Forget Me Not

Taylor Long’s line of scarves benefits the Alzheimer’s Association

By Janice Carter Levitch

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

Currently a senior at the University of Cincinnati, Taylor Long is working on her bachelor’s degree in fashion design. She was once required to attend a class for entrepreneurship, which set her on the path to create White Flower Designs.

Benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association, White Flower was inspired by Long’s  grandmother, Mary David Crigler, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 64. Every year, there is a Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and a flower ceremony kicks off the event. The white flower is known as a forget-me-not and has become Long’s signature design on the scarves she has created.

“Within the Alzheimer’s community, the white flower represents the first survivor of Alzheimer’s,” Long explained. “With that in mind, I wanted to make it a business model to include a portion of the proceeds to go to the Alzheimer’s organizations in my grandmother’s honor.”

“When I was trying to figure out what my product would be, it seemed like a silk scarf would be easy enough to grasp, and I could implement the design,” she recalled. “Laying out the pattern, deciding on the shape and then who would actually make them was an exciting process.”

The scarves are made in Cincinnati by Sew Valley, a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides designers and entrepreneurs with resources and technology. Pale lavender in color with the white forget-me-not print, it’s a slender silk scarf with a satin weave that can be worn around the neck, as a headband or simply tied to the strap of a handbag. The scarves are offered at $75 a piece with 10 percent of all proceeds donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Long felt like the message of the business model had the potential to grow beyond the scarf. As a model who is represented by agencies in Atlanta, Miami and Chicago, Long has modeled for Kohl’s, Rue La La and No Nonsense, to name a few, and has a keen instinct for marketing while understanding how important it is to develop a product with meaning and longevity. White Flower Designs is now the primary focus of her career, and she hopes to add more products in the near future.

Long has made connections throughout the Alzheimer’s community and plans to continue to spread the word and raise awareness – and hope – one scarf at a time. VT

White Flower Designs

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Great Lawn at Waterfront Park

8:30 a.m. Sept. 8