Monday, March 29, 2010

Behind the Design - The Wren

Good morning everyone!  How was your weekend?  Mine was very relaxing and the weather was beautiful!

This week's Behind the Design features Wendren, of The Wren, a fabulous Etsy shop filled with the most amazing bags made from grain sacks.  I bought one of these bags a few years ago and LOVED it! 

Where does your inspiration come from?

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
Sitting on my Morrison chair. It is a big enough chair that I can curl up in and take stock of everything. It is 'my space' in the chaos of my work room.

Where do you do most of your work?
On the floor. It's the biggest empty space (although it is constantly shrinking as I add more things to my room.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
The bird came first and then the name 'Wren' is just too perfect because it is a bird (and it looks like the one I drew which is now my logo) and it is very similar to my real name: Wendren (Although in hindsight, this just causes confusiion for e-mails, invoices, and anything that has the two names placed nearby).

Your favorite thing to make?
Banana bread. I know this is not a product but it is the first thing that came to mind. I loooove the smell of banana bread baking (and the taste of it hot out of the oven).

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
The antique linen and leather bags. The texture and history of each linen grain sack is so special and almost sacred. Whenever I have to cut them open I hesitate because it feels almost sad to cut away at antique stitching, but at the same time, the bag that emerges at the end is beautiful and much more useful than a sack.

You couldn't run your business without _________?
Jeremy. He is my loan bank (when I run out of cash flow), my motivator (when I am not sure if is all worth it) and my late night helper (because I never have enough time in the day to finish doing everything and Jeremy always helps out no matter how tired he is).

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Be super careful with pricing. Do not undermine the value of wholesale orders.

Coffee or tea?
Coffee please.

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
I am not much of a magazine reader. I am more of a page flipper, but if I had to choose, it would be Selvedge. The images are so beautiful and if I do get my hands on a copy, I read it cover to cover.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
It would be some sort of slow moving creature, like a caterpillar. I feel like I need some calm right now and following that little fellow around, I think would be almost theraputic. Following a real person around feels exhausting right now.

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
I lecture Design Foundation and this is a secondary creative outlet, I guess even if it is not direct. It is a break from Wren and allows me to do something else.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
I would LOVE to go to India to learn and see the natural dye fields of indigo.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring with you?
Computer (yes, I know predictable but if you think about it, you won't get bored at all - but yikes, is there electricity?), a good reading book, a sketching book (with charcoal, pencils, and chalk pastels), sun tan cream (I really believe in this stuff. I don't want to look 100 years old when I am 35), goggles (assuming my island is in the tropics I would like to be able to swim around and see all the pretty fish).

Thank you Wendren for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of The Wren.

Wendren can be found at:
Etsy shop

No comments: