Hello, my friends! How’s your week going? The weather has been GORGEOUS in SF, so I carved out a little time for a walk in the Presidio. This week, we’re combining cheese, fashion, and entrepreneurship by interviewing Shannon Snow, a San Francisco tech exec and clothing designer.
Shannon, already killing it on the Silicon Valley scene as a tech company executive, has advised start-ups around the world, carving a niche for herself in the ed-tech space. She’s also extremely athletic, practicing yoga and aerial hoops. That’s plenty to keep many people busy, but there’s more! A longtime lover of fashion and design, several years ago, she decided to start her own clothing company catering to the needs of professional women. She’s now released her second collection under the Shannon Snow label.
How did it all begin? Apart from thrifting and sewing a great deal during her college days (the same college that I attended), Shannon was exposed to a new way of experiencing clothing thanks to one of her close college friends. This friend’s mother wasn’t able to see very well, and so, when clothes shopping, she would feel her way around a store. That sensory understanding and appreciation of fabric stuck with Shannon until she decided to launch her own clothing company.
Behind her clothing is the concept of women as objects versus women as the subject of their lives. The idea of women as subjects in their lives recognizes that many women today are constantly working, moving, and taking care of 101 fires that come up during any given day—and they need clothing that will accelerate with them, not slow them down. Shannon wanted to fill that gap in the clothing world by creating highly functional, athletic, yet professional clothing. Her collections feature generous pockets to hold cell phones, loops to hold microphones and badges, wrinkle-free fabric that holds its shape after many washings, and silhouettes that can be dressed up or down for the board room or happy hour.
And it’s working. A select number of dresses will be available in select Neiman Marcus and Anthropologie stores soon, so if the functional professional fashion appeals to you, scope out the shelves and try them on!
Now, I couldn’t ask Shannon about her business, and not bring cheese, so here’s what we feasted on this very windy afternoon! I chose cheeses that were more contained and ideal for picnics.
Pasteurized cow, traditional rennet, California, USA
Made by Stepladder Creamery on Stepladder Ranch, founded in 1871, this little button of triple crème cow’s cheese is like whipped butter, with a little bit of cream line between rind and paste, but definitely lots of mushroom and cream flavor.
Pasteurized cow, microbial (vegetarian) rennet, California, USA
Toma by Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese is one of those cheeses that goes with everything. You can serve it on a cheese plate, you can cook with it, you can melt it over a burger. Its approachable flavor, slight tang, and supple paste make it a crowd pleaser every time it makes an appearance.
Raw sheep, traditional rennet, Zamora, Spain
Everyone knows Manchego, that famous Spanish cheese with a slightly zinging, full flavor. What about Zamorano? This firm ewe’s milk cheese has a robust, slightly zesty flavor that both Shannon and I loved! We kept going back for 2nds and thirds.
Effie’s Homemade has long been a favorite of mine for their salty-sweet oatcakes. Today, we tried their corncakes, which struck the right balance of salty, sweet, crisp, and crumbly. Oh, Effie’s, how I love thee.
Mt. Hope Farms Autumn Apple Fruit Spread. I actually don’t love all fruit spreads, confitures, and jams because I find many to be ridiculously sweet. Mt. Hope Farms has created a line of fruit spreads that are high in fruit, low in sugar, so I can add them to cheese plates or yogurt without worrying about a sugar rush.
Thank you, Shannon, for being an inspiration to me and so many women in the workplace! If you are interested in purchasing from her collection, you can find it all on her website shannonsnow.com. You can find these cheeses and accompaniments at your local specialty cheese shop, and sometimes, on their respective websites.
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