Broke Down: The Search for Fall

Posted by & filed under Dannijo, Hitchcock Madrona Signature, Inspiration, Just In, Kelly Christy, Klements, Lulu Frost, MOSCOT, OOTD, Pamela Love, Scarves, Travel, Xenia Mara, Yestadt Millinery.

Do you ever feel like you’re broken down on the side of the road, just waiting for someone to come along and tow you to safety? That is exactly how we feel waiting for Fall to come along. Enough with the babydoll dresses and billowy blouses. Well, we got impatient waiting for fall and decided to hit the road in search of patchwork, woolen layers, and the men’s coat of our dreams.

 

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Scarves: Hitchcock Madrona; Sunglasses: MOSCOT

Chunky sweaters and oversized coats beg for a contrasting scarf and unexpected, exaggerated layers.

 

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Scarf: Hitchcock Madrona; Earrings: Xenia Mara; Necklaces: Lulu Frost/ Dannijo/ Vintage

This year, we’re heading into fall with looks that pack a serious punch. Instead of easing into fall with a monochromatic attitude, we’re carrying color into our favorite season. From color-blocked hats and bags and festive cashmere, from Kelly Christy, Yestadt Millinery, and Hitchcock Madrona to 70s sexy, and Maleficent approved evil granny finds from our favorites at Dannijo and Lulu Frost we’re making our own fall story.

 

Travel: The India Diaries – Rug Making & Fabric Dying

Posted by & filed under Dustin, Travel, Uncategorized.

Let’s take a break from our regularly scheduled Spring posts and go back to India.  Please, don’t ask what I am wearing in these photos.  Even I, the wearer, have no idea.  I bought the skirt in a pinch for a nice dinner with one of our vendors during the trip.  Before visiting this rug and fabric factory, we went to the Tibetan market and I scored this faux/real fur vest.  This would be a weird outfit for me in Seattle but totally normal for India!

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Last time we were there was January 2013.  That is why we are a little bundled up (and the Indian people are a lot bundled up).  Temperatures were in the mid 60’s which is freezing to them!  Night time is quite chilly, even to our standards.

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Every time we are in Jaipur we hire Anwar as our tuk-tuk driver.  Somehow we always find him.  Or, he finds us!  The first day we came out of the market and he was at our usual meeting place – I screamed “Anwar!” he looked up and saw us.  He couldn’t believe his eyes!  So, again he drove us around all day and all night.  Above, he is showing us traditional rug weaving – his old profession.  That is a knife in his right hand.  He pulls the yarn through the loom and chops it off.  Right at the same length every time.  His hands were moving so fast!  I can only imagine the number of cuts one would get doing this all day, every day.

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Skeins of natural dyed, hand loomed, wool yarn.

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Along with rugs this factory also dyes all types of fabric.  Plain fabric bolts and clothing.  Above is a woman dying a polka dot pattern on white dresses.  There is a stack of white dresses in every pile on the dirt floor (I know!), she puts her hand in the dye bucket and scoops a dollop on the dresses.  The dye soaks through the layers, dying them all at the same time.  Look at her right hand – it is blue up to the wrist.  Indian’s do fabric dying, rug making, stone sorting and cutting all on the floor.  Usually a dirt floor.

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Dip dyed dresses.  All made with 100% natural dyes.

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I am mimicking the dollop motion that she makes to dye the polka dots (I think).

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XOXO

Erica

Travel: The India Diaries – Night Out

Posted by & filed under Travel, Uncategorized.

Dinner with an important supplier in India calls for a new skirt!  It is also occasion to wear (test drive) product from the trip. As you can see, for summer we love the colorful ethnic vibe of traditional Indian beading and bangles.

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This necklace is still available – love it with a white t-shirt and distressed denim. Go all out with piles of bangles.

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Dustin wearing the classic Hitchcock Madrona leather and sterling silver cuff (small size).

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Green amethyst cocktail ring. One of my favorite designs of all time! Clear, pink and black center stones still available.

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As we were leaving our hotel we ran into a wedding procession. It was amazing! These guys (below) roll the giant lights down the street in dramatic procession. The bride is surrounded by friends and family (you can’t even see her in the middle of the mob) and the groom brings up the rear on a horse!

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He wanted his picture taken!

XOXO

Erica

Travel: The India Diaries – Business Time

Posted by & filed under Travel, Uncategorized.

Here are some photos of us running around Jaipur getting things done! We spend almost all of our time figuring out logistics of materils and design, buying and business. Everything in India seems to take about 5 times as long as we are used to. We have had to learn gracious patience.  We have made many friends over the years and bought lots of jewels!

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Anwar, our faithful driver, shows up every morning outside our hotel! Love him! He is our driver every year – we seem to find him in a city of millions. The “spies” are out and everyone knows we are there within hours of our arrival!

