Sometimes you get customers that you just gel with at the onset. In this case, it was via telephone. Tami from Cloth & Kind (one of the partners behind the dynamic duo design team) called last spring in bad need of some Millie sconces in very vibrant colors. She of course came to the right place for the latter, but she needed them quickly, and quickly is not something we do very well as a made to order company. We were able to work something out but not after a series of snafus which gave us plenty of time to back and forth with one another. Needless to say it all worked out just at the last minute after a series of hitches and everything came together for everyone just right. (This is where with interior designers of the world always blow me away– at the end of an amazing production were a myriad of snafus, hiccups, brief bursts of joy, breakdowns and high fives, something amazing comes together that looks just so easy peasy and amazing, a snap of fingers and wiggle of the nose. Voila!
Just take a look at some of their work here ...
But after this small interaction, I thought…these ladies are grace under pressure. Hopefully we will meet one day.
That day came this month when I traveled to Ann Arbor with my son to see the University of Michigan where he will be attending graduate school. (Cloth & Kind are based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Athens, Georgia and run by partners Krista Nye Nichols and Tami Ramsay). We swung by their gorgeous office and showroom overlooking the Huron River. Tami was in Athens for their new showroom opening, but Krista and Jessica and team took the time to visit with us and show us around. Creative, intense, and playful as their showroom, these ladies pack a punch with their designs as well as offer to the trade a curated, artisanal fabrics and wallpapers.
So if you are in the lovely town of Ann Arbor (home of University of Michigan) or Athens, Georgia (home of the University of Georgia), drop in and see what Cloth & Kind are cooking up, as they are sure to delight–both personally and professionally.
Read below for a little interview we did with them last month:
We are huge fans of Cloth & Kind! Can you tell us how the store came to be?
We have always considered ourselves songbirds for artisanal textiles--in fact our business partnership blossomed around this shared love--and we knew that one day we would eventually open a brick and mortar to-the-trade showroom in Ann Arbor, MI because the Midwest is a highly underrepresented part of the country from a showroom perspective. That was 5 years ago and we haven't looked back!
Love that your home base is in Ann Arbor! How does your location play into the vibe of the store?
We didn't necessarily design around Ann Arbor itself so much as we did our deep love of pattern and color, both of which we felt like the Ann Arbor and the Midwest in general was really lacking. Our showroom is a vibrant and colorful space, flooded with natural light and is such an inviting place for both our A2 based design studio and showroom teams.
The work you do is exquisite. What’s a favorite project of yours?
That is a hard question! We really don't have a specific project that is our single, all-time favorite but there are a few that stand out because they were such fun and robust projects to work on that also had super engaged and excited Clients: Radiant Oakland Way, West Palm Beach Chic, Historic St. Louis
Any exciting project in the works?
Who are some of your favorite vendors to work with?
Huge fans of course all of our showroom partners! Our favorite vendors are the ones who have an unapologetically really strong POV and can't. help but stand out in the market. Stray Dog Designs is one of our favs!
Have you always had a showroom or was that an evolution?
The showroom is an evolution, really a dream that was just percolating until we could make it a reality. After five solid years in business with each other as a design studio, we launched CLOTH & KIND Showroom in Ann Arbor to serve 12 Midwest states.
You’ve got such a big team! What is the work atmosphere like at Cloth & Kind?
Fun, fast, silly, ambitious, intense!
And we see that your team is entirely women. As a fellow woman-owned business, this is an idea we can get behind! Can you speak to what inspired this?
Not so much inspired as it was just organic.
How does social media play into the work you do?