Our new Brick + Mortar in Duluth

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We are three weeks into our new space and starting to feel settled and SO HAPPY. I wanted to post some pictures for those of you who are out of town or haven’t had a chance to come in.

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Our wall shelves are filled with some of our favorite makers’ work and home goods.

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The view from our front doors (the left side).

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SO.MANY.PAPER.GOODS.

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The other side of the shop (right side).

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Our spring clothes … they’re just too good. We get new things in weekly, and sometimes daily. Please let me know if there’s something you see here that you don’t see on our online shop – we ship all over.

I also wanted to give you guys an update on our Lakemont shop. If you’re subscribed to our newsletter you already know this (if you’re not – subscribe here) . BUT after many conversations, thoughts, and prayers we have made the decision to focus our energies to our new Duluth location and not reopen Personify in Lakemont. This was a very difficult decision for us as we’ve invested SO MUCH the past three years in this lovely little town and have met many many wonderful people. It was the best decision for our family and we are excited about the future of Personify.

If you’re a Lakemont customer please please please do not be a stranger. We miss you guys already and want to hear from you! Let me know how we can keep you stocked on all your fave Personify goodies.

Happy days,
Maddie

 

 

Our New Location: On a Personal Note

In case you missed our big news, we are opening a second Personify location in the lovely historic Downtown Duluth this spring! Yay! We can’t believe it’s *actually* (read: finally) happening. We want to thank the many of you that have already shared your excitement. We are working hard to get open ASAP!

Tammy & I (Maddie) wanted to each share on a personal level some of the things we are most excited about and how we landed at our Duluth spot.

Read our thoughts below and stay tuned for more updates as we get ready to open soon soon soon.


[From Tammy]

I never dreamed that the Personify Girls would end up in my own back yard! How good is God?

I remember many years ago jogging with Maddie in a stroller through the streets of Downtown Duluth loving my home town and dreaming, thinking and praying of what it could be, never thinking that one day she would be running Personify Shop right next to the old City Hall. What a joy it is for me to participate in supporting my daughter’s dream and watching her exercise her gifts and abilities, just as I have tried to do with many other young people throughout my life.

It’s been a real joy for me to personalize my home and my life, with treasures new and old both with flea finds and fine pieces and it’s our hope to share both ends of the spectrum with you in the near future. How fun it is to create a beautiful life that is uniquely yours?!

My prayer is that we would be a blessing to many and that our family, including our three dogs (come and meet them!) would thrive in Duluth.


[From Maddie]

I am equally surprised, and yet also thrilled, that Downtown Duluth is where the flagship Personify has landed.

We fell head over heels with our building the moment we saw it. After about a year of looking and a few dead ends, we were cautious about getting our hopes up but in our hearts just knew this is where we needed to be.

Mom and I are itching to get started and can’t wait for you to see all the new goods we are bringing in. We are so lucky we get to do this together!

I am the most excited about the everyday joys of having a brick & mortar: meeting new people, sharing the things that we find, helping you pick out that perfect gift, cleaning, tagging, getting in shipments, chatting with the neighbors…just all of it.

I’m also excited about the community we will be a part of. There are so many new businesses coming into Parson’s Alley: Noona, Simply Done Donuts, Good Word Pub (from the Brick Store Pub), and more, along with the amazing current residents like the Chocolatierie, Dreamland BBQ, Pure, the Farmhouse, Crave Pie, Old 4th Ward Pizza, Peace Love and Decorating, Eddie Owen at the Red Clay Theater, Piatto, 2 Smith Art Galleryand more.

My all-time favorite part of the business, though, is the hunt for unique treasures for you and your home. I know you’re going to love our modern + whimsical goods. Thanks for being along for the ride.

Cheers, friends!

 

 

 

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Artist Series: Yas Imamura of Quill and Fox

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I’m very excited to share this Artist Series with you today coming from Portland, Oregon. Quill and Fox is a whimsical card and stationary line created by Yas Imamura that evokes a sense of nostalgia, coming from Yas’ love for quaint illustrations. These designs fit in perfectly in the shop, from their colorful nature to the hand done imprint on the illustrations. When I first saw her work, I knew we had to have it in the shop.

Yas Imamura of Quill and Fox

Enjoy our interview with Yas below!


Quill and Fox Card and Stationary Line

How did you get started with Quill and Fox?

It began when I designed my own wedding invites, and started taking commission work for announcement cards. I started with just a small line of cards that reflect my passion for children’s book art as well as my affinity for nature and gardening.

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  1. How would you describe your aesthetic?

