For Your Mama

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Don’t forget about the person that loves you the most in this world next week. We’ve got lots of fun and pretty things for her.

 

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happy mother’s day to all those amazing mums out there from the Personify team

 

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

 

 

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.

quill-and-fox it's your birthday card

  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.
Milk Bar Life

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: Ringo Yu of Yu Square Knitwear

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I’m excited to share this Artist Series with you all! I saw Yu Square socks not long ago online and I knew they belonged in Personify Shop with their bright colors and bold patterns.

Yu Square is a knitwear, textile design studio started and run by Ringo Yu. The first year she started the company, she knitted all the clothing garments herself, gradually adding scarves and beanies to her collection. After careful consideration, she started working with local manufacturers to produce knitwear pieces and socks. She currently works full time as a textile designer and a machine knitter at her studio in Taipei, Taiwan.

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It’s been a joy working with Ringo and I loved reading her answers to our interview questions below. After reading, head on over to our New Arrivals section to see our collection of Yu Square socks!

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1. How did you get started with what you do?

I’ve loved to draw and make stuff since I was little, so it was a natural path for me to study textile design. There I can combine my passion of both drawing and making. After graduating from CSM I started to work in the high fashion industry, but the fast-paced intensive lifestyle left me stressed out and uninspired, surrounded by bling sequins and luxury fabrics. In order to find my passion again, I began to design and knit some garments in my free time and tried to sell them online. With more and more orders from people I realized that this is what I should do! Eventually I quit my job and working full time for YU Square.

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  1. How would you describe your aesthetic?

Vibrant and cheerful. I can’t live without colours and I want to design things that make people happy and smile while wearing them, or even just looking at them. Life can be awful and we need colours to rescue our souls.

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

The greatest thing about my job is that I enjoy it more than anything else. No kidding, I love knitting THAT MUCH. Besides it’s nice that I have full control of my time, for example during low season I can arrange a short vacation time without approval from a boss…

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  1. What’s your least favorite?

The muscle of my right arm gets bigger and stronger due to constantly knitting. Errr Nrrrrrr!

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  1. Business advice?

Grab every chance to learn new things. Be brave to accomplish your goals, though some of them may not work out in the end. Trying and learning it doesn’t work is better than not trying and regretting not doing it, at least now you know where it can be improved.
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  1. What’s your favorite thing at Personify Shop?

Those amazing bottle openers! I love drinking with friends on Friday nights and these openers would definitely add some fun to it.

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

Nigel Peake, Nicola Rowlands and Kelly Puissegur! They are my most favourite illustrators by the way.

Mother’s Day Gifts

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  1. Everyone needs a reusable Baggu to stash in their purse for extra carrying power… especially moms!
  2. for the Boho moms out there… this southwest navo necklace (handmade in atl) will make a statement.
  3. Barr-co hand cream is one of our top sellers. Help mom feel pampered with this luxurious hand cream.
  4. Sweet turtle card.
  5. You can never have too many tea towels.
  6. The New Bohemians by Justina Blakeney is full of eye candy your mom will love.
  7. What more do you need to say to your mom than “Thank You“?
  8. Splurge on your mom with this cowhide envelope clutch.

 

Artist Series: Keep Company Ceramics (collaboration by Shayna Stevenson and Jen Collins)

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Keep Company ceramics is a collaboration between Toronto artists Shayna Stevenson and Jen Collins. Shayna wheel throws the ceramic pieces and Jen illustrates and glazes them. I fell in love with the contrast of the clean lines and the adorable illustrated animals. See them under our new arrivals.

