The week before the bazaar, we lost a dear friend, Lara Long. Lara was the owner of plaidponyvintage.com. Art Star hosted several Plaid Pony Vintage pop-up shops in our brick-n-mortar over the years. Lara lived over in Fishtown & used to come in Art Star when we first opened over on the Liberties Walk. We became instant friends. Its always nice to chat w/ a fellow Philly business owner, especially over drinks. We became closer over the years & Lara used to watch the shop for us whenever we needed. She never hesitated to lend a helping hand. She literally saved our butts during the early years of the ASCB by carting around heavy tables for us in her truck!
We loved it when Lara would watch the shop b/c the next day everything would be completely organized. All the T-shirts would be neatly folded & she would come up w/ clever ways to organize our space without us even asking. Lara had a talent for organization. She also had a real eye for vintage & I used to love going on long thrifting trips w/ her. She would quickly scan each thrift store aisle and was able to find the perfect pieces in what seemed like minutes. I would still be on the first rack & she would already have her hands on all the gems the place had to offer. I used to help her pack orders for her company as well & used to love it! She had racks of clothing, piles of sweaters & t-shirts, boxes of jewelry, shelves lined w/ retro ceramics… and it was all organized by type/style/color of course. She would leave me w/ a map of the space & I felt like I was hunting for treasures in her home.
Lara really impressed me after her brother passed away in August of 2009. She was devastated by the loss, but she got right to work organizing a memorial fund in his name. Lara’s brother, Adam Goldstein (aka DJ AM) was a recovering drug addict who had amassed a giant collection of sneakers. Lara took time off from running her business to devote herself full time to spearhead a massive auction of his entire collection. 100% of the auction profits went to his memorial fund, which aims to help other drug addicts recover – an effort he began & was extremely passionate about during his lifetime. Lara was one of the strongest people I have ever met & her strength will continue to inspire me.
I will never forget our fun dinners out, our girls’ nights, & our epic rockband sessions. She was so much fun to be around & was one of the few friends I could talk on the phone w/ for hours. One of my fondest memories w/ Lara was a beach trip that we took last summer. My husband & I, along w/ Lara & her husband Ben, spent hours in the water. We both remembered that day as being one of the best times we had & resolved to go many times this summer. We remembered that day together, on a particularly difficult one & it brought us both comfort. I am sad to go to the beach without her now, but she will always be with me. So here’s to you Lara! I will never forget you – especially your laugh. Thank you for being such an incredible friend to me personally & to Art Star.