Having spent the better part of this week completing spring planters, I’m thrilled to have clean fingernails once again and think about things other than plants and shrubs.

Namely, dresses.

Specifically, dresses from Tumbleweed Boutique.

When I started my landscape design business years ago, I struggled with how to look professional in front of clients while dressing practically for the kind of work that requires kneeling in dirt, poking around in pots and climbing in and around trees and bushes. Having  an active 2-year-old now means I’m also often sitting in a sandbox or scrambling up a playground slide. Clearly, I needed to find a “look” that would cover all bases.

I love to wear dresses  – but they were no longer always practical for my lifestyle. But rather than pack them away I started wearing them over pants or jeans. The dresses looked polished and the jeans allowed for ease of movement.

Getting the profile right was often tricky, though. And then I stumbled upon an article about Portland, Oregon designer Kara Larson.

Kara is the designer behind “Kara-line”  – a collection of lovely, one-of-a-kind dresses. Her  philosophy is to “offer beautiful clothes for everyday life. I feel you should be able to wear a dress strolling down the aisle of [the] grocery store then off to a wedding.”

Bingo! Substitute “nursery” for “grocery store” and “client meeting” for “wedding” and she was talking to me!

Over the years I’ve bought a number of Kara-line dresses but only recently learned that she owned a store that carries the dresses along with a sharply edited collection of other designers’ wares.

It may seem odd to “shop” at a store that is 3,000 miles away. But as I’ve written in earlier posts I really strive to not dress like every other mom on the block. And the distance thing is easily overcome by Tumbleweed’s incredibly friendly, knowledgeable and fashion-savvy staff. They have an uncanny knack for pulling together outfits that are chic, comfortable and versatile. And the best part is that the clothes are mostly seasonless. In winter I’ll pair a dress  with a long-sleeve t and jeans and wear that same dress in warmer weather with a cami, sandals and a cotton scarf.

Today is the store’s 11th anniversary and I’m toasting them from across the country – I encourage you to take a look!


  1. Jenna C on April 17, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks so much for the tip! I, too, have a two year old and love to garden and miss wearing dresses once I retired from the world of work. I am going to give Tumbleweed Boutique a peek, so excited!

    • sheri silver on April 17, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      You’re welcome – it’s a challenge, isn’t it????

      • Jenna C on April 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm

        Indeed a challenge (for my two year old this is the understatement of the year 😉

        • sheri silver on April 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm

          you are definitely not alone there…………

  2. sulu-design on April 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Sheri – it was so sweet of you to post this article and such a pleasure to find your blog today! We’ve had fun getting packages together for you at Tumbleweed and are just thrilled to see how you’re putting your pieces together. Nothing makes us happier than to hear that the clothing we sell is well-loved and much-worn.

    I personally enjoyed finding out that you’re from Brooklyn. I moved to Portland almost four years ago from Astoria, Queens. And reading your “about” page in which you describe your pursuit of success (where success = happiness) was inspiring and affirming.

    Thanks from the gals at Tumbleweed for your kind post.


    • sheri silver on April 19, 2011 at 9:40 am

      Thank YOU Susan – that was so nice! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. My best friend lives in Astoria and we are there often – love the energy and great variety of restaurants. Looking foward to receiving my next package!

  3. Ellen K. on June 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I love how you paired the different items! I especially love the cut of the jeans you displayed. Can I ask what brand/style they are? Thanks!

    • sheri silver on June 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks so much! Both jeans are J. Crew – the top is a cropped/cuffed style, the bottom 2 are the same pair – bootcut. I LIVE in those! Stay tuned for another Tumbleweed post (summer editioin!) soon – thanks for writing!

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