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Friday, January 26, 2007


You're probably familiar with colorful bedding and handmade embroidered butterflies by the guys of Variegated. Jim & Corbett are opening up their very first retail location this spring. Here's a look at their "teaser" shop displays which are peaking the interest of passerbys in Catskill, New York with their quirky farm animal vignettes.

1 ~ what's your name, shop name, and shop location...

Jim Deskevich and Corbett Marshall with the invaluable Emily Marquoit.

Variegated is located at 377 Main Street in Catskill NY two hours north of NYC. Catskill is an up-and-coming Hudson Valley town across the river from Hudson and just north of Saugerties. We are embarking on our first retail space in Catskill. Until now, Variegated has been a mostly wholesale company specializing in colorful bedding and accessories.

When we saw the store, it was a 1970's liquor store nightmare, but under all the awful dry wall and glued down commercial carpet were beautiful old beadboard walls and a great fir floor - and a vault (former owners used to store furs during the summer). We plan to be open mid-Spring and online again with our regular website with all new bedding options and other accessories like tea towels, pillows, and tee shirts.

2 ~ tell us about some of the objects in your display...
We are working towards opening the store this spring so we wanted to do something fun with the windows to pique people's interest. The store will be stocked mostly with our own products at first and since we make everything ourselves we wanted to start our displays with the tools of our trade - colorful thread, rick rack, buttons, pins, tape measure, scissors. Jim added the farm animals as a little joke. They could reference our area since there are lots of farms, but I think he just liked them. We used a bit of ribbon with our name printed on it for signage in one window, and I found the plaster sign letters for the other window when I was teaching in Indiana. We keep adding things everyday.

3 ~ describe the mood, what inspired you, or what you intended when creating/arranging these pieces...
We really just wanted a whimsical place holder for the windows to get people interested and curious. Kids love the windows. They see all the animals right away and spend as much time looking as their parents will let them. Their parents don't quite know what to make of the windows. We like the idea that we can create these vignettes with things that may or may not have anything to do directly with what we might offer in the store -- that we can take an idea like a color or the particular season and tell a story. We used to spend quite a lot of time thinking about and creating our booth for the trade fairs and were always frustrated by having to be so direct with selling an object.

4 ~ what are 3 objects/pieces sold in your store that you are dying to have or... you already have and love...
Well, there's nothing in the store, yet. But we do sleep under our duvets and we do have our pillows on the sofa. I'd love to be able to hang one of our butterfly specimens in our apartment, but they keep selling out (thanks!).

We're still in the planning stages on what other products to offer. We want to keep the store focused on one-of-a-kind or small run, hand made items and we're happy to look at anyone's work. We will have a dining table and we're working with some of our ceramic artist friends to create special place settings with their ceramics and our textiles. We're particularly excited about this ongoing project. We'll pick a theme (like a summer picnic, or a midnight snack) and have a place setting for 4-6 created. Then we'll respond to the dinnerware and create textiles for the table.

5 ~ list three things that provide you with inspiration...
~ The beach - we just got back from a trip to Vieques and as usual, we had to ship home boxes of coral, shells and seaweed.
~ Gardens and plants - we both love to garden and miss it. Ironically, we had more garden space when we lived in NYC than we do now that we live in the "country".
~ Gardens Illustrated is always beside the bed along with World of Interiors and Selvedge - a great textiles focused magazine from the UK. I'm an admitted magazine addict but, if pressed, these are the three I couldn't do without.
~ Great food (not necessarily fancy - there's nothing like a paper plate full of Eastern North Carolina barbeque and slaw), good music - our friend Tift Merritt is on heavy rotation in the studio, and a group of close friends - our favorite people are our god-kids age 2.
~ Color - Jim and I could spend hours with paint chips putting together combinations - and as a knitter (I love hand knit socks so I had to learn), I'm totally beside myself in a good yarn store like Purl Soho.

extra tidbit...
Check out some past posts at Design*Sponge & Oh Joy! about Variegated's own home, pillows, embroidered butterflies, and another interview!


Blogger Melkorka said...

what a lovely post! and what a whimsical store! well done!

7:30 AM  

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