Travel: Santa Barbara Daniel Gibbings Jewellery

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Last September when I was in Santa Barbara I was walking down Coast Village Road, trying NOT to think about work and I happened upon Daniel Gibbings Jewellery Store.  Well, I couldn’t NOT stop!  With one glance I knew I had to go in, meet this artist, and introduce myself.  Fortunately, he was there!  We spoke about his designs, inspiration and history in the business.  I told him about Hitchcock Madrona and we established a business relationship.  I purchased four of Daniel’s pieces on that initial meeting, two of which he customized for me.  Bonus!  I fell in love with his design aesthetic, materials, and quality craftsmanship.  Daniel makes every piece himself in Santa Barbara.

This year I returned to Santa Barbara wanting to photograph the store and some new items for the blog.  Here are some images of my visit last month –

The inviting entrance to the jewel box of a store.

Treasures from travel and exotic collections decorate the space.  The store feels like you are in a shop in Turkey or Morocco, which complements the jewelry perfectly.  The brick architectural details transform the space into an intimate retail experience.

The lovely Setenay, President of Daniel Gibbings Jewellery, showing me new items in the store.

After selling all four pieces directly on returning to Seattle (last year) – we wanted more!  Therefore, I worked with Setenay on an exclusive Daniel Gibbings Jewellery Trunk Show at hitchcock Madrona.  The event was three days in August.  We hosted over 25 of Daniel’s one-of-a-kind and classic pieces of fine jewelry.  It was amazing having such treasures in our boutique.

Grey Tahitian pearl, sapphire, 20K gold and sterling silver ring.  Love how it matches my nails!

20K gold and diamond snake ring (ring finger).  Setenay told me about all the hours Daniel spent hand engraving the snakeskin pattern.  This ring is absolutely fabulous!  I love it layered with the 20k gold princess cut ruby eternity band and 20k gold diamond eternity band (worn on middle finger).

A new design, brought to the floor that day: a large, pale grey, Tahitian pearl ring with tsavorite (green) garnet accents.  It is set in a combination of sterling silver and 20k gold.  As you can see, Daniel prefers to work with high carat gold, usually 18k and above.

I couldn’t do a proper introduction to Daniel Gibbings Jewellery without mentioning Winston, the adorable shop dog, and his mom Nicole, the wonderful sales associate.  It has been wonderful working with the entire team at Daniel Gibbings Jewellery.  Thank you for everything – we look forward to more pieces in the future!

I have one ring in stock (we got to keep it after the trunk show) from Daniel Gibbings.  It is a 20k gold cigar band with hand engraving (inside and out!).  Daniel set seven tiny red rubies and three little white diamonds amongst the flourishes.  This is so masculine and feminine at the same time (my favorite style, as you know).  Cigar bands are so cool – they are a great jewelry collection staple.  If you are in Madrona pop by and take a look at this baby.  It is flawless.

XOXO

Erica

Travel: Santa Barbara Sept. 2012

Posted by & filed under Lulu Frost, Travel.

While Dustin was busy (I mean BUSY) on the physical installation of the current interiors, I went away with my family to the beaches and always perfect weather of Santa Barbara.  Ever since I had my baby two years ago, Dustin has been the anchor of the boutique’s physical transformation.  No longer are we alone painting until 4:00 am only to be back at work for the day at 10:00 am.  This is partly a function of our growth (we can hire it out now) and the fact that I’m a mom and family time is sacred.  Needless to say Dustin, Hitchcock Madrona’s co-owner and my cousin extraordinaire, was working ’round the clock for a solid week.  Dustin managed a cast of painters, carpenters, videographers (yes, we filmed it!), and electricians who worked to bring our current concept to life.  I am working on the blog post tracking Dustin’s inspirational road trip, as well as the new concept.

