No one yet has gone on record as ever spotting Jessica Bennett click her heals three times before opening the front door of the Alice Lane showroom. But no one is denying it, either. “Home,” she says, “should be your favorite place on earth.” So, she built the perfect little house at the end of the perfect street tucked away in the perfect neighborhood. Then, she bit her lower lip and sold it to open up her practically perfect store by literally taking the address with her. That’s because she has this exquisite idea that every home is an heirloom, that every wall, every piece of furniture, every little detail should involve memories of the past and visions of the future. “We want to give our friends permission to use their homes,” she says. She understands this can be extremely personal. She has seen it become sincerely touching. She’s hoping to make every little moment magical.
Of course, there is always the hard work unless you think hand crafted, cast resin tables in vintage silver leaf just appear out of nowhere. Once upon a time, a globally expanding tech firm sent Jessica on a worldwide, whirlwind tour to design their international offices. Jessica had spent years connecting names, images and corporate identities as the art director for an avant-garde advertising firm. She figured if she could craft the message then she could certainly design the face behind it. Jessica discovered that a respect for space and person was serenely precious in the crush of Tokyo’s high rise towers. She delicately rolled carpet over 200-year-old wood planks of the red-bricked Fitzroy Square of London. She dared to splash vibrant green across the forlorn nordic dispositions of Denmark. Ten days later, she was positively exhausted and undeniably hooked. This is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
At any given moment, the Alice Lane designers are fussing over a myriad of homes and Jessica is either running her cheek across a bolt of antique Belgium linen or framing a priceless piece of third-grader art she cajoled from a forgetful storage box. She and her husband Adam have two precocious little girls and a fantastically eclectic showroom they affectionately call their own. If you ask nicely, she will talk about the joy of that rare find and the inevitable pinch when it walks out the door with a new owner. If she has to, she will tell you about curious new customers who travel from hundreds of miles away just to be let in on the secret. But if you give her a chance, she’ll tell you that she falls asleep at night dreaming about the whimsical window treatment that will frame the world from your kitchen barstool. On second thought, Jessica Bennet will concede that the Alice Lane Home Collection isn’t for everyone. Just you.