THE HEART: JUNE FLOWERS-STEADMAN

Those of you who have visited The Factory, attended a workshop, or simply called the Alabama Chanin office have likely had the opportunity to meet or speak with our Project and Event Coordinator, June Flowers-Stedman. June is an incredibly memorable individual – she has lightning-fast wit, a sultry, knowing voice, and a unique way of making everyone feel special. If you’ve encountered June – or read one of her posts – you remember her.

I first met June in 2010 through my son, Zach. I remember hearing about his friend, Brandy June, and listening to him laugh when recalling stories of her. June was a student at the local university, studying in the Fashion Merchandising department. I didn’t know this at the time, but she attended a lecture that I gave there, which set in motion our inevitable course collision. June had in mind to attend one of our local weekend workshops; her approach was unique and memorable:

June says, “My offer was simple… will work for workshop. I emailed the office, offering to scrub toilets, windows, floors, anything.” While we were not able to place her in our upcoming, packed workshop, her email made an impression. I could tell that this girl had gumption. Knowing that she was a friend of my son’s, I picked his brain for information on her… What was she really like? Would she be a good fit for us? Convinced, I called her in for an interview. We brought June to work at The Factory as a temporary worker, filling in when needed and taking care of miscellaneous tasks here and there. She agreed to work part-time for a while and we made an arrangement that allowed her to leave early every day in time to get to her second job.

June says, “I remember almost every detail about my first day at Alabama Chanin – not only because I love my job, but because that day – March 5, 2010 – was also my wedding day. I got a call to come in to The Factory, pulled myself together and rushed in. As scheduled, June worked until three o’clock, drove home, and decided to get married! She and her now-husband, Ben, drove to the local courthouse and got married in the judge’s chambers. Then, June explains, “I decided to call in ‘married’ to my other job.”

Almost immediately after their big moment, we ran into June and Ben celebrating at a local restaurant. She blushed, a little sheepish that she’d left The Factory early for her other job – then never actually went to work. June quickly blurted out her tale of impulsively eloping. We were thrilled, of course, and excited to get to know this free-spirited woman who was now part of the fold. The more we got to know June, the more it became clear that she was not meant to be a temporary employee; she was going to be part of the Alabama Chanin family.

June has a distinctly creative bent. Since childhood, she has always been a lover of thrift stores and, as she grew, habitually altered her purchases to make them more unique. At Alabama Chanin, her creative styling has flourished and she is known to effortlessly pair a reverse appliqué skirt with Converse tennis shoes and plenty of personal touches.

The entire staff at The Factory has to be willing to do whatever is needed, whenever – and June has become Alabama Chanin’s “Everything Girl,” always pitching in while laughing and making up little pet names for each of us. She and Ben (who plays in one of our favorite local bands) have a red-haired beauty of a daughter, Agnes, who is growing up before our very eyes. We can’t wait to see what she – and June – will become.

Alabama Chanin is also growing in ways we never imagined since June arrived.

An invaluable asset to Alabama Chanin and to all that know her – or have experienced her hearty laugh: June Flowers – a part of the heart and soul of Alabama Chanin.

Bookmark and Share

12 thoughts on “THE HEART: JUNE FLOWERS-STEADMAN

  1. Patricia

    Been looking forward to the June post to put a face to the phone voice…and her husband’s a Vermontster transplant, isn’t he? Alabama and Vermont…two states I feel connected to by a dear friend.

    Reply
  2. Denise

    Having just had the wonderful opportunity to grill June on a few questions I have to say she is definitely an asset to your company.. she is a keeper! (and look out June.. I have a couple more questions for you!)

    Reply
  3. Martha

    “Will work for workshop.” How could you not love her? June is wonderful to work with. She is diligent, and caring, and full of life. And what a perfectly lovely name — Brandy June Flowers-Steadman. Thanks for sharing her story.

    Reply
  4. Susan C.

    June was so helpful and patiently put up with my many silly questions leading up to the New Orleans workshop. And best of all, I was able to meet her there at the trunk show. I agree, she is simply the best!

    Now that I’m (sort of sadly) back in the Bay Area, I look forward
    to seeing her — and everyone — in April.

    Reply
  5. Jonn

    Hail to June! My first experience with June was via phone very late the evening before a weekend workshop I was to attend. She either stayed up very late and/or got up very early, or did not sleep to assist me in catching up. She even offered to pick me up the following morning at my hotel and drive me to the Factory. All because I had no idea how to get to Alabama Chanin from my hotel and to allow me to sleep in! I nearly dropped the phone in disbelief while speaking with her. That is customer service, kindness, and caring above and beyond! Being a business owner myself, having one employee/person of June’s caliber would be a blessing. I would seriously consider paying Natalie to work there or volunteering.

    At the workshop, I discovered each Alabama Chanin employee to be unique and angelic. Time spent at the company with the staff is as close to heaven on earth as anything I have ever experienced. The environment they have created feeds the soul, spirit, and all the body’s senses that is more zen and spa like than a sewing workshop.

    For the exposure alone to the environment at Alabama Chanin, and endless other positives, I recommend the workshop to everyone. Including those that do not know the difference between a sewing needle and a butter knife.

    Thank you Diane, June, Mary Quinn, Natalie, Olivia, Steven and all that are Alabama Chanin.

    Reply
  6. Diana from San Francisco

    I have had the pleasure of working with June as I plan on attending an upcoming workshop coming to the bay area. What a delightful person – how lovely that you have found each other. Can’t wait to meet you both in person.

    Heyyyyyy June!

    Diana

    Reply
  7. Sara

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Miss Junebug for quite some time now. The more that I know her, the more beautiful that she becomes. Many of you have mentioned how much effort she puts into her job, and it really is true. She cares so much about all of us and about doing a great job.

    xoxoxo

    Sara

    Reply
  8. Laura Senecal

    And to join in the chorus of singing her praises: I wanted to add that June is by far one of the most giving and loving people I have ever been graced to call “friend”. She has a heart of GOLD. I adore her and you are blessed to have her on staff.

    Reply
  9. linda

    hey, june bug…you are so well suited at ac. here is to a long and powerful career at the factory. i wish i could sit down and stitch talk it up with ya right now. love and prayers daily to you and all at ac.

    Reply
  10. julochka

    wow! what a story! i don’t even know her, but it totally brought tears to my eyes! i needed to read a story at precisely this moment about someone with guts and gumption and about being part of something wonderful that’s growing. SO glad i stopped by and found this.

    thank you for writing with so much heart and warmth. it really is something special.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>