For now, here are some images of me off duty.  Why is this interesting blog fodder?  I thought it might be a good time to talk about the concept of “second skin jewelry”.  This is a term I came up with to describe jewelry that you can live in comfortably.  It stays on your body and becomes a part of you, like a second skin.  A classic example would be the Cartier love bracelet.  People wear those (they don’t come off easily) for years and years – remarkably, even decades.  I love that concept!

Butterfly Beach.  Men’s Gap shirt bought on sale and white shorts purchased at a consignment store.

Me and my baby!

We visited Underwood Family Farm in Somis, CA to play in the sandbox, feed some animals, and stock up on fresh food for our week.  As you can see, I relied on my vintage red polka-dot bandana for easy mornings.  Do I look authentic?  Fooled you – I’m actually a city-girl-farm-poser.  I am wearing a Target t-shirt and Double RL jeans (aka paid a lot of money for those holes!).

YUM

You can classify a piece as “second skin” jewelry if it fits one or more of these requirements.  Can you 1) sleep with it on? 2) swiftly pass an airport metal detector? 3) shower, bathe or swim with it on? 4) wear it to the gym?  All of these requirements can be met if the piece of jewelry is stylistically small and unobtrusive.  It also needs to be made from genuine materials, such as gold, sterling silver, and precious stones.  Precious stones usually rate high on the hardness scale and are quite tough.

Above are my second skin necklaces: Gold #2 by Code Lulu Frost (you can hardly see it in this photo) and gold, diamond and sterling silver heart by Hitchcock Madrona (see detail below).

Yellow gold filled bangle cuffs by hitchcock Madrona.  Literally, I have not taken these off for months.  We are sold out of the first shipment but more are on the way!  Sterling silver, rose and yellow gold filled available.

Delicate 18K gold ring by hitchcock Madrona (middle finger).  I am also wearing my faux diamond wedding ring I like to take traveling.

A new version of my heart necklace (from first NYC post) – I added a little diamond on the top left corner (when right-side-up) to symbolize the position of your heart.

Goats in the sky!  It was amazing how the goats negotiate the 15 foot high ramps crisscrossing the farmyard.

XOXO

Erica

Officially Fall Outfit of the Day: Claire's Return

Posted by & filed under OOTD, Uncategorized, Xenia Mara.

Fall is in full swing around Hitchcock Madrona and we have all the cold weather gear you need from head to toe. Literally, we are selling hats, sweaters, coats, and socks. This season has been fun broadening our boutique’s offerings. We are so accustomed to selling jewelry that I get a big rush when we sell a pair of socks. Speaking of socks, we have some awesomely cozy and fabulous (of course) socks from Pantherella (England).  I am into the over-the-knee style and will figure out how to wear them asap. Blog post to come!

As you can see, I bribed Claire into another photo shoot. She even agreed to wear lipstick – I will turn her into a diva in no time!

Cashmere sweater by Hitchcock Madrona. Copper, brass and semi-precious stone necklaces by Xenia Mara (layered).  Hailwood coat by Barbour International.

Have I expressed my utter devotion to these short Barbour boots??!  Seriously, there is no reason why you should not own a pair.  Utilitarian Seattle chic. No brainer! I love them because they are a bit unexpected (not Hunter) and they are so light and easy to wear!  I get sore ankles when I wear the big, heavy, tall Wellies.  These are perfect to slip on and run out the door.

“Organic bling” of this druzy quartz ring by Hitchcock Madrona is perfect with the casual/outdoor style of the outfit.

We have sizes 7-9 in the short boots (all black).  They are running a bit big but I actually like that so that I can wear a wool sock comfortably.

How cool are these socks from Patherella?  Maroon, pink and cream. Perfection. I wore these with clunky platform heals and a jean skirt the other day.

Today was the first day of the season that I turned the heat on in the shop. Milestone!  Come visit and update your sock drawer!  I am sure it needs it – mine does!

XOXO

Erica

Just in: Barbour Coats, Boots and Bags

Posted by & filed under Just In, Uncategorized.

