Nancy Lattmann, owner of L’Apperanza Boutique on Falls Road, passed away Nov. 14. Here. friend Owen O’Donnell remembers her.
When I first met Nancy at About Faces [where I work], she took me aside and said “I hear you’re good. We’re going to be seeing a lot of each other!”
She was right. In fact, I’m not sure she was ever wrong.
Nancy had an uncanny way of being a step ahead of everyone. Even with my crazy schedule, she would manage to pop up wherever I was—even before I arrive for work. We went from a once-a-week appointment to becoming neighbors, doing some work together, and then finally becoming true friends.
She always talked about the importance of loyalty to her family and extended family, and I came to realize that she was true to her word. About two years ago, I realized the lines between personal and professional had blurred, and she would come to get her make up done, just to have time to catch up. “Nancy,” I’d say, “It’s early Tuesday morning. Where are you going today?”
Her response? “Oh, I’ll find somewhere!”
I credit Nancy for motivating me to build my network the way she built hers, patronizing local businesses while cultivating that growth around her family and extended family. I have, as I bet many do, more stories, laughs and infamous quotes than would fill a book, but what stands out most is her strength as a leader and how that really carried on through her treatment.
I recall one of the last few times I went to her home to do her makeup. She was waiting for her charming grandson to take her for her advanced prognosis, and she knew it could very well be bad news. She had called me early that morning and said “Look, Owen, I haven’t talked to you in ages (it had been six days) and I’m not going in there looking like this. Come on over.”
As I worked and we talked, she settled a few banking arrangements by phone, but she was more interested in what I was doing with my career than anything.
When her ride arrived, she said “Well, my friend, I think we need a little more blush. Am I wrong?”
With that, she blew the mirror a kiss, put on her Prada glasses and little silver Prada shoes, gave me a thumbs up and sped off.
They don’t make them like that anymore.