HAPPY GIRL: SOPHIA WOOD

SOPHIA WOOD
Shop owner of Muse, San Anselmo, California


I am so glad to feature Sophia Wood today! She is the owner and designer of the beautiful shop named Muse based in San Anselmo. 
She has an impeccable taste and her shop is all about beachy and fresh vibes with a minimalist aesthetic. It's beautiful and I encourage you to visit the shop!







Can you give us an introduction on who you are and which path brought you to open your own shop?
I grew up in West Marin - my dad is a landscape painter and my mom is a children's art teacher.  I studied art & design in school.  When my kids were little, I was a stay at home mom yearning for something more, something challenging and creative that I could balance with being a mom.  I have experience in the museum and design world and in 2015 I finally decided to fulfill my dream of becoming an entrepreneur, opening my own business and designing my own shop.  I had always imagined it would be enjoyable, and I was right, I love it.

I am always finding aesthetic inspiration over and over.  It gives me a thrill each time I find a new local designer to feature in my store, each time I create a new look.  Even though my store looks the way it does right now, I know that I will change it and it will constantly evolve and that is the fun part for me.

What inspired you for Muse?
I was inspired by lots of things. Visually, I was inspired by a desaturated desert color palette, Scandinavian design, Hitchcock-Madrona (a Seattle jewelry store), Minimalism, the West Coast craft fair.  I thought of opening an art gallery but I thought it would be more rewarding and dynamic for me to open a boutique.  I tried to create a store & brand that fills a gap in our area.

What defines good design for you?
To me, good design is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and doesn't contain anything extraneous or unnecessary.  Often I find myself visually "editing" what I see in the world, and most of the time I am removing design elements in my mind until I am left with something more simple.  I generally agree with a  high- quality "less is more" concept.

I like design that feels fresh.  There are cycles in the design world and good design even if it's classic it should relate to what is current. I appreciate many styles and aesthetics but for my own personal taste I appreciate simplicity, natural luxury, elegant shapes.  Right now I love nude leather, suede, blush tones, pale furs, washed velvet, pale crystals, light woods.  I also am loving the bright colors and jewel tones associated with Mexico and Morocco.  I also love Danish shapes, dark edges, raw ceramics.   I am working on developing some product ideas for Muse.

How will you describe the vibe in your shop?
My shop is light & airy with a clean color palette.  For now it's all about Scandinavian lines, modern boho elements, lots of white, light wood tones, blush pink, grey, some blue accents.  Muse has global influences and modern influences but has a refined palette.  This lightness lends itself to the iconic California lifestyle.  When I think of the coastal lifestyle I think of sunshine, sand, water, and open windows.  I am trying to bring that feeling into my shop as best I can.

HFG fits in perfectly because the overall aesthetic has a beachy, oceanic look.  The unique watercolor-like effect of the hand dying process is a more subtle version of tie-dyed colors.  The contrasting stitched edging adds a modern twist.  With tie-dyeing you can easily take it too far, and end up with a rainbow.  I appreciate the understated, grown up, sun washed, subtle look of HFG.

You live in San Anselmo, California, please describe in 3 words. and tell us what are your favorite things to do in that city!
I actually live in Fairfax CA but my shop is located in San Anselmo CA.
San Anselmo is:
-charming
-family
-food

In San Anselmo right now there are quite a lot of stylish, chic modern-boho babes living here, settling down and having families!  It's a beautiful town that is reinventing itself into a cool town with great design.  I love walking through the historic Robson-Harrington Park and then downtown San Anselmo, eating at M & H Bread and Butter, Neve & Hawk, Siren Salon, coffee at Flour Craft Bakery, visit the Star Wars fountain, Madcap for dinner, Marinitas for a spicy margarita!



Find more about Muse shop right here: http://www.musecalifornia.com/
Instagram: @musecalifornia


PINK HAND PAINTED PILLOWS

Happy French Gang has been for years all about sweet tie-dye colors. Since a year I started to open my practice to digital printing, embroidery and recently to hand-painting.

I am absolutely delighted with the result. I created two different styles:
.The bigger pillows are 20x20" with a grey and white trim on the side.
.The smaller pillows are 18x12" with tassels made in house. Yep! I try to reduce our waste to the minimum, so here I am making tassels!

I'm featuring here just the pink color and the grey but we also have yellow, blue, taupe and green! Every pillows have a different design.
More details directly here.






