Fashion Friday is back! During the 31 Day writing challenge of October, my beloved Fashion Friday’s were on hiatus. But with today’s feature, I hope you will all be drawn back in to the style and fashion routine of the day. About a year ago, I met this sweet lady during a first Friday ArtWalk here in Fairhope. I remember thinking that night that she was a strikingly beautiful lady. After one conversation I’ve learned that her Creator layered her beauty deep within her heart and soul.
Sandy’s dark hair, gorgeous smile and twinkling eyes draw you in the minute you meet. Her beauty is so much deeper than fashion trends, clothing or style. She is a multi-talented lady who is intentional with her relationships, an animal lover, master gardner, devoted Christ follower and creative artist…all while being devoted to living a simple life.
I met Sandy Hinchey in Estate Jewelers where she has worked for 2 1/2 years. Mr. Cozi and I stop in this store during every First Friday Artwalk for two reasons. I love the jewelry they sell (much to Mr. Cozi’s chagrin) and the friendliness of their staff. They truly make you feel more like a friend or neighbor than a customer. Sandy is no exception.
I’ve never seen Sandy when she wasn’t dressed stylishly and very classy. When I asked her to tell me how she does it, she answered, “I buy classic clothing and not a lot of it. I just don’t need much.” The top she is wearing came from one of our local clothing stores, Cybele’s. The tights and boots were purchased at TJMaxx and her jewelry is vintage. Her simple pearl earrings are a perfect contrast with her dark hair.
She also loves to shop at consignment shops and thrift stores. Two of her favorites in Fairhope are Hertha’s and Yvonne’s, where she will pop in regularly to look through and see what’s new.
As you all know, here in the south it is never polite to ask a woman’s age. But in my quest to find examples of great style during the empty nest stage, I asked which decade she had entered in her life. In her sweet and open nature, Sandy answered, “I’ve never heard it asked that way, but, I’m 49.” Another example of her natural beauty. No hesitation, just simple forthrightness.
In her quest to live a simple life, she and her husband Byron love living on the water, watching gorgeous sunsets, painting, fishing and reading in her hammock.
Sandy describes living on the water as her “quiet joy.” She loves waking in the morning to a bit of joy shared by the Father. And loves watching the sunset over that same joy in the evening.
The interior of her home matches her style perfectly. You’ll see her artistic side and classic lines that speak so well to living a simply, beautiful life.
They recently updated to a white kitchen with Chicago brick as a backsplash. There are matching arches on both sides of her island where she feeds her new baby, Bailey Spice and her cat, Stormy.
Bailey Spice – perfect puppy dog eyes!
Stormy…looking like a calm summer day in this picture.
This vignette is just one example of Sandy’s creative side. She painted and distressed this piece of furniture, made the cross out of driftwood and sea shells AND… the painting attached to repurposed wood is all her creation. She takes art lessons from a local artist by the name of Bill Harrison. I think I’m signing up…
More of her crosses that she sells down by the seashore (at Estate Jewelers).
A tree made out of driftwood and shells – fun for Christmas here on the coast.
Fish made out of driftwood for sale in Estate Jewelers.
Her very first painting.
I love all of her artwork, but “Three Boats” is my favorite. When she showed me this one, I could have sworn it was a photograph.
As you can see, her beauty runs deep, and simplicity is at the core of it all. When I asked her to describe her simple life she listed the following:
- She is married to the best husband ever – for 17 years.
- She has two boys, Trevor who is soon to graduate from UT-Chattanooga and Dylan who lives and works here in Fairhope.
- She chooses her friends carefully and encourages them to “not sweat the small stuff.” Her best friends in Fairhope are her co-workers.
- She had a yard sale and sold most of her stuff. She now lives with minimal furnishings.
- She loves an all-white house with only pops of color.
- She is inspired to create by her best friend, Brenda.
- She enjoys life “out of town,” away from the hustle and bustle. Once she’s home, she stays home.
- As a master gardner, she loves digging in the dirt.
- Again, she loves life on the water…fishing, watching the dolphins play, painting, sunsets and…
- Reading in her hammock. She enjoys reading Christian fiction and books like Heaven is Real, 90 Minutes in Heaven and Heaven is for Real. These books affirm her faith and give her comfort in that they all offer a visual of what Heaven may be like.
When I asked her to share a bit about her faith, she answered simply, “God forgives all things.” She is comforted knowing that there is nothing we as believers can do that will separate us from Him through Christ. She is strengthened weekly by attending 3Circle Church where the mission is to “lead people to a growing relationship with Jesus — Locally, Regionally, Globally.”
If I could make Sandy my logo for CoziNest, I would do just that. Her life is the embodiment of Simple. Cozy. Beautiful. Home.
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