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Brands We Love: JAKIMAC


One of our favorite, underrated trends lately has been the leather harness. While the harness seemed a little daunting to rock at first, we came to realize that they're as easy to work into an outfit as throwing on a necklace. JAKIMAC's harnesses and accessories have been dominating the leather game since 2010, so we reached out to Jaki Capozzoli, the brand's founder, to find out the best way to wear a harness, as well as her design process.
Photography by Owl You Are and Brittany Sheets





Hi Jaki! How did you get started as a business? What were you doing before JAKIMAC?

Before JAKIMAC, I was a mural painter and also worked as a graphic design professional. Leather has always been a part of my life. My family owns an independent shoe store in the suburbs of Chicago, and I spent a lot of time as a kid messing around in the leather shoe repair shop. I began recycling their leather scraps, molding them into the very first designs.

What made you interested in harnesses?
I was interested in creating jewelry that can be worn in an alternative way, and also finding new ways to work with leather on a larger scale that wasn’t quite in the clothing realm. My first harness was a version of the JAKIMAC x UO Draped Harness, a simple but versatile design.







Okay, what if we love this trend but feel totally lost? How do you recommend wearing a harness in daily life?
Even the word “harness” itself can be scary. Though it’s been on the runways for years, it’s a totally new concept in daily fashion. I recommend starting out with a draped harness design, one that just rests on the shoulders with a design at the back. It’s something that you can throw on over a t-shirt and jeans that pulls an outfit together and adds a rebellious touch. I also find that wearing a harness makes me more aware of my posture and body language. Try it out, you may grow an inch or two!

What’s your favorite piece from your current collection?
I’m currently obsessed with the Single Chain Harness. I love it worn with a maxi-dress, it’s the perfect combination of feminine and edgy.





Can you tell us a little bit about your design process?
I work much like a sculptor, but with leather. Sometimes I sketch out a design, but most of the time I begin laying leather strips on a dress form, pinning, riveting, and building a design from scratch. Each design is uniquely handcrafted, so some harnesses that have an intricate woven design can take up to three to four hours.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
I look in a variety of places. Many times I think of my favorite couture designers including Iris Van Herpen and Ann Demeulemeester, and dream up a piece to pair with their work. I also look at the stage costumes of rock 'n roll legends like Prince and Mick Jagger, plus I drool over wardrobe design on fantasy shows like Game of Thrones. More often inspiration flows naturally, as I’m very much inspired by the material itself.





Where do you source your materials from?
The leather comes from tanneries all over the world, yet nearly every material I use is purchased within Los Angeles, which is a wonderful feeling. I’m able to support local businesses as I grow my own.

You also design jewelry. Which is more difficult to work with: leather or metal?
Metal is much more difficult! I prefer softer materials. When I work with metal, I cast, which means I sculpt the original piece out of soft wax, and then I’m able to make a mold to cast multiples of that piece. You’ll never find me soldering or hammering metals. Leather is my material of choice. There’s just something about the smell, the feel, the different textures… it’s hard not to love.







Who would you love to see wearing your pieces?
Anyone from pop and rock stars like Lorde, Taylor Momson and Sky Ferreira to my favorite fashion icons, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

What do you have planned for the future of JAKIMAC?
I see the brand becoming a full leather accessory brand. In addition to expanding the line of jewelry, harnesses, and belts, I’ll be debuting the first backpacks & handbags this Fall. It’s also a dream to break into footwear, since it’s such a huge part of my history starting the brand. I already have ideas for JAKIMAC leather combat-style boots!

Shop JAKIMAC

Friday Download: August 1, 2014


Happy Friday, everyone! There's so much beautiful garbage on the internet every week that I want nothing more than to share every special moment in this one post, but I've (somehow) managed to narrow it down to five favorites this week. Read on to see my favorite internet gems of the week. Katie



Janelle Monae "Electric Lady"
Janelle Monae is literally the only person in the world who can make those little Samsung watch phones look cool (re: the first 30 seconds of this video), and I now want one to take pics of all my cute friends. ("I saw Janelle wearing a bulky Samsung phone watch so I bought a bulky Samsung phone watch.") But forreal, this video rules.



Sophie "Lemonade"
A new little boppy song from Sophie! I was curious to see what would be the next big internet tune after "Bipp," and I think I still like "Bipp" more, but for weird electronic jams, this one is pretty catchy.



Running Wild with Bear Grylls
Somehow I had no idea that this "Running Wild" show was happening this week, which seems like a real shame because Zac Efron is probably, like, #4 on the list of things I love. In this episode with Zac Efron, Bear and Zefron repel shirtless down a mountain together and Zac even kisses Bear on his sweet face after Bear farts in his sleep. (Zefron also has a long laugh by himself over the whole thing, because he is an angel and gets humor.) If that's not true friendship, then I don't know what is. Watch the whole episode here.
(Photo via NYDN)


Stuff Drake Does Twitter
Boy, this Twitter account Stuff Drake Does only has 22 tweets so far, but they're all gold. I just reread them for a second time and laughed aloud, again, and that's truly something special. IDK what we all did to deserve Drake, but thank you, universe.



Twin Shadow "Locked and Loaded"
A new Twin Shadow song was premiered in the most recent episode of Comedy Bang Bang and it's totally buried close to the end (start playing around the 1:02:00 mark), but it's so good and so beautiful. Emotions. :(
(via Pitchfork)

About A Band: Strand of Oaks


During the recent XPoNential Festival in Camden, NJ, which took place right across the river from Philadelphia, we spoke to Strand of Oaks frontman (and incredible hugger) Timothy Showalter about the band's upcoming tour, hometown pride and making an album his parents can be proud of. Interview by Katie Gregory



Hi Tim! Thanks for talking to us. Are you guys excited about your headlining tour?
Yes! We're gone until November. We have a couple Philly shows at Boot and Saddle in September, and then we go to Europe directly after. Like three days after the Philly shows, we're gone. And then we added two more weeks in Europe, so that's exciting.

Are you guys still headlining in Europe too?
Yeah, we actually have a lot of groundwork laid in Europe, so we've been headlining there for like a year or two now. We headlined Europe before we headlined the US. We wanted to wait. I was lucky enough to open up for killer bands in the states, like every band was so good. We got to open for them, see how it worked, and just took our time until it was the right moment to do it.

We were talking earlier about how you'd opened for Tallest Man on Earth.
Yeah, Kristian [Matsson, of Tallest Man] and I, we were only supposed to play four shows together and then it turned out to be two years of tour [laughs]. It was supposed to be four shows and then it turned into, like, five different tours together, all over the world. He's one of my best friends. I love that guy.

He seems like a great inspiration.
He's like my brother. We call each other warriors. He's my man, I love that guy. Man, I wish we lived closer.

Your newest album is a little different from your older ones. How has the reception been from the fans?
Surprisingly great. It helped being paired with Dead Oceans, because it's such an awesome label. They believed in it as much as I did and... well, they also believed enough in what I did to let me do whatever the fuck I wanted. Like, I made a record that was very different from my previous records, but they were totally open and just told me to do it. And that's the best thing you can get from a label, just to have someone 100% behind it. Plus, it paid off. I think listeners react to a record when they know the person loves the music that they're making, when they know that it's genuine. I think this is my first record that I genuinely loved making.

