What a beautiful 4th of July we had this year. The fog held off and summer was going strong here in the Bay Area with bbqs, parades, fireworks, picnics… And we just love the patriotic colors everywhere so we were inspired to look back at all of our red, white, and blue designs from years past…
My family spent the 4th at our home in Colorado. Hands-down, the coolest spot to hang-out is in our treehouse. Check out the youngest member of our clan catching up on some reading.
We’ve been loving the new trend of geometric patterns in design lately. The straight cleans lines of jewelry and furniture design and the colorful shapes and patterns in housewares and fashion bring a certain level of edge and fun to any piece – including stationary pieces, party invitations, and business logos!
“Together: Kindness Unites Us”. This is the mantra behind T KUU, a California-based yoga company whose identity we designed. The founders allowed us to take their look in a modern direction, agreeing to forgo an icon and focus instead on a strong, simple font in a warm palette. The letters fill up the space on each piece of their collateral, big and bold like their message.
I love a simple centerpiece on my dining room table – flowers in a single color, a collection of rocks that my girls pick up on the beach … or plums from the tree in our garden. Paired with a pretty bowl, it turns my table into summer.
I own a dance studio in Greenwich, CT. We have 350 students, and emphasize versatile training in various dance styles. Like most small business owners I wear lots of different hats – some days I’m a designer (or try to be!), some days I’m an advisor for my students, some days I’m directing my fantastic team of 12 teachers and managers…First and foremost though, I’m a dance teacher.
When I graduated from college I had only ever had two jobs – I’d been a dance teacher and a cocktail waitress, so it was time to amp up my business skills before doing my own thing! I moved to Manhattan and took a job in the corporate world. While I lived in NYC (the world’s official Dance Capital), I went to every dance performance I could afford, took technique classes and kept an inspiration journal of what I hoped my studio would be like.
I’ve always loved interior design, and went through a phase where I would take books out of the library on architecture and décor. Someone told me once that being a designer involved a lot of math (which I’ve always been terrible at!), so that dream didn’t last long.
I can honestly say that I would like to be doing the same thing, only I hope to have found a better balance between my work life and my family life. My husband and I have three young children, two boys and a baby girl, so if I can somehow master the balancing act, I’ll be living the dream!
I’m determined, I’m empathetic and I’m an extrovert. My Dad used to call me a “social butterfly”, especially compared to my older sister who graduated at the top of her class from Princeton. My ability to build relationships with people is probably my greatest asset.
I think success probably means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me, I feel most successful when I feel that the work I’m doing makes a direct and positive impact on other people’s lives.
Failure is when you stop trying. Admittedly, I read that on someone’s Instagram feed the other day, but it makes sense!
How long can this answer be? Yes, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and used to really beat myself up about them. Now, I find that if I realize my mistakes and acknowledge the fault, it helps me to take note and move on.
Outside of my family, I’m most proud of the community that has been built at Greenwich Dance Studio, between the students, the teachers and the role that studio plays in my beloved hometown of Greenwich.
Take risks, be curious, now’s the time to explore! Whether that is through travel or work experience, realize that you have a relatively small amount of responsibility at this stage in life. Strive for simple needs, and even if on a very small scale, make philanthropic giving a part of your life.
With the incredible invention (and curse!) of the iPhone, I have to allow myself to be disconnected from work, and thus keep my phone out of my sight when I’m with my family. I try to tell myself that no matter how urgent the e-mails/texts/voice-mails may seem, that they can wait.
Right now it is a book my sister gave my kids for Christmas, called The Invisible String. It is a beautiful story of a mother telling her kids about how we are always connected to the people we love, even when we can’t see them.
Lazy days on a quiet beach, where going to dinner is the biggest event on the Itinerary.
Summer break is here and we’re ready to plan our next getaway! Belize, Hawaii, Europe, SoCal? Here are a few of the fun maps we’ve designed for invitations past…
We are embarking on some new fireplace surrounds and hearths at my house and I’m thinking of going with a herringbone tile pattern. Check out my recent inspiration boards…
There are so many gorgeous china patterns to choose from these days that narrowing down the options can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some of our favorite designs on the market right now – from the beautifully rustic to the classically ornate to the simple and modern. We hope this helps inspire your registry!