Imperfect and natural. I’ve been adding more watercolor paints in my work and less gouache to show these even more so, especially with how watercolor glazes over each layer and doesn’t dry flat colored like gouache. I love showing the paint strokes in my process and finished work.

You're out of this world card by Quill and Fox

[Editor’s Note: I love this picture of the original drawing of the You’re Out of this World Card. Love the peak into how much work goes into each design.]

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  1. What’s your favorite thing about your business?

Having my own time and being my own boss! I also love the freedom to pursue a creative endeavor.

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  1. What’s your least favorite?

Not being able to switch off work because it’s always around me.

  1. Business advice?

Branding and presentation is just as crucial as your craft (but definitely work on the latter first), especially in a visually curated environment of social media.

6.     My favorite party question: If you could hang out with any three people this Friday night, who would you pick? Andrew, my dog…..and Michelle Obama.

photo by Angie Webb Creative and Styling by Mad and Dusty

photo by Angie Webb Creative and Styling by Madison Beaulieu

Summer Reading

Yes, yes. Summer’s almost over (even thought it’s still sooo hot), but we just got a bunch of new books in and I couldn’t resist the title. They are all too good and I couldn’t pick a favorite if I had to.

  1. Taste: The Infographic Book of FoodTaste: The Infographic Book of Food
    Illustrated by Vicki Turner (one of my favorite illustrators) this book has so much eye candy it’s unreal. The author, Laura Rowe, explores the complex, colorful and at times controversial world of food.Taste: The Infographic Book of Food
    See what I mean about the eye candy? At the intersection of food and art.Taste: The Infographic Book of Food
  2. Styled by Emily HendersonStyled by Emily Henderon
    Styled by Emily Henderson features more than 1,000 design ideas for how to style a room from HGTV Design Star winner Emily Henderson. Emily’s designs are two parts midcentury modern and one part Hollywood regency, and she’s a doll. She just did a touching whole-house makeover for her family’s nanny. Try not to cry.Styled by Emily Henderson
  3. Once Upon an Alphabetonce-upon-an-alphabet
    Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers
    is a whimsical children’s book with lovely illustrations and quirky short stories about each letter of the alphabet.once-upon-an-alphabet
  4. Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto9781607747208
    Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay features a complete meat and smoking education from one of the top barbecue masters and owner of the wildly popular Texas restaurant Franklin Barbecue, which I’ve actually had the privilege of visiting during SXSW this year in Austin. Ben loves his show on PBS… BBQ with Franklin.

    franklin-bbq-1 Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto

  5.  Nature’s Day

    Natures DayNature's Day by Kay Maguire and illustrated by Danielle Kroll at Personify Shop
    Nature’s Day by Kay Maguire and illustrated by Danielle Kroll is a beautiful children’s book showcasing the natural beauty that’s right outside our doorstep. Danielle Kroll is another one of my favorite illustrators ever. See more of her work here. I have pinned many of her illustrations.
    Nature's Day by Kay Maguire and illustrated by Danielle Kroll at Personify Shop
  6. Food with FriendsFood with Friends by Leela Cyd
    Food with Friends by Leela Cyd is a gorgeously styled and inventive cookbook about special gatherings with friends. Leela is a styling genius and this book is absolutely lovely (as you can tell from the pictures). Follow her on Instagram here and her website is also beautiful.Food with Friends by Leela Cyd
  7. Start Where You Are Journal

    Start Where You Are JournalStart Where You Are is a visually stunning journal for self-exploration featuring illustrations and lettering from Meera Lee Patel. I’m looking forward to working through this.Start Where You Are Journal
  8. One Thousand Things One Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses
    One Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses is a lovely visual encyclopedia of one thousand first words to see and say. Search-and-find Little Mouse on every page and discover new words with every turn of the page.
  9. Felicity by Mary Oliver

    Felicity By Mary Oliver
    This collection of Mary Oliver poems is a poignant and hopeful picture of the ways we connect to the people around us. I love Mary Oliver and I love this collection of poetry. I wrote this personal blog post about it, if any of you care to read it. These poems will lift your soul.

Check out our complete selections of books here. I spend a lot of time sourcing the best books for the shop and I think you’ll really enjoy them. My first love was books and I’ll never get over that exhilarating feeling of opening a book and diving into a completely different world. I hope some of these give you that feeling too. Xoxo.

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Christina Tosi’s Ritz Cracker Ice Box Cake from Milk Bar Life Cookbook

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I asked my friend (and very talented stylist/photographer) Stephanie of Abbitt Collective (read my interview with her here) to make some recipes out of one of our cookbooks: Milk Bar Life by Christina Tosi for the blog.

