“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” - Jack Kerouac
It was a stormy January evening on Polk St. in San Francisco, and we had both had one too many Moscow Mules. We got to talking about our job at one of the best high-end interior design firms in the city, where we had been happily working side-by-side for 2-1/2 years. Although we had the job that so many girls (and boys) dream of and were collaborating with truly talented designers, we felt that something was amiss. We looked at our lives as a whole and tried to figure out the missing link...
-We had both planned to travel and live in other areas of the world for undetermined amounts of time.
-We both had a passion and talent for interior, furniture and lighting design.
-We both had an extreme love for art, writing and photography.
-And most of all, we both wanted to find a way to make the world a better place.
*I know, I know, it sounds cheesy.. but I remember so many moments as a tiny human wishing on an eyelash for world peace. Oh little Jo, you had so much to learn. But can't we all learn something about ourselves and our passions from our initial wishes on eyelashes?*
Through mixing all of the above, we discovered our dream: finding artisans in countries like Bali, Morocco, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Argentina, Peru, etc., and partnering with them to create breathtaking pieces for the authentic modern home. Not only are we helping these artisans and their families by providing a steady flow of business, but eventually we will be giving back a percentage of the proceeds to the artisan's communities.
Since we came to this conclusion, it has been a whirlwind of excitement and chaos. We have met with dozens of inspiring people in our lives, picking their brains for any tips they are willing to divulge. We have had strategy meeting upon strategy meeting, with lots of wine and coffee fueling us to take leaps and bounds toward the formation of our lifestyle brand. What surprised us the most is that everyone in our lives were not only supportive, but their collective reaction was: "Um, why haven't you been doing this already?", while requesting items from our future sourcing trips abroad.
As I come upon my 30th birthday, I truly feel that I am following the path that the universe has been leading me toward all along. Fiona and I feel overwhelmed by love and support, and know that with this incredible network of people behind us there is no such thing as failure. We are brimming with excitement to dive head-first into the most rewarding adventure of our lives, and invite all of you to be a part of it!
Photo taken by my father, the amazing photographer Robert Vente, in Afghanistan in 1969. Meant to evoke the feeling we have about our adventures ahead. We dig it.