Inspired by the house of a friend of ours, we took a few photographs in her home of some Wisteria products mixed with her stuff. The result was reminiscent of rustic Texas style. We hope you enjoy!
We are fortunate enough to go on several trips a year to such exotic locations as India, China, and South America. During our journeys we stumble across unique items that might be vintage, antiques, or even the last one left. So, every trip, we're sure to bring our empty suitcases to fill with these rare finds so we can carry them back home.
What is your role at Wisteria? I am the Senior Creative Manager, I manage all the photography for the catalog and web. I direct and edit the photography at the photo shoots and the styling on set.
This company was started when three young friends rented a booth at a trade fair 14 years ago to sell books and bags made of handmade paper. This Indian artisan has grown great lengths since then and now specializes in handmade paper, bags, books, and leather products. They are located in Jaipur, India and also have a small group of designers and workers from a small village outside of Jaipur.
La Tomatino is an annual event, hosted in the town of Bunol, Spain. Located just inward of the Mediterranean Sea, this is the site of the world’s largest food fight every year. On the last Wednesday in August every year the normally docile citizens and tourists of this sunny little town turn into tomato-slinging savages. For the week leading up to the “battala” many festivities take place that culminate in the final celebration where the festival-goers literally paint the town red, with tomatoes. In honor of this lively Spanish festival, we have decided to prepare a traditional Spanish dish that highlights the star of the food fight, the tomato. In Spain, tomato sauce is called “sofrito”, it is used as a base for sauces, soups, paella, and used to coat fish and slow-cooked meats like pork roast. Sofrito is also used as a condiment in place of ketchup and is a flavorful addition when served as a sauce with eggs or omelettes. Traditionally sofrito is made in batches and stored in glass jars, either in the refrigerator (up to one week) or the freezer for longer.
Ingredients: Spanish olive oil, 1 yellow onion, 1 red pepper, 1 clove garlic, 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp paprika,and Salt and pepper to taste. Options: For a more Mediterranean flavor, add kalamata olives and capers; for a more Latin American flavor, add cilantro and chorizo.
Directions: 1. Chop onion, red pepper, and garlic into small pieces 2. Coat bottom of heavy skillet with olive oil. 3. Saute onion until transparent; add red pepper cook until soft. 4. Add garlic and cook until browned and fragrant. 5. Add a can of tomatoes and bring up heat; then simmer for 15 minutes. 6. Add seasoning to taste while simmering. 7. Let cool. Then blend in a food processor or blender until a jam like consistency. Sofritois now ready to be frozen, stored, or used. We like sofrito served with leftover rice and a fried egg on top (as shown). Simple and satisfying, this is traditional Spanish comfort food at its best. Serve in our stoneware dishes on a Feed Sack Table Runner. You can learn more about the festival here.
Pictured below is our Ceramic Spanish-Inspired Tapas Dishware. One of Spain’s most charming cities, Granada, is famous for its beautiful scenery and bustling nightlife. Nestled at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, tourists flock here every year to visit the Alhambra palace, shop in the towns outdoor markets, and experience the local cuisine. On busy summer nights, tourists and locals alike infiltrate the town’s festive bar district in search of flamenco music, live entertainment, and tapas. Tapas literally translate into English as “small plates.” Several have theorized about the origin of tapas. Andalusian lore suggests that bartenders first created them in order to keep flies from lingering on patron’s glasses. Between drink sips a slice of crusty bread topped with a piece of cured ham was placed on top of the glass. The bread and ham became a light snack to enjoy with the drink. Tapas culture has since evolved and so has the type of tapas. Typically it starts out small, a handful of nuts or olives, and progresses into more substantial fare, encouraging patrons to keep ordering drinks. Tapas make great food for entertaining: their small bites allow for conversation. The portions are small and meant to be eaten by hand or with a toothpick. A trip to your local deli or the olive bar at your local gourmet store is all you need to set up a sumptuous spread. Pair the tapas with a bottle of Rioja or a refreshing pitcher of Sangria, perfect for impromptu summer get-togethers.
Imagine being overwhelmed by passionate reds, intense blues, and shimmering yellows followed by a trance from the detailed, intricate patterns. Moorish style is quite like that. It is derived from a Western style based on the architecture and decorative arts of the Islamic culture (the Moors) of northwest Africa and of southern Spain. The Alhambra Palace, located in Granada, Spain, is the finest surviving example of the Moorish style. The Moorish style, which has recently been rediscovered, has a closer affiliation with Moroccan culture and its sensual appeal through art and colors. The style is very unique and does the job if you are looking for a variation of intensity to counterbalance an otherwise simple room. Take a peek at two of our products, the Alhambra Lamp, and the Moorish Chest, to familiarize yourself with the vibrant passion the Moorish style invokes. And here’s some photos from one of our employees who actually took a trip to the Alhambra Palace!
I’ve always been a huge Elvis fan. The above picture is at my fortieth birthday party. My friends hired an Elvis impersonator. It was great!
I come from a long line of Elvis fans. My Grandmom LOVED Elvis. She was such a huge fan. She listened to his music when she worked at the Greyhound bus station in Albany, GA. She totally identified with him.
When I was a kid, maybe five or six years old, my mom got the entire extended family tickets to see Elvis in concert in Atlanta. I remember we had two great tickets on the floor near the stage. My grand-mom would take each of the family members down there so we could each have a turn being close. I totally remember being near him on the stage and wondering why he kept giving his scarves to women. My older brother didn’t get to go. He had to stay home with my younger sister. He’s never forgiven my mom over that.