For the first time ever (officially) we have ready-to-wear! Clothing at Hitchcock Madrona?! I know, it is different for us but we couldn’t resist these coats while placing our fall order with Barbour. We were very deliberate and hand-picked just a few styles that we love, are not carried in Seattle, and marry the heritage of the brand with fashion. More will be coming in throughout the season but we have four styles in store now.

Above I am wearing the Falcon Coat in black.  We also have this style in olive. This is a long (just below the knee) wool with cashmere military-inspired coat. The best part is the amazing, high quality leather belt. I love that Barbour didn’t skimp on the weight or details of the belt.

Barbour Rainbow International nylon coat. Barbour International is the motorcycle racing division of Barbour of England.  These jackets were made famous by Steve McQueen in the 1960’s. We have two styles from Barbour International and I love how they are very subtly motorcycle-esque. In fact, most people don’t realize it is influenced by a motorcycle jacket. Which means you won’t feel like someone you are not getting out of your wagon to go to the grocery store!

We have black, red and green Barbour boots in the knee high style and black in the short (mid-calf) style.

Blanket Bag by Barbour.

Barbour is a brand that, in my opinion, is wearable for women of every age. The garments are so well made! The fabrics and details are practical (not just fashion). Especially for the weather in Seattle. They are built to be worn!

Come visit and try them on!

XOXO

Erica

hitchcock Madrona in NYC: Day 3 MOSCOT

Posted by & filed under Dustin, MOSCOT.

Day three in New York City was all about MOSCOT Eyewear for team Hitchcock Madrona. We sat down with Alexandra Scherk (a Moscot on her mother’s side) and Harvey Moscot, a fourth generation MOSCOT owner. During our meeting we all realized that MOSCOT and Hitchcock Madrona, as companies, have a few integral philosophies in common. Both brands highly value family and are both truly family run. Theirs is a company that has been passed down five generations and Dustin and I are, as you know, cousins. We also bonded over our shared passion for consistent and definitive branding. MOSCOT has maintained it’s brand integrity for over 100 years. If that isn’t inspiring for beginners (we felt like beginners compared to their rich history!) I don’t know what is! Harvey also respected the quirk and whimsy of our interiors concepts and window displays. They do a similar presentation in the windows at the original MOSCOT store on Orchard & Delancey.

We are approaching MOSCOT headquarters.

MOSCOT was started in 1915 by Eastern European immigrant, Hyman Moscot. Hyman sold eye glasses from a push cart until his son Sol joined the business in 1925 (at 15!) and helped run the first retail store located at 94 Rivington Street. MOSCOT moved to their home and current location in 1936 at Orchard & Delancey. The headquarters that we visited was opened by the fourth generation owners in the early nineties.

Ali helping us decide on the perfect frames.

Dustin and I in our new frames. Thank you!

We are strictly carrying the MOSCOT Originals line. Here is a description of the line (from moscot.com): “The MOSCOT Originals Collection, based on styles from the MOSCOT archives from 1930-1970, celebrates the classic good looks and timeless design born in decades past. The eyewear retains the authenticity of the original frame styles including real glass lenses in the sunglasses, traditional hardware, and lens colors that precisely duplicate the true old school colors first fabricated by the Company in the 1940s. The faithfully reproduced Collection is available as ophthalmic eyewear or sunglasses, with or without a prescription, in a variety of frame and lens color combinations and sizes.”

Dustin in the MOSCOT headquarters retail store.

About the brand (from moscot.com): “MOSCOT infuses its unmistakably refined, downtown aesthetic with nearly 100 years of eyewear expertise and unparalleled craftsmanship to create its timeless eyewear. While now recognized as a global fashion brand beloved by fans worldwide, MOSCOT remains, at heart, a neighborhood optical shop.”

Admiring my new specs!