Before gluten free went mainstream, Deya Warren started mixing her own flour blends at home in search of the perfect gluten free cake, bread, and sauce flours. We had the privilege of working with her to design her very first flour package as well as some promotional pieces, business cards, and a website to support it. We wanted a rustic look – but one that still felt bold – so we combined a pencil sketch treatment with a simple red and black palette. And, trust us, these gluten free pancakes will not disappoint.
I’m going crazy over these wooden tiles from Charleston-based, Mirth Studio. Inspired by cement Moroccan tiles, they lend color and pattern to any room. I’m imagining the “Poppy” floor tile in my daughter’s room, the “Café” riser decal for my stairs, and the “Harmony” wall tile for a powder bathroom backsplash.
One of my fondest childhood memories is choosing which fun towel I get to use for a day at the beach. Beach towels have always been colorfully designed, but lately we’ve noticed a heightened interest in them by high-end brands and designers who have reimagined the bright and bold possibilities. Here are some of our favorites on the market now – just in time for Summer!
We were honored to be featured last month on Brides.com for the gorgeously understated wedding of Lauren and Alexander. The couple’s wedding day was rustic yet romantic with a clean, neutral color palette that blended in perfectly with their wine country surroundings at Beaulieu Garden. Subtle pops of classic navy blue appeared throughout the invitation suite as well as in the wedding party with their matching navy dresses and blue suits and ties. And to help guide their east coast visitors, we designed a fun envelope liner map to show them the way North.
My husband and I are always in search of the perfect after-dinner chocolate. Our newest discovery is Dandelion Chocolate (don’t you love that name?) made right in the Mission District of San Francisco. For all you health enthusiasts, who eat chocolate, the bars are dairy and gluten free. The packaging is wonderful, too. They have all the design touches we love at A Day in May: gold foil stamping, beautiful patterns, and lastly, a hand-made touch. They print the “batch” of chocolate right on each bar, and also on the back you will find the chocolatier’s handwritten initials marking their work.
The Jealous Curator is a fabulous source for the latest in contemporary art. Danielle Krysa writes and curates daily, showcasing talented artists and beautiful work from around the world. We love the idea of this – not only because the work is so fabulous, but because this is such a great example of how artists can inspire one another. Every “creative” has days (weeks, months?) where their ideas seem flat or non-existent. Danielle Krysa addresses this very issue with both her blog and just recently, a new book, “Creative Block”. Take a peek and be inspired…
Years back, we designed some promotional pieces for nature and adventurist sports photographer, Jay Goodrich. Jay’s images are spectacularly awe inspiring – so with the simple use of a bright white background and framing, his photographs just pop. See his full portfolio at jaygoodrich.com or follow him Instagram for a daily dose of “Wow”.
One of our favorite home activities has to be doing a “kiwi crate”. It arrives once a month – a little box of kid-craft-heaven that makes my girls literally bounce with excitement. I’m a sucker for the clean, bright design and I’m blown away by how terrific the actual product is. They have thought of everything: the packaging is lovely, the graphics are simple and easy to understand, each box comes with absolutely everything you need for the activity, and the projects themselves are always truly original. Plus, each kit is set up to provide many different experiences – two crafts, an idea-book for related activities, plus the box itself is designed as a useable craft.
Fork & Anchor is a small general store located in East Marion, NY, a blip of a town, on Long Island’s North Fork. In all it’s iterations, the location has been serving local customers since the mid 1800’s, providing daily essentials and serving as a meeting place for the community. We currently stock everything from eyeglass repair kits to local farm fresh eggs and produce, signature sandwiches and salads, locally made specialty products, and general daily needs. Food is our focus but we also have become a meeting place and information source for both visitors and locals. Everyday is entertaining!
