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.