There certainly has been a lot going on to say the least. Some despicable, some uplifting and inspiring, some head scratching and some uncomfortable. We are talking about race. And the discussion is hard and charged and complicated and layered with history. We’re gonna be better for it, but it ain’t gonna be easy. And we’ve got a long way still to go...
This week we will be donating 20% of all sales to Amigos al 100 in San Miguel de Allende. Our dear friend Guadalupe Alvarez of Penzi Weddings, (who helped deliver tens of thousands of dollars of aid that we raised directly into the hands of earthquake victims in Oaxaca in 2018), is helping bring aid to those who serve and live around the San Miguel de Allende community. Their goal is to voluntarily get through the pandemic without hunger.
As you know the artisans we work with in San Miguel de Allende are the heart of our enterprise, both in body and spirit. Their dedication, ingenuity and skill breathe life into our vision. Bringing vibrant, artisan-made creations into your homes is the essence of Stray Dog Designs. Our designs are only ideas, sketches on bits of paper, without our talented team of crafts people. We depend on them and they depend on us.
We are eternally grateful for the wonderful press coverage we have received over the past 25 years. There is nothing quite like seeing our products on the glossy pages of our favorite magazines. This winter some of our whimsical lighting and decor has been featured in a few popular publications.
Kendall Simmons is an interior designer based in Nashville, Tennessee, although you will often find her traveling all over the world with her husband and business partner, Kane. She designs comfortable and playful spaces with an emphasis on color and art and also has a thing forballoons in bathrooms!. Kendall's designs are inspired by her travels and she even designs while she travels. We asked her a few questions about her work and what inspires her. Keep reading to learn about designer Kendall Simmons.
The Stray Dogs LOVE color, as you may know. We each have our favorite and they change week to week. We don't follow color trends or pay attention to the color of the year...perhaps we should. When Pantone released their color of the year for 2020, it caught our eye. Classic Blue is a "timeless, enduring blue" and it looks a whole lot like Down Pour Blue by Benjamin Moore, just a little lighter.
We have gathered our favorite images of our products painted Down Pour Blue. It is such a versatile color and really packs a punch!
If you are not familiar with Mi Golondrina, they are a colorful clothing company based in Dallas, Texas. Their dresses, tops and skirts are embroidered in Mexico by artisans who are paid a fair wage. Our shared love of color and mutual values make this a match made in Mexico. Please come visit us at their Dallas store on January, 10th and 11th and their Houston Pop Up on January 14th and 15th. For more info see our events on facebook HERE.
Happiest of birthdays to La Virgin de Guadalupe, the instantly recognizable patron saint of Mexico. Almost 500 years ago, December 12th, 1531, the dark skinned Virgin Mary appeared to an indigenous man named Juan Diego and spoke to him in his native Nahuatl language.
So... next year is our (drum roll, please)...25th year in business! How can that be? It is amazing, astonishing, and utterly inconceivable that we have managed to stay in business for that long...AND stay married, for heaven’s sake! Somebody is looking out for us, clearly...I bet it has been a frustrating task, too.
In 2005, at our first “grand location” at the New York Gift Show on Pier 92, a fella walks up to us and starts some small talk and then says where do you make your product. I say San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He says, me too. We’ve been friends ever since.
Last week we woke up to the first feeling of autumn in the air. It was dry and cool enough to *think* about wearing long pants. It has since shot up into the 90's, we are hoping fall is right around the corner! The change of the seasons is a time of renewal, of change. We love the sights of apples at the farmers market and pumpkins on porches. We might even think about switching out our shorts for sweaters and iced coffees for cappuccinos. But not just yet...
Do you remember your first Barbie doll? Mine was a gift from my father on the occasion of my first trip to Florida. She was an Island Fun Barbie with brown hair, dark skin, a halter neck bathing suit, sarong and pink chiffon lei. I loved her! I played with Barbies a lot as a child. I do not think there are any body image issues here, but when my father gave my daughter a barbie for Christmas when she was three, I had some reservations. Were Barbie's unattainable body proportions going to make her think that is the way women are really shaped? Will she know that humans do not naturally come with tan, smooth, hairless skin? The jury will be out for some time, as she is only 5, but what I do know is that she loves her Barbie and Barbie is a vehicle for her imagination. She is constantly thinking up things to make for her Barbie: a bed, pillows, a bookcase for all the books she made. I love that Barbie has inspired the maker/crafter in Lula.
This past April we attended the wedding of our dear friends, Stephanie and Noel Hunt’s eldest daughter, who was married in perfect springtime weather in perfect Charleston, SC. Everything about the captivating wedding weekend was as stunningly beautiful as the bride (and her stunningly beautiful mother). On Saturday morning, with fuzzy heads and bleary eyes, we arrived (dreadfully late, of course) to the wedding party brunch, which was held at the house of Susan Hull Walker.
I bet a lot of you saw this article in the New York Times the other day about Carolina Herrera, her muy muy Mexicana resort 2020 collection and the resulting accusation by the Mexican government of cultural appropriation. If you missed it you should go back and read it. It’s thought provoking. I have been chasing my tail over this particular brand of copycatting all week. I could go on and on and on about intellectual property and the number of times we have been knocked off and the pervasiveness of design theft in our industry, etc etc but I will save that for another day.
The Celeste Sphere has to come to be a classic Stray Dog piece over the years. It is named after Celeste Pillow, our dear friend and owner of the restaurant Odette and the soon to open Esther's Eatery in Florence, Alabama. We were introduced to Celeste by Margaret of Fortunata fame. We clicked immediately. The Celeste Sphere is a funky disco ball of sorts and so is our friend Celeste. She loves color, especially purple, is not afraid of sequins and sings karaoke to unwind.