Rebecca Atwood launched her first line of gorgeous hand dyed and painted pillows and vintage-framed artwork last April… conveniently, right as we were moving into a new place. I was lucky to snag my favorite pillows and was amazed by the quality when they arrived (I used to source throw pillows and in general am pretty snobby about textiles!). The work evident in these items is phenomenal; Rebecca is a true artist and has created an amazing line. I’m not the only person who thinks so – her line blew up the blogosphere and is now available at retailers including Steven Alan, Garde Shop, and Furbish studio. Her second collection launched yesterday. She was kind to chat with me a few weeks ago… for more inspiration, check out her blog, The Fold!
WHAT DRIVES YOU?
I’m not team sports oriented, I’m very competitive with myself. My parents instilled that in us – you have to work hard, so you better love what you are doing.
Family and friends. My dad is a big influence, he always told me to do what you are passionate about. When I decided to major in painting (as opposed to something that seemed more commercially viable, like textile design) my dad was so excited and said – why would you do anything else?
WHAT GETS YOU THROUGH THE DAY/THROUGH THE WEEK?
My husband. He works long hours so I look forward to seeing him when he gets home.
My morning cup of coffee.
Building in creative time each week – time for making doesn’t always happen but it’s important to focus on it – it’s a good reminder as to why I’m doing what I’m doing.
WHAT ARE YOUR STYLE ESSENTIALS?
I’m not the stylish sister! [note – Becca’s referring to her older sister, blogger Grace Atwood – I think there can be more than one stylish sister in a family!] I love my basics and I like to keep things pretty simple. I’m a jeans girl. I love Emerson Fry, my Clare Vivier pouch. I do love interesting shoes. I’m not a big jewelry person – I love my delicate everyday pieces.
WHERE ARE YOU INSPIRED?
Walking around my neighborhood in Brooklyn. In the Cape where I grew up – I’m not working when I’m there so I can soak things in. A lot of the line was inspired by the Cape in the off season. Travel – particularly India. I could spend all day in the markets in India.
WHY ARE REBECCA ATWOOD DESIGNS MADE IN AMERICA?
I wanted to bring back a closeness to the production process, which definitely meant making it here. It is really important to be a part of HOW the product is being made. I’m not opposed to making a product somewhere else, but there is something about being able to go somewhere daily and see the work being done.
I always want some items to be made in house – they let me push things forward and allow for newness and surprises to happen in the process. Being involved and knowing how something is made is so important. Not all designers know how their product is made.
It’s about bringing attention to the production process. I get to choose. I never got to choose before.
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
So many people! I’m a huge fan of ceramics – Lindsay Emery of Suite One Studio in North Carolina makes my favorite dishes, Josephine Heilpern of Recreation Center in Brooklyn is doing inspiring work with glaze and patterns. I really admire the work ethic and vision of Maura Ambrose of Folk Fibers
I’m so excited about what other people are doing and the movement that is happening.
I never thought I’d have my own business. As I worked in more jobs, I realized that it was what I needed to do to be happy.
ALSO! Rebecca has been nominated for a Martha Stewart American Made award! Please be sure to vote for her – up to 6 times a day!
[images by Emily Johnston Anderson, courtesy of Rebecca Atwood]
Rebecca Atwood is a TAE A-list brand.