Shop Stories: Fresh Tangerine

Shop Stories: Fresh TangerineShop Stories: Fresh TangerineShop Stories: Fresh Tangerine Shop Stories: Fresh Tangerine
Shop Name, Location, Type of Goods Sold: Fresh Tangerine, Seattle, WA, handmade jewelry

Tell us a little bit about how Fresh Tangerine came to be. I was working at a day job that I didn’t really like, and I was really wanting to go back to France and travel more. I also couldn’t really see myself working in a corporate office job, and I knew I had to find a way to have a flexible job that would allow me to travel. I originally started Fresh Tangerine with the idea that it would be a side job to supplement a teaching income in France. I bought a bunch of supplies, signed up for some local craft shows in Portland, and spent every night and weekend designing, making jewelry, and trying to establish my brand. After the holidays, I was approached by CRAVE (a guide book that features female owned businesses in different cities.) I spent another 9 months working full time and spending all of my free time on my business. In August 2011, I was able to quit my day job to work on Fresh Tangerine full time.

Shop Stories: Fresh TangerineShop Stories: Fresh Tangerine Shop Stories: Fresh Tangerine

Talk about your style. These days I’m all about being comfortable both in what I wear and the space that I’m in. My go-to outfit is a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a loose blazer. My team likes to tell me that I’m the master of the “casual blazer.” I tried to make the studio feel warm and welcoming, so that when you come to work or to visit, you feel like you’re coming home.

Do you have a favorite part of your shop + why? I love how open the studio is and that people can visit, shop, and see how everything is made.

Where does your inspiration come from? Everywhere! I love to travel, and I try to incorporate my experiences and what I’ve seen into my designs. I’m a very visual person, so I try to always keep an inspiration board.

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Tell us about some of your biggest achievements and challenges. The best and hardest thing was quitting my day job. I started my business and worked full time at my day for almost a year. I woke up after my last day of work feeling both excited/free and terrified. Another great moment was when I was in a shop that carried my jewelry for the first time. I was definitely that person taking pictures of their work in the store.

One of the most challenging things I’ve done is hire employees. It’s difficult to come to the realization that you can’t do everything yourself. It’s even harder to actually stop and let people help you. I’m still learning how to be a good boss and leader, and I’m so grateful for my awesome team. They’ve helped grow Fresh Tangerine into something that I love even more.

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Name 3 pieces that define you + your space. I think that the gallery wall is the perfect reflection of me and my space. It has art from friends and people I’ve met, dreamcatchers that I’ve made, photos from Fresh Tangerine shoots, and lots of gold and hearts.

Biggest splurge and biggest steal: The biggest steal is probably the green velvet couch that I got from a vintage shop in Portland. There’s not really one item that I splurged on….maybe someday!

Shop Stories: Fresh TangerineShop Stories: Fresh TangerineShop Stories: Fresh Tangerine

What are some of your go-to places when it comes to shopping for your space? I usually get my basic items from Ikea. They have simple designs, and the price is right. Sometimes I’ll try to change pieces so that they look more custom. I like to accessorize with vintage pieces, things I’ve collected from traveling, and items from other handmade or small businesses. I’m obsessed with ceramics right now and my favorite ring dishes are from The Object Enthusiast and The Pursuits of Happiness.

Any advice? Trust your gut. I know that everyone says this, but it’s so true. I overthink things all the time, and can talk myself out of pretty much anything. I think the best decisions I’ve made have been the ones where I’ve listened to and trusted that voice that was telling me to do something.

Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio

Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty GungorPhotoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty GungorPhotoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty GungorPhotoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor Photoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty GungorPhotoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty GungorPhotoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty GungorPhotoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty GungorPhotoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty GungorPhotoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty GungorPhotoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty GungorPhotoshoot for Little Bison Studio / Photos by Kirsty Gungor

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting with one of my favorite photographers and friend of mine, Kirsty, for my brand re-launch. For those of you who are new around here, I decided it was time to get away from using my name for my business and thought it was time to come up with something that would allow me to grow my business beyond myself. It’s been about a year now since I slowly started build things behind the scenes, and a little update – the design for the website is 97% complete and has been sent to the web developer and print media is now slowly starting to take shape! The brand aesthetic behind Little Bison Studio will be different from what you are currently seeing here, opting more towards the simple, natural, and earthy. I know it’s taken me a long time to finally get to these final steps, believe me, I am SO ready, and I hope to share more of my process as it unfolds.

