Artist Series: Yas Imamura of Quill and Fox

quill and fox studio

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.]

quill-and-fox-youre-out-of-this-world-painting

  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

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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.

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!

yu-square-at-personify-shop

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.
yu-square-knit-personify-shop-socks

  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.

Creative Friends: Abbitt Collective

Yay! Our second installation of creative friends!

I’m super excited about this one. I met Stephanie of Abbitt Collective at Gather Workshop in Atlanta last fall. She had not started her product & brand styling, photography, and lettering business at the time but it’s now in full swing and BEAUTIFUL! Seriously, go to her website and check out all the lovely projects she’s working on. Follow her gorgeous instagram feed too!

(c) Texture Photo

(c) Texture Photo

She styled and shot these photos of some of our brand swag (designed partly by the amazing Mallory Overton of Castle Paper Co).

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Read my interview with her below (I love her advice on fear) and stay tuned for some guest contributions by Stephanie on our blog!

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

Ever since I was little, I wanted to create. I loved looking at things to try to draw them or recreate them. So the desire was always there, but the focus and direction wasn’t! Two years ago, I graduated college and started my career as an elementary teacher. I devoted hours upon hours to teaching and quickly realized I wanted/needed an outlet outside of teaching. Also being a newlywed, I wanted to take “adulting” on by storm, so naturally I needed to be an amazing cook and home decorator! I started a blog as a place for me to be just that! I found out I loved creating pieces for our home while trying new recipes and figuring out what our go-to foods were going to be! I literally couldn’t get enough of it. (I still can’t!)

Abbitt Collective at Personify Shop

2. How would you describe your aesthetic?

My aesthetic is bold, fresh, genuine and warm with a kick of edge to it! I love creating and styling in a way that reflects people’s missions, values and heart- honesty. There’s something so beautiful about rawness!

Macarons styled and photgraphed by Abbitt Collective

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

I love the people behind it. I love hearing about people’s stories and why they are doing what they are doing. I love to see the passion in their eyes/words as they walk me through their passions. It’s crazy inspiring to me to hear the determination and strength that they show through what they do!

food styling by abbitt collective

4. What’s your least favorite?

All the legal stuff + taxes. I am just not that person at all, so even when I prep myself to sit down and try to understand it.. I’m left feeling like a rhino just plowed through me.

5. Business advice?

Don’t let fear get in the way. Your fear of failure needs to be less than your fear of not doing something that sets your soul on fire. If you love something, just go out and do it- you can figure it out along the way. It takes time and be okay with that!

6. What’s your favorite thing at Personify Shop?

Oh my, the new catch all dishes along with the tea towels. I LOVE a good patterned towel and dish for decorating and styling. They are on my to get list and I get so giddy when I look at them!

7. My favorite party question:

If you could hang out with any three people this Friday night, who would you pick? In this moment… James Cordon, Adele and Melissa McCarthy in a carpool karaoke. I’m straight obsessed.

styling by abbit collective

8. How do you know the ladies at Personify Shop?

I met Maddie in November ‘15 at Gather Workshop! I remember the moment I met her I thought she was the coolest and wanted to be her friend. I was amazed at the way she knew and owned her style in a refreshing and real way.  She is so fun, spunky and on it. She’s one rockin’ lady and I am honored to know her and cheer her on!

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].

Artist Series: Natalie Jacob of Etymology Jewelry

Etymology Jewelry at Personify Shop

Introducing Etymology Jewelry to Personify Shop has been so fun. I found Natalie Jacob through Etsy’s open call and I just couldn’t live without her line. I’m currently wearing one of her bracelets right this second. I love the colorful pieces, mixed media, and bohemian vibe of the line… It’s jewelry that’s ready to party! You can find her pieces under our New Arrivals tab. Read my interview with Natalie below.


 

How did you get started with what you do?

Etymology Jewelry started on Etsy in 2008 back when I was a first year student at the art college MICA. Making jewelry grew out of my natural disposition to create, as I was always making and forming things in an artistic way, even from a young age. Jewelry seemed to be a natural fit as I had also always been devouring fashion magazines and loved the idea of being involved in the fashion (or jewelry!) world. Now, it’s my chosen medium, allowing me to be in both the fashion world and the artistic world.
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How would you describe your aesthetic?

I always say my aesthetic is Mixed Media, or Boho. I like to say Mixed Media because it alludes to the materials I use- which are a mix of natural gemstones, vintage chains and recycled vinyl record album beads.
Herkimer Diamond Bracelet at Personify Shop

What’s your favorite thing about making jewelry?

Well it’s definitely tricky to pick one favorite! I would say the thing I enjoy the most about making jewelry is the ability to be creative with design,  materials and color in a wearable way. I also truly love that I am able to be both an artist and a designer and have a variety of people – all over the world- wear my pieces!
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What’s your least favorite thing about making jewelry?

The occasional back ache from doing all that handmade jewelry fabrication!

Scout Bracelet from Etymology Jewelry at Personify Shop

Any business advice?

You will hear one hundred no’s with your line before you get one yes. But all it takes is one yes, so keep going and be persistent!

What is your favorite thing at Personify Shop?

I’m a sucker for a great Ikat print- it’s probably my favorite sort of patterning out there. As a result I am absolutely in love with this pillow- it doesn’t hurt that all the colors also happen to match my bedding, so I may have to add it to my home sometime soon!

Personify Shop Ikat Pillows

If you could hang out with any three people this Friday night, who would you pick?

This is definitely a little cheesy- but if I could hang out with anyone it would be my grandparents. They are no longer alive, but I was very close with them as I was growing up and miss having them around. A couple of the places they loved to go are still in business, so I’m sure we’d go to a favorite restaurant of theirs and just catch up. I’d tell them about all the accomplishments I’ve had with my business- including a recent feature in an Etsy partnership with Macy’s! It would be such a joy to see them and I know we’d have a great time.

Wanderlust layering bracelet from Etymology Jewelry at Personify Shop


Thanks so much Natalie! It’s been a joy to work with you. I love your line so much and look forward to working together more in the future.

maddie