Siri: Hello Hannah! Tell me, what’s your day job?
Hannah: I’m a co-owner of a vintage store and a lingerie line, and I like to paint.
S: What sort of things do you like to paint?
H: My main focus is on color, and I’m really into textures as well--it’s quite basic stuff really. I don’t feel the same need to create with my art the way I used to, now I just do it because it’s such a pleasure.
S: Speaking of paintings, where did you find the amazing art on these walls?
H: Before moving to New York City, I lived in Pasadena, conveniently close to two of the best flea markets: PCC and the Rose Bowl. That’s where I found all my dog portraits, and of course, my crying child portrait.
S: Aw, little buddy!
H: He haunts you! I saw him from across the room at the Rose Bowl, and as soon as we locked eyes I knew I had to have him. Why is he crying? Why does he look like he’s from the 70’s but also like he could be in a Dickens novel? Who knows?
S: Do you have a favorite time period in terms of interiors?
H: I really love Victorian chaos, when they had all the plants and the Persian rugs. And Victorian greenhouses were the coolest.
S: You have quite a collection of plants yourself.
H: I’ve had to hang the bulk of my greenery on the ceiling, due to curious kitties and their curious kitty cat ways.
S: How long have you had your furry pals?
H: Going on two years this December. But it feels like an eternity because I love them so, even though they destroy everything! They’re trying to turn me into a minimalist.
S: What else have they mangled?
H: They’ve gotten their little paws into just about everything. They’ve eaten clothing, all my hats, they’ve knocked down and broken countless salt and pepper shakers, lamps, torn apart a sofa--you name it they’ve probably attacked it.
S: Little rascals. Good thing they’re so dang cute.
H: Bobo will do anything for a treat, she’s my little prosti-cute. Her favorite thing right now is to climb into bed with me early in the morning and comb my hair with her claws and lick it while purring. I think she’s thinks she’s grooming me.
S: Heheh, I guess she thinks you need a bath. What about Pippin, what’s his deal?
H: Pippin’s special thing is coming and sitting with me on the couch and putting his little paw on me. We watch tv and read together. He loves to cuddle, but it’s got to be on his terms.
S: I can definitely relate.
H: I think we all can.
Hannah: Ok, Siri. What’s your day job?
Siri: I work as a writer and a stylist.
H: Where did you grow up?
S: A very small organic farm on an island in Washington State, surrounded by people who created things and made things with their hands and people who worked in the soil. As a kid, I never felt any pressure to grow up and take a 9 to 5 office job.
H: Neither did I...
S: Right? None of the adults I looked up to had that kind of job. You had to be creative to live out there.
H: What do you think lead you from being a farm girl to having a career in fashion?
S: It’s interesting, my mother was never particularly interested in fashion in a conventional sense, but she has always been fascinated by fabrics and by time periods when clothing was more elaborate and intricate.
H: Your mother and I have that in common!
S: Definitely! She would take me to museums to look at Victorian dresses and intricate embroidery work as well as beautiful old illustrated manuscripts. I think what I gained from her is an appreciation for colour and detail.
H: Do you have a favored color pallet when styling?
S: I don’t tend to use much black. I understand that a lot of people enjoy the austerity and simplicity of it, but when I look at too much black my mind sort of shuts down and I get really sad. I love faded colors and earth tones, and I love a good floral print.
H: Do you have a favorite flower?
S: So many! I love beautiful English garden roses, trumpet lilies, honeysuckle and lily of the valley. Pretty much anything that smells great.
H: You’re something of an Anglophile, one of the first nights we spent together was watching the Royal wedding...
S: The first country I ever visited as a kid was England. I also grew up very close to Canada, and I like to think of myself as Canadian at heart.
H: You will always be Canadian in my Canadian eyes. You moved from Washington to California, and then onto New York. Have you travelled lightly?
S: I’ve never understood how to travel light. I drag my junk everywhere.
H: What kind of junk?
S: Mostly clothes, books and magazines. Magazines are incredibly impractical to collect; they’re so heavy and they just keep coming! I still have a prized collection of old issues of JANE magazine.
H: Ok last question. What do you love about living in our neighborhood?
S: I love how close we are to Manhattan without having to spend 24 hours a day in the madness.
H: I agree, the space here can’t be beat.
S: The only thing I love more than going into Manhattan is leaving Manhattan at the end of the day.