Pillows featured above are:
18x12" pink pillow with tassels
20x20" pink abstract and grey pillow
18x18" grey grid pillow
18x18" faux fur pink pillow
leather pillow pink and green not available anymore.

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HAPPY GIRL: SUZY COASSIN

Suzy Coassin
Interior stylist, founder of MomAgency, Sydney, Australia



Here is our third Happy Girl Interview! Suzy Coassin has one of my favorite home decor feed on Instagram. Plenty of plants, a LOT of awesome tips for you to decorate your home in the best ways possible, many decor ideas and beautiful homes featured. 
The interior stylist based in Sydney kindly responded to our interview just below. Enjoy!




Can you tell us who you are? 
I’am Suzy Coassin, An Australian, interior stylist and the creator & founder behind MomAgency. 
MomAgency is a Instagram account, and soon to be blog focused on sharing curated, beautiful interior inspiration of decorated homes with a modern bohemian style. MomAgency aims to inspire by creating a #designtip on ‘how-to get the look’ to accompany the room thats chosen to be featured. From product suggestions, interior styling, plant placement, to unique ideas on furniture layout, its a daily guide for either the plant lovers or the people who want a modern bohemian look...or if you like to see gorgeous spaces usually decked out with lot and lots of plant babies (cue the crazy plant lady).

MomAgency was created in 2016 when my family received an opportunity to move to New York City with my husbands work. Leaving everything behind including my 9 years at a leading interior decorating studio in Sydney, Australia I decided to create MomAgency with my years of experience as a creative outlet for affordable design ideas and a no excuses guide to a beautifully styled home.
The name MomAgency comes purely as I’m a mom with two boys (2.5 years and 5 years). A lot of the homes (not all) are homes of people like me who have small children and keep their love of decorating and design alive by sharing their spaces on Instagram. 
After a whirlwind 1 year trip in Manhattan in The Big Apple, I’am back based in Sydney, Australia with my young family and building MomAgency as a business and online interior styling consultancy and service. Phew! A lot happened in 1 year!!

How would you describe the aesthetic of your space? 
When it comes to my space I follow my own philosophy that I share with my clients. I fill my space with pieces that I love, that I have collected from my travels over the years, unique thrifted items or my flea market hunting. I’ve decorated an eclectic home for myself with a mixture of pieces and especially a mix of styles. From mid century modern furniture that has been found and reupholstered to bring up to date, to chinoiserie elephant plant stands, to African statues and artworks, all with a hint of beachy boho. My space wouldn’t be complete without a side of basket hoarding and of course total plant overload! It works because its a mix of all the pieces I love personally and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For me and my family that is the key to develop a truly unique home with its own personality. I also try to have my space feeling very casual and relaxed as I have a young family of boys running in and out of the house all day and can’t be precious with my styling.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to decorating? 
When it comes to decorating I believe in more is more and of course breaking the design rules. When designing a space you are told certain design sayings and rules like ‘blue and green should never be seen’ and ‘keep it simple’. Your home should reflect pieces you love and are proud of. I believe that your interior should feel like a home and not like its walked off a designer furniture catalogue. 

Anyone following you on Instagram knows you love plants. How many do you have in your home? 
I do love indoor plants in a home creating a urban jungle whether you have just one really great oversized plant or a mass of smaller plants. I recently moved back to Sydney, Australia from NYC so unfortunately I could not take any of my plants back with me (sad but true). I’m having to build my entire collection again from scratch which is hard for me to go slowly! So, at the moment I have 5 large plants including a Monstera and a huge cactus I also have about 30 smaller plants which range from mini succulents to larger varieties. It sounds like I have a lot already but ask me in a years time and I’m sure I will have doubled it...just don't tell my husband ;)


Find more about Suzy's business right here: MomAgency
Contact: momagencynyc@yahoo.com
Instagram: @momagency

Happy French Gang's item featured above:
Pink cloudy pillow

THE HEAD BALL.

So, this is how one of our small rug looks like after the fabric was weaved, dyed and the stripes made. A lot of work, a lot of fun for a result that I am found of!

