As we reported a few weeks back, Sean (co-owner of Tea & Sympathy and A Salt & Battery, and wife to Nicky), was selected by J Crew, as one of their ‘Ludlow Guys‘. To mark the launch of their new suit, they handpicked some of their favorite NYC gentlemen, and we’re pleased to announce that Sean made the cut. Here’s his full interview, in which he talks romance, potatoes and James Bond – as well as sharing the items he couldn’t possibly live without…
Real Ludlow Guys: Sean Kavanagh-Dowsett
he’s a restaurateur, a collector of cuff links
and an avid tea drinker—plus, he can rock a
silver wallet chain with panache. check out
some of our favorite answers from this
seriously cool Ludlow-wearing Brit.
WHAT’S NINE-TO-FIVE LIKE FOR YOU?
Being in the restaurant and retail businesses with my wife means that our life is not run on a nine-to-five schedule. Part of the excitement is not knowing what the day might bring us from one moment to the next.
MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR JOB?
One rewarding aspect of the job is that to date we have had over 20 members of our staff meet their life partners through Tea & Sympathy (including me and my wife), as well as at least 30 customers. We like to say that the children from these unions are made of Tea & Sympathy ingredients.
ANY TRICKS OF YOUR TRADE TO SHARE?
Attention to the details that matter is very important. When we started A Salt & Battery in 1999, we found that the basic potato used by fish-and-chip shops in the UK wasn’t available in America, so we spent three months finding the perfect potato with which to make the Great British chip here in New York. This attention to ingredients has always been at the core of Tea & Sympathy and A Salt & Battery.
WHEN DO YOU WEAR A SUIT?
Whenever possible. Sometimes at work it’s not that practical, especially when I have to fix a drain or an oven. I always like to wear a good suit on social occasions too (I have a reputation of being a bit of a dandy when I get the chance).
James Bond—he always looked sharp no matter what. I remember seeing a Bond movie as a boy in which he was captured and brought aboard the villain’s vessel whilst wearing a diving dry suit, which he removed to reveal an impeccable white dinner jacket and bow tie underneath. The audience in the cinema spontaneously burst into applause, and I was immediately struck by how cool that was.
ANY HIDDEN TALENTS WORTH REVEALING?
I have a separate career on the side where I do voice-overs for commercials and documentaries. It’s something I fell into years ago, and I like that it gives me an opportunity to do something completely different.