Longtime Claremonter, entrepreneur, creator, author, inspiration
Mia Fuller Myers died October 31, 2017 at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in Pomona. She was 72.
She was born in 1945 in Laredo, Texas, daughter of Thaddeus and Martha Palmer Fuller. She moved to Claremont as a child, and attended Sycamore School, Foothill Country Day School, Pomona College and San Francisco State University.
Her friends and family described her as a polymath. Among her various interests were Indian and modern dance, Japanese cuisine, white water rafting (as an outfitter), glider piloting, clothing design and horticulture.
A natural and lifelong entrepreneur, she embarked on numerous ventures, including a fashion line, Ginger Peachy, and a clothing store, Peaches and Cream, on Market Street in San Francisco in the late 1960s, where she designed and created clothes while living in the Haight-Ashbury district.
Later, she opened a florist shop in Washington DC called Queen Anne’s Lace, an aquarium business in Mill Valley, and finally, Smart Seeds in Claremont, which she ran from her home on Via Zurita Street.
A “trend-spotter” in fashion, marketing, gastronomy and interior design, Ms. Myers was forever trying new things, and was constantly striving for mastery, her friends shared.
Her longtime friend Anne Fraser Bagwell said she was “completely fearless, bright, restless and versatile, and a fabulous entrepreneur.”
Ms. Myers was one of the first clothiers to design Carnaby Street fashions for the American market. After spending time in Japan, in 1981 she published Sushi, the first book on the subject written in English. It sold 500,000 copies.
She later worked in nurseries in Portland, Oregon, and as a landscape designer in Claremont. Among her horticulture opportunities was a chance to work with Sam Maloof, when his estate was altered and moved with the Foothill Freeway expansion.
Nancy Bridgeman, another longtime friend, commented, “Mia was a master gardener; she could identify rare and unusual plants complete with their Latin names. She was regularly contacted by rare seed collectors from all over the world for her advice and knowledge.”
Former Claremonter Bill Keiselhorst also shared memories of his clever childhood friend.
“I’ve known Mia from the sixth grade at Sycamore School,” Mr. Keiselhorst shared. “She was a precocious fifth grader who skipped to sixth and I think being the youngest, shortest, maybe the brightest—and cute—developed an early combative wit, a sharp running commentary and a keen social insight that she carried with her all her life. I will always remember her for her wit, which, while pointed, was not destructive. I was always amazed at how quickly she picked things up, even developing a mastery in a short time. Her seed business is an example of that—where that came from, I have no idea, and yet it exhibited her intellectual curiosity, her brilliance and her sense of humor.”
Ms. Myers is survived by her half-brother, Peter Fuller. A private service will be held at a future date.