It has been amazing and wild year! Our baby Naomi is now 1 year old and it sounds trite, but time does really fly. It has been quite a learning curve trying to figure everything out about babies as well as the plethora of baby products and companies. Some of our favorite brands include Ouef (1 garland and 3 mobile) as well as our beloved studio mates Winter Water Factory (5). It has been hilarious seeing Naomi wear her Maptote one-pieces (6 ) - she’s a lucky girl that she knows some people who can access many of those. Filling Naomi’s room with things we love has been a process. One of our favorite items are the adorable gilded blocks (8) from Shop Cabin 7 that spell her name. And of course our very own Alphabet Country Print (2) which was designed especially for lil’ Naomi hangs on her wall. Naomi’s favorite stuffed animal of choice is the sock monkey (4). We will be celebrating Naomi’s first birthday this year with family in San Diego and we’re hoping she has a Vignette Patisserie (7) cupcake as her first sweet (what do you say, Sara?!). Happy birthday Naomi! We love you!
Although I have made frequent visits to Cambridge, MA, I have unfortunately never stumbled across borders into its neighboring city of Somerville, MA. Now that I have become acquainted with Magpie, however, I can’t wait to venture into Somerville’s Davis Square! While Magpie draws their inspiration from the ever-burgeoning arts and crafts communities, they themselves have become a major inspiration to many. Their eclectic mix of gorgeous one-of-a-kind finds and ‘perfect gifts that are chock full of personality’ are sure to bring out the inner creative visionary in all of us!
Q: How would you describe your store aesthetic?
A: Hip handmade, DIY.
Q: Tell us a little more about Davis Square and why you love it so much!
A: Davis Square has a little bit of everything condensed in a 3 block radius. There’s a classic 100 year old movie theater, great restaurants, one of the few remaining candlepin bowling lanes in the country, cool bars, live music, theater, yoga, shopping, a tiny park, and in the middle of it all is a pedestrian area where street musicians play and people hang out eating locally made ice cream.
Q: Are there any fun or interesting facts that you could share with us about Magpie?
A: We carry works from over 700 artists, crafters, and designers.
Q: When not in your store, where is the next most likely place you would be?
A: At Goodwill trying to find a vintage score.
Q: Do you have any favorite restaurants in Somerville?
A: That’s a tough one; there are so many great ones in Somerville. But I’d have to say Highland Kitchen.
Q: If there is 1 thing someone must do when they visit Somerville, what would you recommend?
A: Visit Sacco’s Bowl Haven/Flatbread Pizza. It’s an amazing place where you can have a great pizza made in their stone oven, drink a local beer or two on tap, and then bowl a few games (or strings as they’re called around here).
Q: What is next for Magpie…are there any upcoming ‘can’t miss!’ special events or sales?
A: We’ve started an “artist of the month” program this year. We work with some of our favorite artists to design items specifically for Magpie and highlight their work for a month.
Q: Are there any blogs or magazines that you follow or draw inspiration from?
A: Design Sponge, Apartment Therapy, Hello Adorable.
Q: Where do you find all of your unique products?
A: Everywhere! A lot of artists contact us directly. I go to a lot of craft fairs. And of course there’s Etsy.
The votes have been tallied and Nashville just edged out Rome. So be on the look out this summer for the Nashville Maptote!
We’re incredibly excited about our recent collaboration with Urban Outfitters. Now you can find your favorite Maptote design printed on adult t-shirts. The t-shirts are made exclusively for Urban Outfitters, so find them on their website or a UO store near you.
Our Store Spotlight this week takes us to Catbird in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Since 2004, owner Rony Vardi “and her amazing technicolor dream team” have been hunting down the best of the “eclectic…glamour, strangeness, and sparkle.” If that’s not enough to make you wanna jump on the L and head over to the ‘Burg, then…well…you might be impossible to please, ’cause Catbird is awesome!
Q: Any fun facts about Catbird that we should hear about?
A: Our shop may be smaller than your closet. Also, it used to be a cell phone store…how unglamorous!
Q: Tell us about your neighborhood and why you love it?
A: We fully realize there are many, well-deserved reasons to poke fun of our beloved Williamsburg, but despite that I find it to be such a vibrant and exciting place to be. People take risks here – in the businesses they open as well as the clothes they wear.
Q: When not in your store, where is the next most likely place you’d be?
A: At home with my kiddos.
Q: Favorite restaurant in the ‘hood?
A: Oooh that’s so hard. I love Roebling Tea Room and Saltie – for some casual yet totally delicious dining.
Q: If there is 1 thing someone “must do” when they visit, what would you recommend?
A: Walk across the Manhattan Bridge. Or eat food from a truck. Or people watch at any of the cafés. Ok, that’s three things.
Q: Whats next for you/your store…. any upcoming sales/events?
A: We don’t ever have sales and our store is too tiny for events! But the blog and website are where we have the most room to expand and we are constantly adding new things and fleshing out new ideas there.
Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?
A: I’m not very diligent in that respect, and I don’t want to leave out any friends, but I just looked in my history and today I read these blogs: The Selby, Into the Gloss, Cup of Jo, East Side Bride, Oh Happy Day, Dinner: A Love Story and We Could Grow Up Together.
Q: Where do you find all of your products?
A: Well, we make a fair amount ourselves. As for the rest? Everywhere. We stop people on the street, people email us, we trawl the web, we go to markets. Everywhere everywhere everywhere. And everywhere.
Q: What was your inspiration/motivation to open your store?
A: I have always loved coming up with projects and having different aspects to my life. I was at a stage in my life where it made a lot of sense to take a risk. We lived in a (tiny) rent-stabilized apartment in Williamsburg and a store front became available around the corner, where there was not much going on at the time, and I just dove in. It was sort of like, if I don’t do it now, when would I ever do it?
Q: How did you come up with the name Catbird?
A: I have an old Audubon poster called Birds of the Northeast that has a cute little catbird on it. It seemed like a mutable name that I could use no matter what form my shop took, and I knew that the first incarnation would be just that. It’s a word that looked good, graphically, and didn’t pin me down to one thing.
Visit Catbird in Williamsburg, blog, and online store!