A quick Q&A with Bay Area glass artist Jess Wainer and designer Rachel T. Robertson...
It's wedding season here at Marion & Rose! And more and more folks are coming into the shop – either to find the perfect, heirloom-quality wedding present or a card that lovingly celebrates the tying of a knot.
And you know what wedding season means… lots of anniversaries happening as well! Our jewelry cases are chalk full of unique, one-of-a-kind items by local metalsmiths that are keep-sake worthy and could be worn until you're old and grey.
Come visit us, and we'll show you what we've got for the love birds in your life!
Lisa Solomon and Candice Gold of Modify/D are two very talented local ladies with a passion for turning high-end fabric scraps (think cashmere and lush jersey cotton) into all manner of wearable and and usable things for the home. Their stuffies, pillows, dog beds, and infinity scarves are always a big hit in the shop. Be sure to drop by the shop THIS SATURDAY the 7th between the hours of 12 and 6 p.m. to meet them in person and peruse the MODIFY/D TRUNK SHOW! Lisa and Candice will be workin' the shop and have a bunch of their merch on hand, including their beloved owl stuffies. Here's a Q&A with the gals to whet your appetite:
You have such fun products. How do you come up with new ideas?
A lot of the inspiration comes from what fabric we get. We look at a swatch and say, "Oh, that will make a great pillow!," or, "That is perfect for an elephant ear, " or, "That pocket is so cute! We have to find a way to use it," or, "We can just take the hood off of that sweater and make a head/scarf thing…"
So all of your items repurpose garments that would have been discarded otherwise?
YES. We work directly with companies and get their extra yardage, damages, discards, samples, overruns, etc. It's fun because we never know what we are going to get. And we try really hard to use up what we are given with very little waste. We even keep tiny scraps to make patches, or scrap flower pins… we even save tiny scraps to use as stuffing. Most of our cashmere and sweater materials come from White + Warren in New York. Most of our knitwear and denim comes from Isda & Co. in San Francisco.
What are your favorite MODify/d products right now?
Hmmm. Always a fan of the stuffies. They are so cute and each one turns out a bit differently since they are hand-cut. Also, we're really loving our super soft infinity scarves, made from an amazing bunch of really lovely high-end jersey. Finally – our Jacquard Pillows are definitely high on the list. We got these super pretty swatches in, and it was fun to match the knit with menswear.
How did MODify/d get started?
Candice and I have been friends for quite awhile now. We're both interested in fashion (shoes in particular), design, and the environment, and Candice has a history of working in the garment industry. At some point she was working with a cashmere sweater company and showed me the boxes of stuff that were going to end up being thrown away. It seemed criminal to allow such amazing fabric to end up in the landfill… so MODify/d was born. It's great because we have really similar aesthetics. We are also driven to try and make a difference (even if it's small. You have to start somewhere, right?).
What are your arts and apparel backgrounds?
I'm a mixed media artist who moonlights as a professor and freelance graphic designer. I'm currently working on an exhibition that is exploring the number 1000 – sen in Japanese, with an installation featuring 1000 doilies in 100 colors pinned to the wall. Candice is an apparel industry executive (she owned her own company in New York) and is currently a consultant with Isda & Co. in San Francisco.
Everyone gets five minutes of fame... and it must be our time to shine, because we're featured in this month's Sunset Magazine! Over the summer, a couple of nice ladies paid us a visit to interview us and take some pics of the shop, and we've been crossing our fingers ever since that we'd appear in a forthcoming issue. Well, it happened, and here we are alongside Umamimart and Crown Nine in a feature about "retail reinvention" in Old Oakland.
Here are the nice things they had to say about Marion and Rose:
At Marion and Rose's Workshop, the filter is "well crafted, American-made, heirloom quality" gifts and accessories, says owner Kerri Lee Johnson. That translates into Faribault wool blankets (from Minnesota), Peg & Awl waxed-canvas satchels (from Philadephia), and California-made Native State line of skin-care products. "The girls behind Native State just moved to Oakland," says Johnson. "They're excited to be here."
Be sure to pick up your issue – it's on newsstands now!
We are excited that some of our vendors are nominees for the Martha Stewart American Made award!
As you know, Marion and Rose's Workshop is committed to the American Made movement and shares in the thought that change happens on the street level with small businesses supporting one other and sharing their message to customers. We feel that planting the seed and helping it grow is our job and it is our commitment.
As proponents of the movement it makes us happy to see a large company embracing these small makers. It's these steps that will help rebuild the Main Streets of small towns and Cities, restoring pride in these communities. When you can say "I helped make that" or "this is my neighbors company", it gives you a renewed desire to support your neighbor and your community. Quality, craftsmanship and knowing the maker are all important aspects of how we curate the shop, and we are so happy to be able to relay their stories to our customers.
Our friends at Modestics put together a great reference list to make it super easy to vote. Included on the list are a few of our vendors Blue Chair Fruit, Cuppow, Native State, Peg and Awl. and Peterboro Baskets (these guys have been around since the 1800's!) We've also added a few links below to more of our friends and neighbors.
Outlaw Soaps (soon to be a vendor at the shop!)
Poppy Von Frohlich - amazing jackets made in SF. Want them all.
Kate Ellen Metals- our awesome neighbor and amazing jewelry designer
Please vote for your favorites, you can vote up to 6 times within a 24 hours period.
Thank you for your support of the American Made movement and of our little shop!! We are cannot express how happy we are to be here.
Remember "We are all in this together".
-M & R