Friday Five: MGG Studio

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Designer profile Q+A: MGG Studio

Scroll down below to read about our newest feature: Marja Germans Gard of MGG Studio, a jewelry studio based in Oakland.

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Studio name: MGG Studio (formerly Marja Germans Gard Studio)

Studio location: Oakland, CA

Member name: Marja Germans Gard

Founding date: June 2014

1. Daily ritual?
My work can get pretty messy with the metal dust and polishing compound, but I feel most grounded in a clean and well-organized space. Before I begin work for the day I’ll usually tidy up my bench and my office area to give myself a clean slate. I also like light a candle (Ojai from Norden is a current fave), pour an enormous cup of coffee, and cue up my favorite podcast before diving in to whatever pieces await me on my bench.

2. Best creative (or business) advice?
Make time for play.  Whether it’s inside or outside the studio, carving out time to do things just for fun is a challenge but an absolute necessity for me.

3. Current inspiration sources?
My most recent collection, La Femme, was inspired by modernist sculpture and the curves of the female form. I’ve always been interested in substantial and sculptural shapes in my jewelry, but lately I’ve turned from angular geometry to rounded and more sinuous lines.

4. Favorite podcast(s)?
For business I like to listen to Raw Milk, Proof to Product and Akimbo.  For general entertainment, the true crime fan in me loves My Favorite Murder and Stranglers, and my inner nerd loves game shows like Ask Me Another and other general nerdiness like Sawbones, Ologies, Reply All and The Allusionist.

5. How does your city influence your work?
I love that art is everywhere- you’ll see it on the street, in how people dress and express themselves- and it’s constantly energizing me to create.

Friday Five: Lacson Ravello

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Designer profile Q+A: Lacson Ravello

Kristina Lacson McConnico of clothing brand Lacson Ravello is giving us our Friday Five today. Have a good weekend!

Studio name: Lacson Ravello

Location: Oakland, CA

Member names: Kristina Lacson McConnico

Founding date: 2015

1. Daily ritual? 
I always start my day with some form of exercise. Even if I’m super busy I try to do at least 10 minutes of yoga or cardio. I find it’s a great way to jumpstart things and keep me energized. 


2. Best creative (or business) advice?
Go slow to go fast. 


3. Current inspiration sources? 
French culture and fashion. I love how French fashion is forever timeless and always chic.  My childhood growing up in the Mid-west (St. Louis, MO) during the 70’s and 80’s contrasted with the edginess of current runway fashion


4. Favorite podcast(s)? 
I enjoy listening to How I Built This. I like how they profile influential innovators and entrepreneurs who share a common creative thread across various disciplines. As a small business owner, I can identify with a lot of the joys and challenges they encounter.


5. How does your city influence your work?  
Oakland is diverse in so many ways—the people, the culture, the food, the terrain, the climate. The lifestyle here helps me to design a stylish, easy-to-wear, and affordable clothing line—made for real life.

Friday Five: Human Crafted

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Designer profile Q+A: Human Crafted

Happy Friday! Today we are featuring Jon Alling of Madison, WI based design studio Human Crafted.

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1. Daily ritual?

V60 pour-over of a locally roasted coffee is a must.

2. Best creative (or business) advice?

Just start.  Experiment.  Try.  Learn.  We all can spend so much time in our heads, trying to plan, trying to figure out how to get to the end, when we really should be trying to just take the next step.  Having a plan or a dream isn't progress, taking a step in that direction is.  

3. Current inspiration sources?

Besides all of the awesome Join Design members () ... I'm inspired by the diverse group of creatives that I work alongside at One-One Thousand studios here in Madison.  There are illustrators, printmakers, fiber artists, jewelers, woodworkers and knife makers, all trying to practice a craft and grow their businesses at the same time.  

4. Favorite podcast(s)?

Song Exploder!  But I also really enjoy Studio Neat's podcast Thoroughly Considered because I can relate to so much of what they discuss.

5. How does your city influence your work? 

Madison, WI is a big, small town.  Although there is a small and emerging design scene, you have to make a lot happen for your self. There also isn’t a lot of industry or history of craft in Madison.  That has influenced me to be scrappy and self-sufficient, and I think that comes across in the products I design and produce.

Friday Five: Zelma Rose

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Designer profile Q+A: Zelma Rose

We are so excited about a new ongoing series here at JOIN, Friday Five! We will be sharing mini interviews with our lovely and fascinating JOIN family. Scroll down to read about our first feature, Lisa Anderson Shaffer of fiber studio Zelma Rose

1. Daily ritual? 
For the past two years I have been working on a project named These Three Things. Each day I record three things I have learned and pair it with a piece of original photography to be posted on Instagram. When I began the project nearly two years ago, I never imagined it would become a permanent daily ritual, but here we are all this time later and it is still a necessary and important pause in my day. I'm excited to share that the project is being published by Running Press as a guided journal in December. 
2. Best creative (or business) advice?
"Belief in your script is essential." Bono. Last year, this simple sentence changed everything about the way I make art and run my business. I measure everything against it and have learned so much always starting from here. 
3. Current inspiration sources? 
Gucci is blowing my mind right now. The fabrics, textures, and colors are very intense and at times compliment and other times conflict. They have really leaned into what makes them unique this year and I just can;t get enough of it. 
4. Favorite podcast(s)? 
Raise Your Hand Say Yes hosted by Tiffany Han. 
5. How does your city influence your work?  
The mountains are very quiet and my home is surrounded by broad sweeping views of the rolling hills and redwoods. It is very wild here and while there are so many intricacies to be found in nature, it is also incredibly vast. My work continues to celebrate that tension between the fine detail and large scale impact of nature in shape, color, and texture. 

JOIN Shop on Design Milk

WOW! We are so honored to be featured on Design Milk as part of their Design Store(y) column! In it, we talk about our challenges, dreams, and inspirations behind the JOIN Shop. You can find the feature here.