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Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: iamhome

Sarah and Joseph Belknap of iamhome Where was your favorite place to live?
We love Chicago, it’s the most well rounded city we have lived in.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
The kitchen. We love to cook.

What are your interests outside of design?
We are practicing visual artists and love to cook, camp and play ping pong.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Color, science, humor and the cosmos.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Good food and cocktails.

What’s your favorite possession?
We have a small meteorite collection that is slowly growing into a big one.

What one item do you wish you owned?
We want a couch we haven’t had one in the past five years because we were rehabbing our living room. We have just finished the room but it is still couchless.

What is your personal decorating style?
Our home is pretty minimal it’s the complete opposite of our studio. We need a place to go to that is simple and peaceful.

Who are your design icons?
Coop Himmelblau and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.

Form vs. function?
We think they should go hand in hand.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The telescope.

What do you drive?
We drive a black Nissan pickup truck we lovingly named Starbuck after Battlestar Galatica.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Keep it simple and only decorate with the things you truly love.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
We received it and we pass it down: have fun… experiment without restraint… and if you stop loving it, don’t do it anymore.

fluorescent skull thumbs up trophy

To see the Renegade Craft Fair capsule collection for CB2, go here.

Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: FoundRe

Raun Meyn of FoundRe Where was your favorite place to live?
After college, I lived in a converted attic space above an old Victorian in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The rent was cheap and the space was beautiful. It was hands down the coolest apartment I ever had. I wish I could import it to Chicago.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
When I’m at home I spend the majority of my time in the living room. Even though I watch a lot of Netflix, it’s also my creative space. I keep my bass guitars there and love to have private jam sessions. I also have a drafting table set up that I use to sketch furniture design ideas.

What are your sources of inspiration?
I’m definitely inspired by my surroundings. I’m constantly looking around. When driving, my wife is always yelling at me to keep my eyes on the road. I can’t help it, if I see an old beat up billboard or a dilapidated building I have to stare at it. I’m fascinated by the vague history being told with textures and subtle colors. I think it stems from growing up in the burbs where everything is so clean and well kept.

What are your interests outside of design?
I love collecting vintage things and hunting for antiques. I also play bass and drums and make music with friends whenever possible. Making spontaneous music with good people, who speak the same musical language, is one of the most gratifying feelings I know.

Who are your design icons?
Barney Bubbles is my all time favorite designer. He was a graphic designer and artist in the 60’s who made a living producing art for record albums. He did some really interesting things with not only the album covers, but also with incredibly detailed inserts and posters. His stuff really resonates with me.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
That is an impossible question. I will say that I love all things vintage. I especially love old cars and motorcycles (60’s and 70’ era Harley’s make my eyes pop and my heart beat fast). I love old vans too, like the 1967 Corvair van. That thing looks like it’s cruising down the road, even when it’s sitting still.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
I love dark roast coffee and medium to dark bodied beers like Ambers and Porters. I would say the coffee drinking is a straight up addiction, but sipping on a cold beer is more of a well-rounded indulgence.

What do you drive?
I have driven many things in my day—I have owned 14 cars, three mopeds, and two motorcycles since I was 16. Currently, I drive a 2005 cargo van that I use to haul lumber and furniture. Before that I had a 1974 Ford E-100 Chateau Club Wagon. That thing was beautiful! I loved it, but it hated hauling junk and I eventually had to trade it in (it was taking too much abuse). Now when I’m not driving the cargo van, I ride my 2004 Harley Sportster 1200. Weather permitting of course.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
I think one of the cheapest most impactful DIY tips is taking old black and white photos and having Kinko’s blow them up as big as they can enlarge. The pixilation starts to really add something to the image when you go really big. And you can find very interesting subject matter and good compositions by just digging through old photos at antique stores. You could also use family photos. If you really want to spice it up, have FoundRe make a killer frame for it out of one-of-a-kind salvaged wood.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
The old cliché, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” speaks to me, along with the quote from famous fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, “If you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do—that’s the key to the whole thing.” I just think that’s brilliant; your career shouldn’t solely be about making money. Your career should have some semblance of passion behind it! We should all love what we do, even if it’s not our job. Having external interests and passions make life a much more interesting journey.

renew tall clock renew frames

To see the Renegade Craft Fair capsule collection for CB2, go here.

Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: AHeirloom

Amy Stringer-Mowat and Bill Mowat of AHeirloom
photo by: Alyssa Kirsten
Where was your favorite place to live?
We love living in Brooklyn, we have lived here for about off and on for about 14 years. Both of our business were started here so we feel that the environment is right for our creative growth.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
We love our son’s room, as we took the most time to decorate it before he was born. Bill build a lovely crib and we spend a great deal of time painting and making the room a place where our son will grow and learn.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Bill always says - “necessity is the mother of all invention” and I would agree that need and the ability to figure out how to make something is our inspiration.

What do you drive?
We drive a volvo station wagon…it is a tank in the winter! Getting from studio to manufacturing space, to pre-school pickups requires some serious planning and a good set of wheels.

What one item do you wish you owned?
I think we wished we owned a better camera with a super sweet photo booth.. but perhaps this will happen in the new year….once we learn how to make one that works..

What are your interests outside of design?
We cook, clearly we are interested in cheese and all sorts of things related to baking and food prep. It is the major inspiration for our housewares line for sure.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
One of the best designs of all time in our opinion would be the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe, it was groundbreaking in it’s use of materials, It was elegant and sleek design combined with rich natural materials. So many wonderful modern buildings have been based on it’s classical principles.

Who are you design icons?
Corbusier is Bill’s and mine would be Charles and Ray Eames, each of these architects and designers knew a great deal about proportion and scale, which is essential in design. We also feel that they were super graphic in their representations.. they were distinct in their styles and never afraid of being bold.

Form vs. function?
We don’t think you have to choose that in the current design climate.. as trained architects we would most likely argue that form follows function many. A great deal of new products are being designed with the new manufacturing techniques that minimize unnecessary parts and pieces as the design evolves. The design and function of a products are getting more integrated as the techniques for making evolve.

What is your personal decorating style?
We never have a great deal of time to think about decorating our home and for many years we didn’t have the resources to buy things for our various apartments.. so we typically had to make the furniture that was needed! We are defiantly less is more type people and are truly white walls and clean lines type of people.

What’s your favorite possession?
We love our laser cutter, as it helps us prototpye and design new things ideas as quickly as we can think them up. We love the speed of bring things to life with the laser beams.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Our biggest indulgence is hiring a team of people who help us with the daily running of our business, we have really tried to do most things by ourselves, but the time has finally come where we need more help. Hopefully, our team will learn as we grown.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Paint is pretty inexpensive and we have really concentrated on painted ceilings for our apartment .. bold geographic shapes painted on a wall can really break and define space.. especially for a 2 year old’s room!

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Sometime you have to let go of what you thought was going to work in order to really see the full potential of an idea - be flexible and try to allow for reinvention.

cork U.S.A. wall board

To see the Renegade Craft Fair capsule collection for CB2, go here.

Thursday
Feb272014

renegade handcrafted: cotton & flax

Where was your favorite place to live?
Portland (my hometown) has a wonderfully cooperative creative community, and all that rain made my days of sewing and printing feel cozy. That being said, Los Angeles has been a really interesting place to call home for the last few years. Perhaps simply because it’s such a big city, as I take the time to explore, I am constantly finding new reasons to love it here.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My tiny studio space! I screenprint every piece for Cotton & Flax in my 6’ x 10’ printing room, and while it’s certainly cramped, I am grateful to be able to wake up, have some coffee, and get right down to work… no commuting for me! I know every nook and cranny in that little room as if it were the back of my hand, and I’ve hung up artworks from friends and some of my favorite printmakers to inspire me while I work.

Erin Dollar of Cotton&Flax What are your sources of inspiration?
I gather inspiration from all over: books, the internet, museums, the things I see on my daily walks. I’m very influenced by place; I’ve noticed that my color palette has really changed since I moved to Los Angeles. I used to gravitate towards greys and blues, and now I find myself adding brighter colors to each new collection.

What do you drive?
I’ve managed to live in LA for three years without a car! Running errands can be tricky, but I get a unique perspective of LA while I walk, ride my bike, or take the Metro Gold Line around town. I really get to look around and see all the little details that make each neighborhood special.

What one item do you wish you owned?
A certain handmade coffee table has been on my wish list for almost two years now, and I’m hoping to commission the artist to make one for me someday. It will be a splurge, but I’ve had my eye on it for long enough that I know it will be a piece I treasure for many, many years.

