If you have been able to read this blog without finding a comma splice and with only an occasional misspelled word, this is because of Sara Martin. Sara came to work with our company when she was a baby – not that she really was, it just felt that way back in 2003 when she started. She brought computer skills, writing skills, a sense of humor and a willingness to do anything; she also brought her own tools to cut plywood to grace my newly purchased shelves, inventoried and organized my reference library, made systems, and generally kept us straight.

She fetched wine and cigarettes for our visiting artist friend, Eva Whitechapel, and wasn’t afraid to face any sort of task – mice in the house, weeds that needed to be pulled in the garden, or sewing some invitations that had to go out that afternoon. Sara had never picked up a needle and thread before crossing the threshold at Alabama Chanin, but thanks to the ever-patient Diane Hall, she can sew “at least passably,” she says.

Even after leaving the company in 2005 to another job, Sara has remained a faithful friend and colleague. She has helped me edit every book that we have written, sent ideas for blog posts along when I had none, and shared a margarita (or three) just because I needed it.

Sara was born and raised in Florence, Alabama (with her twin sister), but now lives in Nashville with her husband of ten years, Kory. Sara is truly one of those people who married her best friend. She claims that the two of them never went on an actual date; rather, they just spent so much time together that they decided to get married. Their schedules have never allowed for children (so far), but they dote on their dog, Sharon Osbourne, as if she were an actual human child. Sharon is famous for being the best dressed dog on the block each Halloween. So far, Sara has costumed her dog as a matador, a nun, a banana, and a chicken, and plenty of other personas.

If you are in Nashville, you may see Sara checking out some live music, but her true favorite pastime is having a glass of wine on the deck, laughing with friends.

And laugh you will, when sitting next to Sara. Her dry humor and unforgiving eye keep the conversation and laughter rolling. It has been a gift to watch Sara grow into the woman she is today. An invaluable asset to Alabama Chanin and to all that know her: Sara Martin – a part of the heart and soul of Alabama Chanin.

P.S.: We almost had to shoot Sara to have these pictures made. If you heard a whine resound across the globe, it was Sara sitting down for the portrait above. Can you imagine someone that beautiful not wanting to have their picture made every day? *Photos (and whine control) thanks to Gina R. Binkley.

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