I was first introduced to Christina Tosi through the PBS show Mind of a Chef. The first season features chef David Chang, of the Momofuku empire, and his pastry chef, Tosi, the mastermind behind Momofuku Milk Bar. They both have incredible tv personalities (don’t bother watching other seasons of the show when they’re no longer in it) and inspiring stories. Needless to say, I was hooked.

I’ve made a couple of recipes out of Tosi’s first cookbook, but fell in love with her newest release: Milk Bar Life (which we carry in the shop!). The recipes are often twists on old favorites, and feature creative plays on prepackaged ingredients. I think she modernizes baking and pushes the limit on the ways we snack in this cookbook. One Sunday afternoon I plan on reading through the whole cookbook. It’s a gem.
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See the recipe for the Ritz Cracker Ice Box Cake and Stephanie’s tips below. YUM! P.S. There are only 3 ingredients… Whaaaaaaat.


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Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Grape Jelly
2 (8-oz) containers Cool Whip, defrosted in the refrigerator
1 (11.3 oz) Ritz crackers

Recipe:
1. Heat the jelly in a large microwave-safe bowl for 30 second intervals, whisking after each blast, until it is just fluid but not hot. (If the jelly is hot, set it aside for a minute or two before proceeding.)

2. Whisk 1 cup of the Cool Whip into the jelly until the mixture is smooth. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining Cool Whip until completely homogenous. (This is how even the fanciest pastry chef incorporates a flavoring ingredient into whipped cream.)

3. To assemble the cake: Spread a very thin layer of the purple Cool Whip in the bottom of a pie tin or on a cake stand. Anchor in an even layer of Ritz crackers so that they touch each other but do not overlap. Top with a thick layer of Cool Whip (about 1 cup) and another round layer of Ritz. Repeat this process until the Cool Whip and crackers are used up and the tower is complete.

4. Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours, or, preferably, overnight before slicing and serving. Leftovers, should there be any, will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

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This is a GREAT quick dessert to make when you are running late! (Which I was.  ;)) I am ALL about simple recipes regardless, but this one is golden. My husband and I were on our way to a friend’s house for dinner and our job was to provide dessert. I love the idea of a sweet and salty dessert! I am a huge sweet tooth, but having something salty to compliment the sweet; it’s the best. I have never really worked with Cool Whip before, so this was definitely a learning curve! I actually messed the Cool Whip up the first time and it was way too runny. I was a little over zealous with my blending of the Cool Whip and the grape jelly. Once everything was mixed together (aka, I finally got it right), you put it in the refrigerator for a bit then make your cracker + grape whip tower! This recipe was a hit. My husband has been eating all of the leftovers because he loves it so much!

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Artist Series: Chloe May Brown Ceramics

I’m thrilled to be sharing this interview of Chloe May Brown about her ceramic work. We have a collection of her pieces at Personify Shop (email me for more info) and I have loved working with her. I love how the pieces are both whimsical and graphic at the same time. Chloe lives with her cat in Portland, Maine and also works as a designer at the dreamy shop More & Co.

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1. How did you get started making ceramics?

A handful of years ago I fell in love with a ceramic necklace. I treated myself and I wore it almost every day. It was wildly inspiring for me, so simple, but beautiful and it quickly became a part of my everyday life. I wanted to be able to create something that had that ability to integrate into another’s life. I started to experiment with clay and fell in love with making pinch pots. I loved the control that I had over the clay with just my fingers. I have been working in clay ever since.

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  1. How would you describe your aesthetic?

My aesthetic is simple, natural, and fun. It is important to me that in each piece you can find signs of where my fingers have shaped the clay. My pieces are imperfect and at times a bit wonky, each one is unique.

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3. What’s your favorite thing about your job?

I love that everyday I am able to do a bit of what I love. I can get my hands dirty and play with a ball of clay. It is a dream.

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4. What’s your least favorite?

It can be difficult for me to separate my personal life from my work life. They so seamlessly flow into one another at times. I try to keep my work at my studio, but inevitably it comes home with me. My mind is always running around with thoughts of work tied together with my week’s grocery list. I have to pause, step back, and take time to just do nothing. That can be hard for me to do.

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5. Business Advice?

Oh gosh, I feel that the best advice that I can give is to do what you love. It sounds simple, but it can be so difficult.  If there is something that you truly love to do, and you want to make a go at it, stick with it. Make sure that you would still be doing it if money was not a factor. Finding happiness in my work has been such a large factor in any success I have had.

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6. My favorite party question: If you could hang out with any three people this Friday night, who would you pick?

If I could, I would spend this Friday night with my parents. We would pack a picnic and eat it by the ocean. It would be magic for me.


So there you have it! High fives for Chloe and her beautiful work.