Who are your design icons?
Marimekko - their designs never feel stale to me. I also admire Orla Kiley, her prints are instantly recognizable, and always make me smile.

plus tea towels What is your personal decorating style?
I’m always aiming to create a more thoughtful, minimalist environment, but it’s difficult for me to reduce the creative clutter in my home. There will always been sketchbooks, pens and pencils, fabric swatches, and half-finished projects dotting the apartment. The unifying style that seems to hold my place together is my unique creative chaos: there’s no mistaking my apartment for anyone else’s.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Probably a tie between overspending on new art supplies, and my penchant for a good chocolate croissant and a latte… I’d have that for breakfast every day, if I could.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Fresh flowers! I buy a bouquet every week, and divide it up into three smaller arrangements to spread around the house. They provide a nice pop of color, and make each room feel brighter.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Best career advice I’ve received: be thoughtful about what you create, and know when to ask for help. Best advice I’ve given: don’t rush when creating a new product; lasting beauty takes time to develop.

To see the Renegade Craft Fair collection for CB2, go here.

Wednesday
Feb262014

sneak peek: renegade handcrafted CB2

Renegade Craft Fair co-founder Susie Daly and Ryan, CB2 General Merchandise Manager

This season, CB2 is excited to partner on an innovative capsule collection curated by Renegade Craft Fair and celebrating the original goods of six independent makers and crafters. Each unique item is designed in the USA and available exclusively at CB2 in a limited release.

We spent a few moments with Renegade founder Susie Daly and Ryan, General Merchandise Manager, to learn more about the craft organization, the collaboration and
the collection.

First, how did Renegade get its start?
Susie:
In 2003, I began making jewelry, and thought it would be fun to join a local event where I could sell my work in a fair setting. However, I didn’t find an event that I felt was a perfect fit—those events were geared much more towards established artists, rather than DIY crafters. So, in true entrepreneurial spirit, I decided to begin my own fair that was aimed at the contemporary craftspeople I knew were emerging at that time.

Our first event in Wicker Park, Chicago had 75 artists and about 6,000 attendees. Over 11 years later, we now host 11 events in 6 cities nationally and internationally, with over 250,000 in attendance. It’s been an unbelievable experience, and something I couldn’t have imagined when we first started out!

Ryan:
The funny thing is that CB2 shares Renegade’s entrepreneurial spirit—in 2000 we opened our first store in Chicago and, thanks in part to our affiliation with Crate and Barrel, today we’re 13 stores including Canada and Singapore.

It’s been fun for us to fuel that spirit and work with these independent artists—true craftspeople we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with—had it not been for their participation in Renegade.

The collaboration feels very natural—the collection as well.
Ryan:
CB2 may seem very different, but Renegade really is close to the core of who we are. Over the years we’ve worked hard to warm-up modern with handcrafted furniture and accessories, and this collection of handcrafted goods features really special, refined pieces. This mix also reflects how most of us live—starting with machined and handmade furniture and textiles, then layering on unique finds we’ve discovered in all sorts of places.

Susie:
For Renegade, the partnership exposes these artists to a brand new audience—it makes perfect sense given where we are and where we see ourselves going. And that’s a big part of being an entrepreneur—you’re always looking for the next opportunity to grow.

With over 2500 potential artists, how did you get to the 6 featured?
Susie:
Initially, artists’ submissions are reviewed by a jury before they can exhibit in any of the fairs—so that’s how we began this collaboration, by submitting a hand-selected group to Ryan and his team.

Ryan:
From there, we basically became another jury—internally we reviewed their work and thoughtfully chose a small group of artists whose aesthetics would be the best fit for CB2.

Dare we ask if you have a favorite piece?
Ryan:
The artists were all great to work with—and while we wish all of the artists we contacted initially had made it to the final selection, in the end we’re really excited about these limited edition pieces they were able to develop exclusively, unique from their current work.

So I really don’t want to show any favoritism… but the trophy… I just think it’s hilarious—and it’s gold!—a fun, whimsical piece that makes modern approachable… and what a great gift!?

Susie:
It’s difficult to choose just one out of the bunch! Overall, I think it’s really cool that the artists made specific, exclusive works for CB2 while remaining true to their tastes and talents. All of it is very colorful and whimsical, yet sophisticated—which is what we were going for.

CB2 had the honor of not only meeting RCF founder Susie Daly last January—she welcomed us into her home for a catalog shoot. To learn more about Susie Daly, one of our favorite influencers, go here.

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