The videos that you've put out so far for this album have been amazing, very thoughtful. Did you put a lot of time into fleshing out their concepts?
I actually thought a lot more about the directors than the videos. Rick Alverson [directed "Goshen '97"], he's my hero. He did The Comedy with Tim & Eric and James Murphy. That movie is just bonkers. But yeah, I wanted to work with him forever. And then Zia Anger who did the other video ["Shut In"], she's worked with Angel Olsen and she's just fabulous. We lucked out. It's just a matter of choosing the best team of people to work with. I'm not inherently talented so it's a matter of choosing people who make me look more talented. I pick people who are better than me to be surrounded by [laughs]. You saw the band! They're so much better at music than me, that's why I work with them.



How long were you all recording the latest album?
I started writing and recording last September. I finished the record around Christmastime. It was a pretty quick process.

We love that it got great reception from so many publications and music blogs.
Yeah, which I just feel like... I think it's a good time to be making records. I'm proud of music. I'm proud of my contemporaries. I think right now some of the best records being put out in years are happening, as we speak. It's a really good year to be putting out a record, like there's a really good crop of things [laughs].

Do you have anything you're looking forward to?
Man. Well, those two Boot and Saddle shows. They're super intimate. We wanted to play smaller venues for the first round. They're going to be intense. Wild.

That venue is pretty perfect.
It's one of my favorites. We decided to play there because I've been there a few times and I was like, “Holy shit, this place is incredible.” I'm really excited to get back into it. We're playing some awesome gigs, cool rooms. Like The Independent in San Francisco is awesome. I'm actually playing my hometown in Goshen [Indiana]. I'm super nervous about that. It's gonna be people like family members. I'd rather play to thousands of people than to two family members [laughs]. You can't really be cool around people who used to change your diapers when you were a baby. It's hard to pull that off.

That's exciting, though! When's that one?
August. So it's coming up soon. Old girlfriends and old friends.



But now you have this cool new record so you can be like...
[Deep voice] Look what I've done! Look at me! Exactly! My goal is... well, I don't know how to use the internet, but I need to get on the Goshen Wikipedia page under notable people. I don't know how that happens, but I need to find a way to get on there.

Anyone can edit it! You should totally add it in.
I know [laughs]! That's my goal. We've been kind of everywhere with this record, but my local newspaper wrote about it and that was what did it for my parents. They were like, “You were in the NEWSPAPER.” And I was like, “I know, I was also in...” And they're like, “No, but YOU were in the NEWSPAPER.” [Laughs] I made it! There it is!

Do you feel more like Goshen is your home or Philly?
Philly. I mean, I moved in 2000, so like at this point, that's almost 15 years. Playing something like this [WXPN festival] is hometown. When you grow up, you can't consider where you're from your home. I lived in Goshen for my upbringing but I was never an adult there. I moved out when I was 18, so it's pretty much over [laughs]. I go there because my family is there but this is where I live. I love it here. Especially right now. I don't think there's a prettier city in the fuckin' world looking at this [gestures to skyline]. This is amazing.

It's great looking over from Camden.
Who woulda thought! The Camden view is the view to have.

[At this point a woman comes up and asks Tim if he is Dawes. When he explains who he is, she gets her picture taken with him before leaving.]

Nice. You're Dawes!
Usually I get like, “Are you in Skeleton Witch? Are you in a doom metal band?” Somebody asked me about Skeleton Witch like four times once, so I finally looked at their press photos and I was like holy shit, I look like I'm in Skeleton Witch [laughs]. Valiant Thor! If I didn't have my shirt on right now, I'd definitely be in Valiant Thor [laughs]. Doom metal.

Years ago, you played this small art gallery, Eckhaus, in Kutztown, PA, and now you're starting to get recognized and playing big shows.
I love [Lehigh Valley]. There were so many good shows there. It took a long time to do big things. It definitely didn't come fast. People still ask me if we're a new band and I tell them yeah, we played our first show in 2004, we're pretty new [laughs].



Do you feel like you're where you want to be now or...
No, I want to sell out stadiums. If you're from Indiana, you don't do something without doing it all the way. Basically, parents aren't instantly satisfied with you if you're a little successful. Like if you got an A- they'd be like, “You didn't get an A?” So, for me right now, it's not even for my own ego or anything, I just need to prove to my family that I'm making it. They don't understand under-the-radar stuff, so I need to get much bigger for them to understand what I'm doing. [Pauses] This is like a therapy session! But no, I love what we're doing now. I think it's exceeding my expectations, for sure. It's awesome.

Are you guys already working on the next record?
We'll be touring until, like, fall of 2015, so we're not too worried about it. I can make a record in two weeks. I can't do anything else in life except make music [laughs]. The best is when you tour for a long time and then you stop touring. You play the guitar on the road, but you're playing it for a purpose. You don't get a lot of time to just write on the road, for me at least, so it's so awesome to finally get done with touring. Like, then it's record time and your mind just opens up. I already have another record written, but I don't think I'll put it out. I like it, though. It's fun. I was writing R&B songs a lot, singing up in the falsetto range. Thinking, “I wonder if people would ever want to have sex to my music.”

You should definitely try that.
I was listening to that one Drake song that everybody likes, "Hold On We're Going Home," and I was like, “I wonder if I could write a song like this.” [Laughs] I think that song is so good. But no, I'm into playing the guitar. The next album will probably be even louder, more rock. I want to make records that sound good in stadiums. I'm kind of a scatterbrain, but I think it works out.

Strand of Oaks Tour Dates

Friday Download: July 25, 2014


Happy Friday, everyone! We rounded up some delightful internet tidbits for you, but read fast and then head outside - it's beautiful out there, and you aren't going to wanna miss this sunshine. #SUMMERFRIDAZE



Banks "Beggin For Thread"
This newest song uploaded by Banks from her upcoming Goddess LP is sooo good. It's a little more upbeat than what we're used to hearing from Banks, and I'm a big fan. (via Idolator)



Ryan Adams "Stay With Me"
This past week, Ryan Adams started touring with a full band again, and he debuted a few new songs from his upcoming self-titled album. Here he is playing his new song "Stay With Me" at the first show of his tour (his banter!!). And if you feel like weeping at your desk this Friday, here he is closing with "Come Pick Me Up." (via Stereogum)



If I Stay
Listen, I know this looks corny. I know they are using that horrible, cheesy "SAY SOMETHING I'M GIVING UP ON YOU" song. I know of all this. But there's also a sad grandpa. And a boyfriend playing guitar romantically. And tragic, loving parents. So, yes, I will weep at this in theaters. Let's all weep at this, together.



Fifty Shades of Gray
Yeah, I know. We've all seen this trailer already. But I needed to post it again because I need to talk about how surprised I am that Focus is involved in this. And the fact that this definitely, absolutely looks like it's going to be a horror movie for the first 1.5 minutes. And the fact that all I can think of with the whole, "There's not much to know about me. I mean, look at me," line is the "She's got glasses and a ponytail! And paint on her overalls!" line from NATM. And Beyonce is involved, which is surprising? (Even though we all know Bey has terrible taste in movies.) Wow, anyway. Can't wait for February.

