It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a good eye for design must be in want of a rad online marketplace for well-designed goods. Well, friends: Michael Smith is that man, and Storenvy is that marketplace. Through his curation of Envies, Michael is spreading love to his nearly 100,000 followers. We were lucky enough to talk to the modern Envyman about himself and our relationship (OMG, it’s been more than 2 years and we’re still going strong!).
On a Saturday, when he’s not Envying the best of the best, you can find Michael on his porch carving out the human soul in wood. While he gets deep into the grain of our being, read on for his interview, where we discuss spirit food, music, and most importantly, animal memes.
If you were a food, which would you be?
Beef brisket, slow cooked and smoked.
Which of your Envies are at the top of your wishlist and why?
#1- Because I could use an awesome apron for spoon carving.
#2 - This has to be the coolest desk lamp ever.
#3- Love the artistic nature of this gig poster.
Favorite Storenvy brand?
Black House Project. Nigel is making some of the coolest and quality stuff on Storenvy.
Your envies are eclectic and yet they’re incredibly cohesive! How would you describe your aesthetic?
Well-designed. My Envies tend to vary across categories, but what holds them all together is good design. That is design in the traditional art sense or, great product design. Good product photography never hurts either.
Doge or Grumpy Cat?
Storeowner Kristen Van Drie is a ninja with a crochet hook, and has a power-finger for Envying. Intrigued by her amazing eye for women’s fashion and home decor, we sat down with the ultimate crafter to talk style and Storenvy.
What did we discover?
A bomb sense of humor, among many other things. For example, when we asked her what her favorite “jam” of the moment was, Kristen first replied with her favorite jelly (it’s raspberry) rather than sharing her favorite song. She said it wasn’t the first time we’d pulled one over on her: She revealed that she fell hard for Storenvy’s last April Fool’s Day prank, when we convinced her that it was a requirement to include bacon in all of her store’s orders.
Armed with her three life necessities—her family, a crochet hook, and reality TV—Kristen’s out to knit the world a Snuggie. Before she sets out, read on for her exclusive interview, where we talk bad haircuts and frightening trends.
Storenvy: Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
Kristen Van Drie: I was born and raised in Olympia, Washington, but after college and meeting the love of my life, I have found myself in Lansing, Michigan.
Storenvy: Describe your worst haircut.
Kristen Van Drie: Oh man, the dreadful worst haircut conversation. When I was in 7th grade I thought it would be really fun to make a drastic change to my hair. I literally made the decision as I sat in the chair. As if pimples, braces, and awkward puberty weren’t enough, I totally gave myself a “mom” haircut. You know the kind: Super short; can only be styled with hairspray… Let’s just say, Thank goodness Facebook didn’t exist yet!
SE: You have a great eye for design and fashion! How would you describe your style?
KVD: I would characterize my style as simple, modern, glam. To me it is important to have wardrobe staples that will match anything in your closet - which is why you see majority of neutral colors in mine. I like to spice up my outfit with bright, standout accessories, like a crystal necklace or turban headband.
Right now, my favorite trend would have to be the gold and nude toned dresses with beaded and sequin accents. It’s just so feminine and glamorous.
Currently I am not the biggest fan of overalls, but even more so Flatforms. I just think they look silly, but that is my opinion.
Your favorite Storenvy brand?
Oh man, this is so difficult because there are so many great brands on Storenvy. However, if you twist my arm and force me to pick a favorite I would have to say The Shine Project. I think they have amazing jewelry (I want everything they have to offer), but more importantly I love the story behind the brand. I am a firm believer in giving back and helping others, and The Shine Project does just that.
IFC’s series Portlandia premiered in January 2011, but just a month before it made its official debut, producers of the show kickstarted the first season with the super amazing video, Dream of the 90s, which ultimately became a viral hit.
In the video, the show’s stars—Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live fame and Carrie Brownstein of band Sleater-Kinney—animatedly discuss their dream city: Portland, Oregon. It’s a place young people go to resurrect 90s grunge, work part-time or—maybe not even at all! In other words? Well, as the show would playfully put it: Live the Portland dream.
Beginning its fourth season three years later on February 27, Portlandia’s Dream of the 90s video has not only become a cult hit, but it’s played a pivotal role in stoking our passion for 90s fashion. So much so, we’ve pulled three pieces from our very own Portlandia-inspired Collection to help you take a trip back in time and get in the spirit for the show’s season debut.
Let’s get started!
90’s Trend #1: Crochet clothing. In the 90s, crochet was everywhere. It was almost as if a million grannies got together and decided to flood the fashion industry with their masterpieces. There were crochet beanies, vests, and also, dresses. Fortunately, now that time has passed, it’s cool to integrate a little crochet into your wardrobe—people just aren’t expecting it. We really like this vintage crochet top from Blitz Vintage.
