Wednesday, July 6, 2011

8 Questions With: Ashley and Todd of Branch Handmade

You've been snatching up tea towels from Branch Handmade like crazy.  Now it's time to peek into the lives of the creatives behind the brand, Ashley and Todd, our designers of the month!  Don't forget to VOTE in this month's You Decide where you choose which new Branch Handmade products will make it into the Apartment 528 Store.  Each vote qualifies you for a chance to win $10 in store credit!

First, the important things.  Coffee or tea?
Coffee. I need my one cup every morning or the day just doesn't start out right! 

What's the song you can't live without right now?
I’m not the music person in the family. So I’m going to have to differ to Todd on this one- he loves music and usually has something playing in the house at all times…Todd says Ashville Blues, Pete Bernhard

Of all the furniture in your house, what's your favorite piece?
That’s like asking someone which of their kids is their favorite! Most of the furniture in our house is custom made- things that I helped design, choose the fabrics, so just about everything is one of a kind. I would probably say that my favorite piece is our Isamu Noguchi coffee table. I coveted it from afar for years and was so excited when we finally put it in our living room! 

What's your favorite design trend?
I don’t really have a favorite or least favorite design trend. I think trends in general should be used sparingly to accent classic looks. For example buy a really basic neutral sofa and pump it up with trendy pillows or throws that can be changed out as the seasons or trends change. 

What's your LEAST favorite design trend?
See above.

The images you use on your clothing and housewares are super fun and quirky.  How do you come up with the graphics?
Todd and I will usually brain storm ideas for designs or hit flea markets and antique shops for inspiration. We have pages of lists of things we are inspired by, we see, or we think would make a great design.  We will sit and throw them back and forth. We come from different perspectives as far as what would be a successful design and usually the prints that are actually created have to pass the test of what we think will be sellable to our clients and what we think will look good and be interesting. I think our different aesthetics are a major contributing factor to the success of our line.

How did the two of you meet and how did you come up with the name Branch Handmade?
Really you want to know how we met? YES!! Ok you know that story boy meets girl in a bar… in our case that’s true. We met about 10 years ago in a bar in San Francisco’s China town. Working on creative projects together has been a consistent aspect of our relationship and when we launched Branch Handmade it was like all the things that we are good at on our own could be combined for something better. We came up with the name because one of our early designs was the tree silhouette print from a tree in our front yard- I would always admire its amazing branches and so Branch Handmade was born. 

You started with pillowcases and now you carry everything from tea towels to super cute lounge pants.  What's next for Branch Handmade?
Branch Handmade has slowly evolved over the last 4 years. We have some new ventures up our sleeve, new prints and new products on their way- but nothing that we are ready to unveil just yet!

Now that you know a little more about Ashley and the super elusive Todd, head over to the store and shop Branch Handmade!

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