New York native, global trendsetter, and co-owner of Wölffer Estate Vineyard-Joey Wölffer - is a well-known name among the Hamptons locals. Her family owned winery, called The Wölffer Estate Vineyard, is the summer hot spot for delicious rosé and amazing views.
But, now Wölffer is making her own business with the Styleliner. The Styleliner, which was launched in June of 2010, is the first-ever mobile luxury store on wheels. You can find a collection of Italian leather handbags and unique accessories on this mobile boutique. Last year, she debuted her eponymous collection of handbags, which combines hand-woven leather straps and rare embellishments from around the world. Along with the fashion truck, Wölffer has opened up the first ever brick and mortar store in Sag Harbor, NY.
Following in the footsteps of her great-great grandfather who established one of the leading retailers in the UK, Marks and Spencer, fashion is clearly in her blood. As soon as Wölffer finished college, she jetted to London to start a career in fashion and landed an internship with a well-known jewelry designer.
"While I was an assistant in London, the owner of the company fired her main designer and hired me right off the bat," says Wölffer, “I had no experience, but it was the biggest test and also the most exciting time of my life."
After London, Wölffer headed to New York City to continue her career in fashion. “Having had a fashion career in London made me extremely hirable in New York," says Wölffer. In New York, she joined the Johns group, and worked alongside the trend director, head designers, and the sales department. While working there, she also did a lot of traveling, which is what sparked her idea for Styleliner.
“When I was 26, my dad passed away. That was when I knew that I could not just work in the corporate world forever, so I decided that it was time to start my own business," stated Wölffer. From her background in jewelry to her roots in the Hamptons, all of her unique aspects are incorporated into the brand. “The Hamptons style is pretty relaxed, but people always dress up when they are laying back." said Wölffer. She also incorporates her childhood memories of growing up on a farm into her brand as well. “My brand is free spirited and definitely more bohemian, but also it has its individual style- you are not going to see someone else walking down the street with a similar bag or accessory." Wölffer said.
The first products that she debuted were the handbags. “I love accessories, and I felt that at the time I started, jewelry was over saturated. So, I went with bags, and I knew that the sable bags were going to be a special piece." Wölffer said. Starting with the saddlebag, her brand has also branched out into different categories like jewelry and clothing. As of now, Wölffer has pop up shops throughout the US. “We are opening a new pop up shop in LA in March that I am really looking forward too," said Wölffer. In the near future, Wölffer aspires to have a shop within a shop in big stores like Nordstrom's or Bloomingdales.
"There are no good men out there," yet another woman my age declared. At 50, I was freshly divorced after two decades of marriage and motherhood. My unhappy marriage had shattered my faith in men and romantic relationships. Based on my ex-husband's opinion of my sexual appeal, I was afraid my naked body would cause future lovers to run screaming from the room. Rather gleefully, I announced to my girlfriends that I was done with men, and sex, forever.
For the first year, I got tangled in my sheets alone every night, overjoyed to have the bed and my body to myself. I felt liberated by divorce—free to be me, skip showering, and make dinner for one. But it bothered me when women decried the scarcity of men, because I'd known so many good ones—college boyfriends, my brother, my best friend from business school, etc. The first of many naked truths gradually crept up on me: I was not going to find my juju again through self-help and yoga. The feminist in me didn't want to admit it, but going for too long without men was akin to starvation.
I didn't want another husband. But I needed men, a lot of them.
The universe signaled its approval by sending Mr. Blue Eyes to me at an airport. He was 29 and perhaps the sexiest man I'd ever kissed. Being with him convinced me, pretty decisively, that men were going to heal me, even though men had destroyed me many times before. I became the female incarnation of a divorced, clichéd older man: I bought a sports car, revamped my wardrobe, and took younger lovers. "I want five boyfriends," I told my best friend KC after that first tryst ended. "Sweet, cute, smart, nice. Enough that I won't get too attached to one." My message from the frontlines of divorce at 50 is that to restore your confidence as a woman, especially in the wake of a crushing breakup, try dating outside your comfort zone, expanding your dating pool to include partners you might never have considered before. It may not be the recipe for a lasting union, but in terms of rebuilding your self-esteem, it can work wonders.
The first thing I noticed—and liked—about dating younger men is that they didn't want to marry me or make babies with me. And I didn't want that either. Frankly, I didn't even want them to spend the night. Since I'd been 11, I'd been taught to seek out and value men who wanted commitment. To my surprise, I found it refreshing, even more authentic, to be valued not for my potential as a mate, but instead for my body, intelligence, life-experience and sexuality.
And the sex! I quickly realized that—warning, blanket stereotype coming—men under 40 are more straightforward and adventurous than older men, maybe since they were raised with the Internet. You hear so often about the scourge of crude, sexist online pornography; and I agree that the depersonalization of women as sexual playthings is deeply destructive to all genders. However, from sexting to foreplay, I found younger men uniquely enthusiastic about getting naked and enjoying sex. Every younger man found my most erotic zones faster than any man my age ever had, with a lack of hesitation men over 50 seemed unable to fathom.
Also, about my big fear of getting naked in front of a younger man? Completely unfounded. I started to shake when Airport Boy took off my sundress in our hotel room. Had he ever seen a woman my age nude? How could I stand to be skin-to-skin with a body far more perfect than mine? I had given birth to eight-pound, full-fucking-term babies. I'd nursed them, too, and at times by breasts looked (from my view at least) like wet paper towels. "You have a spectacular body," he told me instead, running his hand over the cellulite on my stomach that I despised. That night I learned that younger men who seek older women accept our physical flaws—they don't expect perfection in someone 20 years their senior. These men taught me to see my body through a positive, decidedly male lens, to focus on the pretty parts (and we all have them) rather than the flaws that we all have too, whether you're 19, 29 or 59.
I even found the pillow talk lighter, easier and more intellectually stimulating, because a younger man's world view differs so vastly from the pressures of my 20-something kids, annual colonoscopies, 401K balance and mortgage payments. They have simple financial problems, like "Can I borrow a few quarters for the parking meter outside?" or "Do you have any advice on consolidating my student loans?"
Everything feels simpler with younger men. Men under 40 seem less threatened by assertive women; they grew up with them. They like cheap beer instead of expensive wine. They don't snore (as much). Leftovers a 55-year-old would scoff at look good to them. Their erections NEVER last more than four hours. Their hard-ons end the old-fashioned way and 45 minutes later they are ready for more.
But what I enjoy most about younger men is not the sex, or the cliché that they make me feel young again—because they don't. Younger men make me feel old, and to my delight, I like that. I feel valuable around younger men, precisely because I am wiser and more experienced in life, love and between the sheets.
I know I'll never end up with one for good. The naked truth is we don't have enough in common to last. One recently put it exactly right when he told me, "I love this, but there's always gonna be a glass ceiling between us." That lack of permanence, the improbability of commitment and "forever," doesn't mean I can't pick up a tip or two about self-esteem, and enjoy the magic of human connection with younger men. And vice versa. The experience can enrich us both, making us better partners for people our own ages down the road.
*My viewpoint is from the perspective of a heterosexual woman, because I am one. But change the gender identification and/or sexual orientation to whatever works for you and let me know if the same advice holds true. Thank you.