Brands We Love: CMRTYZ


Seattle-based duo CM Ruiz and Ty Ziskis, aka CMRTYZ, are an artistic team that creates original artwork for "anything from T-shirts to album covers." UO design teamed up with the duo to print their lo-fi creations on one-of-a-kind destroyed tees, and subsequently created some of our favorite tops of the summer. We caught up with the duo via email while they were on opposite sides of the globe to find out a little bit more about their design process and inspirations. (And they also had some incredibly inspiring words of wisdom for all aspiring artists out there! We're feeling like we can take on the world now.)





How did you guys get started as a company?

TYZ:
[Carlos] and I met through a mutual friend who was curating a NW poster art exhibition. I had just been laid off from my job and volunteered to help with the project. My contribution was the idea to create a group of products incorporating the work from the artist and the music from the bands that were featured on the posters in the the show. The whole thing ended up being kind of a bust, but through being a part of the show I met Carlos and we clicked immediately. I was blown away with his work. We decided to continue the concept of building products using his work as our graphic identity. We never visualized ourselves being a clothing brand really; we're just two guys that like to be productive. We like to daydream and then get a kick out of figuring out round about ways to make those dreams happen.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

CMR:
I'm inspired by things that have similar energy or humor as I do. I like comic books, '60s mod design, The Simpsons, and my other creative friends' work. I look at a lot of Reddit and Tumblr when I can't really think of anything, because an artist's block can be reduced just by laughing at some dumb thing and feeling relief.

What is your design process like?

CMR:
I go to a copy shop and just start making stuff. I'll come with some books in my bag I know I can pull from, things like pretty girls or interesting body movements, and start creating things around these people. Landscapes, text, shapes, bugs, brick walls, floating creepies, stuff that I like to draw and I think can balance a composition. Around 3/4 way in I will start to pull back the insanity and start to think of it mathematically. I'll listen to whatever music I think best fits the tone, mood, and voice of whatever particular project I'm working on.





Any advice for other young artists/entrepreneurs out there?

CMR:
I think if you're naturally talented you really have to hone it and try your hardest to make as much work and get as much practice as you can. If you're not going to go to school, then you have to learn from whatever scene you're in about what works and what doesn't. You can't be resigned to give up because it didn't happen in a year or two; it may take ten years but at the end of it you'll be "there" which is the mountain peak you wanted to get to all along. You have a story and you need to just go for it 100%, not halfheartedly.

TYZ: Don't listen to the people who tell you you can't because of "this or that." Think outside the box, then think outside that box, too. Think backwards and upside down. There is always a way as long as you believe there is. Be persistent even if it feels like you're being annoying. Always be productive, be prolific, don't stop working. If you are doing EVERYTHING (and I mean EVERYTHING) in your power to make "it" happen, the universe will more than likely take care of the rest.

What are your favorite spots to hang out/eat/etc. in Seattle?

CMR:
Lots of places! Ba Bar, Tacos Chukis, Ezells Fried Chicken, Ballard Pizza Co. For drinking there's The Streamline, The 5 Point, Rendezvous, Hazelwood. For shopping there's Totokaelo, Glasswing, Comics Dungeon, Zanadu Comics, Red Light Vintage, Pike Place Market. Literally any park is nice, or see a movie at any of the art house theatres (Harvard Exit, Guild 45, Central Cinemas). Just pick up a Stranger and see what's happening. A lot of the time they're not far off.

TYZ: BPC (Ballard pizza co.), Pho Cyclo, Pike Street Fish Fry, GGNZLA karaoke, T-docks for a good swimming spot, STARBUCKS for coffee, Fremont Vintage Mall/Market, my backyard and Magnusson beach dog park.

What are you currently listening to?

CMR:
Detective Agency, White Fang, Juan Wauters, So Pitted, The Trashies, Times New Viking, Vaguess, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, Outkast, M.I.A., Chiddy Bang, Ice-T.

TYZ:
Detective Agency, So Pitted, Johnny Thunders, Pet Shop Boys, Stickers, The Memories, Yves/Son/Ace, King Krule, Damaged Bug, and everything on Castleface Records.

Shop CMRTYZ

Near and Far: Victory Press x UO


Victory Press is designer Jessica Humphrey and artist Jonathan Cammisa, collaborating to create a collection of men’s clothing inspired by post modern art, prints and silhouettes of ‘80s skate and surf culture, and the functionality, integrity and ideology of ‘90s outdoors wear.

En route to launch a Victory Press pop-up event at our Los Angeles-based concept store Space 15 Twenty, Jess and Jonathan drove across the country, visiting American factories and getting up close and personal with the country’s great outdoors. Here, the design duo lets us in on every adventure of their nationwide trek.







How did you two come together and launch Victory Press?
Jess: Jonathan grew up in South Philadelphia skating. He was heavy into grafitti and hip hop, and he spent his summers at the Jersey Shore. I grew up in Virginia Beach surrounded by surfing and skateboarding, and as a teenager photographed every punk and hardcore band that came through my town. We met about five years ago in Vinegar Hill, a small neighborhood in Brooklyn. We both were obsessed with 1980s and ‘90s vintage clothing and we had the same taste in art and music, so we became best friends. We decided to start a clothing line out of a shared realization that outdoors wear just wasn't cool. We wanted to make outdoors wear that like-minded people want to wear.

Tell us about the Victory Press pop-up that brought you across the country!
Our friend Kyle came to our studio one day and proposed we set up shop at Space 15 Twenty for the summer of 2014. As a new brand, we were stoked on the opportunity to build out a space with our creative vision and spread our ideas to the West Coast. So, we though it was only appropriate to see the country on our way here so we can tell our story to you.







What was your favorite city or pit-stop along the way?
Mystic Hot Springs, Utah was by far the most interesting destination. We spent a few hours soaking in old claw foot tubs filed in with mineral rich hot springs with epic views of the Utah Mountains. Mystic Mike, who hosts the property, has an extensive collection of posters and stickers he's illustrated for touring bands, including the Grateful Dead. He also has a YouTube channel where he hosts live music and does an awesome job recording. There is also a collection of buses previously owned by Deadheads, for which you can rent and sleep over, if you want. It was truly a mystical moment. And then there was Yellowstone National Park—there are no words for how beautiful it is there.

Any travel mishaps?
Not really. We had good vibes on our side!

What was your day-to-day life like on the road?
We woke up. I'd heat us up some Grady's Coffee we cold brewed the night before. I might have some time to make breakfast while the boys break down the camp. If not, it was Early Bird Granola and yogurt and then we were on the road. Some days were long drives—almost 14 hours. We literally drove until it was time to sleep. Our meals that day would be "Jon's Back Seat Turkey Sandwiches" and the good old gas station special. The other days we'd drive for six hours or so and set up camp. We'd cook chili or hamburgers, relax, shoot our BB gun, then go to sleep extra early, wake up, maybe do a hike and then hit the road again. We were lucky enough to spend a good stint in Yellowstone and Utah where we could meander a little more and soak up the environment. We drove through 15 states in seven days, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to stay idle.







