Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video

Artist Profile

Artist Profile | Rebel & Quill

Artist Profile | Rebel & Quill

 Caroline Kim is not only a talented artist but also a  mother and owner of the charming and successful Toyshop, Merci Milo. She is driven and inspired by art and those around her. Her authenticity is both comforting and inspiring, and her sense of style and art is flawless.  She is such a gem. 

 

Why do you do what you do?

I have a passion for creating useful and practical objects for the home. I used to create jewelry when I first started R&Q, but as of three years ago, I shifted my perspective from fashion to more of a simple approach.

I felt no longer passionate in the world of fashion, which I rather enjoy from afar. What really motivated me was that I wanted to create meaningful objects that I can use on the daily without prejudice.

artist profile rebel & quill


Can you share little about your Background? Where does your creativity come from?

I come from a jewelry design background. I have worked for countless corporate companies and it all started when I was extremely over what I was doing for everyone else and wasn't getting that creative satisfaction. I needed a creative outlet somewhere where no opinions mattered, I had creative control and freedom to do whatever I felt connected to. All this creativity I possess comes from within- with inspiration from everyday simple things such as going to the grocery store or even just walking my dog. So much beauty all around in this world..we take advantage of it sometimes.

artist profile Rebel & Quill

Can you describe the moment or time when you knew that creating objects was what you wanted to do? How did your passion come to be?

I worked with a showroom when I was based in NYC making jewelry at the time and felt so overwhelmed with the negative energy. It felt as though I had to create jewelry that was sellable not because of just pure artistry. That's when I knew I wanted to create objects that can take the form of an art piece. Since I came from a metal background, I figured why not do what I was doing with jewelry and create home objects that we can use every day.


What’s your favorite artwork?

I love Noguchi. All his artwork.


What kind of routines or rituals do you have?

I cleanse myself every day of just other energy. I start off with a clean slate. It starts with sage, then purified reiki infused spray from paper crane apothecary. It's seriously the best stuff. I clean my home on a daily basis. Whether its the floor or the bathroom, I feel at ease knowing my home is clean..it's sort of therapeutic.



What’s your favorite thing that you created?

I really love the circle round moon hook. It's really simple yet attractive. I love that it is very functional! It holds as many as ten purses on it!

artist profile rebel & quill


What do you try to communicate through your art/ craft?

I try to communicate simplicity in design and functionality in form.  


What role, in general, do you think artists play in society? What are your thoughts on being an artist in today's world?


I think everyone is somewhat of an artist- everyone has a different way of showing their creations or a work of art. I really love all my artist friends and they really are a source of inspiration.


Is there a creative medium you would like to pursue but have not yet tried?

If I could and if I had the time I would love to create sculptures and paint again. It's so therapeutic and peaceful.


Do you have any advice on how to be more creative? OR overcoming creative blocks?

I say TRAVEL! I love traveling to different cities- different cultures- just taking that all in and coming back home very refreshed and full of inspiration. That always helps when I feel a bit stuck or uninspired!

artist profile rebel & quill


What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Live in this moment. I have yet to master this.

 

SHOP THE REBEL & QUILL COLLECTION BELOW 

Images | Profile images courtesy of Caroline Rodrigues, Shop images by Girl & the Abode. 

Continue reading

Artist Profile | Ambatalia

Artist Profile | Ambatalia

Molly de Vries is the founder and force behind Ambatalia, a textile goods company striving to help everyone live a more a non-disposable life. We are honored to support and sell her lovely textiles and to help encourage living clean and treating our homes, ourselves and our earth with kindness. Her true passions and enthusiasm for living in an eco-conscious manner are unequivocal.  She is such an inspiration in every way! 

Artsist Profile Ambatalia

Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because I want to contribute to society and our environment in a positive way, creating Ambatalia ( Amba- meaning Mother) and all that she is, is a way for me to share love, light, and nurturing into the world.

