News and Press

Toast The Unique Space's Uber-Inspiring New Digs Tomorrow

11/21/2013
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After five months of knocking shit down, painting things up, and generallykicking ass and taking names, Sonja Rasula & Co.'s inspiration-inducingUnique Space in Downtown is now (almost) open for business. Officially launching December 2nd, the 18,000-square-foot workplace and event space is set to welcome creative movers, stylish shakers and entrepreneurial makers for what's expected to be one seriously cool community of LA's top talents.

In addition to providing brain juice-building perks like meet-and-greet mixers, workshop discounts and monthly field trip adventures, the collaborative environment also offers high-speed wi-fi, communal kitchen and dining areas, a design library and lounge, and a rooftop terrace with killer downtown views. (How's that for the ultimate office space?)

To toast their soon-to-open digs, the Unique Space is throwing a massive, not-to-be-missed bash tomorrow (you know how they do).

Tomorrow from 8pm to midnight, enjoy plenty of "all-around craziness" (in Rasula's own words) with delish drinks by Art in the Age, sweet treats from The Pie Hole and Coolhaus, snaps by the photogs at Smilebooth, and of course, plenty of dancing and good vibes all around.

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Gift Guide: The home cook

11/21/2013
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Bolle Design cutting board | A good knife is a necessity. A great cutting board to put under it feels like an out-of-control luxury. Bolle boards, crafted in Kensington from reclaimed wood, are pretty enough to soften the blow of even the most miserable recipe failures. $175, Art in the Age, 116 N. Third St., 215-922-2600, artintheage.com.

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[SHOW RECAP] WEST COAST CRAFT

11/19/2013
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this weekend, I headed over to Fort Mason to check out a new show*, West Coast Craft.  I planned to spend just a couple of hours, and ended up staying almost half of the day. between discovering new products, spending time meeting the artists, and learning about their craft and processes, time really flew by- I even forgot that I was standing on a broken toe!  the most enjoyment came from engaging with the vendors- I heard such a range of inspiring, meaningful personal stories, and I loved seeing how these moments and inspirations translated into each maker’s work.

what was great about this show was the focus- this wasn’t your mom’s craft fair, and it wasn’t a sprawling trade show.  generally at shows this size- a very small amount of vendor booths have product that is of the quality, aesthetic, and presentation that i am looking for as a buyer**.  West Coast Craft was the opposite experience- I found something interesting at almost every stop.  the vibe of the show was not about consumption, but more so, about discovery- it felt laid-back, informed, progressive, and well-intentioned.

there was a tight edit on the vendor group, all with similar (higher-end) price points, and the mix of shoppers represented this-  younger, stylishly bohemian, interested in supporting the handmade community, and with the appearance of money to spend. I overheard many great, informed conversations between shoppers and makers, got some new fashion ideas while people watching, and yes, dodged quite a few strollers.

a few of the underlying themes that caught my eye- natural dye, hand-weaving, simple pottery with weight to it, leather, materials in their natural (unfinished/treated) state, wall hangings, brass (still), clean lines, and the color white. there was not a piece of reclaimed wood or bird motif in the place, and that felt great and forward to me.

the show did seem Los-Angeles heavy. there is a very specific aesthetic and set of materials that is fully embraced by that artist community which was well represented at West Coast Craft- hand-built pottery, macrame, fiber art, as examples.  The Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest were under-represented, and as I was walking through, I thought of a few vendors that I would have loved to see at this show for balance.

there were a lot of things that caught my eye at West Coast Craft- I’ve pictured just a few here, and linked the rest.  (it is nearly impossible to take blog-appropriate photos at a show like this, and most of mine didn’t meet my standard-  if the standard black curtain-backdrops were all replaced with unbleached canvas- different story!)

as a first show, i thought this was well done at all steps- thanks to the West Coast Craft team for a great event!

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Ambatalia- Molly was way ahead of the curve with her line of kitchenwares designed in support of a non-disposable life.  I thought her linen quality was great, and particularly admired an unbleached, organic cotton gauze scarf.  She also taught me a new trick- I can now turn a simple square scarf into a market bag with just a few knots!

A Little Weather- Jessica’s story is so amazing! She’s just moved from Oregon to a farm in North Carolina, where she is taking early steps towards raising sheep that will provide wool for her incredible hand-spun, hand-woven blankets. I will definitely be taking her up on her offer to visit next time I’m out there.

Rachel Duvall- Rachel’s booth was bright, airy, and colorful- I loved how she’d displayed her weavings, and in particular, the amazing lightweight linen piece she had.  She is beginning to work more with natural dyes, and some of the colors she was able to get were really incredible.

Agnes Baddoo- you may have spotted Agnes’s beautiful leather bags on Tomboy Style.  In person, they are just as gorgeous, as is Agnes herself.  She offers the bag in a few leather options, all American-sourced.  My favorite was the canvas + natural.

