Journal

Q+A: Archie Archambault of Archie's Press November 13 2013

We all remember our firsts. Red Sail had only been open for two weeks when I got my first artist sales pitch, which happened to be from this young guy who just walked in off the street with a few postcards and prints. I still remember it because it was truly the worst sales pitch EVER, but in an adorable "I'm REALLY new at this" kind of way. It was pretty quiet that day so I said I'd take a look at the work and, wow, I'm so glad I did, because that guy was Archie Archambault, the talented designer behind Archie's Press. In the past two years he has gone from someone making a few maps here and there, to a top-notch designer traveling the country creating maps for cities coast to coast. It's been so exciting and rewarding for me to be a part of his journey as a designer and fledgling business owner, and his visits to the shop are always welcomed. Fresh off his latest mapping tour of Washington DC, Atlanta, Austin and New Orleans (Red Sail will have these maps in the next week or so), Archie gives us a peek inside with some Q+A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portland Map, the best seller  |  Archie while on a mapping tour this fall  | New Solar System Map

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Whenever I make a city map, I find the most inspiration from the city itself. Stylistically, I draw inspiration from any form of experimental information systems. These are littering the internet, but a few names that come to mind are Nicholas Felton, Rem Koolhaas and Pinterist. 

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Traveling is the most exciting part of my job. Every new city provides a new set of challenges that I can't help decode with a long walk or a bike ride while I consume the fruits of every city's culture. 

What’s your greatest challenge as a designer right now?

I'm really afraid of falling into a formula. I'd hate to be pigeonholed as someone who doesn't provide a lot of thought into the work they produce.

What’s a little known fact about your collection that you wish more people realized?

My work is aimed at producing the clearest and most truthful representation of a city. I'm not just making something that looks cool. The goal is something truly useful, a map straight from the mind. 

What's in the pipeline right now? Any sneak peeks or upcoming projects you want to share?

Right now I've got 4 new maps to release and they're almost done. It's keeping me on my toes. Next year I hope to do a mapmaking tour of Hawaii, San Diego, LA, Vegas, Salt Lake, Denver, Aspen, Omaha, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. We'll see how far I get! Also looking for an adventure-mobile for the voyage. Know anyone with a Vanagon for sale?! 

What are you listening to in the studio while you’re working?

It changes every week, but The Current from Minnesota Public Radio is the greatest radio station I know of. 

What is the #1 piece of advice you’d share with an aspiring designer?

Don't Despair! You're going to come up with hundreds of terrible ideas, but the gems make it worthwhile. Delegate responsibility. You can't do everything yourself. There aren't enough hours in the day. 

The work day is done! Where is your favorite place to unwind?

Anywhere with good food, so anywhere in Portland. 

 

 


Q + A: Christine Fail of Fail Jewelry November 04 2013

Every so often I get super lucky and come across a line that is truly a perfect fit for Red Sail, and that's exactly what happened when I discovered Fail jewelry while roaming the booths of Chicago's Renegade Craft Fair in September for 2012. I immediately fell in love with the line's simple mixed metal designs, and as soon as the first order arrived in the shop Red Sail customers fell in love too... the pieces are irresistible! Below, Austin-based designer Christine Fail gives us the scoop on her collection with some Q+A.

 

Bestseller - Crescent Hoops   |   Designer Christine Fail   |   personal fav - Deco Layering Necklace

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

So many places!  Usually it is from my friends and the women in my life.  I am so fortunate to know so many creative and expressive women. They are the types setting trends instead of following them and I am naturally influenced by our conversations, our interests in art, architecture, music, and of course their personal style.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Getting to design, make jewelry, and be creative all day (or at least most of the day)! And honestly, being the boss and getting my way is pretty nice too.

What’s your greatest challenge as a designer right now?

Finding the right people to help me grow my business. As someone who runs a small business, you really are the one who does everything from design to marketing to accounting.  However, to really grow I have to start being able to find people who can act on my behalf, whom I can trust, and who know exactly what I want without me even telling them.

What’s a little known fact about your collection that you wish more people realized?