My business has turned out to be a way for me to turn my obsessive awareness and thought into creativity, share those ideas, find power in things I can control, find order and peace in myself and find deeper connections with nature, food and people that want to change the world for the better for all living things.

Artist Profile Ambatalia

 

Background? Where does your creativity come from?

I grew up in a very resourceful family, my parents raising 7 children and both very creative – Even though the marriage ended, my Mom and Dad loved to find things and fix them up, they would pick things up at the dump and flea markets, my dad would make furniture and toys and my mom sewed our clothes and soft furnishings, They both loved beautiful things-

I also had some life experiences that shifted some obsessive thinking and negativity to creativity and awareness, like all the single-use disposables people were using and not seeming to notice and how that affected our world, I turn those observations into tiny action plans and that led to a deeper desire to create. Textiles were a natural fit to creating solutions to combat the waste that comes from our daily activities to live, from shopping for our food, furnishing our home and clothing our bodies- the history of utilitarian textiles and our environment is my passion.


From the late 80's I started these small actions, whether it was cleaning the trash out of the creeks to when I owned a hair salon in the late 90’s and created a bulk section for my customers to bring their bottles back to refill. I haven't bought a plastic water bottle for years and I gave up owning a car for 10 years to challenge myself in the 90's- by walking or riding my bike everywhere. This life commitment for me has been slow and steady with lots of room for mistakes.

Artist Profile Ambatalia


Can you describe the moment or time when you knew that creating objects was what you wanted to do? How did your passion come to be?

This is a long story of intentionally changing careers, from being a hairdresser for 20 years to doing what I do today. Many things pointed me in this direction. One of the key moments was my 40th birthday that I planned to do my passion for singing in front of my friends and family,  hiring a pianist to accompany me in that performance, after a year of practicing, the event happened and I learned a life-changing lesson. In my judgment that my performance was mediocre, I realized the power of doing it anyway and it didn't matter what I thought about it.

Because of that experience I gave my self another year to find something that I truly cared about to do for a living.

That day I performed ( my 40th birthday) my mom and husband gave me my first overlock sewing machine, I was obsessed with sewing a whole line of goods made out of brown paper grocery bags- I made a messenger bag, a sun hat, wallet, and lots of other items-  the idea of  this simple bag and the varied shades of brown paper that are considered disposable is what started stirring my creativity. I collected bags from around the world-it sounds crazy but it's in the simple things like that, that really is where my joy and creativity is found. This is also translated into textiles, the love for authentic, simple and useful objects tells life stories. When I opened Ambatalia, the sustainable fabric store- my business cards were made of hand stamped, cut up recycled grocery bags. It's that way of thinking for me and that is how I come up with ideas.

I started noticing everything- How I would sit in the bathtub for hours- looking at home magazines, in the most obsessive way- and that's when I became aware of this passion for the handmade, the people that make them and the materials used.  I opened Ambatalia, the fabric store. My store had environmentally and culturally sustainable textiles from Japanese indigo to organic cotton from Sally Fox, This opened my life up to everything I do.

Burning man was a life-changing experience as well- happens to be 18 years ago that my husband and I got married there. The practice of “no spectating” a core principle of burning man changed me to participate in a way that I never quite thought about until I was knee deep in it- The idea of participating in life in this way, physically came home with me. Instantly I found my self-following through on ideas, from things like creating a build a bear birthday party for my daughter where I made bears that the kids could stuff with rags and sew up to Finnish to making party crowns and cloth appliquéd goody bags for all the kids. Those were just the beginning



What’s your favorite artwork?

I wish I could narrow it down - I would say any art! There is room for all of it-


What kind of routines or rituals do you have?

I am by nature an undisciplined human being, a mess in a lot of ways. I am a collector of things and that’s how I have been able to create my business. I create from using what I have but organizing was not my best trait,  If I would have been organized or ready- I wouldn't have even started.