90s Trend #2: Plaid. What’s more 90s than plaid? Not a whole lot. Plain and simple: Plaid just has a lot of versatility. What other pattern could both Kurt Cobain and Cher Horowitz from Clueless both rock, and get away with it? Yeah, we couldn’t think of any others, either. We can imagine either 90s icon wearing this refurbished flannel from 1 Look Vintage.
90s Trend #3: Denim. The all-American classic really lived up to its name in the 90s. From denim overalls to denim jackets—even denim shoes!—people couldn’t get enough in the 90s. The combination of the timelessness and ease of wear made it the kind of material that completely aligned with the low-maintenance philosophy of 90s fashion. We can imagine this light denim jacket from dink or die looking equally rad on either super bad-ass Courtney Love, or 90s “it girl”, Winona Ryder.
Want more 90s fashion? See our Dream of the 90s Collection!
Anthony Cons is a man with great taste. Don’t believe us? Ask one of his over 50,000 followers on Storenvy (yeah, buddy!). As part of a brand new and regular blog feature, we spent some time chatting with Anthony about all the important things in life: shopping, style, and spirit animals.
Without further ado, we bring to you the first installment of the Storenvy People We Envy Q&A!
Where are you from originally, and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. I still live in Scottsdale, but I plan on traveling after college.
What’s your favorite food?
Does the Cocomo iced coffee from Dutch Bros count?
What’s your spirit animal?
Praying Mantis. Those guys are calm and collected, but they could probably use kung fu in a pinch.
You have an amazing eye for men’s fashion and your Envies show it! How would you describe your style? What inspires you?
I wear clothes that let me feel comfortable in any environment, formal or casual. I tend to favor muted, earthy tones that can be easily mixed and matched between outfits.
For inspiration, I sometimes find myself watching people on the street. Fictional characters can also grab my attention. Adam Scott’s nerdy accountant Ben Wyatt (Parks and Recreation) comes to mind.
What made you decide to become a Storenvy-ist?
The website just really impressed me. There aren’t many places like Storenvy online. There is a visual, interactive element that feels like Tumblr, but you can buy everything you see. And there is an emphasis on fashion, without leaving one gender under-represented. That’s cool.
What’s your favorite Envy and why?
One of my favorite stores on Storenvy, THEBERTH19, has this amazing 5-panel bird hat. Imagine little birds hanging out all over your dome, all day. You can’t beat that.
How would you describe your personal shopping style? For example, do you like to check out Storenvy every day, a few times a week, or whenever the mood strikes?
Storenvy is one of my go-to websites for avoiding work. It’s easy to log in anywhere and browse for a few minutes. Alternatively, I can lose track of time in the hunt for cool stuff. You never know what you’ll find, but there are a lot of gems.
Want to see more of what Anthony loves? See his Envies now.
Want to be featured on People We Envy? Start Envying!
I’m a recent college graduate with a passion for style and startups. After spending the last four years in Montreal, I’m extremely excited to be back in the Bay Area. I knew I wanted to move back to be a part of all the exciting things happening in San Francisco and immerse myself in this vibrant city! I love collaboration and small teams, and the amazing dynamic that occurs when you bring together people of diverse backgrounds.
On the weekend you’ll find me exploring San Francisco and looking for adventures. I’m a foodie at heart, and have a deep appreciation for cuisine - cooking and great restaurant experiences speak to me! Farmers’ markets are my happy place. I also love spending a day hiking or at the beach, and am now even learning to surf! Give me eight years, and I’ll be a pro.
When I discovered Storenvy, I immediately fell in love with the company’s authentic personality and humor. Behind the Storenvy brand, there are passionate people building something amazing, and their humanity and charm shine through! This is too rare, and so I was immediately excited about the company and all the possibility. The fact that Storenvy is also committed to showcasing great, unique products, and providing an outstanding experience for users and entrepreneurs only added to this.
I love connecting with people and am excited to be a voice of a brand I am passionate about. I might be described as perpetually optimistic, and am eager to bring this positive energy to my role on the team. It’s more than likely that I’ll be sending out some cheery emails to all of our Storenvy fans!
Favorite movie? It’s totally a toss up between “Drive,” “Inglorious Bastards,” and “Remember the Titans.”
Something people don’t know about you? I absolutely love period pieces and World War II movies. I watch “Pride and Prejudice” and the HBO mini-series, “Band of Brothers,” regularly.
Favorite book? Ah, I can’t pick! Either King Lear or Into the Wild. It’s a tie.
Blue Bottle, Sightglass, Ritual or ______ [fill in the blank]? None of the above! I like my Philz Coffee—Mint Mojito iced coffee, to be specific!
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Traveling the globe as a food critic! I’d love to eat at the best restaurants with the greatest chefs, and then share my reviews with the world.
Follow Kristine and her Envies here.