Thank you so much Ali and Harvey!  The lenses for our order are being cut this week and all 48 pair will ship out next week. I can’t wait to announce their arrival! MOSCOT has agreed to do custom “plano” lenses for our frames (Japan and Hitchcock Madrona only – whoo hoo!) so that you can wear them for fashion. You can still, of course, take them to your optometrist and fill them with your prescription.  We will also be getting the MOSCOT Originals line in sunglasses.  I WILL be buying another pair of frames when they arrive – I need brown/tortoise too!

XOXO

Erica

hitchcock Madrona in NYC: Day 2

Posted by & filed under Dustin, Inspiration, Pamela Love, Uncategorized.

We were up bright and early (well, 9:00 am) on day two to visit the famous Opening Ceremony showroom.  We work with Opening Ceremony on Pamela Love Jewelry and Venessa Arizaga. The space is beautiful and overflowing with creativity.  Opening Ceremony is a showroom that loves to represent and support emerging artists and bring them national attention and distribution. Basically, they are cooler than cool.

Working with our lovely account executive Angela on a new Pamela Love collection.

Our Pamela Love picks!

Up next – Venessa Arizaga! This collection is so up my alley – pearls, black woven cotton, and chain. Yes – please!

One of my favorite pieces from Venessa Arizaga’s spring 2013 collection. We are only getting one. Who will be the lucky lady??

Proper NYC lunch (this is actually day one – I’m cheating).
Our next meeting was at Eddie Borgo – we are so excited to start carrying his jewelry line. I am sure you have seen his work in a million editorial photo shoots in several national magazines. He was nominated for the Vogue CDFA Fashion Fund Award in 2010 (he got runner up!). Then a year later he won the CDFA Swarovski Award for innovation in accessory design.  His work is edgy yet timeless, sophisticated yet whimsical.

His website describes his esthetic perfectly: “THE EDDIE BORGO COLLECTION IS A STUDY IN TRADITIONS; AMERICAN COSTUME JEWELRY, THE HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, AND THE HERITAGE OF NEW YORK CITY. EDDIE BORGO BRINGS NEW ENERGY AND A MODERN POINT OF VIEW TO THESE ESTABLISHED THEMES, FUSING HIGH END AND STREET IN EVERY PIECE HE CREATES.”

We will be carrying his spring 2013 line as well as a group of pieces from his classic collection – cone bracelet, anyone??

A shot of his spring/summer 2013 inspiration board in his studio. 1990’s Linda – does it get better than 1990’s super models?

Sanae, Dustin, and Kara at Eddie Borgo.

Then for some down time, a stop at our FAVORITE NYC spot – the Double RL store in Soho. Probably the high point of our trip was an exclusive tour of the Double RL showroom at Ralph Lauren headquarters on Madison Ave. It was so thrilling and inspirational. Thank you again to our people. We love you Merry, AC, and Andrew!

What happened inside?? We will never tell!

XOXO

Erica

Outfit of the Day: Featuring MOSCOT Eyewear

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I am interrupting my NYC blog for a quick outfit of the day post and an exciting announcement! These photos were taken a few weeks ago when the sun was still shinning in Seattle (I am NOT complaining about the weather – it has been beautiful!). I cannot stop wearing my MOSCOT frames! Hitchcock Madrona will be the exclusive seller for MOSCOT Eyewear in the Pacific Northwest. MOSCOT is a company that is over 100 years old with a rich history as a family business that has been passed down five generations. We are honored to bring this wonderful product to Seattle. MOSCOT has been on Dustin’s radar since he read about the company in GQ Magazine at the tender age of 14. That was a FEW years ago!

“Meckie” frames in black by Moscot.

Steel necklace by Surplus (bottom). Sterling silver monogram shield necklace by Hitchcock Madrona.

Gold filled bangle cuff bracelets by Hitchcock Madrona. Woven cotton and chain bracelet by Venessa Arizaga.

Sterling silver industrial bracelet by Hitchcock Madrona. Prism ring by Eric Saeter.