I am a recovering, grateful alcoholic so discipline is very important to grow and heal, because of this mental disorder, I have found a spiritual practice necessary to find peace in my day and success in my business. It's been the most difficult challenge to give up habits that were keeping me small and changing habits that honor my gifts and bring them to the world in the most successful way. One of the things I have learned is,  it's about progress, not perfection.

I start my morning before I start to think, or even have coffee.  I get down on my knees and offer my day to a power greater than my self which happens to be “LOVE”. I ask to be of service and to give myself to the greater good, I listen to music that lifts my spirit with hope and positivity and I chime my Tibetan bowl- to remind myself to be in the present and throughout the day I connect with other alcoholics to offer support or ask for support in keeping in the right direction. I also work the 12 steps with my sponsor.


What’s your favorite thing that you created?

I create only what I love and find useful, so even if it's not a great seller, I still keep it going. I do love the utensil rolls.

abatalia utensil roll


What do you try to communicate through your art?

To question everything- keep things simple and to be of service to all living things-

The power in the tiny choices and actions, we can make every day.

Slowing down, do what you love no matter what.

Do I want to contribute to something that is healthy for the whole planet or a quick fix for just myself? How does this action affect something else?


What role, in general, do you think artists play in society? What are your thoughts on being an artist in today's world?

Freedom of expressing our human experience.

I think that art is essential to life and freedom of expression is as important as food and water.

For me, It’s a collaboration in moving forward as human beings - without seeing, feeling and respecting all of the realms of being human from anyone's point of view would be a very dark existence.


Is there a creative medium you would like to pursue but have not yet tried?

There are so many things I want to do-

I want to weave, draw, play guitar and sing, to name a few.


Do you have any advice on how to be more creative? OR overcoming creative blocks?

Listen to your heart and what brings you joy and just do it, start it.

When I’m stuck which often is several times a day, I stop what I’m doing and take another kind of action even if it's doing the dishes or sweeping my porch, or hanging laundry on the line, this usually will change my thoughts and then I can get back into it. Making a decision to trust the process and do what intuitively feels good, but sometimes that involves feeling down and just being with it too.


What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

You are worthy, do the next right thing.

 

To learn more about how you can live a more non-disposable life and are in the Northern California area,  Molly has partnered with Good Earth Natural Foods in Mill Valley to offer workshops, teaching us techniques to live a life free from unnecessary waste. 

 

Shop our line of Ambatalia 

 

Continue reading

Artist Profile | Territory Design

Artist Profile | Territory Design

 We would like to introduce you to such a lovely lady, Rebecca Crall of Territory Design. Rebecca has taken her experience working in international development, combined it with her strong family background of the arts and travel to create the most beautiful, thoughtful line of textiles, and home goods. All the while, making sure doing so will be supporting families in regions of Mexico, Thailand, and Morocco. We hope you enjoy reading about her passions and what drives her, and that it inspires you to think about how your purchasing can make a difference for good in someone's life. 

Artist Profile | Territory Design

Can you share a little about your Background?

For the last 15 years, I’ve been working in the not-for-profit sector in various aspects of international development, education and peacebuilding programs. Through this work, I have been able to meet and collaborate with artisan groups in Mexico, Thailand, and Morocco. It has been an incredible opportunity to bridge my international work with my passion for design and the human process behind craft. I love discovering the ways design and innovation can intersect with doing good in the world.

Almost two years ago, my husband and I (along with our 6-month-old son) decided to move about an hour outside of Chicago to a beach area on Lake Michigan. The idea was to take a break from the city and renovate an old barn-style house we call El Granero. Two years later the house is done and we welcomed a baby girl into the world in February. Life is (very!) full.

Why do you do what you do?

I believe that business can be a force for good in the world and I want to be a part of that! Whether it is empowering artisans to expand their reach or promoting social inclusion through collaboration, the platform of commerce is powerful. Coupling that core belief with a love of good design makes this business a real passion project for me.