Ever since our late summer days cooking farmstand feasts for friends, we knew we wanted to start something together. When we hit our thirties, the opportunity presented itself to us. Erin has worked in the food and hospitality industry for many years, and Lucy has a serious passion for cooking. We were drawn to the east end of Long Island as it was close to our home base of NYC, but a world of difference away. The positive vibes we got from the people we met on the North Fork, and the burgeoning agricultural community encouraged us to post our flag there. We loved all that the North Fork had to offer but felt that there was a void for a general store that offered tasty sandwiches and provisions as well as highlighted what other people were creating in the food/agricultural community around us.
LUCY ~ Having someone else to discuss the business with, who cares about it as much as you do and knows the business as well as you do, really helps working through decisions. Owning your own business is a lot of work and to have the capability to split responsibilities with someone you trust is very helpful and more efficient. I think that I am very lucky to have Erin as my partner because we always seem to be thinking about the same thing no matter how minute or random it may be.
ERIN ~ It is awesome to be able to work off each other’s energy to fuel the momentum of the business, and even more awesome that we see eye to eye on just about everything. There is more laughter in the workplace, which is a great, necessary thing, and our mutual respect for each other’s contrasting strengths makes our business that much stronger.
LUCY ~ Defining roles and sticking to them is a challenge. Because we are small company, we both need to know everything that is happening and the vendors that we deal with on a day to day basis. But, we also need to let each other handle the parts of the business that we know the other is stronger at. Sometimes you feel like you are in the dark about something because the other person is handling it, but you trust each other and know that it is under control.
ERIN ~ Well… when that someone else is your best friend, you have to be cautious to not let work issues bleed into your time off the clock very often.
LUCY ~ I graduated from college with a fine art degree in graphic design and photography. In my last few years in college I interned at a graphic design and photography firm that was run be three very creative people. I joined their team after college and began styling photo shoots for them. I then moved to NY and worked for fashion editors at magazines and assisted really amazing freelance stylists. While working as a stylist for a large apparel company, I one day realized I had enough of the fashion world. With the encouragement of my husband, I enrolled at French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. I took an intensive cooking course and came out with a certificate; my husband told me he never saw me happier. A few months later we opened up Fork & Anchor.
ERIN ~ What began in high school as a summer job working at restaurants morphed into my career, and there was no better city to become entrenched in the wine and hospitality industry than New York. I started my own consulting company in 2005, planning events and writing wine lists for new bars and restaurants. I had it made…what could be more fun? When I felt that I was ready to sink my teeth into a physical space of my own, and felt the urge to move out of the city, I began dreaming with Lucy about a store of our own with gourmet provisions. We were first to see the space that we are in now and went for it without looking back.
LUCY ~ I still feel pretty young but, a soccer player, a photographer, or a fashion designer. After owning the store for a few years, I now realized, as a kid most of the time was spent creating a grocery store in my house complete with checks and credit cards created on our Mac and I dreamed of having an old school credit card swiper and a conveyer belt system to put groceries on. I guess I always knew… it just took a minute to figure it out.
ERIN ~ A writer and illustrator. I spent hours at my drafting table sketching. I remember loving my writing assignments at school, and even taking a cartoon sketch class. To this day my grandfather and mother want me to write a novel…we’ll see about that.
LUCY ~ Just still enjoying life and making people happy and well fed!
ERIN ~ I’d like to have grown my family, and matured the Fork & Anchor brand. We are only into our fourth year, so there is plenty yet still to accomplish. We just launched our product line, and I’d like to see it in many markets ten years from now alongside our cookbook featuring our seasonal recipes from the North Fork!
LUCY ~ Creativity, respectfulness, and patience
ERIN ~ Determination, patience and loyalty
LUCY ~ Happiness.
ERIN ~ That point in life once you’ve nurtured your well-being, grown to like yourself, and have chosen to do the work you enjoy and be the person that makes yourself and others feel good.
LUCY ~ Not understanding and not being considerate of your environment. I think that this applies to most things. Its important to have a clear vision of what you want, but being flexible and not having an ego about it, is very important as well. Erin and I used to sit outside on the store benches, before we took over, to see who was shopping and what they were buying. We wanted a place that was clearly our vision but we also wanted everyone to shop there.
ERIN ~ Never trying. I remember the advice I was given when I decided to work for myself, was that I could always go back to working for someone else. I kept that notion close, and it made me courageous, because I knew the worst thing that could happen was that I would get a job for someone else if my entrepreneurial endeavors didn’t pan out.
LUCY ~ No. Life is a process and I believe that you learn something valuable every step of the way. I may be far from what I studied in college but all the different paths of my career have helped me make better decisions.
ERIN ~ Sure, there have been a few times that I’ve sworn I’d never do this or that again, but none that I can say were ever drastic nor devastating, and always a good learning curve.
LUCY ~ I am very proud of the trust and respect that we have earned from the community. I believe that we have created an environment where anyone can walk in, feel comfortable and, of course, eat well!
ERIN ~ Looking back, I realize that I never take the easy road with anything I do – personally or professionally…so, it makes me proud to think that somewhere inside of me there is an unconscious drive to challenge myself and push boundaries so that I can experience more of what life has to offer. And I also am proud to be a new wife and mother. The depth of what being a mother entails is incredible, and I’ve only yet cracked it!
LUCY ~ Don’t be afraid of anything.
ERIN ~ Don’t underestimate what you can learn from those before you. Ambition should be encouraged but not overvalued. It takes hard work to get to where you want to be, and if you want to aim for the stars, take the time to learn your trade by putting yourself out there, opening your own doors of opportunity, and traveling to unfamiliar places that might challenge you and your notion of things. Enjoy being single and have fun. It’s one of the most liberating and enriching periods in your life. Oh – and spend less time basking in the sun!
LUCY ~ While I live in the North Fork for 85% of the year, my husband is back in Brooklyn working and living in our home. Its of course not easy, but I like to think that because we don’t get to see each other every day, when we do, we take time for each other. Its concentrated but it feels strong and important. I try to go back home for a day or two every week, and then in summer my husband comes out every weekend. We also have loads of friends that stay during the warmer months, which is great, since I don’t get to see them all that often. We have a wonderfully peaceful place where I stay in Orient where I practice yoga, and get to take long runs with ocean views. Exercising and meditation is very helpful for me to clear and organize my mind.
ERIN ~ I make the time that I am at work really count and try to be as proactive as possible so things that need to be done don’t hang over my head. For better or for worse, I’m a multi-tasker, and when I hustle to get things done efficiently, the more I enjoy my free time and being with my family. Yoga helps a ton with staying balanced and refreshed, as does frequent swims in the water, especially during our busy summer season.
LUCY ~ I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books, which are whimsical and funny. I bought my nephews some and then they introduced me to Mo Willems. He comes from the Sesame Street crew and writes very silly books that have an understated life lesson. Warm friendships between a pig and an elephant or a duck driving a school bus, they are all great fun.
ERIN ~ The Polar Express. There is something very magical about the images in the story that have stuck in my memory until this day. Every year, my mother tirelessly transformed our home into an enchanting Christmas wonder, and I think the warmth of that feeling of Christmas as a child fueled my interest in the book.
LUCY ~ Great food, secluded beach, reading, sleeping, sunrises, sunsets, scuba diving, yoga, just my husband and me.
ERIN ~ Always love cultural immersion involving new food, language, and drink, and a day exploring a place doing some sort of activity followed by a relaxing evening meal.
It’s hard to not swoon over any wedding held at the picturesque Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel, California. But when you bring together the talented work of event planner Laurie Arons and florist Kathleen Deery, with the the gorgeous photography of Jose Villa, and add in an adorable couple dressed in black tie, it gets even better. We just love the elegant and romantic style of this wedding day and invitation suite.
I am fascinated with this Spanish company, GAN, specializing in rugs and poufs. The designs are so original and chic. With a two year old at home, I am constantly finding myself sitting on the floor playing tea party, blocks, you name it, and I’m always looking for something to lean against. My husband and I laugh that we have started collecting bean bags and poufs. If you, too, are in the market for floor lounging aids, shop no further: gan-rugs.com