It’s only been a month since Sadie Calamaco came across Edible Monterey Bay magazine. She walked into Perfectly Pressed Juice Bar in Salinas and there it was, waiting for her to pore through its pages and learn just how much of the tri-county area aligns with her lifestyle of custom, quality food and wine, clothing, and shelter.
“What caught my attention about Edible Monterey Bay,” says Calamaco, “is that it so clearly highlights what our culture is about in this part of California and what makes it so special. We have all the different wines, the diverse agriculture, the sustainable seafood, and a community of people who care how things are made. Edible brings this out into the community and I knew I wanted to be part of that.”
Calamaco contacted the staff at Edible Monterey Bay and arranged to sponsor the magazine’s online newsletter through her business as an independent stylist in partnership with J. Hilburn custom menswear.
“We are re-inventing retail by customizing clothing at an affordable price. Custom shirts range from $99 to $169, and you’re going to get quality, and it’s going to fit. We also have suits, trousers, jackets, denim, knits, cashmere sweaters, accessories, coats and ties,” she adds.
Creating a life that fits, says Calamaco, means adjusting not the client but the clothing. The first step is a meeting, where she discusses needs, expectations and preferences, and then takes up to 16 measurements. The initial conversation can seem overwhelming because she offers so many styles and swatches of Italian fabric to choose among.
“I’ve met clients at Starbucks, at their home, in their office or at McDonalds for measurements,” she says, “and to present core fabrics and seasonal fabric introductions. Someone calls and says, ‘I have 45 minutes, can you meet me?’ and I’m there. The measurements are very important, and we are trained to get it right. If something doesn’t fit the way a client likes it, they send it back for free, and we remake it. When something fits like a million dollars, you feel like it, yourself.”
Once Calamaco has initial client information, she saves it, so they can go online at any time, click on the fabrics they want, and let the customizing begin.
Originally from Salinas, Calamaco now lives in San Jose with her husband and two children, but she makes frequent visits to Monterey County—her “heart space” and home to many of her J. Hilburn clients.
“Ever since I was a girl, I wanted to open my own men’s clothing store in downtown Salinas,” Calamaco, says. “I used to love the display windows at Dick Bruhn. I would have my mom take me there. I loved seeing men in suits and witnessing the one-on-one relationship Mr. Bruhn had with his clients. I also love agriculture and thought I wanted to get into that, as well. The way I see it, if you eat it or you wear it, you’re a part of ag. All of it is about community, about building relationships and creating what people need to live quality lives.”
Sadie Calamaco, J. Hilburn Partner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (831) 235-7472
A fifth-generation Northern Californian, Lisa Crawford Watson has enjoyed a diverse career in business, education and writing. She lives with her family on the Monterey Peninsula, where her grandmother once lived and wrote. An adjunct writing instructor for CSU Monterey Bay and Monterey Peninsula College, Lisa is also a free-lance writer, who specializes in the genres of art & architecture, health & lifestyle, food & wine. She has published various books and thousands of feature articles and columns in local and national newspapers and magazines.