Dynamic Duo Couples - Part 2 - Visit Palm Springs tag-img

Dynamic Duo Couples – Part 2

MiShell Modern & Jay Nailor of Shag store

Palm Springs Couples in Life and Business

Part 1

By Barbara Beckley

It’s no secret Palm Springs is perfect for couples. Boutique inns. Rooftop cocktails. Romantic alfresco dining under the stars.  But did you know many of the businesses that help shape Palm Springs that we know and love are owned and operated by dynamic duo couples? Let’s meet some of them.

In Shag Style

Dynamic Dou Couple 5: Jay Nailor and MiShell Modern

We think of Shag – aka Josh Agle – as a solo talent creating hip retro Palm Springs art. And that he is!  But The Shag Store is in partnership with modernism enthusiasts Jay Nailor and MiShell Modern, whose business/marketing acumen have much to do with Shag’s fame.

shag store

Before they knew Shag it was “the perfect house that brought us to Palm Springs,” remembers Nailor. He and Modern had met in Tempe, Arizona. He was traveling for his family’s company, Nailor Industries, which manufactures commercial HVAC equipment worldwide – and Modern was a model-turned Southwest Airlines gate agent. “I stalked her,” Nailor jokes, “and she signed a marriage certificate instead of a restraining order.”

In 1997, they bought Arthur Elrod’s original Movie Colony home, moved into it in 1998 and Nailor became a board member of the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation. By lucky coincidence, the twosome was considering art as a side-business when they met Shag in 2003 through the preservation foundation. Shag had designed the “Desert Polynesia” cover on the 2002 PSPF Tribute Journal.

shag store

“Would you show with us, if we opened a gallery?” they asked. “Our rapport was instant,” recalls Nailor. “We loved Shag’s art and he loved our gallery space and promotional ideas.” So Nailor and Modern opened the M Modern Gallery and featured a month-long solo exhibit of Shag. In 2010, they opened The Shag Store.

It’s because of Nailor and Modern that Shag has expanded his designs into oh so cool apparel and home goods. His only criteria for merchandise is that “it must have a function,” explains Nailor. Hence the socks, shirts, scarves, martini glasses, handbags and even a record player – which sold out in a week! And in store parties! Now back on track, look for Shag Release Parties to light up The Shag Store with live music, complimentary cocktails and Agle in person.

josh agle as shag
Josh Agle

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Dynamic Duo Couple 6: French Flair 

Better than France! That’s what these two couples thought. Lucky for us, they brought the taste of their homeland with them.

Angelique and Christophe Robin  

A single Palm Springs vacation in 2018. And in less than a year Angelique and Christophe had sold their restaurant in Biarritz on France’s southwest coast, moved to Palm Springs with their two daughters and bought L’Atelier Café.

L'Atelier-Café

While this talented twosome enjoys a new lifestyle, they stuck to tradition food-wise, preparing and serving breakfast and lunch as if they are still in Biarritz.  Christophe leads an all-French kitchen team creating classics like the favorite Escargot au Beurre d’ail, and Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame.

Even better, their menu features unique southwestern French recipes from Christophe’s grandmother. “It was my grandmother Esther’s cooking that inspired me to become a chef,” he says. Must-trys include the Esther Platter, a delicious mix of scrambled eggs, hazelnut and cranberry stuffed brie cheese, sautéed potatoes, Grand Ma Apple Cake, green salad and French baguette.

Mixe-platter at L'Atelier Cafe

Dynamic Duo Couple 7: Helene and Christophe Meyer

This talented couple moved from Paris to Palm Springs (a compliment to Palm Springs, for sure) some eight years ago. In Paris, Christophe was a French head pastry chef. So he, too, continued his profession and with Helene, opened Peninsula Pastries baking as if he were still in a Parisian patisserie/cake shop.

Helen and christophe meyer of Peninsula pastries
Credit: Palm Springs Life

Christophe and Helene are so Parisian-precise that they import – yes, import – authentic French flour and AOP French butter Isigny Ste Mere. And have a French staff including the French head bread maker and professional baker who kneads and bakes all the baguettes and breads daily; while Christophe creates the pastries.

What’s the best seller?  “We have two,” says Helene. The Kouign-Amann (like a Parisian sticky bun). And the Butterscotch Pecan Twist. “There is no butterscotch in France. It’s an American invention,” Helene says. “So we created this ourselves.”

peninsula-pastries-palm-springs-a

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