Part of why I got into this was that I grew up from a very fun and colorful child into an adult expecting the same kind of life- or even brighter. As a wise six year old, I thought about adulthood as being a magical adventure full of opportunities and decision making that supported adventure and creativity. Naturally, I became a designer. I quickly found myself slogging through what was a very gray living with manufactured stress, immaterial deadlines, and the looming question of “is this it?”
As adults, we lose our sense of color. We swap out our vibrant oranges and yellows for greige, linen, and navy. We lose our sense of creativity- those endless nights at the kitchen table with glitter, glue, feathers, and sequins are swapped in for statements like “oh, I’m not the creative one! I just handle the logistics!”
We swap wild creativity for easy fill in the numbers activities so that even our creativity cannot go out of line.
Our lives become focused on work, ambition, the next promotion and strategic opportunity- until we’re so burnt out that we grasp for the too-expensive, soul-searching trips of a lifetime in an effort to course correct years of decisions in seven short days. We hope that one quiet morning meditating on a beach will reverse all the stress we’ve held for weeks, months, and years.
We hope that one bright week out of 51 gray weeks will help us reconnect in our relationships- that one week of do whatever you want adventures will make up for every missed dinner, every postponed movie night, every ignored call from your family, and every last minute cancellation that happens way too many times with your friends.
So this is how it started for me. It was in New York City during a particularly gray point of my life where I started painting in my closet. The art was messy and wild, breaking all the rules of what I’ve learned as a designer. Too-tight gaps, too much going on, green on red? Sure.
It was in this exploration and all the rule breaking that the person who I was started to thaw out again- to stretch her legs, climb out of the ice and wave hello. My six year old self was starting to appear again.
What started with a painting snowballed. It was like a dam of ideas centuries old had been broken and nothing was off the table. My creativity spilled from paintings to knitting to rug tufting to sculptures to stationary- and more.
And once it was clear that this was not just an after-hours, silly little creative pursuit to be downplayed and pushed to the side after six weeks- the questions started coming in. How was I going to FOCUS? What were my GOALS? It was like the joy and play was now being questioned. As if “because I felt like it” wasn’t a good enough reason.
There had to be strategy, synergy, and goals! Which admittedly are very important in the long run, but cannot account for the entire share of our reasons for doing and our reasons for being.
We are wild creatures in pursuit of happiness and freedom.
Isn’t that enough of a goal?
And that’s when it started to evolve. If my creativity needed a goal and a little direction to thrive in this world, the picture became more clear. My goal simply became to create a world that feels like a colorful hug. A world of comfort objects that inspire a little more silliness, a lot more creativity- and above all, empower us to think outside of the gray boxes we’re living in so that one day we can open the front doors of our world and let adventure and connection walk right in.
My vision is that my design will provide people a playful, comfortable foundation for their spaces. Because as we know, where we are and how we feel heavily impacts our long term lives.
Do not put my design on a podium in a museum where people will oooh and aahhhh, where critics will guess the meaning and snobs will talk about color theory and composition. Put my comfort objects in houses and in lives that are well lived, every day. Where adults run through the house giggling and kids play make believe and pets roam around the house, probably up to no good. Where friends pop in to say hello and stray cats hang out on the doorstep looking for an extra anchovy or two.
My rugs are for sleepovers on the living room floor. My blankets are meant for pillow forts. My vases are meant for bouquets made out of the flowers growing in your garden. My postcards are meant for silly little hellos spread out at random. My wallpapers are meant for home offices full of after work projects and dreams being cultivated with the care of an exacting gardener growing a tree from a tiny little seed. My objects are meant to inspire a life worth living 52 weeks out of the year. A life with color, abundance, and the comfort that we all need.