We’re giving away this Hammocks & High Tea – LATTICE REVERSIBLE CLUTCH.
To enter to win, here’s what you need to do:
simply write “clutch” on our cecy j Facebook page here.
Entries will be accepted starting Thursday, August 16, 2012 until Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 11:59pm PT. One randomly selected winner will be announced on Wednesday, August 22nd.
Simple. Sunny. Timeless. Beautiful.
That is how I’d describe textile designer, founder and creative director Karen Young of Hammocks & High Tea. I don’t exactly remember how I came across Hammocks & High Tea but I continue to be impressed and intrigued by her. Karen graciously offered to answer some of my questions and I’m excited for you all to meet her.
Thank you Karen for sharing your beautiful story… such a treat to feature you.
You grew up in South America? When did you come to the United States and how did textile design become part of your story?
Yes, I was raised by my grandmother in South America and came to New York when I was 7 years old. The most outstanding difference to me, even as a child, was the difference between South America and New York in the way people lived and the colors… or rather lack thereof… in New York. I actually have a B.S. in Psychology and upon graduation took a sharp left into a career in the fashion industry. There I found my love for color, pattern, and detail again. I knew I wanted to design but, although I loved clothing, I’ve always been obsessed with the concept of home & living. I started small, designing a collection of stationery that eventually branched, almost organically, into a textile collection.
Can you walk me through the process of textile design? How does a design concept become a very chic clutch?
For my prints the beginning is generally a texture, a memory that I find evocative (most often nostalgia), or very often a pattern that I find repeated throughout multi cultures. I’ve always been fascinated by the way our food and art primarily, reflect the multiple dimensions of world culture. When I decided to launch a small line of clutches it was based on feedback from my customers who loved having the dose of pattern and color outside of their homes. Although it ended up as something chic, the clutch was actually a utilitarian concept. How could I give them something sturdy yet pretty? It took a few months of work and a lot of strange looks from my leathersmith… the bags have to be finished completely seamlessly in order to function reversibly… but finally I had a clutch that could suffer wear & tear and still be downright pretty.
I love the name of your studio. How did you come up with Hammocks & High Tea?
Thank you! I’ll never forget coming up with the name. A few years ago, I was sitting in my apartment thinking that I needed a name that would say in a nutshell what my patterns encompassed. Suddenly I jumped up and shouted “Hammocks & High Tea!!!” In South America, as with many colonized countries, the architecture is often reflective of French, British, Dutch, etc influences. The tropical influence was never far behind though because those same structures were painted the wildest blues, pinks, yellows, and greens you’ve ever seen. Cows are roaming the streets, parrots are hanging out on windowsills, and mango trees are a staple in every front yard. Although I grew up with a thorough Caribbean/South American persuasion, “high tea” and “suppers” were what we knew as well.
Tell me what you are working on right now? How did you find inspiration for this textile?
I’ve just launched the Fall 2012 collection to the trade and retail. It will be available online 9/15 but currently I’m preparing for the Fall home & gift shows. The Balustrade print (above & below) is one of my favorites. I wanted to incorporate a stripe into the collection and having always been moved by architecture, I remembered the stairs in my grandmother’s house. Because we lived below sea level, the houses were built either on stilts or with a concrete first level with living quarters upstairs. Our staircase had such beautiful details, but it was primarily used for my cousins and I to eavesdrop on the conversations of the adults from our playhouse on the first floor. We’d peep through the banisters almost to the point of getting stuck in them. So when I thought of a stripe, that memory came back and Balustrade became a print.
3 things you can’t live without
Chocolate / Good books/ Belly laughs
Most hilarious or inspiring person you follow in twitter?
My friend Chandra of @greerchicago. She happens to be poised, has great taste, and a dry wit that keeps me in stitches!
You reside in Brooklyn. Tell us where we should…
Tea Lounge. It’s one part tea and three parts entertainment.
-Meet for drinks?
Oh this is tough. Weather Up is a speakeasy in Brooklyn. You can barely find it even when you’re standing right outside, but inside you’ll find great drinks and cool vintage inspired atmosphere.
-Meet for dinner?
This is tougher… one of my favorites is The Farm on Adderley, it’s my version of comfort food. I’m also excited to try Applewood, another farm to table concept that in Brooklyn is doing so well of late.
Propsect Park is Brooklyn’s own Central Park. When I need to clear my head or be inspired, I head over here. The park opens up to these gems inside like the boathouse, the lake, and multiple trails.