We have different colors available and different sizes. Also if you have a special project on your mind, contact me with your color and size and let's discuss! I'm always up to create something new!
New can take a look at our rugs available right now online:  http://www.happyfrenchgang.com/collections/rug

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HAPPY GIRL: RACHEL MADDEN

Rachel Madden
Owner of Rachel Madden Interiors, Marin County, California


What a great surprise it was when I scrolled my Instagram few months ago and came across beautiful pictures of Rachel. Of course my eyes where caught by the kids' room which has some of our Cloudy floor pillows. It's a treat for me to see what I create makes it into people's life especially when every single thing around is very well curated. 

Good news is that Rachel moved recently in the Bay Area and you can contact her directly to get interior design advices. See more details directly on her new website right here: www.rachelmaddeninteriors.com


On my side I'm very glad to have Rachel for the second interview of my Happy Girl blog post series. Please see below how she started her business, what defines a good design for her and more!



Could you tell us more about who you are and what you do?
I just moved to Marin County from NYC with my family last September and we are thrilled to be back in California. I am originally from the Los Angeles area, and lived in NYC for about 10 years right out of college. After graduating, I worked for several architecture firms, focusing on both high-end residential and commercial projects. After that I started my own interior design business, which then led to meeting my husband (who was one of my clients!), which then led to my 2 beautiful babies. I have always been very passionate about design and I am excited to be bringing my design business to this new town!

Is there any designer or artist who influenced you in a special way?
I remember reading Kelly Hoppen's design books in college and loved the way she broke down design analytically. I started to look at spaces differently, and would try to understand what elements made the space visually appealing and cohesive. Just that practice of observing a space and breaking it down, gave me a better eye for design.

What defines good design for you? 
Good design is cohesive spaces. Spaces that flow into each other with similar colors and patterns, but shifting those color schemes so each room feels different. Focal points are important. Once the focal point is chosen you need to build around it, and ensure that the supporting elements aren't fighting to take center stage. Texture over color. If you want to create a sophisticated, interesting space, I would rather create the interest through lots of differing textures versus lots of bold colors. I also believe if you are going to use pattern, only use a sophisticated, ultra unique pattern. Dated, overly used patterns can really kill a space for me. Throwing in something unexpected, something that breaks the harmony or cohesion or symmetry, is a great way to make a room feel livable, as opposed to staged. A room that has a good balance of warmth and cool is key. Even if its just one wood element to break up an overly cool space. And last but not least, the best design is eco-friendly design. I admire anyone who makes this a priority and considers things like where are the materials/wood sourced from, what is their toxicity levels, how will this effect indoor air quality, etc.

What are your favorite shops, restaurants or places to go in Marin County?
We love Sushi 69, El Paseo (great steak!), Terrapin Crossroads (great for kids) and Farmshop. We love to go hiking -  there are gorgeous trails everywhere. We take the kids to Muir Beach, Stinson, Discovery Museum, and love taking a date day at the Cavallo Point Spa.


Find more about Rachel's business right here: www.rachelmaddeninteriors.com
Happy French Gang's items featured above: 

RUGS.

Happy French Gang is pleased to extend the rug collection. We are having more colors and more sizes. But the more important info is that we now do custom. Contact me at sandra @ happyfrenchgang.com and let's talk about it.

They are super mellow and squashy and your feet will love that. We also like to see them over a couch or a bed, your choice!

Our rugs are made with heavy cotton fabric that are weaved for Happy French Gang in India. It's about 10 yards of fabric that we dyed for the ones featured below. After the dye with spend a lots of hours to create strips out of it and about the same time to knit it.
Bonus: everything in made in out studio in San Francisco, California.

PRINTED TEA TOWELS.

Happy French Gang has been all about tie dye and pastel colors since I started that brand. I love the magical process of tie-dying. But it's been a while that I wanted to explore more paths and let go my creativity to other horizons.

I had in mind, embroideries, print (event if I already screen printed bags in the past), hand painting... Well I did them all in different ways in just few months!! I was afraid to go to far, to not meet the standard that we had at Happy French Gang, to create something too different from what the brand represent and to loose some clients on the way...

It's all new so I am not so sure of the impact yet but all I can say is that I had A BLAST creating this new collections! And... it's not over, you should see more in the next few months.

Below are the first printed tea towels. 3 more colors are coming there way in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
Happy French Gang printed Tea Towels Happy French Gang printed Tea Towels Happy French Gang printed Tea Towels Happy French Gang printed Tea Towels
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HAPPY GIRL: MARION PERNOUX

Marion Pernoux
Owner of ENSOMA, San Francisco


If you do not know Marion Pernoux from ENSOMA, a beauty and art lounge, then you should! She is a single mum with a beautiful energy and has lived in the city for about 17 years. She stumbled on one of Happy French Gang's booth at the West Coast Craft and has been a fan since then.

