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Filtering by Tag: design

Flower Power: Toby Kassoy + Lilla Bello

Ben Ashby

Recently, we made a trip out west to the golden coast with the sun shining and the windows down. We asked that along the way makers reach out to us to meet and shoot what it is that they do. Each and every business was unique, but when Toby of Lilla Bello reached out and asked us to shoot her floral design studio we knew we had to go. Making our way past the superbloom of poppies in California we traveled to Lilla Bello to meet Toby, who has been following us for years. We were lucky enough to stop in and shoot her creating in her space while getting to know her better. Meet Toby Kassoy of Lilla Bello, a bespoke floral design studio in Los Angeles, and watch as she pulls together several beautiful arrangements in her lifestyle shop and studio.

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Lonesome Pine Mercantile

Ben Ashby

On our recent road trip through the south we went to visit our good friend Samuel Melton at his store Lonesome Pine Mercantile. Nestled in the town square of a small East Texas town Lonesome Pine is a majestic and serine look into vintage design. Samuel is creating not only a place to get local goods but a style that could change a small town into a mecca for the design world. We asked him some personal questions about not only his store but life in general.

Why your small town in Texas?

Well I grew up here, I went to school down the street, I danced at the pickin palace on Saturdays on blues night. However I grew up saying I would never come back to this town. I think I have a essay somewhere from middle school stating I was going to live far far far away from Hemphill. However being far far away for years I missed it. I came back for a visit and couldn't believe what my town was becoming , slowly it was becoming a ghost town. The square that I once spent most afternoons became empty and by passed by new faster highways. So being at the right place in my life I declared that somewhere on this square had to be my store. So I set on my new badge of the "urban exodus". It's also a part of my story my town is a huge pet of who I am so it's only appropriate to open up in this old East Tx town that has its quirky stories.

Starting with a physical store first, was that hard?

The hardest part was finding the location we had few options and each became a challenge. I think we went through the 3 months with 5 different location options. I think in a small town a physical location is smarter rather then online. Most people in this town still don't operate computers. This being ok because we wanted the town fellowship most of all before a online presence. On a the same topic the other hardest part of a physical location is people don't understand why a non married 26 year old man would come and open store so it's mainly breaking down that wall of questions and expectations that seems to be the hardest.


What products can we expect online?

Online will be treated as invite to East Texas more than anything. We will sell our local made goods from our friends/southern makers as well vintage textiles. This includes rugs, pillows, blankets and throws. I'm obsessed with the fact that textiles can change a home with a few here and a rug there. So I want to spread my idea of textile living. We will have furniture available however it'll be local pick up , but we actually haven't had a issue with that. People are so supportive that they want to explore Hemphill and East Texas so they are willing to come to the shop and grab their new pieces. I'm also excited to say there will be a blog on the site . We offer styling and home collaborations so we will be able to show our adventures and talk about the rural life more. 

Who inspires your style?

That's a big question. I tend to experiment a lot with style but always circle back to a vintage mix. I guess in stylist or designer I would say Emily Henderson because she really understands that life calls for lives in styles or style that can ware well in better terms. I do have to say my parents are hugely inspirational with encouraging me while younger to explore styles and history of pieces which made me come up with what my style early on. My parents are afraid to put the odd in their home and layer colors which shows up in my styling of homes usually. I share a love for Folk pieces and those odd pieces in the home much like my parents. In places that I draw inspirations from it would be the old old farm homes around my town you walk in and see the simple details that I go crazy for. From the cheap whitewash they used to the slim pine floors; the colors age well and look so amazing whether you add that new West Elm sofa or the found old worn leather chair. 

Did working at West Elm give you an advantage on competition in the area?

Working for WE I would say gave me a advantage but gave me a vision on what potential I see for a home can be. This area is so under served that anything new can be that thing that inspires other to branch out and start thinking design. 

What areas do you want to grow your business (i.e. design, products, etc)?

That changes everyday as of today I would say I would want to be able to bring the shop on the road. I know for sure to help and style homes is our goal. Recently we have become buyers for local designers where they are coming for the unique. I do want our local maker presence to also grow with hopefully collaborating ( being able to collab is a complement like none other to me) . We have such great talent in this small county of mine that it's a shame to not have it showcases in a better setting rather then on the side of the road.  So for our evolution as a store I think it's to style more and find more makers that deserve a chance to be showcased.

Where do you see yourself and your business in the coming years?

Well for Lonesome Pine I just want to become a presence. This meaning for people to see that we are here and we have something special in East Texas. Also I just want the store to survive the first year can be a hard one with learning how your store will work and drawing in customers it can be scary. I do want my business to become that inspiration to others to invest in small town Texas (maybe East Texas) and rally around them as a friend. To see the empty next to me be filled with a coffee bar, eatery, and etc would be my idea of growth.

At Home with Miss Molly Vintage

Ben Ashby

Emily Riddle LOVES vintage. 


Together with her mother, Missy Schmidt, this young entrepreneur has made vintage clothing and housewares her business. Their company, Miss Molly Vintage, named after their beloved family dog, features vintage apparel and housewares, which they sell at a booth in a local store. Gina sat down with Emily to learn more about the art of vintage...and to peek inside Emily's home.

Her interest in vintage has been going strong for nearly two decades. Emily fondly recalls going to garage sales with her mother from the young age of a kindergartener and becoming completely hooked. She grew up going to thrift stores and antique stores, which really gave her an appreciation for vintage items. 

According to Emily, the best places to find vintage are Estate Sales. These are the best place to find good deals for vintage clothes, accessories, home accessories, and furniture. She also recommends thrift stores, because they are cheaper than actual vintage stores. 

You can find vintage items at garage sales, Goodwills, thrift stores, actual vintage stores, antique malls, antique shops, peddler’s malls. Etsy, and Ebay.

Keep some important things in mind when buying vintage. Emily suggests checking the item very thoroughly for holes or stains. They can be difficult to see while in the store, but often are more visible once you get the item home. Also, always try on the item. Even if they are marked with the size, vintage sizes tend to be MUCH smaller than modern day sizes, so always go the measurements and fit, rather than sizing. Finally, research prices for the item to keep from overpaying. Sometimes you can get a very similar item for a much better price if you do some price comparisons. Don’t let the excitement of an amazing vintage find cause you to forget these essential tips…this will prevent you from major shopper’s remorse later! 

Emily’s favorite vintage find is, surprisingly, not her stunning lace wedding dress, but, rather, a kitchen appliance. She proudly tells the story of her refrigerator, bargain buy of a lifetime. While (going to garage sales with her mother), she found a young couple selling old items left at their newly purchased home. “They didn’t know what they had,” says Riddle of the pre-World War II-era fridge. It was in near-perfect condition, and the couple offered to sell it for $25. Emily accepted immediately. (She has seen a similar fridge being sold at a thrift store for $450.)

Emily has made vintage her job. She says, “I love to show people how they can actually use the items by refurbishing them to be more modern, and educating people about how they can use vintage pieces in their own homes. I give them examples by how I do displays.” 

How to make a vintage outfit more modern? Emily suggests wearing more modern shoes, given the difficulty of find vintage shoes, since they tend to only be available in very small sizes. She also suggests hemming dresses and skirts to make them shorter, which makes the fit and style slightly more modern. 

For more information about Miss Molly Vintage, visit her instagram: @missmollyvintage