Before I release my new work during SF Bay Area Craft Week I want to share more about my process for this year's collection.
Images by Emma K. Morris
I often tell my clients that my wool garments can easily be washed by hand and in some cases [i.e. my hand-knit hats] they can even be washed in the washing machine on a gentle cycle in cold water and very little detergent [special wool detergent would be best]. But in reality I rarely wash my wool pieces unless I actually manage to stain them which isn't an easy thing to do as any liquid usually pearls off and dirt sits on the surface of the fibers and can easily be wiped off with a damp cloth. The easiest is to air out the garment if necessary. And if you decide to wash it be aware that wet wool has a little bit of a funny smell which is nothing to worry about as it will disappear as soon as the piece is fully dried.
A complete guide on garment care can be found here
After my husband and I left our home and studio with our three dogs last Wednesday, when the forecast for the night ahead of us was merging fires in the close-by hills to the east, north and west of us and lingering fires in the south, we weren't sure what we would come back to. We somewhat prepared our home for the fires and grabbed what we thought was necessary in case our home would burn down. Surrounded by two laptops, cell phones and the TV we closely followed the developments from a tiny hotel room in Davis, an hour north-east of Napa.
It was heartbreaking to see how the flames devoured entire neighborhoods and brave firefighters from all over the country were working tirelessly to safe our homes and businesses. We came back on Friday, exhausted from sleepless nights and consumed by worries about our communities. The air was so hazy and toxic that we decided to leave the valley again. We finally came back on Sunday and since then have mostly been cleaning the toxic ash off our garden and studio and have spent most of our time inside. The air is still toxic and the smell of the fires has been all consuming.
We know we are lucky and that there are so many families and businesses that have to start from zero again. Yes, our communities will work through this but it will take a lot of time and money to rebuild what was destroyed.
Since I've been talking so much about my trips to Mexico City... I finally had a reason to write it all down, thanks to our friends over at Bay Area Made who invited me to share my favorite spots in that beautiful city.
Have you ever thought of planning a trip to Mexico City and didn't know where to start? Well... this is your guide to get a head start and make it a bit less overwhelming.
I fell in love with Mexico during a one year study abroad exchange program I attended at Tecnológico de Monterrey, in the north of Mexico, fourteen years ago. A long winter break between semesters gave me the opportunity to pack up my backpack and travel across this huge country and one of our many stops was Mexico City, or D.F. as it used to be called.
One of my first stops when in Mexico City is always the Centro Histórico. The historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is one of the most captivating and busiest areas in the city, with street vendors and stores filled with curiosities everywhere. Take the metro directly to the Zócalo, the main square and heart of the city.
Next door is Puntanera, a seafood restaurant with a little store in the entrance area where homemade whole wheat bread and delicious pastries make it impossible to walk by. Find a spicy cold chocolate drink at Que Bo on the second floor and across the courtyard one of my favorite shopping destinations for contemporary Mexican fashion, the Carla Fernández boutique.
Leaving the historic downtown area, I often stroll along Avenida 5 de Mayo towards Palacio de Bellas Artes and take my obligatory photos of the blue and white tiled facade of Casa de los Azulejos, the House of Tiles.
One of my favorite stops in that area is the Museo de Arte Popular, which showcases a big variety of Mexico's folk art and handcrafts, and has a beautiful gift shop right next to the entrance.
...for a successful Renegade weekend!
We know there are so many talented creative spirits at Renegade so we are extra grateful for everyone who came by, said hi and supported us during this fun summer event!
You all inspire us every day and help us to do what we love to do - making the best products that are long-lasting and comfortable to wear and use.
We will be around for a few more events in the Bay Area later this year. In the meantime, enjoy your summer and see you all soon again!
SS – 17
With our first ever capsule collection SS – 17 we wanted to celebrate our multicultural approach to fashion and bring together the things we most appreciate about the cultures we're constantly immersed in - the minimal, almost rigid and clean lines remind a bit of the German way of living, whereas comfortable fit and chosen materials play off the more laid back West Coast approach to life. As always, our main concern is the long-lasting quality of our garments so you will find nicely finished seams inside and out on all of our pieces.
Blowing hair, flying clothes and goose bumps pretty much sums up our first photo shoot in the Marin Headlands last weekend. But we had a blast and our amazing photographer Emma K. Morris made sure to capture the essence of our experience and our first ever capsule collection SS-17. Models Alexandra and Christina were keeping their calm in the chilly morning sun and our indispensable assistant [aka my husband Mikey Kelly] made sure we were all nourished and safe. To give you a first glimpse we posted a few images below. More to come soon.......
Photos Emma K. Morris
Thank you all so much for stopping by our booth at Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco this past weekend! We were so excited to show amongst another 300 amazing makers and introduce you to a few new pieces from our handmade spring/summer collection.
We will pop up at a few more events in the Bay Area this year so please stay tuned!
As always, we'll keep you posted with new things hand- and locally made on our Instagram
It's that time again... a trip to the good old world is on the horizon where I will be reconnecting with my roots, sipping tea and coffee around big and inviting kitchen tables with family and friends and working on some fun new collaborations. I will keep you posted!
For my family in Germany the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve have always been a time where all family members cozy up in overheated kitchens, dining and living rooms for festive meals and very looong brunches.
My mother always made sure the house was decorated with evergreen wreaths, handmade straw stars and bees wax candles everywhere [and a buckets filled with water in the corner of each room in case anything caught on fire]. With chilly temperatures and sometimes even snow-covered hills that surround our tiny town in the Kinzig Valley of the fairy tale Black Forest it has always been a time where the house was filled with the smell of freshly baked Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and oven-baked cinnamon apples and the kitchen table was packed with paper, straw, glue, thread, glitter and other craft items.
Living in Northern California, and snowy hills far away, that contemplative and festive quality time with my family is definitely something I really miss. But German friends are not far and we all make sure to connect our German roots with our California lifestyle. We gather for baking and advent brunches or teas and sometimes even for very European Christmas Eve dinners.
These gatherings are always filled with laughter and chatter and we all forget a little bit about the distance between our new homes and old traditions. Last winter, I thought there was no better reason to make a few of these fun little egg warmers that my mom always put on the boiled eggs during brunch. Until everyone was done chatting and updating each other on the latest village gossip we were easily 3 hours into our brunch. But even then the boiled eggs were still warm.
Happy Advent time everyone!
Nicole W. Kelly - Designer. Maker. Traveler. Owner of YOLOTLI.