“I see how strong you are.”

Broken english. Clothes wrapped in paper. Topped off with string. Tight space. Handwritten receipts. A close-knit community. A family business. A century old legacy.

Those are just some of the treasures I’m inheriting for Juliette.

I got to know Tammy by spending my days with her.

The crinkling of the brown paper was unavoidable. It was pindrop silent in the laundromat, but between the crinkling, her voice giving me tips and tricks and the muffled outside noise, I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

She’d take the pile of folded shirts and flipped half of it upside down, pressing down on it to make sure it stayed down. She went slow enough for me to grasp it, but I know she was going through the motions mindlessly — it’s become second nature.

The crinkling of the brown paper returned as she put half of it over the pile of folded shirts. She slid aggressively across the paper to make sure it didn’t move — and surely it didn’t.

She took the other half on the other side and did the same thing. Then came the precision point.

It seems something so simple to her, but was something so fascinating to me; she took the open sides and folded it up almost like a Christmas present.

And same to the other side. She tops it off with a string that she wraps the entire packaging with. After that, she takes the yellow, handwritten receipt and sticks it between the string and paper — and it never moves.

She does everything by hand. She has a code for remembering people’s names. It’s a whole different way of doing business.. and she entrusted me with continuing it.

Because truthfully… I wasn’t the only person who put in an offer for her business. But she chose me.

“I see how strong you are,” that’s what she told me.

And that’s when I realized that this was more than business. This was more than a financial transaction.. The real transaction is a legacy transaction.

Tammy and I come from two different worlds. Old world vs new world. Cultural differences. Different languages. Yet, here I am, in this room — and that loud crinkling paper — connecting the bridge between old and new worlds.

And she picked me to do it.  I’m more than honored. I’m going to take the century old tradition of hand finished garments; adapt it - and usher it into the 21st century.

I will ensure that the timeless art of Chinese Laundry will continue to flourish.  

How will I do that? Well, I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.

Click here for the official Press Release.

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