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Here we are in our tuk-tuk (pronounced took-took) going from meeting to meeting in this crazy traffic. Some of the most amazing sights in India are seen from the tuk-tuk. For example, a whole family piled onto one motor scooter. First the oldest child, then dad driving and mom on the back riding side saddle with a baby in her arms  Sometimes there is another child in between mom and dad – five seems to be the record!

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Cool pic of Dustin in the back of the tuk-tuk.

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Here is one section of the market that we work in – we loved the “Hotel Paradise”. Look like paradise to you?  It is so ironic – this is the outside of the jewelry market (all tattered and dusty) but within the stalls there are millions of dollars worth of semi-precious stones and diamonds!

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Dustin walking through the indoor area of the market. We were a bit early. Nothing opens until 11:00 am.

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It is custom to kick off your shoes before entering someone’s shop.

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Strands and strands of gemstones to choose from.  e are always on the look out for anything unique. Crazy sizes and shapes, interesting cuts and rare materials are a YES!

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Our friend Ikram showing us a few new things in his shop. We sit on the floor on a mattress while doing business. The map behind him tracks his clients that live all over the world.

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We spend hours (literally) weighing stones and calculating price to get to our final order.

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Here I am in Ikram’s shop trying on the wares. See the piles next to me? Most of that came home with us!

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Our “yes” pile!

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Another good friend in India – he has so much personality and a genuine love for his business. He prides himself on the quality of his inventory, which as clients we appreciate!

XOXO

Erica

 

 

 

Travel: The India Diaries MOSCOT

Posted by & filed under MOSCOT, Travel, Uncategorized.

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We are expecting a huge MOSCOT reorder for spring/summer next week! While sifting through all the fabulous styles (deciding which to buy) I remembered how much we wore our MOSCOT glasses in India. I was inspired to post a few snap shots of us sporting them while we were there. Enjoy!

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Above and below photos are of us in our faithful Tuk Tuk (same driver everyday) riding all over the city! We spent a lot of time in this vehicle (also know as “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”) and therefore smelled of petrol constantly. Scarves are quite necessary in India because you never know when you will need an air filter.

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Above Dustin wearing MY clear Grunya sunglasses.

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The classic Lemtosh – the perfect frame (above and on Dustin below).

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Cousin selfie photo.

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Above I am sitting in the garden of our hotel – the calm before the storm!

Come visit next week and be the first to try on all the new styles of MOSCOT frames! We will also be featuring the MOSCOT sun collection, hopefully in time for some Seattle sunshine.

XOXO

Erica

Behind the Curtain: India Event

Posted by & filed under Dustin, Lulu Frost, Shop Design, Travel, Trunk Show.

We thought it would be fun to show a few behind-the-scenes images of us getting ready for our India event. The day before around 4:30 we started arranging all the new jewelry and merchandising the store. It was a total overhaul! 80% of the product in the store is new and the windows had to be changed. Saturday was our big trunk show and now for the first time all of the jewelry we bought in India is on display. Thank you to everyone who stopped by for a glass of Indian beer or champagne!

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Hard at work!  My job is grouping and pricing all of the new styles. I also email my out-of-town clients anything that I think they need to see.

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A sampling of India-amazingness (plus some pieces by new Hitchcock Madrona artist Mariella Pilato). More on Mariella soon!

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Genius visual merchandiser Dustin (with his baby our Miele vacuum)!

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Dustin reconfigured the store for maximum India impact. He was here until about 10:00 pm merchandising. When I show up at 10:00 am it is always a treat to see what he has created.

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We mixed our colorful India jewels with the black/sparkle vibe of Lulu Frost and Venessa Arizaga. I love the stark contrast of the styles.

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Clutter becomes beauty – have I expressed how big our new rings are??

Thank you again to everyone who came to the event! We had a blast and sold lots of treasures.

XOXO

Erica

 

Inspiration: Mrs. Roper Style

Posted by & filed under Inspiration, Travel, Trunk Show, Uncategorized, What I'm Wearing.

So, I couldn’t decide if revealing my inspiration for our spring/summer jewelry would encourage or discourage. But, I must be authentic (that is the first rule) and true to myself.  Soooo, ladies and gentleman buckle up because we are going to the Regal Beagle and the Three’s Company apartment building. As a child, how could I not be fascinated with Mrs. Roper’s fashion?? She was amazing! I had to filter Mrs. Roper style through my own personal taste so that I wouldn’t look like I was wearing a costume or going to get my palm read. I chose this slightly psychedelic blazer (sorry, fresh out of mumus!) then piled on the jewels!

