Tennis was a HUGE part of my life growing up. I was always on the court watching my Dad, chasing balls...and wearing my favorite whites. I wanted to be Chris Evert Lloyd, and played tennis against a ball machine for hours.
In highschool it continued, and at this point I was pretty sure Tennis was going to be my life. It was my life in high school, with a side order of Salisbury boys.
When I was too old for Tennis camp, it was time for a 'real' job...and my first job at 15 was working at Minnewaska State Park on the Maintenance Crew. Finally being tall was good (it sucked at high school dances when all the boys were shorter) But now I looked older, and my Boss had me driving the Crew truck around assuming I was old enough! That in itself was HEAVEN. I learned to use a chainsaw, spackle walls and change the oil on a dozer, not to mention drive a big dump truck. Not exactly the background of a girl designing dresses for Black Tie and weddings...now is it?
By now I was at Columbia in NYC, still with no idea of what I wanted to do. I joined the sailing team, drank enough to damage my voice for eternity and took a semester off to write a children's book...in hopes of that getting me into Princeton where my Dad was class of '54. Only, I got my hands on my Dad's old Nikon F camera, and decided to photograph climbers in the Gunks instead. The Children's book could wait...and so could Princeton.
That Summer I life guarded on Fisher's Island and thus began the calling of the Ocean...
The following summer was life guarding in Newport at Hazards Beach...but life guarding wasn't going to turn into a profession unless Baywatch came my way, so onto sailing it was.
I crewed on the 12's in Newport, namely the beauty Nefertiti. Learned a lot, and realized I could do this for real if I wanted...as I was still unsure of what to do.
My last summer before graduating from Trinity I worked at Rockwell Group, a pretty incredible Architecture firm in NYC. David Rockwell, its namesake, rented a log cabin from us at our country place, Awosting. That summer I discovered I loved DESIGN. I loved architecture. I love the creative process that went into the details and how they affected those within a given space.
Rockwell Group has done everything from Nobu, a fabulous sushi restaurant in NYC to the set of this years academy awards. When I left that summer with a job offer upon graduation, one of the sweet girls in the Interiors department gave me a cloth bag that looked like a brown shopping bag. I sewed some ribbon on it...and thus began the CK Bradley tote...THANK YOU ROCKWELL GROUP!
I was on my own from there on. And TRUST me...despite having a fashionable mother, I was one of the LAST persons at Trinity that you would have thought would go onto design clothes. Classmates would have bet more on my teaching at Outward Bound.
It's funny how things turn out. Variety can breed opportunity, it certainly did for me.
-Go Seize the Day, Bradley