We welcome Kristine Williams to the #Alembikawomen family, here are her answers to our 5 questions…

What do (or did) you do for work?

After a very interesting but outwardly misspent youth (I started college in 1968), I became a buyer at Macy’s in San Francisco and developed a designer bra business in the days when women’s lingerie was mostly either basically functional or super sexy. I had such a great time, even doing focus groups to find out what women really wanted from what they wore under their clothes—no one had ever asked them! I moved to New York and spent many years in bra product development and design, traveling all over the world and making beautiful things. 

When my parents needed me, I moved back to California to spend their last years with them and was lucky to be able to pursue another passion—books. I spent 5 years at Barnes & Noble, setting up author events and working with schools, and when our store was closed, I became the upper school librarian at Pilgrim School, an independent school in Koreatown in LA. I did author events for both elementary and secondary school and spent almost 10 happy years being surrounded by and supporting teenagers working on becoming themselves. 

I retired into the middle of the pandemic and here I am!

What woman from history (alive or dead) would you love to have dinner with and why?

I thought about this a lot, but the women whose work I most admire were not necessarily the nicest people—Anais Nin, Colette, Isak Dinesen, MFK Fisher. Women have had to fight so hard to express their own vision that it didn’t leave a lot of room for kindness or even good conversation. And I’m not interested in having dinner with saints. So for me, this dinner would be outside on a warm evening at my beloved cousin Carlota’s house in Mallorca, with all four of my sisters and my dear friend Mary. We would have big platters of delicious food and lots of wine, and talk and laugh and cry late into the night.

What piece of wisdom would you like to pass along to younger women?

The most important thing is to find your own truth and live it. Don’t let anyone tell you who you are or should be! Keep your eyes, your mind and your heart open, push yourself past your comfort zone, and always do what you think is right and do it the very best you can. You will have no regrets.

What legacy do you wish to leave behind?

I hope that I will be remembered as a woman who lived life always on her own terms–no matter the cost, it is worth it.

What would you do if you had the whole day for yourself? 

Hmmmm. See dinner in Mallorca, but I would have spent the day in a beautiful kitchen open to the sunny day cooking for people I love. And there would be some reading under a tree involved too. And a good breakfast!

What do you love most about being a woman?

I feel very lucky that I was able to make a life as a happily single woman, a life full of adventures—my dream as a little girl. And I loved being Auntie Mame to my nieces and nephews. In my late 60’s, I was reconnected through a strange set of circumstances with my high school boyfriend, now a widower, so now I am exploring what it is to be an independent woman in a committed relationship. It’s never too late to learn new ways of being and luckily, I have a very patient partner.

What is the one piece of clothing you cannot live without? 

I have to say, it would be my black Punto pants. I reach for them almost every time I am putting an outfit together and I can’t imagine life without them!

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