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While sourcing gemstones in India the only materials that seemed to resonate and inspire were really, really large. These rocks are not for the faint of heart but what is around here?!  Gemstones in these quantities and sizes are not common so we are excited to feature them as a staple in the Hitchcock Madrona jewelry spring/summer collection.

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More is more is more….in Mrs. Roper’s world (and mine).

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Necklaces: Lemon Quartz, Malacite, Turquise glass multi strand. All of our chunky gemstone necklaces are hand knotted for durability and flexibility.

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Oh and the rings….What can I say about these fabulous extra large organic rings?? They are beyond what we have created in the past. We had to be brave to make something like this but you know, why dumb anything down? Mrs. Roper never did!

All of the jewels (and more) that I am wearing in this post will be available Saturday. We are pouring Kingfisher beer – that alone is worth a trip to Madrona!

XOXO

Erica

 

Obsession: Colorful Bangles for Spring

Posted by & filed under Travel, Trunk Show, Uncategorized.

Preview of our India trunk show!  We were so lucky to find an amazing collection of colorful bangles in India which we purchased entirely from one dealer. It was so fortunate we found him: he had an incredible collection. These playful, chunky bracelets come in colors that are perfect for spring and summer and are so whimsical and fun. We think they look best when you wear more than one at time – don’t be afraid of layering!

 

Event: India Jewels! Saturday, March 23rd

Posted by & filed under Scarves, Travel, Trunk Show, Uncategorized.

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Every year, we go to Rajasthan, “The Land of Kings,” to find inspiration in the bounty of gem stones and textiles that are uniquely Indian. We never know what shape our finds will take, be it a native antique necklace, ethereal cashmere scarf or colorful resin bangles. It is the journey that is always amazing.

Now we’re ready to reveal it all to you, Hitchcock Madrona’s amazing clientele, in the form of an all day, in-store event with a Rajasthani flair.

Saturday, March 23, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Erica & Dustin

 

Inspiration: Dustin's Road Trip

Posted by & filed under Dustin, Inspiration, Travel, Uncategorized, Vintage.

Dustin’s epic 10 day road trip is where our dreams of the boutique’s interior become reality.  Historically, our sourcing trips have directed the interior concepts heavily.  You never know what you are going to find on the road!  Dustin explored our old haunts (and some new) sourcing fixtures and furniture for our “modern midwest” interior.  He hit all the antique malls, estate sales, salvage yards, and junk shops from Seattle to Dylan, Montana to find the key pieces to anchor our concept.  The cities he sourced in: Ellensburg, WA, Yakima, WA, Pendelton, OR, Baker City, OR, Boise, ID, Salt Lake City, UT, Buffalo, WY, Sheridan, WY, Billings, MT, Dillon, MT then back home through Arco, ID, Boise, ID, Baker City, OR, and back to Seattle, WA.  Our road-trips have been a constant source of inspiration and so much fun over the years.  For the first five years of our business we did every road trip together but this time I had to stay home and hold down the fort.  I will never forget some of the memories we have made lurking around small towns hunting for treasures.

Dustin representing the great state of Oregon.

Baker City, OR is one of our favorite places in the country.  Our fathers grew up on a ranch in a tiny (pop 375) town called Halfway in Pine Valley Oregon about 60 miles from Baker City.  Baker was the closest “big” city to Halfway and our dads would travel there multiple times a year for products and services that could not be found in Halfway.  Conversely, Baker City is, of course, small to Dustin and I and we have had lots of fun hanging with the locals at Stockman’s, the tavern in town.

Descending into Pendetlon, Oregon home of the famous Pendelton Round-Up and Pendelton Wollen Mills.

During our initial concepting for the current interior we dreamt of some sort of treatment for the walls – maybe old barn wood or a fence??   We wanted the installation to be less thematic and more about a color pallet/texture than literal props.  We loved the idea of the colors of wheat fields and big sky country.  In true Dustin form, he found the most amazing fence (Rancher: “Why do you want my old fence?”  Dustin: “I just do.  How much?”).  I didn’t realize how beautiful a fence could be until I saw this one!  It is HUGE, over 10 feet tall and rounded (cool!).  The aged wood gives a warm, rugged, masculine and organic feeling to the space.  It was on the walls for only one day and we got offers to buy it!

Loading up the fence that lines the walls of our boutique in Baker City, OR

Dustin drove the 10 foot fence from Baker City to Seattle in the Toyota.

Welcome to UTAH!

Beautiful rag rug found in our favorite antique mall in Boise, ID.  Did I mention it fits the space perfectly?

Trucker Nelson and his haul.

The wild, wild west!  (Sheridan, WY)

Dustin logged almost exactly 3,000 miles in the Hitchcock Madrona mobile (our Toyota Tacoma) to bring a little bit of the country to the boutique.  If you haven’t seen the current installation come visit!

XOXO

Erica