Jess Feury- another purchase I regret not making- I loved Jess’s free-form weaving, and particularly her pillows.  She had a beautiful eye for color, fiber, and balance. View some images of her work and beautiful Oakland home here.

Alice Tacheny- I first saw Alice’s work earlier this fall, and had the chance at WCC to spend a good amount of time talking with her.  She works primarily in brass and wood, but had a new furniture piece integrating leather that was my favorite of the show.

Brendon Farrell- this was my favorite booth design of the show, it functioned more like an impeccably designed mini-shop.  Brendon is actually an architect, and his attention to detail and craft was evident in the quality of his leather and wood work.

Homestead Apothecary- this Oakland shop has been on my list to visit, and after seeing a small selection of their wares at WCC, I definitely need to make a trip across the bay.  I purchased some delicious elderflower honey and a handmade guide to herbal remedies.

Mt. Washington Pottery- I’ve seen Beth’s work popping up recently on the internet, and it was beautiful to see – all white, simple shapes that fit perfectly in the hand.  Her lamps were incredible and I keep dreaming of them in my living room.

TW Workshop- I caught up with Tracy briefly, which was lovely- her work has developed  so much since I first visited her in her home studio a couple of years ago, and I loved her new glaze colors and techniques.  I’m really regretting not buying one of her baixa vessels for my mantel!

Taylor Stitch- we all know I am a fan, and it was great to meet these guys in person.  turns out one of their founders is also from Philly! small world.  among other things, they were really excited about this shirt in collaboration with friends Art in the Age, one of my favorite shops near my old house.

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*as a buying consultant, one of the services I offer is show coverage.  if you are a retail/ecommerce store and would like to know more about my show services and artisan vendor network- please contact me through my website.

**if you are an artist/maker and want to know more about how to better gain the interest of major retail buyers at shows- I can help! please contact me through my website.


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Philadelphia, day # 1

11/19/2013
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As often happens when I get to travel, I do not really know where to start! I will choose my favorite solution, the chronological narrative, which gives me the impression that you take some with me :)

To reposition a little background, so I had the chance to discover Philadelphia  ( City of Brotherly Love ) for 3 days alongside Charles-Antoine , Delphine , Joëlle and our accompanist nice Tania - a short but intense stay which allowed us to take the pulse of the city, between culture, gastronomy, street art and shopping.

Philadelphia has a rich history: it was founded in 1682 by William Penn, who wanted to make a human city, tolerant . While the land had been sold, he still bought the Indians to maintain peaceful relations with them. He abolished the death penalty in the state, and established freedom of worship. The city was also one of the first anti-slavery centers in the country, she was born the U.S. Constitution, and it was even for a time the capital of the United States.

Unfortunately, our plane took off with a lot of late hours (7 or 8), after a random check revealed that firstly the lack of documents required on board and a small engine problem (hopefully) . But all's well that ends well, since we arrived safely at destination! We just replaced the planned dinner at a restaurant on the 37th floor of a building with a burger in a diner just across from the hotel, Little Pete's . A typical American place, perfect to plunge us into the mood!


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Holidays in a glass: Cocktails include winter herbs, spices

11/18/2013
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Wondering what to serve to friends this season?

We talked with three bartenders at places known for their cocktails to find some drinks that are perfect for knocking off the winter chill. These recipes, reminiscent of the holiday spirit, with hints of vanilla, winter herbs and spices, have a bite to them to add a surprise to the menu.

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Happy Weekend!

11/15/2013
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Happy Weekend! [Now go eat some chocolate].

Tonight begins the first of many holiday parties that I will be attending this holiday season. Some parties are for work and others are for play, but I’m looking forward to all of them. Also, I don’t mind picking up a few extra things to play dress up with due to my planner becoming booked up for the rest of the year! The rest of the weekend I’m going to spend planning a few trips coming up in the next few weeks and finalizing some holiday gift guide lists. If you are staying in Philadelphia tonight, I would suggest going to…

Mast Brother’s Chocolate Book Signing at Art in the Age! I LOVE Mast Brother’s Chocolate especially the anchor wrapping paper of the chocolate bar above. The sea salt chocolate is my favorite and I highly recommend it! Not only do you have the chance to try some of their delicious desserts, but the Mast Brothers’ will be there to share their unique story and recipes from Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook.

SALES:

Kiehl’s Cash is back. Spend $65+ on Kiehl’s products and get $20 off your purchase. (PS –Midnight Recovery Concrete, thank you for being you<3)

LOFT is having a Friends & Family Sale! Shop their new winter collection and take 40% off your entire purchase. I want |this| |this| and |this|

J. Crew is having 40% off their Sale Merchandise, Online Code is STYLETIME [woo hoo!]

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