to begin again…

To all the lovelies out there… welcome. I used to be the voice of Clarabella NYC. I started the blog back at the end of 2006. It began as a way to keep my friends and family updated on the progress of shop renovations and continued on as a means of commuting with my shop’s clients. I shared news of emerging designers, fresh merch in the shop, a little press here and there, and of course stories of the things that I loved and the people who inspired me.

Clarabella was a thriving accessories boutique in NY’s Lower East Side for 2 1/2 years before I closed her doors. That said, the retail market was struggling and I was getting tired. As I’m sure you would imagine, running a business on your own is a tough gig. Not an impossible one, but the challenges are never-ending. I loved the day to day, but was having a hard time envisioning my future… I wasn’t sure that it was what I wanted for myself for years to come. I thought about family and about love and made a very important decision. Not only would I close the shop – my long-time dream realized – I would also move to Portland, ME.

It all seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. I first started to consider it all in April, met and fell in love with a wonderful man in May, closed up shop at the end of August and found myself seated in the drivers seat of a moving van with my life packed inside by September 1st.  As I type, I can look out my bedroom window to view the ocean on the East End in Portland. I have a perfect little 1bdrm with a deck allowing plenty of daydreaming about BBQs and cocktail hours in the Spring/Summer. I live 15 minutes away from my sister and her family, 20 minutes away from my dad and step-mom, an hour away from my mom and step-dad and get to see the love of my life at least 4 nights a week. Do I miss New York and the life I had there? Absolutely. Am I unbelievably happy here with my fresh start? Incredibly. (More on all of that later;))

So, here I am. This once entrepreneur is trying a new blog on for size. Gone are my days of boutique-dom and music business saturation. I wasn’t sure what to do with the old blog when I came here. I continued posting, not wanting to let my forum go. Whether anyone actually read along, it had become a part of me… my own space to share whatever came to mind. I thought about it long and hard and finally decided to break my ties with the old site and begin again right here.

And so… I say goodbye to Clarabella and hello to ‘just plain lovely’.



  1. Good Morning Just Plain Lovely,

    I am so incredibly happy that you are here, loving, living, breathing, playing, working AND writing in Portland, Maine. I love you. Mom

  2. Oooohhhh…. loving Just Plain Lovely, Erin! Can’t wait to follow your musings from Portland and am so happy for your happiness. Lucky to know you. Hugs!

  3. Hi Erin,

    Great to have you back with a new blog! I look forward to hearing about your fresh start. Life sounds wonderful!


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