What were some of the best and worst meals you had while traveling?
The best meal was the chili we cooked over campfire the first night in Yellowstone. We brought our cast iron dutch oven and made a slow cooked chili and cornbread. We set up camp with the Grand Teton mountains as our backdrop, with no other human in site. It was magical. We actually ruled on the food tip. Even the sixth time we had turkey sandwiches, they were delicious!

What are your top five travel essentials?
Our trusty Birkenstocks, Oberto Beef Jerky, Snowpeak Titanium Stove, our dog, Jasper, and Santa Maria Novella Potpourri (for the stinky truck).

What advice would you give to someone about to embark on a cross-country trip?
Give yourself a good month because there is too much awesomeness to see.





The Victory Press x Ours Gallery summer pop-up shop at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahunega Blvd) is open now and runs through July 27, 2014.


UPDATE: Now you can watch the video Victory Press made with the help of Nathan Caswell about their cross country trip!

Friday Download: July 18, 2014


Summer is hurtling by, and that means Jenny Lewis' newest album The Voyager is coming out so soon (only a little more than a week, now). This is so exciting. My teenage self from 2003 is screaming in excitement. Her video for "Just One Of The Guys" came out this past week, along with some other awesome vids. Let's check them out below. Katie



Jenny Lewis "Just One Of The Guys"
Jenny can do no wrong and Kristen Stewart is incredibly charming in this, HATERS BE DAMNED. Always here for the "kinda totally random" actor cameos in music videos.



SZA "Julia/(Tender)"
Here's the newest video from SZA, another perfect jam for the summer. There's also this clip of SZA and tiny little Willow Smith performing their song "Domino" together earlier this week, which was fun to watch. (via Vibe)



Made In Minnesota
I was recently re-reading an article on The Replacements in a Sassy mag from, like, 1991, so when I saw that Noisey went out and did this mini-doc on the Minnesota music scene, I was pretty pumped to watch it. It's good, and made me finally realize that Craig Finn's speaking voice sounds literally exactly the same as his singing voice. I have no idea how I'm just finding this out now.



Lapsley "Painter (Valentine)"
This song is sooo pretty and Låpsley is apparently 17 years old, so have fun feeling like an untalented garbage can after you listen to this one. (via Gorilla vs. Bear)



"My 14-Hour Search for the End of TGI Friday's Endless Appetizers"
Caity Weaver is my favorite person to read over on Gawker and her most recent post over there may be her best yet. Basically, she sat in a TGI Friday's for 14 hours to test out their new unlimited apps deal, and boy oh boy, the laughs you'll have along the way are endless.

Friday Download: July 11, 2014


Can you even believe that it's already mid-July? Because I sure can't. Luckily there will always be songs coming out that help us hang onto that "endless summer" feeling. Here are some of my recent favorites. Katie



Yumi Zouma "It Feels Good To Be Around You"
I'm really into this one from Yumi Zouma for the aforementioned summery vibes. Makes me want to sit on the beach in a sparkly leotard while drinking a Raz-Ber-Rita. (via Gorilla vs. Bear)



Christopher Owens "Nothing More Than Everything"
Listen, if you know anything about me, you know that nostalgia is everything to me, which means that I am so into the vibe of this video and song. Great job, Chris Owens. You're really doin' it.



Little Dragon "Pretty Girls"
Realllly into this new video from Little Dragon because it involves a beauty pageant, pageant queens and ZOMBIES! It's a real delight. Very girl power, TBH.



Dev Hynes "Chandelier" Remix
"Chandelier" on its own is a very special song so I was a little unsure about any remixes, but Dev Hynes did a-ok with this one. Gonna make a playlist with just this and the original "Chandelier" looped over and over again for 40 straight hours. (via Pitchfork)



Interpol "All The Rage Back Home"
Interpol are coming back with a brand new album, El Pintor, this September and the first single is here with an accompanying video shot in a moody black and white. INTO IT.

Happenings: Afterfest Making Time Chicago


Chicago, listen up! We're excited to announce that for this year's Afterfest our friends Liars and Vatican Shadow will be performing at The Mid (306 N. Halsted St.) on Friday, July 18, from 10pm-4am. As always, Making Time's resident DJs Dave P. and Sammy Slice will be continuously DJing throughout the night. Admittance is free with RSVP, but make sure to arrive early to guarantee entrance. We hit capacity last year (thanks, everyone!) and expect the same to happen this year. Read our recent feature with Liars here and watch their video for "Mess on a Mission" below. See you in Chicago!



Click here to RSVP for #AFTERFEST

UO DIY: Scrapbooking


After visiting Tulum recently to shoot our newest lookbook, we had so many new Instax photos that we didn't know what to do with all of them. Rather than hang them up, we decided to start a scrapbook/journal hybrid for them, so we could keep all our pics in one spot and also write down some of our favorite memories. Instagram is good but when it comes to keeping track of a bunch of photos, sometimes it's best to go back to a good ol' fashioned notebook. Read on to see what we did!





Organize
If you, like us, take a boatload of photos, you'll want to sit down before scrapbooking to decide which pics you want to include and which pics you're going to shove in a box somewhere. It's also nice to be able to look at everything in front of you before you start working, just so you can make sure you have everything you need. Above were our basic supplies for this project. The notebook we're using to start out is this super fun (and bright!) unruled Leuchtturm journal.

Keep It Simple
It's easy to want to throw five pictures on each page with 30 different artistic touches, but it usually (not all the time!) looks better when the clutter is kept to a minimum. (But if you've figured out how to make clutter look amazing, give us a call, because we love glitter and stickers.)





Washi Tape
We love washi tape for scrapbooking because 1) it's adorable and 2) it's the easiest way to adhere pictures. You don't even have to worry about doing the roll of tape on the back because it looks perfect taped right on the front. We're also pretty lazy when it comes to crafting, so it's nice to have something that's so versatile and easy to use.

Stamps
Obviously stamps are a great way to add some excitement onto your scrapbook pages. You can get literally anything on a stamp these days, which is perfect for those of us less artistically inclined. Can't draw a cat? Stamp it! Boom. Done.





Mixed Media
We liked the idea of mixing in some souvenirs and cards we found, just to round out the whole scrapbook a little bit better. For some of our backgrounds, we bought printed paper in Mexico that we then cut out and taped into the book to give our pages a more colorful background. A pack of beachy playing cards also looked nice mixed in with everything, so we stuck them in there, too.

Stickers
Stickers are THE BEST. You can put them on pictures, use them to stick pictures to the page, and decorate the page with them. It's super easy to go overboard with them. (We maybe went a little overboard. It's fine.) But hey, if you love stickers, there are some giant books of them out there that will let you sticker to your heart's content.





Shop Travel Journal Essentials

Friday Download: June 27, 2014


A lot of new, good tunes were released this week, but my actual current favorite "album" is this delightful mash-up album called Mouth Sounds. It has a lot of Smashmouth. It's pretty special. Oh, and if you want to feel really old, Wilco's A Ghost Is Born turned ten years old this week. TEN! Ten years of people yelling out "PLAY 'SPIDERS'!" at Wilco shows. God bless. Anyway, here are the tracks released this week that really spoke to me. Katie



The Weeknd "Often"
You know, sometimes I forget to listen to The Weeknd's lyrics and then when I do I feel like a scandalized mom because dang, he gets dirty. This new one from him is great, though, pearl-clutchin' lyrics and all.



