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Meet Joan Carl, Owner of D. Porthault

We're getting ready for next week's trunk show and I thought it would be a great time to briefly introduce you to our guest of honor, Joan Carl, owner and vice chairman of D. Porthault Paris.

Joan is a very accomplished woman - a wonderful mother of three, a champion of French-American cultural exchange, a supporter of the arts, a successful business woman and a home-and-garden-restorer extraordinaire. Plus she's charming, elegant, intellectual, animated and a joy to sit next to at a dinner party!

Joan began her career in retail in her teens, working in the warehouse at Garfinkel's, the legendary department store in Washington, D.C. Through her years in merchandising and fashion, she developed an intense knowledge of textiles, design - and most importantly - what her customers want.

In 2005, Joan and her husband Bernard, purchased D. Porthault with a vision to preserve the venerable 90 year-old French luxury linens house while expanding it to reach a larger audience across the globe.

Flagship boutique on Rue Montaigne in Paris. Photo via woodworthdesign.com.

In 2009, Joan was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur by French president Nicolas Sarkosy, in recognition of her work revitalizing the company, restoring the couple's chateau in the Loire Valley, and her "very special contribution to the advancement of the relationship between France and the United States."

Joan Carl and Pierre Vimont, France's Ambassador to the United States

While Joan was rebuilding the company, I was creating my plan for Maze Home. I knew I had to offer something different, something unique, luxurious and exclusive for the discerning North Shore shopper. And I knew D. Porthault was the answer.

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, my mother introduced me to D. Porthault when I was a little girl and to this day I travel with my crisp, lovely Demoiselle boudoir pillow in tow. A small comfort of home wherever I roam.

Through my dear sister-in-law, Elizabeth Galvin, I made contact with Joan and set a meeting for lunch at the Jefferson Hotel in D.C.

Cindy Galvin and Joan Carl at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C.

We connected instantly, sharing a love of art, nature, design and, of course, all things Porthault.

My team traveled to Porthault's boutique on Park Avenue for hands-on training with Joan. Her knowledge and passion for the craftsmanship and tradition were contagious.

Cari Raymond, Sally Brown Thilman, Joan Carl at D. Porthault's Park Avenue boutique

Today I am honored to carry the largest selection of D. Porthault's luxury linens, terry, lingerie and accessories in the Midwest at Maze Home, right here in Winnetka!

We hope you can join us on Monday for the preview party from 5 to 7, or Tuesday and Wednesday for the trunk show from 10 to 5. ln the meantime, please enjoy the following photo gallery featuring Joan and D. Porthault!


Bobbie Brewster, Joan Carl celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Alliance Française Educational Initiatives. Joan is a member of the board of Alliance Française de Washington, D.C. Photo via Washington Life.

Joan's design interests reach beyond textiles to the botanical. For her home in Southampton, she researched the history of the grounds and worked with Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel to restore their original grandeur. The lush results are featured in the amazing book, Hampton Gardens, by Jack DeLashmet. Photo via Hamptons Magazine.

D. Porthault has long been a favorite among celebrities and dignitaries - Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, commissioned the now iconic Coeurs (hearts) pattern. Here, Mme. Porthault with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy at the White House. Photo via JFK Library.

Water color, "Resting Up, London," by Jacqueline Duhême, of Mrs. Kennedy wrapped up in D. Porthault sheets. Image via A Lovely Being.

Joan and her Paris-based design team created this D.C. inspired table cloth to commemorate President O'Bama's inauguration. It is hand embroidered and features Swarovski crystals. Image via Luxist.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Cattrall at the opening of D. Porthault's Paris boutique on Rue Montaigne. Image via People Magazine.

Tory Burch table designed with D. Porthault table linens. Image via Vogue.

A Mario Buatta designed bedroom featuring D. Porthault linens on a bed inspired by Brighton Pavilion - my favorite! I ran into Mario once at their New York boutique! Image via New York Social Diary.

Joan introduced me to the amazing sculptural work of Patrick Mavros. She's pictured here with two of his sons who are deeply involved in the business. Image via Guestofaguest.com.

Celebrity floral designer Jeffrey Leatham is part of Joan's design team. Pictured here with Joan and Cynthia Frank at their Fashion's Night Out celebration at the New York boutique. Image via GuestofaGuest.com.


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Cindy's Blog

I'm Cindy Galvin, owner of MAZE Home Store and Bardes Interiors. In my blog I hope to inform, inspire and entertain you with lessons I’ve learned, insights on the beautiful things all around us, and stories from my adventures in design. I hope you'll join me on my journey through the world of design!

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Design Services: Bardes Interiors

Book launch featuring the work of
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