THE CALIFORNIA CLOSETS MAGAZINE
With entrepreneurs changing business practices and the blended family changing today’s modern household, James Kicinski-McCoy and Aubrey McCoy could be this century’s real McCoys. They were blended from the get-go. James, now 38, (and, yes, her name is James) was the mother of two, Julian and Milla Plum, when she married Aubrey, now 35. Then they had two more children, Birdie and Sailor and launched a family business or three, blending both their children and their work. James had started a children’s clothing line as a new mother at 23, but manufacturing problems tanked the enterprise. “I lost a lot of money,” she says. “I started selling vintage clothing to dig myself out of that hole.”
With the help of Aubrey, an experienced marketer, the vintage-clothing business, Bleubird, took off as a cutting-edge lifestyle website thanks to an accompanying blog featuring photos of the family. “It happened naturally. I started sharing more personal photos and info,” she says. “People wanted to see more, so we went with it.” It led to gigs with names like Stella McCartney, Gap, and Bugaboo. She also cofounded Mother, an online magazine, where the family also creeps into content. Aubrey was drawn into virtual parenthood as well, becoming one of Instagram’s top dads through pictures of his Bengali cat, sleeping children, and vintage motorcycles.
After visiting Nashville, the couple decided to relocate from Houston. They rented the biggest of the three houses they saw, to fit the entire family, and when the landlord later put the modern, 4,000-square-foot house on the market, they bought it. As home-based entrepreneurs, they each needed their own space: for James a home office, and for Aubrey a “garage” office. “Once we bought this house, I was itching to get started and make it my own space,” he says. His father was a mechanic who restored old cars and motorcycles. “It was natural for me to follow in his footsteps.” First step: storage. “I like everything to have its place and be clean and well-kept,” he says. “Having all the cabinets and drawer space to hide stuff is a dream.”
“When we moved here, we were all about being more minimalistic and intentional. It’s nice to get rid of things no longer appreciated.”
James, a self-described clotheshorse with a collection to envy, required a hard-working closet. “We needed help with the closet transformation because of its small size and odd shape,” she says of the narrow space with slanted ceilings. A walk-in closet helps her organize her large and varied wardrobe, which consists of everything from Levi’s and color-coded tops (including her favorite Grateful Dead T-shirt) to Chanel sling-backs, Gucci loafers, and Céline boots. “When we moved here, we were all about being minimalistic and more intentional about things,” she says. “Over five years, things start to accumulate—closets become stash spaces, things get lost, and you forget what you have. It’s nice to get rid of things no longer appreciated.” The businesses have accumulated as well. In 2015, Aubrey and James opened a Nashville clothing and housewares boutique called Two Son with another couple, who also has two sons. “Being business owners means that it’s often hard to find time for ourselves,” James says. “We’re making a conscious effort to make this a priority.”