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unexpected guests: kim ludy.
we're heading up to portland, oregon to meet one of my longtime online friends, kim ludy co-owner of vintage shop, maven collective.
i’ve’ ‘virtually’ known our guest today, kimberly ludy for many, many years now since we first met in the days of flicker, and although we’ve yet to meet in person, i feel like i know her like a friend. i like to think so — she and i feel very simpatico when it comes to how we see the world. she’s always had a great eye for design and nowadays runs maven collective, along with her business partner jacklyn arvin, an online vintage shop based out of portland, oregon where kim lives. i’ve bought so many vintage pieces from kim and jacky that i might as well just drive a pick-up truck up north and take it all off their hands. just when they’ve shipped me one purchase, i find something else i need to have — that’s just how good their finds are.
we’re going to drop in on kim’s cozy portland home, as well as maven collective, where she and jacky sell unique vintage finds, quality handmade wares, and plants. they are open on saturdays to shop the studio (and always by appointment) and for online order pick-ups (but they ship, as well!). a big heads up — kim posts her latest finds on instagram before they land at maven, so be sure and follow her and sign up for the newsletter, too. let’s just hope i haven’t shot myself in the foot for sharing their beautiful, vintage goods with you. ladies and gentlemen, meet kim ludy.
where do you live?
i live in the laurelhurst neighborhood in portland. it’s charmingly crammed with homes of all types of architecture and more trees than you can imagine would fit into a city neighborhood. we’re not far from laurelhurst park, one of the prettiest and largest in the city.
what's your favorite part of your home?
i have rented this old 1920s cottage for twelve years now, and hands down, my favorite part of the house is the large glassed-in porch off the back. it’s not heated, so we use it sparingly in the colder months, but in the warmer ones, we eat, relax and sometimes even sleep out there. it overlooks my small backyard garden, and when all the doors are opened up to the breeze in summer, there’s no place that’s better.
from when you wake up to when you lay down at night, what's a perfect day off for you look like when you're not working?
i’m not an early riser, so after a leisurely morning of having the bed to myself, i finally crawl out and grab a cup of strong and sweet milky black tea. i walk around the garden and see what’s coming up…it’s my take on morning meditation. i go for a hot soak in the outdoor cedar tub and then get dressed in my grubbiest clothes, grab my portable speaker and head out to dig in the dirt. i spend all day into the early evening there (i’m guilty of starting many projects on my days off, so i will most likely do that, and i will also finish none of them). at some point, my partner tries to convince me to go out to eat, but instead, we have happy hour on the porch, vodka tonics, chips and guac. i light a wood fire in the pit, and when it gets chilly enough, i soak some more. i go to bed way too late, sore from the yard work, and read a bit before sleep.
be at home, or what you wear — your lifestyle, how would you describe your personal style?
at home, ‘simple, comfortable, or unusual’ are the three words i try to stick to when describing anything new i bring in the door. and while i study and truly love all types of design, i think my comfort zone ends up somewhere in the realm of aging ojai art professor meets primitive new england folk style. i was a fashion major in college, but nowadays, clothing isn’t the way i choose to express myself. give me a good linen sundress and some sandals, and i won’t change for a week.
song or movie you could play over and over and not tire of?
the whole rites of passage album by the indigo girls. sometimes I’ll put it on shuffle and listen to it over and over for days.
these days a lot of small business owners, artists, and makers wear many other hats to create a life by making art and doing what they love. is that the case for you? do you dabble in other ventures to ultimately do what you love?
for over a decade now, helping to grow maven into a successful small business has been a wonderful but hyper-focused endeavor. i’m really lucky to be doing something that still feels so rewarding, but i’m also excited to spread my wings a bit in additional directions. i’ve just started a new creative studio called slow poet, which will hopefully bring my loves of art and craft, design, horticulture, and music together in some form. “early stages” as they say, but i’m excited to see it take shape. i’ll be launching soon via local (and eventually) traveling pop-ups. i’m hoping to discover and collaborate with underground and outsider artists across many mediums, and a good part will continue to be a retail aspect like maven, but i want to incorporate a real component of discovery and community involvement.
do you have some favorite artists or makers or Instagram accounts you'd like to share with us?
do you have a favorite museum or gallery?
i’m a huge art and design addict, but my favorite museums are the ones that hold plants. public and private gardens, conservatives, and greenhouses. i feel like i can never stop learning. two favorites are the san francisco botanical garden and garden in the woods in farmington, massachusetts.
do you have a favorite vintage find?
i’ve been selling vintage as a career for almost 20 years and collecting for longer than that. i’ve had a lot of really special finds, most of which i let go. but it’s the things that hold some sort of nostalgia that are my most favorite. a pressed soyer litho in my bedroom is neither rare nor overly valuable, but it reminds me of one by the same artist that hung in my parent’s bedroom when I was little. it connects me to my mother especially knowing we both chose to hang the same art in our respective homes, decades apart.
do you have any reading recommendations for us? favorite novels or books that helped you in some way?
i’m typically a big fan of historic fiction, but right now, I’m reading a novel by a favorite author, catherine newman, called we all want impossible things. i’ve only just begun but can already tell it’s going to be one that sticks with me for a long time.
what's one of your favorite cities, and what makes it a favorite for you?
i love san francisco. i’m not from the west coast originally, so the feeling i get from san francisco is one that encompasses all the wanderlust i felt while growing up in the northeast. the museums, horticulture, and access to the ocean are all really wonderful, and there’s an inexplicable mystique that surrounds the city for me. i feel like i could have been from there in another lifetime.
favorite hack (i.e. food, diy, travel tip, etc.)?
i am guilty of having a million wonderful ideas and no interest in actually making any of them happen with my own two hands. i’m a horrible diy’er.
do you have any guilty pleasures?
i buy way too many plants. not a bad hobby per se, but after you hit a certain threshold, it feels a little guilt-inducing. maybe I should say potato chips? because there’s definitely too much of that happening as well.
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• photography credits: all photos courtesy of maven collective and tabor vintage. please note: i’ve interspersed a few of the vintage collections available from maven collective throughout the post, so click on the image, and it will take you to the shop page. happy hunting!