b'customer, she describes having to get into their head. When she promises theywillstillbewearingitdecades from now, it is because its been vet-ted for years, through life use and just people constantly tweaking it to make it better. Even the name, Semifinalist, reflects an earnest integrity. Everyone seems to say now, Were the best and thequickestandthegreatest.Ifeel like being a semifinalist is really pretty good. And really, Semifinalist is always trying to get better, always trying to make it, she says, before pausing to consider. Its about always striving.Formoreinformation,visit Nguyen likes using friends, neighbors and semi-finalist.com.family, plus those of different shapes and Sara Courtney lives in Maplewood withsizes to model her clothing to show it\'s a her family. Her style can best be described"real people\'s wardrobe." Here she styles neighbor Henry Tamayo in a Donegal as Its laundry day. sweater. This linen Trois shirt is modeled after a common silhouette seen in Vietnam.brands, now it is her turn to wow herIm proud to say I produce my shirts customers. She took her relationships,from a shirt maker, she says. I buy knowledge, and innate creativity, andmy socks from a hosiery maker. I buy poured it into Semifinalist. Ive beenmy bags from a bag maker. The qual-lucky in my career to work for reallyity of the work is found in Semifinal-wonderfulmakersfamily-ownedistsstunningdesigns.ThisiswhatDuring holiday time last year Nguyen soldNguyen describes the Heredos 24 Hour her merchandise at a pop-up shop. Carry All Bag as our favorite bag and businesses that only make one thing.they do all day. And its really a plea- trusty daily companion.sure to work that way.Nguyen,whostill wearsshirtsthatare twodecadesold,as-sures her customers that oncetheyfindtheir foreverfavorites,they willbewearingthem forthenext20years toowithoutthem falling apart. How, you ask? Magic? A mystery wrappedinanenigma wrappedinastylish stitch?Imnotfussy, shedeclares.Frankly, its just held up.The commitment to The party animals silk square is one of the items Nguyenexcellenceisconstant. sells on her website. She likes the idea of having scarvesAt the outset, when she that are interactivethis one has hieroglyphics. She alsoNguyen sells stationery itemsher favorite journals, pens and notebooksin addition carries a Word search scarf. designsanitemforato her clothing line.44/ matters magazine / fall 2020'