 Artist Profile | Territory Design

Where does your creativity and passion for design come from?  

My family is full of artists and travelers. My parents lived in Northern Africa and SE Asia for 6 years in the 1970s. I grew up looking at photos of their travels all over the world. Those images, coupled with a house full of fine art from my aunts, uncles and grandparents created a strong connection to travel and design. They both feel like part of my DNA.  

Can you describe the moment or time when you knew that working with these developing regions / bringing exposure to their craft was your calling?

I’m not sure it was one moment but more like a building of moments that led me to where I am.  I have been working in international development for a long time and I love it. But after years of policy work, I knew I had to engage my creative side. So this work grew naturally out of that experience working internationally and a desire to something different and create products with meaning and function.

Please share why it is so important to be intentional and ethical with how we spend our money.

There is a strong relationship between how we consume, what we surround ourselves with and our wellbeing. People know this instinctively but are often overwhelmed by so many choices. Applying mindfulness to our consumption, and what we bring into our life, impacts everything! When I am mindful, my whole outlook on life shifts.  It’s been really encouraging to see more influencing voices talk about the power of less. While we still have a way to go to shift our national consumption habits, the tides seem to be shifting.

Do you have any advice on how to be more intentional about how we decorate our homes?

Lots of people say,  “Only bring in what you love. You’ll always find a place for it.” I think is true to some degree. Although, I have bought some things that I loved that are now sitting in my garage or at a second-hand store.

My advice now is to sit with your space and go with your gut. I do think less is more. Buy pieces that stand out and create a space that shows them well.  

Artist Profile | Territory Design

Artist Profile | Territory Design

 Artist Profile | Territory Design

What role, in general, do you think artists/craftsman play in society? What are your thoughts on being an artist in today's world?

If we are talking about American society, I think it’s an interesting question. On one hand, we have incredible artistic and handmade traditions in this country. But on the other hand, we have seen decades of decline in the production of handmade goods in favor of cheaper, more disposable items.

Over the last 15 years, the tide seems to be shifting back which is inspiring.  More people are interested in pursuing craft and art as a career and technology have created tremendous opportunities for people to do that. But I still think it is hard to make a living in the handmade world. All of the downward pressure on pricing has made people become accustomed to paying very little for home and personal goods. It’s improving but I would love to see art and craft get out of the luxury market and into something more accessible to everyone.

Artist Profile | Territory Design

 Artist Profile | Territory Design

What’s your favorite artwork? Why?

My favorite pieces of artwork are the watercolors and sketches that come from various family members. That is pretty much all I have in my house. Since I work with textiles, I also love both textile art and textiles as art.  Both my grandparents and aunt and uncle were artists. And my father was an incredible photographer so I have a lot of family art hanging on my walls. And textiles of course.

 What kind of daily routines or rituals do you have?

I have a two-year-old son and a six-month-old daughter so routines are hard to come by these days. In an ideal world, a morning routine would include a strong cup of coffee, time with my kids and then a nice 20-30 min yoga or meditation session before I start work. Routine and ritual are so important for creativity and productivity. Right now I prioritize a strong routine for my kids since it’s also so healthy for them. But having a good routine for them also helps me as well!

 What’s your favorite thing that you created?

I love designing rugs with our partners in both Morocco and Mexico. Giving them my vision and them having them provide their own unique take on it is super fun. I am also starting a clothing line which I hope to launch next year. That has been super exciting, different and fun!

 What do you try to communicate through your art/ craft?

I am trying to take the quality and essence of handmade products and translate that into something that is modern and practical. A well-made piece becomes a part of you in a way that something that is mass produced just can’t compare.

 Is there a creative medium you would like to pursue but have not yet tried?

Clothing! Stay tuned.


What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Just keep going.

And try not to look at others too much. It’s great to get inspired but focus on your own work.

 

SHOP OUR LINE OF TERRITORY DESIGN 

Artist Profile | Territory Design

 

Continue reading