i’ve ‘known’ the lovely and multi-talented martha mcquade for years and years now, but only online. we finally had a chance to meet up last week while she was here visiting san francisco, and sat down to chat about what’s new with SCARFSHOP, her online shop. martha creates stunning bespoke scarves that are dyed by hand in small batches in Martha’s Minneapolis, Minnesota studio — which is just as inspiring as the scarves she makes (just look at all that white space!). martha uses Low impact materials and methods whenever possible, Kettle dying in small batches with water-based dyes that give fabrics a rich and mottled appearance. Because each scarf is dyed in small dye lots, a slight color variation occurs from batch to batch, which just adds to their unique beauty. the SCARFSHOP scarves are Very soft, made from a drapey knit fabric that ranges from slightly transparent to opaque which gives the scarves a textural appearance, like a cloud — Large and stretchy, they’re light, cozy and warm in winter and early spring.
martha recently revamped her scarfshop wesbite, with the help of some local friends who worked on the rebranding — Josef Harris and Liz Gardner of BODEGA; and another friend, Wing Ta, took the gorgeous photographs. i’m in love with all of it, and it’s given me the itch for a little blog makeover! Trained as an architect, which i think is visibly evident from her sense of style and working space, Martha spends most of her time making things, mixing color, taking photographs, teaching design and recording her process. you can shop martha’s new scarf collection online, and follow along with martha on instagram.
today’s unexpected guest, nathiya prathnadi is a San Francisco Bay Area designer who creates jewelry and ceramics for everyday life. she and her husband soraj live just across the bay bridge in the northern california neighborhood of Northgate in Fremont. a maker at heart, nathiya has quite a few artistic endeavors and businesses in the works — pineapple seed jewelry; Emera camera bags; and just recently has begun working in ceramics — she’s just created a brand new website, nathiya designs, selling her beautiful hand thrown ceramics and jewelry. With a background in visual merchandising and product development, Nathiya loves the challenge of creating simple, timeless objects inspired by her surroundings — the California landscape, her own garden, and the people in her everyday life. here’s a peek into her lovely living space that reflects that simple, but inspiring philosophy.
What’s your idea of a perfect day in San Francisco?
One of those warm bright days with perfect blue skies just walking around shopping, buying flowers, meeting friends, enjoying a delicious meal.
What’s the easiest way for you to find inspiration?
Being around people I respect and admire. People who support, nurture and do things. Looking around at books, magazines, the internet. Traveling. Breathing the air of a new place.
What’s your favorite feature in your home?
My south facing organic vegetable and flower front yard garden or the big window in the front room that lets in loads of light and warmth.
Who would you like to sit down to drinks or tea with?
Tea. someone who matters to me.
Do you have a guilty pleasure or indulgence?
Buying roses for the garden. We live kitty corner from the largest rose grower in the bay area — Regan Nursery in fremont.
What’s souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
Cookies and sea salt from Maui.
What is your idea of living hell?
Traveling with not a clean bathroom in sight.
• all photography by cindy loughridge.
Annie’s off today, so i’m stepping in this week for friday finds. ahhh, the Acapulco chair — i love them, and they’ve made quite comeback in recent years — perfect inside, or out. i’d love a few black ones for my new yard (whenever that happens). let’s have a look, and then y’all sit back and have a good weekend.
Top to bottom, right to left:
- the March issue of Inside Out, photograhed by Derek Swalwell.
- the voga acapulco chair in hot pink.
- viva mexico chair, as styled by elena mora + photographed by Uwe Gärtner.
- a beautiful pair of black acapulco chairs from modern findings.
- i love the very bohemian use of the acapulco chair in this room.
next week is the last week to sign up for our Ace Camp in tulum mexico! have you signed up yet? i posted all about it here, but if you missed the post, i will be teaching a learning adventure, alongside the very fabulous and genius rena tom, founder of makeshift society, market editor at anthology magazine and a consultant to independent makers, brands, and stores. rena and i will be teaching a course for developing creative partnerships for makers + brands for a 6 night/5 day workshop in tulum, mexico — may 3 – 9, 2015 — ideal for all kinds of growth — whether it be business, creative, personal brand, blog, or instagram, etc. — for more about the course itinerary and registration, visit ace camps!
1. who is this camp for? what level of expertise is this for? is this for makers only?
anyone with a small business who wants to enhance and strengthen their brand and increase their visibility to their clients and target market. this includes not only makers but e-commerce sites, event companies, bloggers, photographers, lifestyle brands, small publishers — anyone who has something to present to the world and want to learn best practices to do so.
2. what’s happening at camp?
victoria will be touching on branding and marketing:
– who you are trying to reach and how (finding the best method for each platform)
– photo editing on your smart phone and building your instagram presence
– how to monetize your presence through your platforms
– how to work with brands, negotiating fees and knowing your value
– putting together your media kit
– staying on brand — the do’s and don’ts
rena will be talking about:
– the product side of things — wholesale, linesheets,etc.
– how to present yourself to buyers versus direct sales
– how to pitch to stores
– she’ll also cover evaluating your entire brand presence with an eye on retail
rena and i will also co-teach a day that focuses on visuals and photography. we’ll review your mood boards for photography and learn how to make your images match up, and we’ll also go on a field trip — shooting in town, practicing both stores and restaurant shots and detail/product shots. we’ll then sit down and teach you how to edit your new photos. we will go over the types of shots best for retail/blogs/sharing and we will practice studio setups.
3. why are you guys doing this?
rena: I love all the variations of experience that you can have as a small business owner, and while I can be helpful to greater numbers of people with my eBook, I really love one-on-one time with makers and doers. I feel like I learn so much from others as well. And yeah — mixing working and play and sunshine sounds pretty great to me! Get out of your usual location and learn differently, it really works.
victoria: I’m doing this workshop because I get excited seeing people reach their potential, and helping them translate the ideas floating around in their imagination to their images on the page (or on Instagram, their websites etc). We’re also teaching in a pretty dreamy place — did you notice? There’s warm sun, palm trees swaying, and turquoise waves and margaritas! And chips and salsa, so they had me at ‘¡HOLA! ‘.
the hunt for my dream house continues, and i was down in los angeles last week to prove it — going to about five open houses, thankfully with my very good friend bri along for moral support. it’s so nice to have a second set of eyes when you’re house hunting, and i so appreciate her coming along for her great business savvy, design eye and general good house mojo. i’m telling you, bring a trusted friend or family when house shopping or at least share your hunt with them online. we saw a house this weekend that i would love to own and one of the things i loved about it, were its brass kitchen fixtures. they’ve been around for a little bit, yes — but i really, really love the look. i mean, we’ve been hanging with the plain old stainless steel for a while now, so if we hang on to this trend for some time to come, i’m quite alright with that. they’re elegant, but at the same time kinda funky and a little unexpected. how many times have you washed dishes over some dull, stainless steel faucets — too many nights to remember, right? anyway, i’ve been saving them to my pinboards and i thought i’d share what i think is a lovely new trend that has some classic ‘staying power’ as well. have a look.