Sienna Moon: Summer Collection

Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designsSienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designsSienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs Sienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designsSienna Moon / Summer Collection 2015 / holly marie designs

A few weeks ago I shared a sneak peek into what I’ve been working on the past few months and I am so excited to finally share that the day is here! First let’s back track to March, the freelancing waters had settled a bit and I was itching for a new project, so I started contacting a few up + coming businesses and Etsy shops wondering if they’d be interested in collaborating in some way. It was at that time, that I stumbled upon the Jamie’s lovely, boho-inspired shop. Sienna Moon. It caught my eye right off the bat because it was right up my alley and a client I could only dream of working with some day.

After a exchanging a few emails, Jamie and I began the process of designing tee’s and tanks for her upcoming summer collection. Little did I know how huge of a project this was turning out to be, but I enjoyed every minute of the ride. Seriously. I’ve learned so much in these past three months about developing + designing a clothing line and has really opened my eyes even more to the realm of fashion. It has truly been an amazing experience and has given me a good sample of what it’s like to own and run a clothing company.

Currently we are in the process of promoting the new collection with social media, line sheets, and lookbooks. I promise I will share more as everything starts to unfold, but until then, feel free to check out the new summer collection for yourself! This collection was a wonderful team effort and I want to give a shout out to the other designers who had a hand in creating various parts of the collection and to all of the incredible photographers across the U.S. who made the garments come to life so beautifully!

( photos by emmy lowe )

Sienna Moon Sneak Peek

Sienna Moon / Following Our Breath, Following Our Heart tee Sienna Moon / Raised on Rock 'N Roll & Dreams teeSienna Moon / Under Her Spell tee

I was too excited to wait a few more days, so I thought I would share a little bit of where I’ve been and why things have been a little more quiet around here than usual. As you may already know, I have been working on a huge project that has been hush hush for the past few months and in just a few short days, all will be revealed!

I’ve been working with the LA-based clothing company, Sienna Moon; designing tee’s for their upcoming summer collection and assisting the shop’s owner various day-to-day happenings. The shop inspired by bohemian vibes and the calm, cool, and collected California style. Jamie Michelle, Sienna Moon’s owner, strives to keep all things eco-friendly + ethically made, which I am excited to say that almost all of the tee’s in the new collection will be organic or hemp!

I am sure Jamie will be sharing more over on Sienna Moon’s instagram over the weekend, in case you’d like to follow along! And this post wouldn’t be complete without giving props to the wonderfully talented photographer behind a few of these images. Jessie Alexise has shot for Sienna Moon five previous times and she envelops the brand oh so well! It’s honestly been a true dream to be a part of this whole experience and just so happens to fit my niche perfectly!

Shop Stories: Pigment

Shop Stories: PigmentShop Stories: PigmentShop Stories: PigmentShop Stories: Pigment

Shop Name, Location, Type of Goods Sold: Pigment, San Diego, CA, lifestyle store

Tell us a little bit about how Pigment came to be. Pigment began as a gallery for artwork. Initially, there was a studio in back and gallery space in the front. Over time our art installations were complimented by a sofa, a side table and, eventually, fully developed vignettes. Design savvy gifts followed shortly after and an affinity for merchandising fully emerged.

Shop Stories: Pigment Shop Stories: Pigment

Talk about your style. Style-wise, both merchandising and buying for Pigment is about graphic contrast and thoughtful color combos. It’s funny; my fashion sense is quite plain–jeans and a wife beater. The uniform, as I like to call it. With the shop, however, I’m all about color and pattern. I love planes of simple negative space balanced by small areas of vibrant spot color. Add pattern and I’m in heaven.

Simple Southern California architecture from San Diego architects, such as Irving Gill, helped shape my design sensibilities. As part of an architecture class in college I studied his work. One home in particular had large stucco walls with simple arches. At the right time of day, shadows from wind swept palm fronds divided the negative space. The temperature of the cool blue shadows against the warm wall was so beautiful to me. The magic of such simple choices and the interaction of the static building with the shifting organic shapes really left an impression on me. It influenced my artwork (I’m a painter too) and it definitely influences the shop.

On a less sophisticated note, I’m a product of the 70’s and 80’s and I’m still in love with old OP graphics. All that ombre shifting is right in my wheelhouse. I teach Color Theory at the local colleges and my color fixation plays a big role in the look of Pigment. With color, inspiration is all around at all times. I’m drawn to the subtleties of one color, the breadth of one color between temperature extremes, but also the contrast between two opposing hues as well. Color moments that whisper and draw you in and others that yell at you and grab your attention from afar, both stop me in my tracks on a regular basis. I can definitely say I’m color obsessed.