Her lounge is a very relaxing place in the middle of the busy SOMA and I love getting there and receive all the super positive vibes coming from that space and from Marion's hands. I'm so grateful to be able to visit her and ask her few questions.


Tell us more about who you are and what you do.

My name is Marion, I created Ensoma beauty & art lounge, a harem of peace in the bustling 'big village' of San Francisco, to welcome people to take a breather, be lavishly pampered, in a space indulging all their senses. This life is temporary and therefore so precious! I treat my guests to decadent beauty rituals, head-to-toes, mind & body. At the core, it involves letting go of your everyday 'hats', undressing, peeling off layers of tension, nods, holds, through breathing, mindfulness, stretching, opening, quality of presence. Then a feast of fresh aromatherapy ingredients and delicious botanical blends unfolds, with a curated playlist, eye candy visuals, in a nesty, warm, enveloping treatment bed.

What do you love most about your career?
  • Crafting new beauty rituals. Caring for someone, is comparable to holding the whole universe in my hands! To lift the spirit, welcome the empirical adventure of 'sensing', and calm the cerebral activity, I mindfully select a variety of fresh skin care potions with diverse textures, scents, and active ingredients. Strategic massage pauses in between facial treatments, reiki {energy healing} all throughout, it is a wholesome journey. 
  • The forgotten art of touch and the human connection: the raw, tangible bond that expands through the touch is so subtle and powerful! It is a sacred conversation of heart beats, breathe, and energy flow. The peace and tranquility that takes place during those sacred sessions are mutually beneficial! It grounds me, as it is centering for the mind and body. You can not deliver an authentic touch unless you are truly present and have a genuine intention to service someone. It fulfills my purpose. 
  • The deep sighs and sense of 'plénitude' at the end of the session that reads on people's face is so rewarding! 
  • Put simply: my work is an act of Love.

Could you give us your favorite beauty tip?

Beauty starts from within: your diet, your state of mind, where you are in your life, your daily routine will reveal through your body and your skin. Listen within, your body is intuitive!

Some simple self-care I practice every day: a freshly squeezed lemon juice first thing in the morning on an empty belly {to rinse off your system and detox}, lots of mineral water throughout the day, wash my face immediately after exercising {to prevent breakouts}, juicing one day a week {versus one week a year}, air out my body: walk, bicycle, run, and then restore: yoga, cat naps and mindfulness. Lessons from my daughter: get lost in my thoughts, contemplate, draw, paint, dance, be more in the moment. Let go, and love myself.

What's your philosophie when it comes to decorating and how would you describe the style of your loft?

Every detail when you enter a space should be inspiring and created intentionally as a treat for the senses: from the luminosity of the space to the scent in the air, the music, the warmth, the colors, the textiles touching the skin, and so on. Ensoma features camaïeus of soft colors to evoke a dreamy, enveloping retreat:
  • the space is dressed up in the Happy French Gang Cloudy Blanket collection: dreamy baby blue large zip-pillows on the sofa, heavenly breathy white curtains, sweet rosy throw on the treatment bed, 
  • organic punctuations with epic art: paper installations, tribal hanging sculpture {all artwork by Charles Papillo}, 
  • natural accents: plants, gemstones, burning palo santo, fresh flowers 
  • inspirational literature 
  • curated music

Describe SF in 3 words.

// in constant metamorphosis // move with it // make it yours // up to you // piss and love // ever changing village //


Find more about Marion's business right here: ENSOMA
Happy French Gang's items featured above: 
Lany Cloudy rug
Zipillow

NOEMA.





Noëma modeling with our cushions.  
Find them right HERE.


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HAND PAINTED LAVENDER BAGS.

Hey!
Here we go! Hand painted fabric. What do you think?
We hand painted them in our studio in San Francisco with our dyes. We made a mix of natural and synthetic. And voila! The result is pretty nice.
We started to do some lavender bags in 3 different style and another product should arrive soon. For now get your lavender bags to sleep relax!!


http://www.happyfrenchgang.com/collections/lavender-bag/products/3-hand-painted-lavender-bags-pink-and-vino


More details directly on the webshop HERE!
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