As a result of my background in metal-smithing, a hammer touches all of my pieces.  Because each piece starts out as wire or sheet, and the form is created by cutting and hammering, each piece is truly unique. Because of my past studio limitations, I chose not to solder or use cast pieces in my designs and relied solely on what are called, cold-connection.  Having to rely on cold connections only has really pushed me forward in the design process.  I have to be more innovative and creative with my technique and style, so that I can set myself apart from other designers.  It has also helped keep a diversity in price-points within the collection so that I can keep my collection affordable and attainable. 

What's in the pipeline right now? Any sneak peeks or upcoming projects you want to share?

I have a few projects in the works!  In May I closed the doors on my small retail shop here in Austin so that I could exclusively focus on fail.  Now that I have moved into my new dedicated studio behind my house, I am finally getting more time to devote to design. I am excited to launch both a home accessories collection as well as a contemporary bridal collection within the next year!

What are you listening to in the studio while you’re working?

Old country and blues. I like songs with a little grit, a good story, and that you can sing along to.

What is the #1 piece of advice you’d share with an aspiring designer?

Build a community of artists, makers, and designers around you that you admire and respect. Having advice, support, guidance and inspiration is so important as a small business owner. As a group, you can all build each other up so that you can all grow together.

The work day is done! Where is your favorite place to unwind?

In the kitchen, cooking dinner with my husband, enjoying a glass of wine.

What’s your favorite piece at Red Sail right now? 

The Nell & Mary tote bag! I can speak from experience that it is the perfect bag for running around the city, holding my water bottle, sketch book, and various other essentials while still looking stylish! Mine is going on 1 year of continuous use and is still looks great! Bonus- its handmade in Portland!


Q+A: Nicole Cipriano of Cipriano Designs October 23 2013

One of the best selling lines at Red Sail is Cipriano Designs, the beautiful leather collection from Portland-based designer Nicole Cipriano. Her work is consistently showered with customer compliments... they love the feel, they love the prints, they love the construction. Given that Nicole is one of our most popular designers, and that she happens to be one of our favorite people to work with, we wanted to share a little bit more about this amazing lady through the first installment of our new reoccurring journal segment, Q+ A.

Nicole hard at work  |  Best-seller Web Print Anita Clutch |  Most lust-worthy Anna Bag

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Most of my inspiration comes from architecture. I’ve always been obsessed with structural forms. I like to examine how things are held together and what happens when metal, wood or concrete merge. Designing is a very tactile process for me. I need to have the leather in my hands. There are a lot of different types of leathers, and they all take on a unique personality with each design. Once I start playing around with the leather a new idea will just come to me.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s very rewarding when I see someone out in the world with one of my designs. It’s also rewarding when someone contacts me to say they saw one of my designs and ‘needs’ something just like it. As a designer, you want the world to appreciate your creations, and when moments like these occur, it’s just a reminder that I’m doing everything right.

What’s your greatest challenge as a designer right now?

My biggest challenge is not having enough time! I have so many ideas just bursting at the seams, but I’m too busy with production to keep up with it all.

What’s a little known fact about your collection that you wish more people realized?

Most people don’t realize that I’m a one-woman show. I design, sew, screen print and market my own product. If someone sees a bag or wallet they’re interested in, it may not be in stock five months later. In a way, my leather goods are limited edition since it’s impossible for me to have all of my designs on hand all the time.

What's in the pipeline right now? Any sneak peeks or upcoming projects you want to share?

New leathers and new prints! The new print I’m refining is called ‘Texture.’ I’m bringing in a few new leather colors, and I’m working on a new bag design. I really can’t wait to complete the collection!

What are you listening to in the studio while you’re working?

I go through phases of listening to the same album over and over again, but I’m a huge fan of Audible. I love downloading audio books, but it’s all about what process I’m in in the shop. This week I’ve been listening to Lana Del Rey and James Blake.What is the #1 piece of advice you’d share with an aspiring designer?

There’s more to being a designer than just designing, so be mentally prepared to learn all the ropes of running a business. Make a list of your goals and ask a lot of questions. There are a lot of free resources out there and remember you are not alone! Most importantly, listen to your heart and don’t give up.

The work day is done! Where is your favorite place to unwind?

I always unwind by walking my dog, Chico, to the park.

What’s your favorite piece at Red Sail right now? 

I’m in love with Caravan Pacific’s Alberta Table Lamp. All of the elements are pieced together beautifully. I can appreciate the flow of wood and ceramic joining forces for this creation.