Welcome to our brand new blog series, where we find fun and interesting people from all around the world who carry a Maptote (or Maptotes)! As part of our first installment we have asked our our close friends, Jon and Alexis, about what’s in their Maptote as well as more personal details about the neighborhood and city where they live. I was fortunate enough to meet them many years ago in Brooklyn and they have been great friends of ours ever since. Hopefully their insight will give you new ideas for how you can use your tote and/or find that great local coffee shop, park or restaurant next time you are in San Francisco!
Q: What are your names?
A: My name is Alexis Collentine and my husband’s name is Jon Steinberg.
Q: Where do you live?
A: We currently live in Glen Park, a neighborhood in San Francisco, CA.
Q: What do you love about where you live?
A: We love having easy access to Mission Burritos a few minutes north, the beach in Pacifica a few minutes south, and some of the coolest art and design and music and technology just a few minutes in every other direction.
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: Jon is the editor-in-chief of San Francisco Magazine and I am an attorney specializing in family law but currently taking some time off work to raise our two girls!
Q: What Maptote do you carry and why?
A: A San Francisco Maptote. I am a San Francisco native and Jon lived out here after college. We’d been living in Brooklyn until about four months ago when we moved back west. We got the SF Maptote in New York to represent our roots while living in the East, but may have to reverse it up now that we’re back!
Q: What do you carry in your San Francisco Maptote?
A: Our favorite thing to fill it with is fresh produce from our neighborhood farmer’s market. But the usual stuff we’re toting are diapers and wipes and emergency changes of pants for the animals in our lives.
We are excited to announce that the Nashville tote is now available! This was the winner of our Spring online poll. So if you want to see your locale added to our line, be sure to vote on our website!
At Maptote we are always excited to spot our products…but we are infinitely more excited when they are spotted on adorable puppies!! These puppies are making quite a fashion statement sporting matching NYC bandannas in red!
Here at Maptote we have been particularly busy creating a number of custom totes for weddings, David Stark, and even a limited edition tote for Bride’s magazine! We wanted to share some of our more recent ventures with you…check them out below!
I am particularly excited to bring you this Store Spotlight on The Library Store in Los Angeles, CA, not only because we recently created a custom Maptote for the Library’s various branches in LA, but also because they have set out on an admirable venture as a non-profit to raise money towards programming for all of the city’s branches…and the store seems awesome with such a witty and genius collection of merchandise!
Q: Can you describe your store aesthetic?:
A: We like to say we’re “library-centric”. If it has to do with reading or writing, we want it! We carry a broad range of eclectic items, educational toys, autographed books, stationery, crafting supplies, cookbooks, and more.
Q: Are there any fun or interesting store facts?:
A: We made an 8 foot long papier-mâché bookworm for a window display last year, out of newspaper and pages from a book about New Orleans during prohibition times. The bookworm is now retired from view, hidden in one of the many rooms here at Central Library. Maybe one day he’ll make a reappearance…
Q: Tell us a bit about your neighborhood and why you love it!:
A: We’re in downtown Los Angeles, and we completely love it! Our building, the Central Library, has been here since the ‘20s and is a beautiful example of the Egyptian Revival architecture of the time period (our building is topped with a mosaic pyramid!). We’re surrounded by people from all walks of life, and we love the hustle and bustle of being downtown. People are really starting to take an interest in downtown as well, so we’re constantly getting new eateries, fun shops, and new residents nearby.
Q: When not in your store, where is the next most likely place you’d be?:
A: I should say “reading”, we are the Library Store after all! But probably shopping… getting inspiration for the store.
Q: Do you have any favorite restaurants in Los Angeles?:
A: So many to choose from! My most recent restaurant meal was at the newly opened Umamicatessen, here in downtown. It was fantastic—I can’t stop thinking about their trés leches donut!
Q: If there is 1 thing someone “must do” when they visit downtown Los Angeles, what would you recommend?:
A: Exploring the library would be at the top of my list. It’s a HUGE building (4 floors up & 4 floors down), filled to the brim with books, murals, a zodiac chandelier, sphinx statues…. You get the idea. You could get lost in all there is to see at the Central Library.
Q: What was your inspiration/motivation to open your store?
A: Our store came about in an effort to raise money to reopen the library after it was damaged in an arson fire in the late ‘80s. It started as just a catalog of fundraising items, and has grown to what it is today. And no, the arson culprit was never found…
Q: How did you come up with your store name?
A: Well, we’re in the library, and we’re a store… not a ton of imagination was used.
Q: What’s next for The Library Store…. any upcoming sales or events?:
A: We’re collaborating on a tote bag with Maptote! Using the basic Los Angeles map idea, but adding the locations of our 72 branch libraries.