Shop Stories: PigmentShop Stories: PigmentShop Stories: Pigment

Do you have a favorite part of your shop + why? With merchandising, I geek out on every section of the store, so narrowing down one fav’ is really hard. I don’t have a favorite spot, but I have a favorite time to work.   The magic of merchandising happens while the store is closed. I love the early morning hours before the shop opens. The anticipation of customers and the challenge to impress really keeps me going.

The Plant Lab is a crowd pleaser for sure. Inspired by the terrarium craze we created a spot in store where you can build your own. It’s a go-to for gifting and a place for adults and kiddos alike. Colored sands, mosses and rocks line the walls in a rainbow of color.  We were literally thinking about a candy shop when looking for bins to hold all the sands and such. Just like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, we want it to feel like a wonderland. Customers can DIY or order up from one of our associates.

Shop Stories: Pigment Shop Stories: Pigment

Where does your inspiration come from? Inspiration comes in many forms. As I mentioned above, color is number one. From nature to the city streets and the pages of a magazine, it’s everywhere at all times and little moments of color inspiration are constant. I also love vintage picking–buying, collecting, foraging. My vintage compulsion is one part treasure hunter and one part genealogist. I always feel a connection to the items I buy, like an object found from my own past. The preoccupation isn’t a rational one. I’ve even been moved to tears over old photos at the swap meet. I guess it’s easy to appreciate how fleeting life is when you see someone’s everything in boxes at a garage sale.

Tell us about some of your biggest achievements and challenges. Business-wise, opening and running the store, doubling our size and moving locations over seven years was the undertaking of our lives and, between my husband and I, is also our biggest business achievement. Every year that we stay in business puts us one year further from the statistical failure of a five-year window. Which leads, of course, to the biggest challenge: keeping it going. Keeping the quality strong in the shop and morale high among our staff takes constant effort. There’s no relaxing and basking, it’s constant work. There’s just more pressure now.

Shop Stories: PigmentShop Stories: Pigment

Name 3 pieces that define you + your space. I’ve been looking at this question for a week now. I’m trying to put my finger on why it’s such a hard one for me. People are constantly trying to understand what we do, what we are, what we sell. On the one hand, I’m eager to answer the question and help to establish our identity. On the other hand, I don’t want to limit what we are and put the shop in a proverbial box either. This may not be what you were looking for, but here’s my best attempt to answer.

Paint Brushes: Pigment’s focus was initially on local artisan vendors and the sale of their work, including my own (I’m a painter). Art is the backbone of the business. While we’ve grown well beyond a gallery, sales of art is Pigment’s foundation and our relationship to handmade wares and the artists & artisans who make them continues to guide our aesthetic as a whole.

Our towering Fig Tree: Aesthetically speaking, at Pigment plants in general soften an otherwise more industrial space. The matriarch of our collection, a huge fig tree that reaches up in to the rafters, dwarfs teeny tiny succulent counterparts. Like people, they each have a personality and temperament. You can cruise through and checkout the different specimen for inspiration or role your sleeves up and get your hands dirty at the Plant Lab, our in-store terrarium bar. The green element and our Plant Lab in particular set us apart from other stores.

A Stroller: We are family owned and operated and the growth of our store has paralleled our growing family. We have a pup, named Cash, and two daughters too. The shop and all of our events are family & pet friendly. I want Pigment to be a magical place for adults and kids alike and often draw on my own nostalgia for the items that we feature.

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Biggest splurge and biggest steal: Splurge: Once a year we have a Tillandsia Trunk Show. It’s a time when we feature unusual specimen. They can be pricey, but oh are they beautiful! Be forewarned, there’s a certain pressure that comes with the purchase though. You become a steward of that specimen and the pressure to care for it properly is huge! Steal: Succulents, succulents, succulents! The largest growers in the nation are in our backyard, which means our prices are amazing. Even among our So-Cal counterparts, our prices are the best. Plugs start at a $1 each.

What are some of your go-to places when it comes to shopping for your space? When it comes to buying, I feel comfortable walking in to a fancy showroom and pouring over every item in the space. I can also turn around and sift through every dusty box at an estate sale. I go into it with a vision and a goal–no forum is too high or too low for me.

My buying style, I learned early on, is pretty unconventional too. I break every rule and order primarily based on what I like and would buy myself. I am often saying no to things that I could sell. I want to love every item and the space as a whole.

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