Maybe one day, we’ll create an Elvis product at Wisteria. In the meantime, you can enjoy my Elvis pez collection seen here
This coming Sunday (August 16) is the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. I happen to be a really big Elvis fan, especially for his ability to soothe even the most difficult audience with his music. Cooper was a pretty tough baby; he cried a lot. Somewhere along the way, I got a videotape of Elvis in Hawaii. We put that on and he LOVED it! I mean, he would watch the full two hours nonstop. We eventually got him a fake guitar, and he’d sing along with Elvis. He just loved watching that movie. So now, several years later, he knows a lot of Elvis songs. The funny thing is that one of Shannon’s friends also had a crying baby. We told them about the Elvis tape. They got one, and it worked like magic. The baby calmed down for the entire tape, and he watched it every day.
Got any Elvis stories of your own? We’d loved to hear them!
Marlene is the head designer in our product design department. Several of our items originated with her. She is amazingly-detailed, loyal, and hardworking.
What are your favorite things about working at Wisteria?
I really enjoy working with other creative people. It is like a crazy and nutty creative camaraderie. Everyone has different experiences and different likes and ideas, and we all make it come together to create great product.
What is one thing about you people probably don’t know?
I used to do competitive synchronized swimming for several years. I would choreograph my routines and design my suits and head pieces. I was fortunate to be a part of a talented team. We always did pretty well at Nationals.
What is your favorite place to visit?
The beach! I like just about any beach with great sand and waves. I love all sorts of water sports from boogie boarding to windsurfing and scuba diving to surfing.
What is the one place in the world you’ve never been but would love to go?
I would love to go to the Great Barrier Reef and go scuba diving. I took a class to be certified in college with the dream of one day going.
How would you describe your personal style?
I really like Danish furniture, industrial pieces and objects, funky handmade textiles, and lots of color. I am also very practical and desire multifunctional pieces. I also believe that good design is very personal and you need to incorporate personal aspects like shadow boxes of treasured items and family photos. I love artwork on the wall but I feel that artwork from friends or family pictures is more meaningful. I am currently trying to enlarge some of my husband’s doodles of classic cars that he did years ago in his college notebooks. If each person were to do this in their house then their house would be very unique and a reflection of themselves. I like looking in magazines for inspiration but I firmly believe a personal touch will give the look more depth.
I’m known for:
Having crazy colored toenails. I really like color and a great way to play with it is on my toes for you can interchange it as often as you like. I also have super upper body strength. It is always fun to put guys in their place when they think that they can do more chin ups than a girl like me.
What is your favorite Wisteria item?
I really like our Vintage-Inspired Flag Napkins. I designed these and it was a treasure to dive into our country’s past and amazing accomplishments to find a way to utilize and highlight it in something you can use every day.
What is your most treasured item?
My husband Brad. He is such a sweetheart and he makes me laugh every day and understands my quirky creative personality.
How many/what languages do you speak?
English and Designese
My one indulgence is:
My husband and I bought an old jeep to fix up. It is really fun to ride around in with the top off.
Craziest food ever eaten:
When I was little I went to Hawaii and we ate poi. It looks like clay and I imagine if I were to eat clay it would taste the same.
Favorite spot in my house:
I am currently living in an apartment and I love the lap pool outside. Swimming laps outside is the best exercise and it is so nice to be outside.
Crepes. When I studied in Paris it was a staple for me for it was cheap and you could eat it so many ways. I would eat it with Nutella or with seasoned chicken, tomato, and cheese or simply butter and sugar. Yum!
Favorite place to watch the sun set:
West Texas. It is so flat out there that you get a great big sky canvas for the clouds to accumulate and then they bend the light waves from the sun to create these amazing color filled atmosphere paintings.
To read more about some of Wisteria’s employees, click here!
Even Buckingham Palace has a gate a fleurs-de-lis around it. Parlez-vous francaise? It’s okay if you don’t, however some of our products are quite fluent and it’s obvious with their adorning fleur-de-lis. The fleur-de-lis (in French, fleur means flower, and lis means lily) is a stylized lily used as a symbol. It is a theme found on Egyptian reliefs, Mycenaean pottery, Indonesian clothes, Japanese emblems, and other forms of art around the world. Typically, it is associated as an enduring symbol of France that appears on French postage stamps and continues to ornate other hierarchical powers such as the King of Spain and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. In North America, this symbol is associated with areas formerly settled by France such as Quebec and Louisiana. By and large it’s a very stylized figure with different contexts that has been used by most civilizations of the old and new worlds, which is one of the reasons we love. It can have different meanings, but however you interpret it, it still seems to add sophistication and even a bit of royalty to our products, particularly the Regal French Chandelier and the Fleur de Lis Iron Shelf.
One Warm Coat is helping to warm communities one coat at a time. As a national, volunteer-run organization, our goal is to provide any person in need with a warm coat free of charge. Providing this simple yet vital need helps people live productive lives year round.
Throughout 2008, more than 2,000 coat drives were held across the country. Each coat drive has the same intent: to collect coats that will be given to those in need. More than one million coats have been collected through One Warm Coat drives.
One Warm Coat’s dream is to become a part of the American lifestyle. When a coat is no longer needed, people will think of One Warm Coat knowing that children, women, and men in need will receive a gift of a warm coat.
Find out more about One Warm Coat by visiting www.onewarmcoat.org.