New Orleans' Beloved Leontine Linens Celebrates 25 Years
As a bride-to-be in the mid-1990s, Jane Scott Hodges couldn't find monogrammed, heirloom-quality linens that suited her style. "I thought, 'If I can't get them in New Orleans, I probably can't get them anywhere else.' " So she partnered with Eleanor Beard studio, a collective of women making textiles in her home state of Kentucky, and began designing the handmade dinner napkins and luxe bedding that have since made Leontine Linens a Southern staple.
While there were plenty of personalized linens on the market when she launched her business from a back bedroom in her cottage on Leontine Street 25 years ago, Hodges' interpretation of the classic monogram was then, and remains now, spectacularly singular—and rarely subtle: "Blow it up; make it orange; put it on the sham; blast it out there; make it your own," she says by way of explanation.
Beyond the colorful customization, it's the craftsmanship that also sets Leontine Linens apart. "They're made the old-fashioned way, by hand, by female artisans," says Hodges. "Everything is made in a way that is going to last forever."
The "old-fashioned" approach also applies to the design process itself, something she says is integral to creating something the client will cherish for decades to come. "There's no online ordering," she notes. "It's all very much collaborative with the client. The process is so special. Everything we do, we do with you in mind."
In other words, when it comes to making heirloom-worthy linens, Hodges refuses to take any shortcuts.
"In my mind, linens are (in a romantic way) the things that you're swaddled with at birth and that you're shrouded with. These are the most personal pieces you have," explains Hodges. "Applying real thought and honor to those items that you use for yourself or share with your family and friends—we are about [fostering] that experience."