26 Sep Meet the Lady Sailors of Tent L
One of the great things about the Annapolis Boat Show (besides the boats, of course!) is that it showcases all types of businesses in the sailing industry. Throughout the tents you’ll find every variety of boat gear and lifestyle amenities. And while all the tents have something to offer, Tent L is special.
There you’ll find three businesses owned by women sailors: Maggie Lee Designs, Marmara Imports, and 12° West. The women entrepreneurs behind each of these companies saw a need in the sailing world that wasn’t met, and figured out how to meet it. Over a few years of boat shows together we’ve become friends, bonding over the challenges of running a small business, being female entrepreneurs in a male-dominated industry, and a love of sailing. And when women sailors get together, good things happen! Meet the Lady Sailors of Tent L.
Maggie Lee Designs
Maggie Lee grew up sailing. Another of her early loves was making jewelry. After training as a jewelry maker and goldsmith, and many years apprenticing with several master jewelers, Maggie struck out on her own and opened her own business. From her Maggie Lee Designs studios in Stonington, CT and Lancaster, PA she creates timeless, elegant designs in precious metals and fine gemstones. Many of her pieces are nautically inspired, especially the Compass Rose Collection.
In 2007, one of Maggie’s clients asked for a custom piece of jewelry incorporating the compass rose, the symbol of her beloved Jeanneau sailboat. After researching the compass rose, Maggie found it stood for all she strives for in life: true north, adventure, exploration, staying the course, and journeys – all with direction and guidance. The Compass Rose Collection was born.
What’s great about this collection is that it’s infinitely customizable. Maggie can include coordinates for a special location, mix different metals, or add precious stones. A customer favorite is the Classic Two-Tone 14K Gold Pendant, but the design is also available in earrings, rings, cufflinks and bracelets. I mean, look at these gorgeous sapphire and diamond earrings. Sailor girl goals!
This summer you could find Maggie out on the water in Stonington Harbor, enjoying weeknight racing with a big smile on her face.
Carol Stolberg and Susan Mitchell are long-time friends and travel companions. They met working at Harvard and have been friends ever since. While on a trip to Turkey in 2011, they were charmed by the people, customs and culture—and especially taken by the textiles. Susan, a long-time sailor and live-aboard, knew immediately that the flat woven Turkish cotton was perfect for boat life.
Together they formed Marmara Imports, bringing exceptional fair trade, eco-friendly artisan textiles to the US and beyond. All of their products are hand-loomed by local artisans – never machine made – and always 100% organic Turkish cotton.
Carol and Susan have partnered with a woman-owned weaving studio in Babadagh, Turkey that provides employment for other women, empowering them to support their families through the ancient art of weaving. Together, they’re working towards establishing a school that will teach the younger generation the art of hand looming textiles.
Turkish towels are perfect for boats because they’re incredibly soft, super absorbent, dry quickly, and don’t mildew like regular terrycloth towels. And they fold flat, saving lots of precious space on board. Last but not least, they’re extremely versatile – I’ve used mine as a shawl, beach towel, picnic blanket and tablecloth.
Marmara also carries other luxurious home textiles, and one of our favorites is the Farmer’s Stitch Blanket. It’s a hand-loomed reversible throw in cotton that feels more like cashmere; perfect for chilly nights in the cockpit or cuddling on the couch at home.
Carol lives on beautiful Cape Cod, and Susan plies the waters of Sarasota, Florida during the winter.
Julie Hylton took up sailing after moving to New York City. Weird, yes – but after all, Manhattan is an island. It didn’t take her long to fall in love with it. In sailing, Julie found confidence, exhilaration and freedom. What she didn’t love was the lack of comfortable and stylish sailing gear on offer for women. Thus, 12° West was born.
Julie believes that if you feel good in what you’re wearing, it makes everything better. So she created a range of sailing basics in high-tech performance fabrics with contemporary styling. Every piece is designed to fit a real woman’s body. Customer favorites include the buttery-soft Saybrook Stripe Shirt, which puts a modern spin on the traditional striped sailor shirt. And it pairs perfectly with the best-selling Sag Harbor Skort, a transitional piece that takes you straight from the boat to the bar in style.
12° West is the only line of sailing clothing designed by and for women – and made in America to boot. In fact, everything is designed and manufactured within the 5 boroughs of New York City.
During sailing season you can find Julie on New York Harbor, racing on Tuesdays with Manhattan Yacht Club, or cruising the Long Island Sound on weekends.
Meet the Lady Sailors of Tent L
Now that you know a little about us, come meet us at the Annapolis Boat Show. You’ll know you’ve found us by the laughter that echoes down the aisles of Tent L. We love meeting other women sailors – and you can show your support for women-owned businesses in the sailing world.
Visit our booths – L1, L3 and L8 – and enter to win a $100 gift certificate from each of our businesses. You can enter once in each booth to improve your chances – and mention this piece to get a bonus entry. Tent L is right off the parking lot for the Annapolis Yacht Club, so be sure to stop in on your way in or out of the show. The lady sailors of Tent L can’t wait to meet you!
Coming to Annapolis for United States Sailboat Show? The 2018 show is October 4-8. You can get tickets by clicking here. And check out our insider guides for what to do, see and eat in Annapolis: