This week’s interview is with Jan Goode Ellington – legal professional and owner of the wonderful destination site for vintage Hermes, Its-All-Goode. Jan has one of the most extensive collections and deep knowledge of Hermes scarves that I have ever seen, and I loved having the opportunity to get to ask about some of her favorites, and recommendations for building a great scarf collection. An added bonus was getting to hear about her love story! Enjoy meeting the lovely Jan.
Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?
My name is Jan Goode Ellington. I am of Filipino descent, and was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in San Diego, California. I moved to New York City in 1984 to gain some independence, among other things, and listen to jazz. I live in Manhattan but visit my hometown San Diego a lot since my whole extended family remains there. I am the oldest of four; my parents have eight grandchildren and one great grandson, all thanks to my siblings.
You work in the legal world…and also own and operate the vintage Hermes scarf site, Its-All-Goode. How did you start your business, and how has it grown and evolved since then?
Yes, I have been a transactional/legal secretary for over 30 years and currently work at an NYC boutique law firm. Its-All-Goode was launched in 2009 when a friend decided to liquidate her collection. I had been re-homing my own things on eBay so had some selling experience, but the proposed 150+ scarves justified finally launching the site I’d bought the previous year but had yet to design. About the same time, another friend sent me 20+ pounds of scarves, so in no time at all the site had several hundred items. Our Hermes scarf community is a small world and word of the site got out fast. I have buying customers all over the world and clients who have consigned thirty or more scarves at a time, and some just three.
How do you manage to balance all your various responsibilities and passions?
It is not all that difficult. Basically, I am at the office during the day and do my scarf work on the weekends and evenings.
You’re clearly a well qualified Hermes scarf connoisseur! Can you share some of your favorite patterns that you have? Which do you wear the most?
I love the nautical themes. Vent Portant II and Tuiga are two pattern favorites; Turbans des Reines and Aloha are sentimental ones. Over the years, hundreds of twills have passed through my scarf drawer, but the remaining ones are more about color than design. In recent years I started wearing the larger pieces, and nowadays I rarely leave the house without either a mousseline or cashmere shawl.
What are some of your favorite items in your closet overall?
In San Diego, I live in Hilo Hattie; in New York City it’s pretty much all Lands End chinos, white blouses and cashmere sweaters. I no longer go to a lot of “high heels required” events, so I was thrilled to dust off my Projets Carre shoes and vintage Hermes crocodile clutch for a recent reunion. Although I have a few iconic and grail Hermes, I can’t seem to change from my bleu electric Double Sens. Continue Reading