Grimes "Go"
Okay, here it is. The new Grimes song. The one that Rihanna rejected. It does seem a little more Top 40/made for Rihanna and a little less "classic Grimes," but I am not one to turn up my nose at a catchy tune. YOU DO YOU, GRIMES.



Ryn Weaver "OctaHate"
Ryn Weaver kinda came out of nowhere, but this song is amazing. Charli XCX wrote it so you know it's good. (BTW, here's a very fun interview with Charli where she talks about writing the song.) This is going to be another one I'm obsessed with this summer.
(via ONTD)



FKA twigs "Two Weeks"
A NEW VIDEO FROM FKA TWIGS! She looks perfect and the song is perfect and I feel perfect listening to it. Her debut album LP1 comes out in August, so luckily we can expect to be hearing even more new songs from her soon.



Sia "Big Girls Cry"
Sia deserves all the millions of dollars that she gets for songwriting because she is so darn good at it. This newest one from her is as good as the rest and I will absolutely be listening to it as I cry off my makeup.

UO Music: Raury


Raury is an 18-year-old performer from Atlanta, GA, and even though he just graduated from high school last month, he'll soon be supporting Outkast (along with Childish Gambino and Kid Cudi) at their sold out #ATLast festival this September. We've been hearing the buzz about Raury for some time now, so this Friday, June 27, Raury will be performing at our Atlanta, GA location. We caught him on the phone last month right before his graduation to find out a little bit more about what he plans to do this summer and just how he's going to take over Atlanta. Katie



Hi Raury! Thanks for talking to us.
No problem. Nice to meet you, Katie.

Nice to meet you too. How’s everything going?
I’m graduating today!

Oh, today?!
Yeah, I have to be at the center around 4pm.

Oh my god, well thanks for doing this interview. And congratulations on graduating!
Yeah, for sure. It feels so good to be free.

Do you have any plans for the summer yet?
Oh, yeah. To take over Atlanta. [Laughs] Those are my plans.

So you must be pretty happy to be done with school now.
Yeah, I guess a lot of people are pretty excited to be done, like [excited voice], “I’m graduating, I’m graduating!” But I’m just so ready to get it over with and go away. I don’t feel that excitement. Maybe it’ll hit me when I’m in there, but right now I’m just like, “Get me out of here!”

Are you planning to move out of Atlanta or do you want to stick around?
I have unfinished business here. There’s a lot to be done before I can just up and leave. I’d like to be here and then leave from time to time, like business trips or working with other people. I feel like I need to take over the city before I leave it. [Laughs]

We saw online that you’ve been going on an “Anti-Tour” and played outside a Childish Gambino show recently.
Yeah, yeah.

Do you have plans to keep doing that?
Okay, I’m going to tell you a secret but you can’t tell anybody. I can’t even say it too loud because my mom’s in the other room and she doesn’t know either. But you know how I’m graduating today? Guess what’s about to happen? [Laughs] A lot of kids like the song and I didn’t perform at the talent show, so they’re pissed off at me. They’re about to get their performance. [Laughs]

Have you ever gotten in real trouble for one of those performances?
Nah, I’m too fast to get in trouble. [Laughs]

Do you ever play venues in Atlanta?
Actually, my first "real" show at a venue is going to be June 10th.


Footage from Raury's first "real" live show, Raurfest, June 2014

When does your EP Indigo Child finally come out?
I'm thinking late summer. Be on the lookout for it August through September!

Do most people find you through the internet or do you have a good fanbase in Atlanta that's spreading your stuff?
Well, in my high school I've always been really well-known for doing music. Like I started a music club and directed the talent show so I have a lot of people that believe in me and the things I do. For the past two years my management and I have just been building up one hell of a network. Getting to know the right people and starting the right relationships, you know? Now that it's time for me to release something and they know what the music is, they really champion it. They really love the music.

When did you start getting super serious with your music?
I knew that music was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life when I was 14. I was a young kid and was like, "What can I do to get rich and get the girls?" [Laughs] I've always been doing things, I've always been musically inclined. And I tried other things, like I ran track and football, but at the end of the day I wrote my first song when I was 3, looking up to Michael Jackson and all that, so by the time I was 14 I quit playing football and really tried figuring out every way I could get involved musically with the school. Just putting myself out there. Throughout that, I just got to meet the right people and get into a position where I'm doing the things I'm doing now.

Who have you been listening to lately?
I've been listening to PARTYNEXTDOOR. Also digging deeper into some older stuff lately. I've been retrograding with my music. Like Stevie Wonder and Prince. I just downloaded Nirvana's Nevermind album. I'm always listening to Kid Cudi, I'm never not listening to Kid Cudi. I'm never not listening to Justin Vernon.

What are you excited for this year?
To see how the world reacts to the Indigo Child project. I feel like it's not just gonna be a collection of music. It's not just an EP or a mixtape or anything like that. It's a movement and a project within itself. The videos and interviews, everything down to the shows I do, they inspire this new wave in music. There's a lot of cool, different types of kids in my city, not to mention the rest of the world, that are young and overlooked. Throughout this project it'll just bring awareness to these young, advanced kids of the internet age. Kinda wake the world up about that.



See Raury perform live on June 27 at our Atlanta store (1061 Ponce DeLeon Ave. NE)!

Friday Download: June 20, 2014


Before we get into everything from this week, we'd just like to point out that O-Town released a brand new music video yesterday and the song is called "Skydive" and the lyrics are "I just want to skydive into your life." So, don't say that 2014 never gave you anything. Now, onto the rest of the best from this week. Katie



Arctic Monkeys "Snap Out Of It"
The sad girl in this video is us when we realized that Alex Turner won't be marrying us anytime soon. Sigh.



Little Daylight "Hello Memory
We stumbled across Little Daylight on Soundcloud this week and were racking our brains trying to figure out where we'd heard them before, and then we realized they played Governor's Ball earlier this month. Anyway, we're happy we randomly ran across them again thanks to the internet because every song is amazing, especially this remix of "Love Stories."



Jungle on Kimmel
This week, Jungle made their US TV debut on Kimmel and did prett-ay, prett-ay good. We're excited to hear their self-titled full-length album when it's released July 15.



How To Dress Well What Is This Heart?
How To Dress Well's new album is out June 24 and the whole thing is available to stream over on whatisthisheart.com. It's a good album to listen to if you're feelin' like you need some sad summer music to wallow outside to. Right now we're listening to "See You Fall" and feeling like we should be in a dramatic indie comedy. It's very pleasant to weep to contemplatively. (via Consequence of Sound)
"Rock Band Recital Fail"
This is incredible. They are trying so hard and then everything just falls apart and they don't even react. It's basically your entire career as a middle schooler condensed into a 59 second metaphor. KEEP YOUR HEADS UP, FELLAS. (via PAPERMAG)

For The Record: Little Dragon

Little Dragon, a Swedish group that has consistently put out dreamy, uptempo tunes to keep us dancing, is the latest band participating in our For The Record program and will be signing vinyl at our Herald Square location (1333 Broadway, NYC) on June 21 from 1-2pm. We spoke to Yukimi Nagano, the band's frontwoman, to find out a little bit more about their latest record Nabuma Rubberband and what the band has planned for their inaugural U.S. tour.
Interview by Katie Gregory



Katie: How are you today?
Yukimi Nagano: Good! It’s a beautiful day. I’m home in Gothenburg.