I grew up in the NYC area, and spent the last decade in Boston before moving to San Francisco to join Storenvy as Content & Social Media Manager. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with writing and culture, so it’s only fitting that my role at Storenvy revolves around these two elements. Before Storenvy, I ran a small business that made animated videos that have been viewed more than 3 million times.
Prior to formally joining Storenvy, I’d followed the company for quite some time. I was impressed with the fact that storytelling was so core to the brand. From the articulation of the brand philosophy as a whole to the selection of the products in the marketplace, it was clear that Storenvy understood both the power of a good product, as well as the creative process responsible for bringing it to life. As a writer and maker, that was very important to me.
Just Kids by Patti Smith.
Heat! Val Kilmer #ftw.
"We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."
- Werner Heisenberg
One thing no one would ever know about you (that you’d want to share)?
You may or may not know I’m a fan of tattoos and I have five.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Working on book number two.
Favorite place you’ve ever visited?
A tie between Siena, Italy, and Crete.
Dogs, cats, or both?
Dogs. For sure.
Blue Bottle, Sightglass, Ritual or ______ [fill in the blank]?
Tough call, but I’m going with Sightglass.
Follow Sonja and her envies here.
When what you create for a living becomes what you live to create, then it’s no longer work. That’s the thinking behind DesignAtelierArticle, a brand out of Cherkasy, Ukraine, just over a hundred miles from the nation’s capital, Kiev. The workshop is spearheaded by Dmitriy Olshevskiy, and his wife Lena. Together with a number of other members of their design team, they create home decor that’s both functional and fun.
From Ad Agency to Design Studio: The Beginning
DesignAtelierArticle began as an advertising agency of sorts. After creating signage for a variety of brands they represented, Dmitriy and Lena discovered they had quite the knack for making whimsical and typographic-inspired pieces that could be used as decor. It was then that the duo decided to change the course of their business, switching from an agency model to a full design studio. And they never looked back.
“We love what we do. It’s the absolute form of self-expression for us,” says Dmitriy. That kind of passion and commitment to making one-of-a-kind goods comes through in the wide range of products the studio pushes out into the world. Citing Scandinavian design as a major influence on their work, DesignAtelier also makes sure they’re not taking themselves too seriously.
This playful element shines through the goods in their line: The set of six wooden Dala horses can be used for decoration or as a children’s toy; a mustache candle holder is a cheeky addition to the dining table (see how it’s made in this video). With DesignAtelierArticle, outstanding craftsmanship stands behind every sentiment.
All design and production for DesignAtelier takes place in Ukraine, but the brand has grown tremendously with their online store.
“We live in a world where distance doesn’t matter. We have an almost personal relationship with our customers,” Dmitriy says. Using Storenvy, they’ve been able to preserve the integrity of their meticulous production process while pulling in business from around the world. It’s an approach that not only fosters sustainable growth of DesignAtelierArticle, but also allows the design duo to live the way they want to: Living to create, and never creating to live.
See more DesignAtelierArticle.
Each week, something special happens: The Storenvy Merchandising group selects one lucky team member to share their Editor’s Picks with the world wide webz. This week, our Editor is a VIP: Storenvy’s own CEO, Jon Crawford. He sat down with us to share why he selected the items he did.
Abe vs. Kanye (print) - from He Draws
"Two worthy opponents. Two remarkable historical figures. The battle rages on." - Jon
Yeezy Taught Me Notebook - from Monedge
"So much to learn. I pretty much buy these in bulk." - Jon
The Hot Mess Button Pack - from Silver Cactus
"Giving kids everywhere something to aspire to." - Jon
Want to see more of Jon’s Editor’s Picks? See what else Jon chose.
Storenvy is home to emerging brands and inspired goods. These products all have stories behind them. When we bring them into our lives, those stories become a part of us. It’s a beautiful way for the inspiration of a maker to live on beyond the creative process. To further honor that process, we’re kicking off a brand new segment of our blog called Here’s the Story. Each week we’ll feature a different brand and the story behind the goods they offer on Storenvy.
This week’s Here’s the Story focuses on a very special brand called Silver Lines Jewelry. Self-taught shop owner Jenny started making jewelry to help deal with the passing of her father. Using eco-friendly materials and a very considered creative process, she works to create one-of-a-kind items that she hopes people will cherish forever.
See more Silver Lines Jewelry.
We’re superfans of all the brands that decide to open up stores on Storenvy. There are seriously so many rad new shops opening every single day, it’s hard to pick just one to call out. But we’ve totally fallen in love with Koncept. The brainchild of Manchuen Hui, the brand boasts handcrafted leather goods that clearly demonstrate a happy marriage of form and function. From iPhone cases to leather bowties—and everything in between—Koncept truly elevates functional accessory design to an art form.
See more from Koncept.