When Jess Griffith, owner and designer of Pine & Boon, approached us about a giveaway on our blog, we couldn't say yes fast enough! Just our style--minimalist and modern yet completely functional--Pine & Boon is a great pick for gifts (or a little something for yourself).
This week, Jess will be giving away one of her most popular items: the Easy Circle Tote (a $56 value, pictured below) to one lucky reader. Leave your name, email address and comments to be randomly selected as the winner on Monday, August 5th. We loved getting a chance to ask Jess a few questions while she was around as well! Note: This giveaway is now closed to entrants.
When did you launch Pine & Boon? What was your inspiration for starting the company?
I launched the website and blog of Pine & Boon in May of 2013. However, I worked on my designs, concept, and branding for a solid year before that.
I had a great career in the contemporary art gallery world and while I loved my job, I lost my motivation to create in my own studio. Which meant, I was not getting much fulfillment out of managing other peoples passions. I also knew I did not want to just make 'art' in the traditional sense, even though I studied art in college. I wanted to create more utilitarian objects or clothing. So I started dabbling around with leather and happened to find myself a deal on an antique industrial sewing machine. Once I purchased, I dived in head first to this whole business thing. Friends have always loved my style and eye for fashion and art. I felt like I could capitalize on that somehow, while still staying true to myself. I believe surrounding yourself with lovingly made items and artwork is a happy investment.
Tell us a bit about the product you will be giving away.
I do have to say my favorite item to make is the Easy Circle Dot Tote--which is why I included it in this giveaway. I love painting the fabric and seeing how each one turns out. It is also the first bag I made for my line.
What is your favorite item? What is your best seller?
I love the new Ultramarine Suede Dot Tote. I started punching dots into my leather to create a polka dot pattern. The bright blue is such a fun and easy way to brighten up a simple outfit. I tend to have less and less time to think about styling an outfit or even brushing my hair. Grabbing a statement accessory these days is my go to way to look put together. A color like this just makes you happy looking at it! My best seller is the Dot Card Pouch. Sometimes wallets are just too complicated. This is a zipper card pouch for those who enjoy simplicity when they reach for their wallet.
Image courtesy Moorea Seal via Pine & Boon
Do you have any favorite designers that inspire you? Role models?
My aunt Suzy has always inspired and encouraged me to sell my creations. She has been knitting her sweater and hat designs for ages and selling them at craft fairs in Seattle. She works SO hard to make a living. She also knows how to step back and slow down if she does not like where things are going. She used to sell wholesale to high-end boutiques and attend trade shows. But then she realized they way she was doing business was consuming her family life. Thus, she went back to selling at solely at craft fairs. Now, her best customers are those that do not have a lot of money, but want to put their money towards something local and handmade. I really admire her ability to stick to her guns, no matter how difficult it can be financially and emotionally.
My husband and I were traveling in Europe for our honeymoon this summer, and I fell in love with Simon Hantaï. Centre Pompidou had an amazing retrospective. At first I did not love his early work, but as I walked through the exhibition I really fell in love his process.
Do you have any new projects in the works? Long term goals?
Yes! Right now I am creating more hand-painted fabric designs for table linens and totes. Long term, I would love to eventually work with my husband to create a line of printed fabrics. He is a painter and I want to use elements of his paintings in our fabric designs that can be used to make linens, pillows, and canvas totes.
What do you do when you're not working on Pine & Boon?
I am probably working on another DIY project. I have made shampoo, soap, leather polish, and lots more. I also have another part-time job as an administrator. Which is great because I get to be around people. While I love working from home, it can feel a little lonely sometimes.
If you could catch a glimpse of any celebrity in a magazine with one of your designs, who would it be?
Diane Keaton! I think she would go for the Leather & Copper Tote. Annie Hall would go for the Dot Card Pouch don't you think? (Editor's note: Yes! Definitely!)
Thank you, Jess from Pine & Boon!
Images courtesy Pine & Boon