Keep Company Ceramics Fox Mug at Personify Shop

  1. How did you get started with what you do?
    We were each working on our individual lines when Shayna suggested working on a little collaboration, where she would throw some pieces that Jen would draw on. It started out as something fun to do, and the response was very positive, so we decided to make a go of it.
  2. How would you describe your aesthetic?
    We combine our appreciation of clean simple design with objects that feel good in your hands. We aim to create pieces that you can display in your home that will comfortably sit alongside things you already have, but still stand out as something a little different.keep company ceramics oranges
  3. What’s your favorite thing about your business?
    Working with a friend and having someone to share successes and frustrations with. It’s also nice to have someone who can help complete an idea one of us has. Shayna can ask Jen to draw an animal and she’ll try it out, and Jen can suggest a shape that might look good for a design and Shayna will make it on the wheel.keep-co
  4. What’s your least favorite?
    The looks we get at the post office.Keep Company Ceramics Blue Jay Mug at Personify Shop
  5. Business advice?
    Recognize that you’re part of a community – connect with makers, customers and stores. Also, be measured and realistic about your expectations and spending – keep overheads low where you can.keep-co-personify-shop
  6. What’s your favorite thing at Personify Shop?
    Jen: The illustrator in me always appreciates a good greetings card selection, and there are some favourites by friends of mine at Personify Shop.
    Shayna: The Kalalou Glass Display boxes. I’m always looking for something new to put plants in.Keep Company Ceramics Mugs at Personify Shop
  7. My favorite party question: If you could hang out with any three people this Friday night, who would you pick?
    Carson Ellis, PJ Harvey and Kate McKinnon. LADIES NIGHT. [Check out this adorable book we have by Carson Ellis].

Happy Spring Picks

My top happy picks for this spring at the shop

spring-personify-shop1. I think this mermaid bottle opener lady is the perfect bar accessory.
2. Boost you lunchtime routine with the popsicle pop quiz lunch box.
3. This tote does anything but blend in.
4. I’m probably going to take one of these herschel supply x hudson’s bay little america backpacks home with me. I love them so much.
5. Love the minimalist take on the classic squash blossom design in wooden beads.
6. This confetti handmade catch all ceramic dish is my favorite
7. These felt birdhouses are fully functional and adorable. Invite your bird friends over this spring.
8. Say thank you with this colorful card.
9. Spruce up your outdoor space with these gorgeous ceramic lanterns. Nothing beats soft candlelight on your porch.

 

Style Inspiration: Justina Blakeney and the Jungalow

Justina Blakeney

Justina Blakeney is my all-time favorite designer and one Tammy and I just can’t get enough of. Her style is eclectic, bohemian, and jungalicious (full of patterns & plants). We sell her design book The New Bohemians. This book is the perfect gift for the vibrant people in your life. Do yourself a favor and follow her Jungalow and Justina Blakeney Instagrams. Check out some of my favorite of her designs below as well as when she answered my Instagram question on Periscope! Yay!

justina blakeney the new bohemians book at personify shopHer book The New Bohemians. You need it. Trust me.

justina blakeney pink personify shop style inpirationHer design for Claypso Maison.

justina blakeney house personify shop style inspirationIn her home. That Charley Harper books is one of my favorites.

Justina Blakeney Junaglow kitchen redo personify shop style inspoHer kitchen redo aka the best thing ever. Watch out for these green tones this year. They’re coming…

justina blakeney junaglow style inpiration

  This Blush cabinet in her home/studio has inspired me to paint more furniture pieces this year. Also, it’s the perfect pink. I want.

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Her new wallpaper collection from Hygge & West is unreal beautiful. This one is my favorite.


At the Gather Weekend I attended last year (see my previous post), they encouraged us to make a “design tree” of our favorite designers aka find out who they are inspired by. So, I asked Justina, “What are you creative influences and inspiration?” AND she answered!!! Ahh! She answered my question live on Persicope. It was amazing.

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Justina Blakeney on Persicope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s what she said:

  1. Jonathan Adler
    Justina Blakeney Inspiration

2. The Women Painters of MithilaJustina Blakeney Inspiration

3. Midcentury Modern Art in Nigeria

4. Picasso LinocutsJustina Blakeney Inspiration

5. The Ultimate House Book by Terrence ConranJustina Blakeney Inspiration

6. Frida KahloJustina Blakeney Inspiration

So there you have it. That’s what inspires the amazing Justina Blakeney.