More photos to come of Dustin and I at MOSCOT headquarters in NYC. Email me if you would like to know when the frames are in stock. They are all ophthalmic quality – ready for your prescription. We are also getting sunglasses.

XOXO

Erica

Hitchcock Madrona in NYC: Day 1

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Here are some photos from our September adventures in New York. Technically we were there to look at spring/summer 2013 collections and place our orders. We did that, don’t get me wrong, but we also stopped at our favorite NYC boutiques. There is no place in the world to shop like New York. Thankfully, we only go there once or twice a year!

Dustin and a colorful wall a la NYC.

Erica lounging on the street waiting for Comme des Garcon to open. Classy!

Fabric details inside Comme des Garcons. Can I have one of each?

Our first meeting was with a new artist (to us) the expert milliner, Lisa Battagila. We are so excited to carry her hats next spring.  Watch the blog – we may be able to get a few fall/winter styles in time for holiday. She hand makes all of her hats in her Brooklyn studio. We have been looking for the perfect hat designer for some years now! Lisa’s marketing team contacted us a few months ago. We really wanted to see the line in person so we set up a meeting while we were in NYC. After seeing the quality craftsmanship and classic (with a twist) designs of her hats we felt her line is a great fit for our boutique.

Erica, Lisa, and Dustin. We are wearing Lisa’s hats, of course!

We happened upon a button/trimmings store after our meeting with Lisa. The garment district is full of these supply houses open to wholesale only. This is Dustin’s idea of heaven! Everything in the store was made in Italy (yum, yes please!). We picked up a few button styles for the cardigans and blazers we are launching this fall.

Dustin buying buttons and buttons and buttons and toggles and buttons and webbing and webbing and buttons.

Then it was off to visit our friends at Lulu Frost jewelry. Lulu Frost Jewelry = friendly people, an inspiring environment and gorgeous jewels. We have been working with them since the very beginning (remember the original Plaza Hotel numbers!?) and it is a pleasure to stop by the showroom/studio every time we are in New York.

Dustin with Lisa, owner and designer of Lulu Frost Jewelry.

Lulu Frost Showroom/Studio.

Erica wearing new spring styles from Lulu Frost in the showroom. I need this, right??

Dustin working with Sandra (she is such a doll!) on our spring/summer order.

Our last appointment on day one was at w29showroom. W29showroom represents clothing and accessory lines that are progressive and hip.  Susanne, the showroom owner, is so cool and Swedish! We bonded over our Scandinavian roots and love for fashion. I wish I got a picture of the sequin jeans she was wearing! We worked for about three hours writing orders for IOSSELLIANI, IOSSELLIANI fine jewelry (yes, that is coming!), and Michael Spirito.  Luckily, Susanne offered us amazing “Justin’s Peanut Butter Bars”, grapes, and water.

Dustin and Susanne.

Spring/Summer 2013 by Michael Spirito in w29showroom.

Dinner day 1.

Three meetings, a little Comme des Garcon, and button buying for day one in New York!

XOXO

Erica

Inspiration: Earth Tones and Mixed Metals

Posted by & filed under Inspiration, Pamela Love, Uncategorized.

Before I left for vacation I persuaded Claire, barista at the Hi Spot Cafe, to get jeweled up and let me snap her photo. Her hair was down that day (it is normally piled on top of her head in a “Claire bun”) and she looked just like a model a la Ralph Lauren. She doesn’t have a stitch of make-up on – zero. She did have a glass of wine to loosen up before the photo shoot though. As you can see we had fun – I will make her my model again!

Cotton scarf by Hitchcock Madrona. Arrowhead ring by Pamela Love.

Gold thread and chain necklace by Venessa Arizaga.

Vintage chain and labradorite bracelet by Xenia Mara. Arrowhead ring by Pamela Love – also available in black. These rings are so hot!

Copper and leather cuff by Hitchcock Madrona (her right hand).

I am back from vacation and I have TONS of blogging material!

XOXO

Erica