How does it feel to finally have Nabuma Rubberband, your new album, out?
It’s amazing! I think we’ve waited for that time, and now it’s actually happening and it’s good to finally share the music with the fans and people—not just journalists and the label.

How long did it take to record the album? Because you’ve taken a break for the last couple years, right?
Yeah, we toured after Ritual Union for a year or two years and then I’d say we were in the studio for about a year, year and a half.

What has the reception been like? Have your fans been into the new music?
Yeah, it’s been amazing. [We’re] definitely feeling the love from the fans and even new people who don’t know about us, who have discovered us from this record. I mean, you’re always going to have those people who have their opinion with, "Oh the first one’s my favorite." Or, "Ritual Union was my favorite." But that’s just the world! It would be boring if everyone had the same taste. I don’t mind.

I saw on your Twitter that you retweeted Willow Smith who said she liked “Paris,” which I though was cute!
Oh yeah! Yeah, that was fun.

Was it easy getting back into the touring game?
It took a minute, for sure; I think just to sort of feel tight as the band. We needed to just throw ourselves out there and have some shows. I think we feel ready now.

I saw that you guys participated in “Tumblr IRL.” That show seemed really awesome!
Yeah it was really special actually; it was pretty crazy. We had a small space—it was maybe… 200-300 people capacity—but the line has two thousand people so it was pretty amazing. It was frustrating because we obviously wanted everyone who came out to come in but we were at least able to give everyone the comic. It was a special space because Brian Butler, who created the comic, also did our art installation in there. It was good to do something for the fans that was genuinely just from us so it was fun.

So that was kind of a one-off event right? And how about the comics? Would that be something you would bring on tour?
[The event] was definitely kind of a one-off, but the comic is something that me and Brian and the guys have talked about doing for a few years, but it didn’t happen until now. Obviously it made sense to do now because of the record coming out; I sort of kept in contact with him and waited for the right minute to be like, “Alright, let’s do this comic!” It all fell into place spontaneously but it was also something we talked about doing.

I saw all of the pictures online, and the actual comic looked so cool!
Yeah! And you know I really love comics and the stuff that they brought was kind of in the similar spirit to the Nabuma comics, so it had humor, it was surreal, it was fun stuff! I got in and bought a whole bunch of comics myself to read on the road or whatever.



I saw that you guys have been doing fun things around the album release, like the derby car contest for people to win tickets. How did that come to be?
It was something we decided to do! It was partnered with Redbull but it was our initiative to do it. All of the cars were really awesome. There were some really creative, fun fans who did amazing little cars. I was really impressed; it was fun. The whole idea was initiated by Adam Farrell from Loma Vista who has this really creative mind and he always comes up with crazy, interesting ideas. It’s fun when you meet those people who are like, “Hey I have this idea that sounds stupid and amazing!” And then it actually happened.

Do you have any upcoming festivals or shows that you’re looking most forward to play?
I mean, I think were just looking forward to so much. I think for sure doing the tour. I think we’re going to be doing our first U.S. tour in June. So compared to festivals that should be fun to be able to get into the zone a little bit and actually have time for a proper sound check. But I really enjoy playing festivals because of the other bands. You get to see the other bands and check out other acts and also get into the adrenaline of playing for a big group of people and people just come check you out and don’t know who you are. It’s a larger scale and more intense, but I look forward to both festivals we’re doing this summer but then proper shows as well.

I saw that actually both of your New York shows sold out, which is awesome!
It’s really cool! When we started we felt a lot of love from the West Coast in the U.S., especially L.A. and San Francisco. It’s nice to really feel the love from New York and feel it grow there. It’s a special place; I mean I really love going there and playing there.

What do you like to do for fun on tour that’s not musical related? Any rituals or places you like to go?
When we have the time, because we don’t always, we definitely like to eat good food—everybody’s kind of foodies. You want to get a contrast from your everyday so definitely like some beautiful nature, or a park. Erik is into speed skating on ice and weight lifting. Håkan tries to find the little weird gear stores where you can find some synth that is rare but hopefully cheap because they don’t know it’s rare. Fred is always looking for the best coffee place. I think it’s just sort of about finding that space to relax.

Do you have any music or TV shows that you’ve been into lately?
True Detective… I was pretty mesmerized and scared. Like, it really scared me! A couple nights there I was like, “Uhhhh… when I get up to use the restroom I might get murdered!” Fred is into Fargo. Håkan had a moment of Game of Thrones but apparently he’s kind of over it now [laughs].

Where do you hope to see yourself in the future with the band?
I definitely see us making more music and trying to challenge that—I want to do different things. I don’t know how exactly. Not necessarily collaborations with other musicians, but maybe collaborate with a painter, or make music for film. I don’t know, definitely creative stuff and staying inspired, and making music and kind of continue to make things that feel fresh, inspiring and new so you keep your mind on the edge and inspired!

Shop Little Dragon’s fourth studio LP, Nabuma Rubberband, out now on in the U.S. on Loma Vista Recordings, and in the U.K. on Because Music.

Summer in the City: Northside Recap


This past Saturday, we made the trek from Philadelphia to Brooklyn for Northside Festival to catch some of our favorite bands playing the Space Ninety 8 stage during the day. The event took place on Bedford Ave., and we were pretty pumped to see the street was closed off and covered in (temporary) grass, which made it perfect for lounging in the sun. After we got our fill of the stage, we made sure to hit up each of Space Ninety 8's For The Record signings, explored the shops along Bedford and admired all the well-dressed Brooklynites, taking Instax pics along the way. Read on for some of our favorite shots and to learn more about the amazing stage our store team built from scratch!Katie


The stage just starting to come together


Getting the stage ready the day of the event

Our finished stage ended up looking incredible and we have our talented store employees to thank for that. Bryan Metzdorf, one of our display artist mentors, told us, "The stage took several weeks to plan; I had to come up with a modular system that could be adapted to the different stage options that were talked about with Northside." Since Bryan hadn't seen the stage beforehand (and knowing that set-up time was limited), he had to come up with a simple stage construction using only triangles made from dowels, eye screws and dichroic window film that changed colors depending on lighting conditions, which was then assembled with zip ties.


Closeup of the finished product


Neighbors performing

Four days prior to the installation, Bryan had a team of seven local UO display artists come out to help with the fabrication and troubleshooting. To ensure a smooth build, the team broke the backdrop into eight large pieces that were easier to handle. "Overall, the display went up pretty smoothly considering all the variables, and the whole team was really excited to see it come together," said Bryan. The finished, seriously impressive product was the perfect backdrop for our performing bands. Seeing the crowd's positive reaction to the stage (and their selfies in front of it) showed that Bryan and his team's hard work didn't go unnoticed.

Mas Ysa performing on the finished stage


Stage installation in action


Top: Space Ninety 8 stage / Bottom: Bedford Ave.


