Our Mimira collection with Anthroplogie has grown to include a new coffee collection, combining nearly all of my favorite things into one beautiful product suite that's designed to make your everyday coffee routine even better! Just like the other Suite One Studio products available at Anthropologie, these items are based upon my original designs and produced overseas through Anthropologie's highly-vetted factories. I'm frequently asked about this distinction, and I think it's important to explain the difference between my commercial design line with Anthropologie and the handmade originals found exclusively here on the Suite One Studio site because they are different.
Here are a few key differences:
Our handmade originals are made here in North Carolina with high-fire (read very durable) porcelain clay that's made from scratch, also in North Carolina. We hand-form each piece, mix our glazes in house, and hand-paint every genuine gold detail. Each piece is fired three times, and Kim and I are the only two working directly on every piece!
The Anthropologie + Suite One Studio collection is made from lower fire, white stoneware, based on my design. Many of the details are hand-painted in their factories while others are fabricated decals.
I think of the Anthropologie collaboration as an opportunity to share my aesthetic with a much broader audience through Anthropologie's massive production abilities and the accompanying lower price point for these commercially manufactured products. Anthropologie is one of my favorite brands which makes partnering with them on this commercial product line a dream scenario!
Each product I design with Anthropologie is created to mix and match beautifully with the handmade originals here in the shop. This shot below shows one of the original French Press prototypes I threw on the wheel and hand-painted for the Anthropologie + Suite One Studio Mimira collection, paired with handmade originals available in the Suite One Studio shop. We ended up going with a different French Press design, but when you view the above image showing the full coffee suite, you can see how this stripe pattern and splattered details are repeated cohesively throughout the set.
Designing for Anthropologie has been such an enjoyable venture, and the entire process has really improved the way I approach my own studio work. I've learned repeatedly the importance of cohesion and editing when designing a collection of products. And I've learned about working on multiple project timelines, while not innately excelling at scheduling and planning.
Working simultaneously with Anthropologie's lead-times (6-15 months ahead) and my own studio's for our weekly restocks here on the site (this week's and next week's work, while designing the next season), has strengthened my organizational and planning skills in a way that I wasn't expecting. I've always had a realistic grasp on my organizational skills. Let's just say I've had marks on my report cards since grade school about "room for improvement" in that category, and I long ago accepted this attribute. (Decidedly, not a flaw.. but a quality that I'd eventually improve, at some point, in the vague, largely unplanned, probably disorganized future...) Well that time came, and I learned on the job.
After talking with other creatives over the years, I know I'm not alone in my organizational disinterest. As artists, it can almost seem that we're programmed to live in the ethereal, a place of ideas and beauty, free of deadlines. That's not life. Not even freelance or self-employed life if you take your work seriously-- and you should!
So what sage advice do I have to share after this new addition to my largest design partnership to date? Work intentionally. If that means slowing down, do that. If that means taking your career/job/body of work/etc more seriously and speeding up, do that. For me, that means getting on a flexible, but take-it-seriously schedule like our weekly restocks. There are still plenty of things within my work week that don't need a set schedule, and I keep them that way. But I've learned that having at least one aspect of my business running on a weekly schedule provides a continual momentum that doesn't require much brainspace day to day. Sounds simple because it is.