she developed a deep appreciation for a simple, eco-centric, yet stylish lifestyle. Summers in Maine at her storied family’s retreat, Clearview Farm, (Priscilla is a descendant of one of the founders of F.W.Woolworth of the “five and dime” stores), solidified her commitment to the environment. These days, Priscilla lives in Los Angeles where she runs priscillawoolworth.com, an online general store and monthly almanac she founded that offers eco-friendly and socially responsible products, and advice and information about living a sustainable lifestyle. It’s a truly modern version of the famed Woolworth stores and legacy.
The mother of two daughters with Cassian Elwes, Arielle, 22, and Lucie, 20, Priscilla is an inspiring KiC profile.
How did your childhood help form your dedication to the environment? Growing up in the south of France exposed me to such a gorgeous way of living by my French family who really knew how to create a lovely quality of life by making a simple yet beautiful environment at home. We all enjoyed what nature brought during the different seasons, the foods and flowers in particular. Spending my summers in Maine opened up my eyes to the beauty of trees, dragonflies and wildflowers and it was there that I realized how vital it is to protect nature. Living in California made it all come together; the indoor life and the outdoor life. They can be lived in a way that is environmentally responsible. All you need to know is how easy it is to do.
What are 3 things everyone could do easily to help the environment?
1) Buy food packaged in glass jars you can reuse for food storage or other uses, reducing the amount of trash you make and saving money on buying food storage containers. 2) Buy school or office supplies made from recycled paper or materials. 3) Use non-toxic suntan lotion at the beach, which is better for you and also for the water you swim in to cool off. Suntan oils and lotions pollute the water and endanger the sea creatures.
Tell me about composting… Composting rocks! I keep a compost pail, one from my store, by my kitchen sink and fill it up with veggie kitchen scraps. I empty the pail into my Valentina composter. After a few months, it breaks down into nutritious compost material, which I add to my vegetable garden, where I grow the vegetables that I pick, etc. The cycle comes full circle and starts up again. I love that.
Whose style do you admire? Jane Goodall for her kindness towards animals and her simple chic.
Which eco-friendly designers do you like? Stella McCartney for her all around earth friendliness and Liya Kebede for her activism and humanitarian work with her brand LemLem.
Favorite books and movies: Books: Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck; Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder; Interpreter of the Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, … Movies: My Man Godfrey; Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring; Seraphine; Nowhere in Africa; Whale Rider; The Chorus.
Summer essentials: Ray-Ban Sunglasses , Odacite moisturizer, handcrafted Barbara Shaum sandals, white shirts by Ronaldus Shamask, jeans by J. Brand…and my reusable glass water bottle goes with me whenever I go.
Favorite summer dish: Salad Niçoise in a bowl or stuffed inside a crusty piece of bread like they do in the south of France, called a Pan Bagnat.
A day with your daughters is…Doing a project together that involves us staying home and having a great time, then cooking dinner together, eating it by candlelight in the kitchen, sharing stories and laughing the night away.
A perfect day alone is…Not being in a hurry and staying in my pajamas until mid-morning, having breakfast and pottering around the garden, going for a swim, lunch out somewhere yummy and beautiful, taking photos while I’m out and about, catching up on my New Yorkers, The Week and English Elle Decoration back at home while drinking a cup of tea…
Keeps me sane…My cameras because I love shooting images every day and then sharing all my news in my monthly Almanac blog.
A few of my favorite products from Priscilla’s online store: Outdoor wooden compost bin- the Valentina, Priscilla Woolworth Market Bag in cotton- blue, Stainless steel compost pail, Reusable organic produce bag, Reusable glass bottle, Olive soap, Paine’s Balsam Fir incense cones, Odacite Organic skin care products, Home garden Bee House, Stainless steel lunch box, Natural moth repellant sachets, Long wooden matches.
Demi-fine 14K gold-plated hoop
Oversized-lapel double-breasted wool-blend coat
Pleated checked wool midi skirt
Checked wool blazer
High-rise straight-leg jeans
Blanche leather ankle boots
Bellechasse medium leather-trimmed canvas bag
Double breasted coat
Square belt bag
Off-the-shoulder smocked satin top