The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)

The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)

Amy Spalding

In memory of my father, Mark Spalding

Dear Ms. Goldman,

Thank you so much for the opportunity to apply for the internship position at your store. I’ve been obsessed with Lemonberry since the first time I shopped there! I love buying locally, which luckily in Atwater Village is easy because there are so many great neighborhood spots.

But while I love coffee from Kaldi and pastries from Bon Vivant, Lemonberry is my favorite. You might assume I’m only saying this because I want the internship, but I said this constantly before I even knew about the internship program. I’m so used to walking into adorable clothing boutiques only to find out that nothing fits me since my size falls above the range of “average,” apparently.

At Lemonberry, though, that’s never the case. I love having just as many amazing and unique looks to choose from as anyone else. Right now, I’m on a budget, so many of the pieces in my wardrobe were bought at chain stores at the Galleria and Americana. But I dream about Lemonberry dresses, and my parents actually got me one for my last birthday.

I don’t just dream of great dresses, though; I plan to work in fashion. I’m not yet sure where that will lead; sometimes I want to be a stylist, sometimes an editorial director who revitalizes an old-school magazine, and sometimes a buyer for anything from a teeny boutique to a giant department store. Last week Tess Holliday was my hero, and this week it’s Jenna Lyons. What doesn’t change is how much I love fashion and style.

I run a blog called +style, which focuses on plus size fashion but also covers more general fashion news and plenty of subjects (like bags and jewelry) that appeal to people of any size. In the year and a half since I launched, I’ve gained thousands of followers and even more on Instagram. +style has been featured in a variety of online fashion coverage, including being named one of The Cut’s 10 Plus Size Fashion Sites to Read.

My application is attached. Again, I’m very grateful for this opportunity, and would love to learn and be inspired by you and your store and designs.


Abby Ives


In modern love stories, our heroines all seem to have something in common. No, not an adorably decorated apartment in the big city, a conveniently timed meet cute with the person of their dreams, or the kind of problem that arises two-thirds of the way through their personal narrative and somehow fixes itself in that last third.

Okay, they definitely have most of those things in common. But the thread binding them all together? It’s the sassy best friend. The sassy best friend gets to have witty one-liners, a killer wardrobe, and usually a pretty great job. But it is the best friend’s goal to help our heroine fall in love; it is not the best friend’s job to fall in love herself.

Therefore, I’ve just realized that I’m probably doomed at love. Because I’m pretty sure I’m not the heroine. I don’t even think I’m in my own story.

Last winter, my best friend fell in love. We live in Los Angeles, so it wasn’t over steaming mugs of hot cocoa or whimsically collided skis. Maliah met Trevor in the epic pre-Christmas line at the Apple store at the Grove, which seems to me about as L.A. of a love story as you can get.

Anyway, I did all the best friend things. I looked over his Facebook profile, helped analyze his texts, and—of course—picked out her first date outfit, down to her blue lacy bra and underwear. (He didn’t see anything underneath her clothes for two months, according to Maliah, but cute underwear provides loads of confidence and should never be underestimated regardless of the situation.)

I know that I’m obsessing over Maliah’s love life right now because I found out last night that Lyndsey Malone has a boyfriend. Okay, sure, I never had official confirmation that Lyndsey likes girls. Zoe and Brooke claim they saw her at a Tegan & Sara concert, but I can’t believe I took that as proof of anything! It’s not like Zoe or Brooke likes girls, after all, and they were there.

I am seventeen years old. I’m about to be a senior in high school. And while maybe it would be okay at seventeen not to have had an epic love story yet, I haven’t even kissed anyone. Not even a boy. Last month, I was babysitting for the toddler twins who live next door, and when their twelve-year-old sister got home from her volleyball practice, she made an offhand comment about a boy she liked that made me assume she was nervous about kissing someone for the first time. Um, I’ve obviously kissed someone already, she’d said. I’m twelve, not nine.

I want to, in this very moment while I am walking down Glenfeliz Boulevard toward Glendale Boulevard, be fixated on summer looks and vintage reproductions and local designers. But my tween neighbor has more experience than me, and the only real-life girl I’ve liked has a boyfriend. This is why I keep forgetting to be happy about the dream internship I’ve landed—and am on my way to right now.

I meant everything I wrote to Maggie Goldman when I applied for the summer position. But I know a lot more than my letter let on; the internet is full of information when you know where and how to look. When I composed my letter, I was well aware that interns tend to get part-time—but paying—jobs for the next school year, until college takes you away and opens up space for the next girl. Maggie Goldman believed in giving people their starts; this year that person would be me.

Amy Spalding's Books