Once upon a time
There was an interior designer
Named Ann Gish.
She designed people’s houses
Right down to a dish
One day, she had a cloth for a table.
To hit the floor, the cloth was not able.
And Ann thought to herself,
How can I fix this wrong?
And then, she burst into a song:
“Oh my, oh me,
How great would it be
To make this an evening cape
For you and for me”.
“Too pricey!” they said.
The cape business was tough.
Then they ran off.
To be tumbled around like this
Was awfully rough.
So instead, she thought
Why should a cape-battle be fought?
When I can make napkins
And many a tablecloth?
So full circle she came,
From cloth to cape to cloth.
She worked day and night.
Ann Gish is no sloth.
And one bright, sunny California day
Ann drove to Mottura, the best showroom in
There she pitched her idea:
Napkins, placemats, and cloths-
Riding on this was her whole career!
These things were made in raw silk –
Dupione to be exact.
That this was original
Is clearly a fact.
Mottura asked for samples.
Ann Gish had none!
They said “Come back tomorrow”
But again Ann burst into song:
“Oh my, oh me,
I can’t do tomorrow –
I have kids, it’s Halloween!
Perhaps next week
We can borrow the time to meet.”
So for seven days and seven nights
Ann Gish sewed like the wind –
The timing was tight
But she finished in the end.
On another bright, sunny California day
The day Bush Sr. bombed Iraq
To be exact…
She drove back to LA
To exhibit at Mottura the pieces
She had worked on for many a day.
For the next three days she returned
To Mottura for many a reason.
First, she was unsure the placemats were straight.
To let that go unchanged would be treason!
On day two Ann thought to herself:
“Are the napkins straight too?”
“I dunno…I dunno…do you?”
So she drove back down and checked them all.
They were straight as an arrow, large – not too small.
And finally on the third day, paranoia came to call –
“Are the napkins even there, or are they ripped off?”
So a third day she checked the showroom.
Of course, nothing was wrong and that was that!
And then the orders came rolling in to Ann.
Mottura wanted a gross of each style on hand.
A gross is 144, for those of you who wondered –
And that number’s span –
There were placemats and napkins
In seven colors each
All in dupione, they shimmered like sand on the beach.
But then came a crisis
The production was a bust!
First a commercial laundry stretched the dupione
So when one washed a napkin in the washing machine
It shrank like a prune when you just wanted it clean
Ann cried, “This is baloney!”…
Then Ann didn’t cut the napkins and placemats
From the same bolt in the hatch –
Knowing not about dye lots
The napkins and placemats didn’t match!
But somehow it all worked out –
The napkins and placemats were a success
The dupione caught so many eyes
The quality was the best of the best.
And from then on,
The business only grew
More fabrics, more styles
A move to bedding too!
To be slept in by me and you!
This story is true, for the most part,
I lived through it all
(You know I’m her daughter!)
By Jane Gish