INTERVIEW: PINE + BOON
Posted on 01 October 2013
Today we will be sharing a little interview with one of our favorite local designers, Jess Marie of Pine + Boon. Jess Marie actually was a fellow classmate of mine while in art school and at one point interned with me for my jewelry line. At the time, I was interested in starting a bag line so Jess and I collaborated on some ideas for the line. In the end I decided to focus just on my jewelry and how I could expand my brand by working with other designers. And thankfully Jess continued on with her own dreams of starting a line of high end, handmade bags. We're so happy to be carrying her work and supporting a friend and fellow Seattlite.
1. Where did the name Pine + Boon originate from?
When I started my business I really struggled finding a name. I wanted something meaningful and forward thinking. ‘Pine’ came from my love of the Pacific Northwest. The outdoors have a profound affect on me and my creativity spirit. Boon means favor or benefit, which I came to see as my gift as making.
2. Where are you located? And does that environment effect your style and products? I live in Seattle! I have been lucky enough to live in NY, Los Angles, and visited many other places. But when I come home, I sometimes feel like I am still traveling because it is so beautiful. I used to take it for granted, but now I do not. Seattle is a fairly small city. I believe the relationships I have made with local artists, musicians, and artisans inspired me to believe in my own work. While we can all get a little depressed by the rain, it sure does help to have something to keep you busy while inside.
3. When was Pine + Boon established?
I started PIne & Boon in May of 2013. But I have been making things my whole life.
4. What do you sell? What is the inspiration behind your products?
I sell fine leather bags and hand painted textiles. My business started from my desire to make the perfect tote for myself but also remind me of my love of art. Thus I started hand painting the linings of the bags. Most bags I find are heavy, ill-proportioned, and poorly designed. I believe in the simple, feminine, and happy bags.
5. Where do you hope to see Pine + Boon as a business in 5 years?
I would like to grow slowly and thoughtfully. I do not want to lose my time for making, which I know can be difficult when you start a handmade business. I would love to expand my line to become more environmentally friendly; organic fabrics, natural dyes, and work directly with a tannery. My husband and I have also talked about creating a line of printed fabrics inspired by his paintings. I would love to sew pillows, totes, and linens with them.
6. What is a typical work day like for you?
I have another part-time job as an administrator three days a week. On those days I usually sew or work on my blog in the evening. The rest of the week I have very busy days. I run errands all over town to pick out hides, zippers, fabrics, and paints. I then start to cut, sew, paint, and iron. I will work on the blog, take photos, and set budgets. But I always try to leave a little wiggle room in my day a few times a week to work on new designs and experiment in the studio.
7. Can you tell us a little bit about your creative & creation process?
I tend to experiment with various patterns and colors on paper first, and then I create swatches for my fabric designs. I also have a notebook I keep handy when ideas hit me, or I might forget. Visits to the leather store and thrift stores tend to give me a lot of ideas for bag designs. As I mentioned before, I create a lot of designs for myself, but tweak the design to work for my business and for my customers. Thus, I have to simplify my process to be efficient and productive. That can also grow and expand my ideas.
Thank you so much for chatting with us Jess!
Photos by Cristie Schrader