Archived: Rhapsody in Blue – Profile of Joslyn Taylor in Paper City



Joslyn Taylor’s father played saxophone in Edgar Winter’s “White Trash” band and, oddly, this explains a lot. His work as a musician meant that she spent a peripatetic childhood in wildly disparate points in Louisiana and California, including the rapturously gorgeous topography of Big Sur. She praises the scenery along the sinuous, coast-hugging Highway 1 and it becomes clear that Taylor is, indeed, a California girl — albeit operating splendidly as a transplant. She pulled out a lavishly printed album cover featuring sexily sweaty photographs of her father from “back in the day” and explained that his life as a musician dictated changing residences frequently as his career morphed. She said that “people in both Louisiana and California are very laid back, very friendly” and added that Los Angeles is a slice of atypical glitzy turf in what is surely the most boho state in all of America. It’s also clear that she still loves it deeply.

This is readily apparent because her Cali background is imprinted everywhere in her residential DNA. Her home meanders throughout approximately 4,000-square feet of space that is utterly tranquil, more than a bit “Zen” and the very definition of “comfy.” There is a dish of quartz crystals on a table adjacent to the living room sofa, a huge salt-water aquarium sporting yellow- and blue-striped fish near an over-sized bar area; and, outdoors, a thatch of bamboo is still green and thriving despite a recent snowy freeze. It splendidly skirts a backyard pool overlooked by a cozy area perfect for imbibing cocktails during warm afternoons. Put bluntly, the entire residence is something a frequent Esalen attendee would cook up.

All of this is especially remarkable since Taylor juggles a life with her husband, two young daughters, and a full-time job as a Principal at Swoon, the Studio. For the uninitiated, Swoon is owned by Samantha Reitmayer Sano who brings her massive talent to an array of projects, including: branding, print media, exhibition and retail space — and, of course, home décor. After Taylor teamed up with Sano and took on much of the responsibility (and joy) of a booming company with an A-list clientele, an obvious question comes to mind. Namely: Who has time to decorate?

Thus, what follows is pertinent information. When her eldest child asks politely if she can play in the snow, not one beat is missed. When the youngest daughter pads by, heading toward her room wherein girly pink décor collides with doodads resembling tiny gears and car parts, that, too, is deftly handled. It’s obvious that the woman possesses a miraculous combo of Mommy / Executive Talent / Wildly Creative skill sets.

In Ginsu-knife vernacular, her bio would read, “But wait! There’s more!” Taylor started her career as a high-powered executive in marketing at EDS and Siemens. She then shifted gears in toto and was lured away from a fifteen-year stint in corporate culture to work at “D” magazine before moving on to her ultimate dream job at Swoon, the Studio. Says she, “Samantha asked me dinner and said she wanted to discuss business. Well, two cocktails in, she suggested that we work together.” After a bit of contemplation, Taylor succumbed to the offer and now is the epitome of a hugely talented businesswoman who works ferocious hours while adoring every minute of it.

Luckily, she’s an early riser and cranks work out like a champ between wee hours, four a. m. to be exact, and a more reasonable block of time stretching into eleven in the morning. In other words, she has put in a full day while most people are still feeling the miraculous buzz of their first espresso-laden, sing-the-body-electric beverage.

Egads! She probably is also an expert in yoga and performs Crane and Warrior poses with the gracefulness of Nureyev. However, if that’s the case, I simply can’t bear to know.



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