Mike's Hot Honey is well known throughout the NYC area and now it's making a splash here on the West Coast. We are excited to sell it in the shop and wanted to share one of our favorite recipes from The Mike's Website. Enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I tend to be a very active person, always on the go. I own a small coffee shop/ retail space in the Mission District (Faye’s Coffee & Video) and help raise an 11 year old with my complicated Bay Area "family”. As if those things don't take up enough of my time, I try to have a steady studio practice where I've been exploring the ideas of domesticity.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the complexity and simplicity of relationships, whether it is examining my own personal human relationships of the past and present, or the way that if you put an orange next to an apple the reflective color effects both of their coloring. I see myself as very observant and I am constantly taking in things around me and being effected by them. Often this overwhelms me a bit and so you'll find me zoning out or scrolling madly through my instagram feed that is also another source of inspiration. I love being able to see what my artist friends are up to on the east coast or building relationships through imagery with people I've never met.
Do you have any rituals when you are in the studio?
When I am in my studio I am often listening to music and drinking coffee. I frequently have more then one project going at a time and I bounce around between them. I have 3 other studio mates and we often have lunch together and check in with each other on the progress of our work. I also am very messy, but I know exactly where everything is in my mess.
Do you listen to podcasts or music when working? What are your fav songs/playlists or podcasts right now?
I do not listen to podcasts or books on tapes in my studio, or ever really. I honestly have a hard time comprehending when someone reads aloud to me. But I do listen to a lot of music, even though I consider myself musically challenged. What I mean by that is that I never know really what I am listening too. I'll let Pandora or Spotify randomly choose things or I'll listen to mixes that my brother has made me. I am drawn to music that have good lyrics… i like the words. A few of my favorites that I'll use as a jumping off point are Monsters of Men, Frightened Rabbit, Mates of State and The Avett Brothers.
Do you have any advice for other artists?
My advice to other artists is just keep making work in your own voice. The art world is so crazy and I don't think there are any rules so don't try to make sense of it. Things happen when they happen. I was with a pretty substantial Bay Area Gallery for years, and after they closed I've joust been sort of drifting around. It would be great to at some point have the stability of a gallery (in LA hopefully) but until then I'll just keep making work.
What are your 3 favorite instagram accounts right now?
Three instagram accounts that I love… that's hard because there are so many… but I really love Dailydoodlegram, knitboy1, and lindsayvictorialee. I also follow some crazy taxidermists that I love seeing as well.
Michael McConnell can be found on Instagram @poopingrabbit
and online at poopingrabbit.com
My dream is to travel the country visiting the people who are making the wonderful products sold at M+R, taking pics, talking shop, and really get to know each person. So I was so excited when I recently had a chance to visit the lovely Samantha Thompson and Andrew King the team who make up Standard Wax. From their studio in Arizona, Standard Wax creates fragrant soy candles from scratch along with the re-usable ceramic vessels to hold them.
Tell us a little about Standard Wax & what you do.
Standard Wax is on a mission to bring art into the everyday. We focus on designing products that combine form and function. We believe that everything you put in your home should be beautiful and inspired.
When did you get started? When did you make the transition to doing Standard Wax full time?
Standard Wax started in 2011 (nearly as an accident). We rode the ups an downs of running a business on the side for a while, which was good for us as we refined our brand and how we wanted it to grow. Sam quit her day job in 2014 and Andrew followed suit shortly after. It’s amazing how much growth we’ve seen since then. Having the time to dedicate to your business without being distracted by a day job is really an incredible thing.
Tell us what a normal day is like.
I’m actually happy to say that a “normal day” is becoming something we are able to experience! Waking up and heading to the studio early (we are both morning people) to make sure everything is in order for the day’s production, and then letting our team take over - getting their hands dirty pouring, packaging and shipping candles. It’s nice to have perfected our process to a point where it’s possible to have some help with the production! It leaves a lot of time for us to dream up new products and projects and gather inspiration.
What inspires you?
Ha, I didn’t even see this questions before I wrapped up the previous one. How’s that for a transition? We’re both super inspired by nature, in a number of different ways. It reminds us that the world is so much bigger than the little candle kingdom we live in. We love what we do, and running a business is great - but the inspiration for everything we do comes from travel and adventures. We’re constantly planing our next trip or spontaneous adventure (whether it’s an exotic country across the world or the new mexican restaurant down the street). Being outside never ceases to create a ridiculous sense of wonder about so many things.
What is your favorite part about being a small business owner? What part gives you shivers to think about?
The best thing, and the thing we are always striving for, is the ability to create our own path. If something isn’t working, or we don’t like it, we just change it. We fix it, we make it better and we move on. I love how quickly things can move and grow, and how fast ideas can be brought to live. There is something so satisfying about being about to create your own happiness. Things that give us shivers: accounting (are we going to get audited? We definitely didn’t do that right.), cubicles, florescent lights, and any other indication that we have become a company that’s forgotten it’s story and inspiration.
Any words of wisdom for budding entrepreneurs?
If you’re serious about what you’re doing and you truly want to make it happen, just make it happen! It sounds cliche, but if you put in the time, things will grow. Also don’t sacrifice your happiness or your values for anything. It’s never worth it in the end.
Who is that adorable dog?
That’s Lu! Andrew’s perfect precious angel. She’s a pug chihuahua mix and is one of many dogs that frequents our studio!
You have such a beautiful Instagram feed, (that I geek out on all the time) @standardwax, Who are your five favorite Instagram accounts right now?
Big Thanks to Samantha for letting my niece make her own candle. As a tween candle fanatic, she was in heaven!
Want a candle? SHOP NOW
Instagram images courtesy of Standard Wax
A deliciously delightful Q & A with the founder of Prickly Pig BBQ Sauce
A Brainstorm love story..