Top: Loungin' / Bottom: Our first band Teen Girl Scientist Monthly waiting to go on


Left: Eagulls signing a fan's chest / Right: The best spot to hang


Top: Views of the city skyline / Bottom: 6th and Bedford


Top: The cutest bike / Bottom: Eagulls at their For The Record signing


Left: Checking out the Space Ninety 8 stage / Right: Eleanor Friedberger



Top: Flowers along Bedford / Bottom: All hands in at Space Ninety 8

Special thanks to all the bands and store employees who helped make this day a success!

Friday Download: June 13, 2014


Happy Friday, everyone! Here are some things from the past week to keep you entertained, because how can you not be entertained when something like this very important and very real Game of Thrones post exists now? Katie



Spoon "Rent I Pay"
Spoon is back and if this song is any indication of what's to come on their newest album, then sign me up for like 4,000 copies, okay?



Happyness "Leave The Party"
This band Happyness is Stereogum's "Band To Watch" this week and I love this song so much, so thank you for this treasure, guys. (via Stereogum)



Very Good Girls trailer
I'm not 100% sure on what this is about (like, it has to be deeper than just boy drama, right?), but I'm a sucker for any super emotional "coming of age" movie. YOUNG LOVE! NAVIGATING THROUGH TEEN LYFE! CUTE BOY! I'm here for it all. (And having Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen as the leads definitely doesn't hurt.)



Clickhole website launch
The Onion launched a new Buzzfeed parody site yesterday called Clickhole and it's already my new favorite site. With quizzes like "If I Ordered Fries Would You Have Any?" and "Is Your Dad Proud Of You?", there's literally hours of fun to be had. Also, make sure not to miss "10 Hilarious Chairs That Think They're People." This is important.



Strand of Oaks "Shut In"
I keep posting about Strand of Oaks and I'm sorry (I'm not sorry), but the video for "Shut In" came out this week and I'm super into it so y'all should be too.

About A Face: Meaghan Mullaney


We’re always curious about the daily beauty, hair, and skincare routines of the effortlessly made-up women we know. From concealer to coconut oil, "About A Face" is our insider glimpse into the makeup bags and medicine cabinets of our everyday muses. For our first installment of the series, we spoke to the Brooklyn-based model, stylist, and international traveller Meaghan Mullaney about her favorite products and beauty secrets.
Photographs by Amanda Merten





Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I love to travel. I've recently returned from a trip with my boyfriend to Patagonia, which was basically like visiting Mars. The most inspirational place I've ever been is South Africa; everything from the people to the landscape to the street style is insane.

What's your daily skincare/makeup routine like?
In the mornings I always use Elemis' Tri-Enyzme Resurfacing cleanser. All Elemis products are a DREAM. With a cleansed face I use Elemis' Gingseng toner before I apply Kate Somerville's oil free moisturizer. After all that, I'll throw on some Dior mascara with a neutral Nars eyeshadow. And Laura Mercier's Illuminated Tinted Moisturizer with SPF if it's a sunny day. It makes your skin have an amazing glow.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
I'm super impatient so I usually only take around 30 minutes to get myself ready.

Do you have a holy grail product?
I'd have to say the SKII facial treatment mask. It's definitely a splurge but well worth it. And Cate Blanchett uses it! Good enough for me.

How diligent are you about washing your face?
I try really hard to wash my face twice a day but let's be honest, sometimes it's only once and sometimes not at all if it's a busy day. Don't judge me!



What was your favorite beauty product as a teen? Do you still use it?
My favorite product as a teen was a lot of blue eyeshadow from MAC and too much eyeliner. Let's hope I don't use that anymore. Oh, and lots of Sun-In.

How important to you are eyebrows? If the answer is “VERY” what do you use to groom them?
My eyebrows are really important to me. I love a full Brooke Shields brow. Don't we all? I use a brown Nars shadow with a slanted brush to fill in my brows. And I always only tweeze in the middle.

What's your haircare routine like?
My hair is yet another thing I'm lazy about. I wash it once or twice a week with Komenuka shampoo and conditioner. Afterwards, I'll just give it a quick blow dry and then I use Davines hair oil which keeps it tame and makes it shiny.

Any hair products you can't live without?
Definitely my Komenuka shampoo and conditioner. It gives you mermaid hair!

Where do you like to get your hair done?
I live in NYC and the girls over at Adelaide Salon in Williamsburg know just what to do with my long locks.



What's a great beauty tip you've picked up over the years?
Sleep with braids in! It's my favorite trick. It gives your hair this really beautiful wave when you wake up.

What kind of fragrances do you like to wear?
I'm in love with any scent by Balenciaga and the bottles they use are gorgeous. I also like to switch it up with a men's fragrance. Preferably YSL Hommes.

What's your favorite nail polish currently?
I always and forever love Mint Candy Apple by Essie. It's the perfect shade of minty blue.

Everyone’s had a beauty mishap. What beauty nightmare happened to you that you lived through?
Growing my hair our from a pixie cut. Let me just say I wore A LOT of hats.

What's on your beauty wishlist right now?
Mountain Ocean Skin Trip lotion (the best body lotion and it smells like the beach), Fig & Yarrow mustard bath soak after those long NYC days, TONYMOLY Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub and Skinfoods Coconut Milk Hand Cream.

Friday Download: June 6, 2014

This week's Friday Download is alllll songs, people, so get ready. It's been a great week for songs. (But I'm not going to lie, I still watch-listened to HSM3's "Scream" about four times today. You just can't knock the classics, amirite?) I'm a little bummed that it's only June 6 and it's already 3,000 degrees out, but at least this summer looks like it'll be a promising one for good tunes. Check out some of my favorite new ones below. Katie



Tops "Change of Heart"
I am obsessed with this song. I have a feeling I'm going to be saying that about a lot of these songs this week, but seriously, this one is sooo good. The video is full of FRIENDSHIP and the song itself sounds like SUNSHINE and GRASS and SWIMMING all rolled up in a ball full of happiness. I am like, overwhelmed with feelings about this one, guys. Listen to it ASAP.
(via Gorilla vs. Bear)



Parquet Courts "Black and White"
The video/song combo for this one from Parquet Courts is just really doin' it for me. My dream in life is to be this cool one day.



Tennis "Never Work For Free"
Okay, I'm going to say it again: I'm obsessed with this song, too. Everything Tennis has put out lately has been speaking to me, like so much. Like, I have to keep going private on Spotify to hide how much I've listened to their Small Sound EP. The band also recently announced that their newest album Ritual in Repeat will be out September 9th, which luckily means we don't have too long to wait for even more new ones.



Charli XCX "Boom Clap"
I love this song. I love this book. I am weeping already.



Strand of Oaks "Shut In"
I think I made literally everyone I've ever met or crossed paths with listen to "Goshen '97" when it first came out, so I'm actually surprised I'm a little late on "Shut In." Strand of Oaks actually released this song (from his newest album HEAL, out June 24) a couple of weeks ago and somehow I missed it the first time around, but I found it now. AND I AM NEVER TURNING IT OFF. Can't wait for this album release, TBH.

