Though I’ll never deny my love affair for all things pink and sparkly, my heart and soul belongs to camp neutral. Organic inspired vases and vessels, handmade jewelry and unique bits and baubles make me weak in the knees. And New York City shop, Still House, caries all that and a whole lot more. With images from Sharon Radisch, we’re going behind the scenes, and it’s oh so good.
SMP: Tell us a little about Still House:
Still House is a store, and now also a corresponding in-house line of jewelry, based on thoughtful and minimal design. I opened the shop first, in New York City’s East Village, in 2011. We carry specially hand picked jewelry, objects, stationery, and home goods with an emphasis on work made by artists in New York and Japan. In 2013 I launched a line of delicate silver and 14 karat gold jewelry made up of basic geometric shapes. Many of the pieces in this line are deceptively straightforward; tiny black and white diamonds are set in unexpected places and are concealed or revealed according to the angle they are viewed from. At Still House we value simplicity, subtly, and clever design – it encourages us to be more perceptive of the qualities in things around us that often go unnoticed.
SMP: You feature some of the most uniquely beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen. How do you decide what to sell in your shop? What is it you look for when sourcing pieces to sell?
Thank you! Even though Still House is a design boutique, I am very open about what I look at and what vendors I order from. I’m interested in what meaning an object takes in different contexts. Bringing objects to life in this way is just as exciting for me as enjoying a well-designed piece by renowned artist. Still House could really be considered more of a curiosity cabinet inspired by organic minimalism aesthetic than a design boutique!
SMP: What’s the hardest part of owning your own brick and mortar shop? The most rewarding?
It’s a 24/7 commitment. I don’t know if that’s the hardest, but it’s the one that really needs to be considered. The shop always needs to be open no matter what and things just tend to come up when I try to schedule some time off. But I really love being at the shop. I constantly meet a lot of great people there. Some of them I ended up partnering with on certain projects, some of them became friends. Going in to work is always a fun adventure and it’s truly rewarding.
SMP: Do you have any tips for someone hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Follow all of your passions, but only one at a time. I constantly meet a lot of talented people with lots of brilliant ideas and they are constantly struggling to bring all of them to life at a same time. I would highly recommend writing all of them down, but choosing the most simple one that has most potential for financial return to start with. The rest of them can be revisited over time as business grows. It’s good to start simple.
SMP: What’s the one thing you’d tell someone who’s hoping to start their own business?
Take a business class. Get a good accountant and a publicist.
SMP: Could you share one thing that really helped your business thrive?
It’s very important to talk to as many people as possible: fellow entrepreneurs in your field, your employees, vendors, customers. A good business owner, I believe, acts as a filter. They gather as many ideas as possible by listening and implement the best ones.
SMP: Three things every style-savvy homeowner should have?
A well considered entryway. That’s the first place that your guests get to see when they come in, so it’s your chance to have them feel immediately comfortable and welcomed. Figuring out where to put ones coat and shoes shouldn’t be a struggle. I would invest in figuring out a well-designed, simple, and practical solution for that. After that, there is nothing that a beautiful set of wine glasses and some plants can’t take care of.
SMP: And finally, what’s the one thing you just can’t live without?
Ceramics. It’s an obsession at this point. I just can’t resist adding to my collection! Once I see a beautiful glaze on a simple hand-thrown shape that’s it – it has to come home with me! I love getting up every morning and choosing what bowl I am going to eat my breakfast out of and which mug I will use for my coffee…I derive a lot of joy out of this process.