Tag: Beloved

How the Design Business of Beloved Writer Julia Reed Is Carrying On After Her Death

Keith Smythe Meacham sets a table with Ginori 1735 plates and a Cabana tablecloth. She cofounded her business with Julia Reed.

Photo: Courtesy of Reed Symthe

“The origin story of Reed Smythe is very sweet because it was founded in friendship,” Keith Smythe Meacham explains to AD PRO. Reed Smythe & Company, founded in 2018, is an online shop trading in artisanal home goods produced by craftspeople and artists scattered across the United States. It was founded by Meacham, an entrepreneur with a background in education technology, and celebrated journalist Julia Reed. “Julia and I grew up in the same town in the Mississippi Delta but 10 years apart, so we inhabited the same world,” adds Meacham. Reed passed away last month after a long battle with cancer, leaving a legacy as an “irreverent, expansive chronicler of politics, food, and Southern life,” as the New York Times put it.


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Supportive Customers Buoy Beloved Main Street Businesses

This past summer, the sidewalk was jumping outside The Silver Room, a jewelry, art, and accessories store in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. One night, a short film by a local filmmaker danced across a screen in the window. A jazz band, guitarist, and pianist performed. On warm evenings, 30 or 40 neighbors would wander by and pause for a socially distanced minute to watch. 

The entertainment is small potatoes next to Sound System Block Party, The Silver Room’s annual music and arts festival. In normal times–which these are not–that event packs in tens of thousands of celebrants from around the city. But founder Eric Williams views his mission as “providing human connection,” and he won’t give that up, even for a pandemic. The small performances “create moments of emotion and energy,” says Williams. “People really enjoy it.”

Inc. first wrote about The Silver Room during Small Business Week in 2018,

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