Studio Visit: Goldies and Meow Meow Tweet


With our vast beauty selection continuously expanding, we wanted to take the time to focus on some of the local beauty vendors and companies that are always working hard on making small-batch products with locally sourced and organic ingredients. This week, a few days ahead of their launches at the new UO Herald Square location, we shine a spotlight on two natural beauty brands from Brooklyn, NY, that we can't stop talking about: Goldies and Meow Meow Tweet. We spoke to Sarah Trogdon from Goldies and Tara Pelletier from Meow Meow Tweet to find out a little bit more about each company. Katie

GOLDIES



Hey Sarah! Tell us a little bit about how Goldies came to be.
I come from a family who was always growing a lot of stuff. My parents are hippies, so I had that background already; I was always gardening. I used to work at Robertas, and when we put in the rooftop gardens I finally had a garden space in New York. I started experimenting with all the herbs by making soaps, and I was really good at it. I'd come wait tables at night with a suitcase full of my products and people just kept requesting more and more. With all my connections from over the years, I eventually started selling in my friends' shops and people from all over ended up just finding me that way. [laughs] And the brand just keeps growing.

When did you realize this could be a full-time business?
I do all the products for the Wythe Hotel which was a big move for the business. That happened right at the end of my year of being a stay-at-home mom, when I had to make a decision about what I was going to do, job-wise. I thought I'd go for it and see if I could make this something to support me and my family. That happened all at the same time and it pushed me to create products that weren't just hippie, but were products that everyone all over the world could enjoy. And I did it!





Where do you find the ingredients you use? Do you grow it all?
It's mostly stuff I have to order. Most of what I grow is for experimenting or testing stuff out within our little family and then I have to source stuff in larger amounts, because I need a lot of it. I make sure it's all sustainable and organic. I try to source everything as close as I can, but a lot of the oils come from other countries.

Do you have a product that's a best-seller?
Yes! Well, the thing that Urban carries the most of is the Vinegar Hair Rinse which is a super, super herbalist, simple recipe. Also, the Vetiver Dream Cream is one that sells well.







How do you decide what you want to start working on next?
Seasons. And necessity and desire. Thinking of things that I'd like to have in my own life. That's basically how the brand got started. The things I would spend money on were wine, cheese and beauty products. [laughs] We sit there and think about how we would make things really pure and unique. Then we do! Like right now we're working on a beachy hair spray that has salt in it but also lightens your hair. We've been testing that one out the past few days on the beach near our studio in Rockaway.

Is there a scent or ingredient you use the most?
We use vetiver a lot, which has really made it onto the scene.





Where do you see the brand going in the next few years?
Hopefully doing more hotels and spas. We're working on a travel kit that will be coming out really soon. And a beach kit, with a tanning oil, hair lightener. Maybe makeup, because I think it's really fun. Just bigger, bigger, bigger. [laughs]






Hey Tara! Tell us a little bit about Meow Meow Tweet.
Jeff [Kurosaki] and I have been doing Meow Meow Tweet for the past five years, but we've been doing Meow Meow Tweet without supplementary jobs for the past two years. It started off because six or seven years ago, my grandma gave me a bar of handmade soap in my stocking from one of her friend's farms, and we were like, "Whoa, this is amazing!" We're artists and always thinking about how we can make things and we were really into urban homesteading, so we were like, "What if we made soap and it supported our performance art?" [laughs] Because of course performance art doesn't support you. So we bought a book on like, Amazon about making soap and it was successful. [laughs]

And that's how Meow Meow Tweet was born.
Yeah, I don't know what would have happened if it wasn't successful. [laughs] We were like, "Whoa, this is awesome!" and also like, "Whoa, this is a ton of soap!" so we started giving it away and people kept telling us we had to sell it. We applied to the Renegade Craft Fair without being an actual business yet, so we went back and forth on the name because we needed one. We have two cats and a bird, so that's where Meow Meow Tweet came from.





What happened after Renegade?
We were accepted for some reason. [laughs] We made so much soap and came up with all the packaging. We don't do any markets anymore, though, except for the Vegan Shop-Up. It's the only vegan open-air market.

What ingredients do you use the most in your products?
When we started, we said we wanted as many ingredients as possible to be certified organic, for everything to be natural and for everything to be understandable to a person who is not in the know. Like if you go to a fancy restaurant and you read the menu and you're like, "I don't know what any of this stuff is." We didn't want our ingredients to be like that. [laughs] Things that everyone understands but also work really well together. Most of the oils we use are from the U.S. and Mexico and then our butters are from South Africa. We definitely source so everything is from certified organic farms, and all of our glass is manufactured in the U.S.





Do you guys have a best-selling product?
Our Deodorant Cream. It's all natural. This was one of the recipes that took the longest to formulate. When I was done with it, I was like, "Jeff, you need to make a drawing that represents how long it took to make." So he drew a snake making a slam dunk. [laughs] If you look at the ingredients, you can understand it all. You just apply it with your fingers and it's highly effective.

Do you have a favorite thing to make?
Well, I formulate all the recipes and Jeff does all the drawings and is in charge of operations. My favorite thing to do is probably come up with new recipes. I always like making the newest thing because it's the thing I've made the least. [laughs] Right now I love making our newest face cleanser.

What are your plans for the future?
To get bigger, but to do it in a way that we can handle and keep the quality of everything that we make. We know we can only grow as much as we can afford but, you know, world domination. [laughs]





Friday Download: May 30, 2014


After a long, long weekend filled with sunshine and smiles, I thought this work week was going to draaaag but it actually passed by incredibly quickly. A magical surprise, TBH. It definitely didn't hurt that a ton of fun new tunes have come out lately to keep life feeling exciting. Here are some of my favorites below, to hopefully keep the week days feeling short and the weekends feeling long. (Endless, even. Please, universe.) Katie



Little Dragon "Paris (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Holiday Edit)"
A totally long name for this remix, but definitely worth bustin' out at your next party. Plus, Little Dragon is just so cool, as evidenced in this video for "Paris." Frontwoman Yukimi Nagano is my new life crush.



Jungle "Time"
Little behind on this one if we're going by internet time (a week old may as well be like, 300 years old), but this song is too good to not post. Jungle's full album comes out on July 15 and seems like it'll be the perfect LP to blast all summer long.



Kim and Kanye 4eva
I love this picture, I love that they are married, I love adorable Baby North, I LOVE THEM ALL, ALL OF THEM. I would like to sing John Legend's "All Of Me" to the entire family on top of a mountain. Luckily for everyone that is as obsessed with this couple as I am, PAPERMAG did a beautiful roundup of pictures from their recent totally understated (JK) nuptials in Italy. Popsugar has even more fun facts about the wedding, because why not stuff our brains with this garbage, ya know?



La Roux "Uptight Downtown"
Another great new jam from La Roux. I am in full-blown "SUMMER DANCE PARTY" mode right now, so I'm very pleased that her new album will be coming out in July.



The Atlantic 100 Pieces of Journalism
Even though letting our brains rot is totally fun and very easy and delightful, it's important to read Real Things from time to time. That's why I'm glad The Atlantic did all the dirty work for us and rounded up this collection of a little over 100 pieces of fantastic journalism from the last year. I'm feeling smarter already.