January 20, 2016

PURPLE!

Happy French Gang has a new addition to the Cloudy collection: PURPLE!!

Three items are available right now in that color:
*Cloudy blanket 80x60"
*Mini Cloudy blanket 50x40"
*Pillow 18x18" with feather and down insert.

Purple: combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red.

I hope you like it as I do!
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December 9, 2015

MELANIE ABRANTES.

Melanie Abrantes 
Woodworker, Studio, Oakland
Please, can you give us an introduction on who you are and where do you come from? 
I grew up in Houston, Texas and moved to California to study Product Design at Otis College of Art and Design in LA. I gradually ended up moving up north to start my business Melanie Abrantes Designs where I design and make my line of cork and wood products for the home.

Can you explain to our reader which path brought you to work with cork?
I am half portuguese and I grew up visiting portugal during my summers to see my grandfather. That is where I saw the amazing things you could do with cork and all of the potential of a material that is very untapped in the US.

Is there any designer or artists who has influenced you in a special way? 
I believe that my professor and mentor in school, Tanya Aguiniga, was a huge influence. She was a really inspirational teacher that helped me grow as a designer and she also was the first woman I saw who owned a successful small business that was based on art and design.

For how long are you in this studio and is there a story you can share about this place?
I have been in this studio for 1.5 years now. It was an old tomato factory before it was converted to office spaces, I just love all of the charming brick walls and quirks about old buildings like these!

When do your best ideas come to you?
Right before I sleep.

Can you describe your job in 3 words?
Labor of Love.

San Francisco in 3 words?
Quirky, Fun and Original.

What is your favorite place to eat in SF?
Plow in Potrero Hill....sooo good!

Do you have a secret boutique or space that you love in SF and you'd like to share with us?
One of my favorite places to go to is Flora Grubbs in the Dogpatch, it is literally plant heaven and always makes me want to build a jungle in my home.

What are your favorite spots in town when you want to relax?
I love to hike at the Bernal heights hill. It is a hidden gem of SF, you can have a 360 degree view of the city and is always way less crowed compared to Twin Peaks.

Thank you so much Melanie for your time and your good energy!  More details on Melanie's work directly here: www.melanieabrantes.com

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December 3, 2015

MAKER'S GANG.

First time organizing such a big even!
If you live in San Francisco with kiddos this is the place to hang out this coming Saturday!
Meet local makers, shop, sip champagne and let your kids play in the indoor playground!

See you there!

November 9, 2015

NATHALIE LÉTÉ.

Nathalie Lété 
Artist, Studio, Paris
 

Hi, Could you tell us who you are and where do you come from? 
I'm a woman artist of 51 years old, and I am born in Paris, from a German mother and a Chinese father. I live in Paris, I'm married with a French painter and I'm a mother of two kids of 17 and 20 years old. 

Your work is really poetic with a total freedom. Where do you find your inspiration? 
I do similar things as I did when I was a kid. I mix different technics, colors, mediums, style of art... I like a patch of my favorite themes (animals, pattern of textiles, Flowers, vintage toys, folk art...) to build a personal world which gives me happiness and self confidence. I like to paint, to do ceramics, to embroid. I love textile, vibrations of colors, and try to have emotions and if possible to give the others some emotions through my work. 

Are you formally trained or self-taught? And what defines good design for you?
I studied at L'école des arts appliqués Duperé and then L'école des beaux arts in Paris. But I am also very interested in rough work, and I specially like when art stay naive. So I like to try to keep freshness and the naivety of the childhood. That is one of the definition for me of a good work. Also the most important thing to me: a good work should gives me emotions, it should surprise me and gives me the feeling of harmony. 

Can you describe your job in 3 words? 
My job in three words: organisation, creation, open my eyes.. 

For how long are you working in this studio and is there a story you can share about this place?
We bought this place 15 years ago, at the same time as our house which is just next to it. It was a solution to have the kids in the garden playing with other kids at same time as working... This is an old factory of metal, where they did some part of the eiffel tower. I like to live here because it is next to Paris, and I have the space, light, garden to eat outside by nice weather, and it is quite. 

