Brief Assembly | DC Shop

Photographed by: Rachel Maucieri | Interview of: Carolyn Misterek + Mallory Shelter

Why was it important for you to come together to create this pop up shop?

It was exciting to realize we both saw the gap and opportunity for this kind of shop in D.C. This is an untraditional pop-up, meaning our vendors are more like collaborators with us in this experiment, rather than us just running a shop. It's exciting to be able to open this space up and share the exposure with other brands and makers, but it also makes things more complicated and creates more work than a traditional shop, so I don't think it could function as a one-person operation. 


What was your process in choosing what products you have available in the shop?

We have an application process, so most of the brands who want to participate in the pop-up come to us that way. In our jurying, we prioritize ethical production, brands that might be new to D.C. and design-oriented philosophies that complement our current products. We wanted this to feel like a really special, cohesive experience that gives our customers more of what they want.


Why is collaboration important for you two?/ why do you think it’s important for the creative community?

When values align, I think collaborations are always win/win/win: stronger ideas are able to come through, with better execution, everyone has more fun and gets to expand to new audiences. If we all stayed inside our own bubbles, creative community or not, I think everything would feel dull and stagnant pretty quickly. There's only so far we can really push ourselves without the influence and help of others.

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Michelle Boyd Studio | Austin Artist

Photographed by: Katie Jameson | Interview of: Michelle Boyd 

How did you get started?

I have ALWAYS loved to create! Ever since I was little I had to have my coloring book and the full box of 64 crayons with me, or whatever crafty thing I was into at the time. My Grannie is an artist, and from a young age I was also so inspired by her ability to paint and to create beauty on what was previously a blank canvas... so I began painting when I was very little, and have always picked up a paintbrush at least a few times a year, just for personal projects or the occasional Christmas gift. I’ve also been very blessed to have always been surrounded by artists of many genres, whether it be painting, dancers, musicians, photographers, etc, and have been inspired by so many people by watching them create with such excellence! 


What influences you? / where do you get your inspiration?

I am greatly inspired by nature, specifically florals and greenery. I have always been drawn to the beauty of flowers, and am amazed that something so seemingly simple can bring so much joy. They can be symbols of gratefulness, celebration, joy, apology, sorrow, renewal, hope... the list goes on. I am also deeply inspired by neutral and minimal interiors, especially homes that maintain warmth and comfort despite their simplicity. I know that I am drawn to pieces that radiate peacefulness, and I hope to translate that into my own work as well. 

How do you balance your personal time + work? / how do you create separation?

Most of the time it’s the day to day swing of things that can be challenging for me. I am still managing my fine art wedding photography business, so balancing two jobs plus keeping a healthy personal life can sometimes feel overwhelming. With my studio literally in my house, separating work and personal life sometimes means I have to be diligent about either being purposefully in the studio, or closing the doors and staying out.

What keeps you motivated?/ why do you love doing this?

One of my motivations is to make others feel the way I do when taking in a joyful, peaceful piece of artwork - calm, centered, and thoughtful. There’s a bit of hospitality in creating a painting, knowing (hoping!) it’s going to end up in someone’s home, and hospitality has always felt like a huge calling for my life. To know that my work can impact how anyone feels walking into that space is such a simultaneously thrilling and terrifying thought, but I love it! 

Where do you see yourself in 2-5 years? / what’s next for your brand? 

Oh goodness, I just feel so grateful to still be in my first year! I do have hopes of doing an art show or two in TX at some point over the next year. My husband, Bryan, and I have also been saving and planning on renovating our detached garage into a full art studio! (All white and big beautiful windows, yes please!) As crazy as it sounds I’m already feeling growing pains and needing more storage space within my home studio- but I’m grateful for the growth pains  I think other than that, I just want to keep creating and playing and figuring out what my own style is, and how best to harness and develop that! 


Photographed by: Katie Jameson | Coffee Shop: Foam Coffee Shop, Gulf Shores

Katie recently attended a wedding in Gulf Shores and after finding this gem of a coffee shop on Instagram, she knew she had to stop in! It was simply decorated which is right up our alley and had delicious coffee. They also had different toasts + acai bowls if you were looking for a light breakfast to accompany your cup of jo! 


Greenheart | Northern Virginia + DC Makers

Photographed by: Rachel Maucieri | Interview of: Alicia and Diana, Owners of Green Heart Juice


How did you get started?

We both came to Greenheart at different points in our lives. We had worked in typical professional settings and felt something lacking with the 9-5 office work. On our journey to discover what health meant to us, we realized that quality food was a big part of the picture, but it also meant self-care in the form of following our heart and dreams of living a life of purpose. We left the comfort of potentially lucrative careers and started Greenheart out of a desire to share the food that nourished our bodies during this transit and to also create an experience good for the soul.


What influences you?/Where do you get your inspiration?

When we thought of what we wanted to offer through Greenheart, we knew we wanted to create a space where we could provide the kind of quality exactly like we were making for ourselves in our own homes. Because our career aligns so well with our personal interests and things that light us up in our daily lives, oftentimes the inspiration comes straight from what we’re making in our personal kitchens. For us, it’s all about serving things in their purest, most nutrient dense form and not sacrificing ingredients in order to turn something into a high-volume, big-batch production item. Because we are a wellness brand and we’re both passionate about wellness, we do get inspiration from current trends, too. We’ve both had our struggles with stress and right now adaptogens are getting a lot of visibility for their ability to supporting people with adrenal fatigue. We started using them in potions for ourselves at home and two years ago we decided to add them to our cashew-based milks for a little extra umph!


How do you balance your personal time + work?/ How do you create separation?

Oh, man. We honestly aren’t sure balance is possible when you have a business that’s a passion project. It literally becomes an extension of you that’s really hard to just walk away from at the end of the day and “turn off” when you get home. Even if all the logistical day-to-day business tasks are taken care of, you’re always thinking in the back of your mind, “Okay, how can we move this business forward?”

We have gotten better in the last year of respecting each other’s personal space and acknowledging days off as days off from all communication, but it’s hard because we’re also such good friends! We’ve both made a conscious effort to set aside that phone-free time whether it’s going for a bike ride or a hike, getting outside and leaving the phone at home. That really helps a lot and creates that space to recharge.


What keeps you motivated?/ Why do you love doing this?

There have been many days over the last few years when we’ve questioned this path of owning and operating Greenheart (it’s hard work!)t, but our biggest joy and what keeps us in it is the relationships we’ve developed with our customers and seeing their progress over time. It’s truly an honor to listen to them talk about their journey through self-care and healing, what inspires them and what they want to see from us. We’ve had customers attribute our juice part of their healing from Stage IV cancer, fibromyalgia and diabetes and that’s so incredible.

But on a very real level, we’d be lying if we said there weren’t selfish motivations, too. We feel very fortunate to have ultimate creative and personal freedom that you don’t get with a 9-5. Being our own boss and dictating what you do and when is invaluable.


Where do you see yourself in 2-5 years?/ What's next for your brand?

We recently opened our standalone flagship location in Great Falls, Virginia and we’re having our grand opening in March. We also just celebrated a rebrand so right now we’re just excited to settle in and “slow down” in a way. We’ve done a lot of internal work to refine our processes and set a solid operational foundation for us to be able to expand in that two to five year time frame.