Q: Are there any blogs or magazines that you follow or draw inspiration from?:
A: Sadly, I haven’t picked up a magazine in ages (I hear Domino is coming back though!) As far as blogs, of course Design Sponge is a daily read—so much inspiration. We’ve found a few items for the store on the Swiss Miss blog. We like to keep up on what’s going on in LA, so we’re always checking LAist & The Eastsider Blog. And I can never resist the hilarious posts on Bon Appétempt!
Q: Where do you find all of your products?
A: We go to the California gift show twice a year, and to the NY Gift show every fall. We also scour Etsy, find items through blogs, and are just always looking when we’re out for things that would fit the aesthetic of our store.
Shop The Library Store online, follow them on Twitter, like them of Facebook, or visit the LA Public Library’s blog!
It is Mothers Day this Sunday and I can’t believe that I will be celebrating my 2nd mothers day as a Mom. I’m looking forward to the days of handmade cards and crafts, but for now while my little one is still a wee baby here are some ideas of fun and unique Mom gifts that I’d be happy to get (hint hint, Dad).
Seed bombs (1) seem like a pretty easy way to plant a garden. Unfortunately, I discovered Chew beads (2) a bit too late when my daughter was over the teething phase, but I still got one and love it. They are pretty necklaces and bracelets that are safe for your baby to teeth on – so smart! With a growing family, I dream of the days when we own a home of our own and I’d definitely want to adorn our front door with Heath ceramic (3) door numbers. As a Mom, I don’t have too much time to get dolled up but one of these Flirty Aprons (4) would make me feel cute while preparing dinner or even a pot of tea after a long day with this fun elephant tea pot (5). I love ice cream and Van Leewan (8) is one of my favorites – this would bring a smile to my face any day of the year. People say the days are long but the weeks are longer and it is so true. This ‘Mom’s one line a day’ (6) would be a fun way to remember and journal all the good, bad, and funny moments of being a Mom. And of course, there is the Maptote zip pouches (7) that would help any Mom stay organized.
Happy Mother’s day to all you Moms out there. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it and you’re doing a great job!
Our Detroit Maptote was just featured as one of All You magazines picks for Mother’s Day!
Today Me Me Antenna gives us a glimpse into their one-of-a-kind shop in Brooklyn, NY, where they combine amazing vintage finds, beautiful artisan jewelry, modular synthesizers, vinyls, Maptotes, and so much more to create a truly original experience! Owner Mari Ayabe, and operator Nami Ishikawa, have joined their efforts in the hopes of creating a space where people can come together to share and discuss current trends in the music world…you are guaranteed to leave with an entirely new and distinctive musical repertoire!
Q: Can you describe your store aesthetic?
A: We are a unique gift & music store that sells a little bit of everything we love. We originally started as the music label Concent Productions. We have selections of modern DUB CD’s, vinyls, as well as modular synthesizers.
Q: Any fun facts about MeMe Antenna that we should know about?
A: We are a gift and music store with a wide selection of goods that everyone can enjoy! Our collection varies from one-of-a-kind local artist items to vintage retro lamps, and jewelry. All of our vintage jewelry is hand picked & selected by our store staff; some of our jewelry is ‘brand new’ warehouse stock from the 1970′s! MeMe Antenna also harbors a great environment where musicians can come talk, share, and learn about music all day long. It’s a good place to find the newest underground music.
Q: Tell us about your neighborhood and why you love it?
A: we are located in the Williamsburg Mini Mall in Brooklyn, NY. Our neighborhood is only few blocks from the East River which divides Manhattan & Brooklyn, the first subway stop off the L train from NYC. The great thing about this neighborhood is that we have so many visitors every day from all over the world.
Q: When not in your store, where is the next most likely place you’d be?
A: I would be in music studio recording, mixing new tracks or surfing in Long Beach NY.
Q: Favorite restaurant in the ‘Burg’?
A: Samurai Mama (Japanese Noodle) & Supercore Cafe, they are both in Williamsburg.
Q: If there is 1 thing someone “must do” when they visit, what would you recommend?
A: Cross the Williamsburg Bridge by foot.
Q: Whats next for you/your store…. any upcoming sales/events?
A: We are getting ready for spring & summer with new items & more fresh music on the way!
Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?
A: I don’t follow a lot of blogs or magazines. The ones I do follow are “Dwell” & sound recording magazines
Q: How did you come up with the name MeMe Antenna?
A: When kids want something they say “MeMe.” We are the antenna for those wants, for when someone wants something special. So, “MeMe Antenna,” a good name, right?
Visit MeMe Antenna on Facebook, check out their blog, and follow them on Twitter!