What do you love about living here?
I love Paris, because as a nostalgic person, I really feel the past, and I enjoy to imagine myself at the 19 century. I particulary like it in the morning very early, when the streets are empty and just the first people begin to work and open their cafés... 

How do you start your day and what does your daily routine looks like?
A regular day is waking up at 7am, taking my breakfast while reading emails and Instagram. Going to work at 8:30 am after the home occupations of a mother, work until 1 pm in my studio which is 5 minutes from my house. Have a break with my husband for the lunch at home, eating all the rests of our last dinner, and then go back to work until 6 pm. Prepare dinner, watch tv with my husband and do foot massage at same time to each others and go to bed around 10.30. I have a very very regular life. I don't need really to go out and see friends. I do not have a big social life, even if i would like sometimes to go out more. I don't have the energy to do it really... 

Week ends, we go for a walk in the forest with our dachshund, and visit an exhibition, go to work 3 hours in the studio, come back to see a movie and have sometimes dinners with friends. My husband is going often to vernissages and have many artist friends. I like to stay at home and read books, keep all my energy for my work in fact. I must say that my job is the most important thing in my life, it feeds me really.

Thank you Nathalie for your time! You have the most colorful and dreaming studio. Please check her website at www.nathalie-lete.com

November 5, 2015

URBAN EPICURIEAN FESTIVAL.

The very first show of the year is this coming week end at Fort Mason the 7th & 8th of November. We've teamed up with some friends to create a pop up booth. We'll be at the entry of the show. Come see!

October 26, 2015

CAMILLE CHANDEZE LONGUEPEE.

Camille Chandèze Longuépée
Owner of Le Petit Germain and Costumier, Home studio, Paris


Can you give us an introduction on who you are and which path brought you to create your own line of clothing design for children?
I’m 33 years old, and I’m a Parisian mom of two kids of six and three years old. I've been a Cinema costume designer for 10 years, and I created 2 years ago a clothing line exclusively for children .
I studied Textile design in Paris. The fashion world wasn’t that exciting to me but I was caught by the Cinema, which has been filling my creative and cultural appetite for years now. After my second child was born I wanted to refocus, listen to myself a little bit more and create for myself. Something simpler, closer to my lifestyle, my children and their everyday life. This is how I started Le Petit Germain.

Do you need to be surrounded by fashion and design in order to be inspired?
The advantage to live in Paris when you're in a creative environment is that we have no need to look for inspiration: it’s everywhere, we’re just part of it!

What defines good design for you?
Good design is a suitable design, not pretentious, that is well integrated in a space, a simple design, convenient and voluptuous, which brings comfort and serenity for the eyes and the body.

What's your favorite part in making clothes?
I would say, the color: when the garnment comes out of the dye factory, I'm like a child before Christmas... I could cry of excitement, really!

What inspire you to create new pieces?
The everyday life is my first inspiration: for example, my children, the way they move and live.

Is there any designers or artists who has influenced you in a special way?
Eames and Charlotte Perriand are designers I like. Saint Laurent, in fashion. I worked on the biopic about Yves Saint Laurent, and being so close of his creations was very enjoyable.
But I’m sure I’m influenced by many other artists and designers.

What do you think makes Paris special in comparison to other cities?
I would say that Paris has a romantic side that most cities don’t have. But I love many other cities and they all have their own charms!

Describe Paris in 3 words.
Independence, excitement, creativity.

What is your favorite places to go out at night in Paris?
I am a regular at la Place de Clichy, the bar above the Cinema des Cineastes. The Bistrot des Dames for a diner between friends, in the courtyard during summer. The Recyclerie at Porte de Clignancourt. But I love to go diner at my friends place, it’s what I enjoy the most. We invite each other, we prepare delicious meals, everyone participates, we enjoy and take time to chat with a glass of wine in hands! French cliché but so true!

Special thanks to Camille for taking the time to answer these questions!
Plenty more to learn about her and her brand here: www.lepetitgermain.com
If you live in the Bay Area Over the Ocean carry their goods!

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