Blog – Page 3 – Architect's Wife



Wabi-Sabi: Embracing the Art of Imperfection

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Do you ever arrive at Friday and wonder how your week completely dissolved in the blink of an eye? It happens to the best of us because, in this age of digital enlightenment, we live with constant churn; we run from meeting to meeting, pick the kids up from school, hastily make dinner, zonk out and the next day, we start all over again.

Wabi-Sabi Welcome arrived at the shop recently and it’s the perfect antidote to busy. If you’re new to wabi-sabi, the theory is pretty straight-forward, it’s the art of embracing imperfection in every aspect of your life. Basically, it’s all about CHILLING out and living as the author, Julie Pointer Adams puts it a “considered life” and so by doing, “[make] time and space to breathe, slow down, and be specific.” Julie has been entertaining crowds both large and small for years, but she purports entertaining doesn’t have to mean laying down a lavish meal for 15 dinner guests. It can mean preparing tea for a friend or inviting your neighbors over for a potluck and gathering flowers from your yard as your centerpiece.

wabi-sabi, dinner, dining
Wabi-Sabi Welcome (left) and a view of an Italian dinner designed to encourage guests to linger at the table.

As I was researching this piece, I stumbled upon a Holland Lake wedding that local event design guru, Kait Costanti of Bash designed which wholly embraces the wabi-sabi aesthetic. So, I decided to ask her a few questions about this event and get her take on the wabi-sabi way of life. Follow along to find out how she put this philosophy into practice.

1. I loved your recent work at Holland Lake. Tell me a little about this project. It feels like you embraced the WS tradition wholeheartedly. How did that come to pass?

Our Holland lake lodge wedding was a real passion project for the most deserving clients around. They have since become great friends. I’m currently in the process of developing a program that essentially gives a wedding away for free to a deserving couple that truly values a Wabi Sabi approach to weddings. This wedding was phase one of that project and while not all components were given away I still managed to get Florals on board (Wild Blume), Hair/Makeup (Shawny from Shine Bozeman), paper goods (Collette at Bontemps Calligraphy), all design/planning from BASH plus the squash blossom necklace (Mountainside Design). Next year will be the next phase and I can’t wait to see how that evolves.

canoe, wabi-sabi-wedding, lake
The tranquility of a post-nuptial canoe ride embraces the wabi-sabi ideal of slowing down.

2. How do you work this into your client projects?

As a designer, it’s so refreshing and fun when clients truly trust your process and enable you to let your creative juices flow and at the same time, they have faith that you will keep their personal style in mind. I’m of the opinion that less is more when done in an impactful, Wabi Sabi, way. Go big on florals! That said, big doesn’t mean it has to be expensive or big in the literal sense. It could be a minimal approach but the impact is big. Maybe it’s all monochromatic whites but with different textures and variations of white. Or it could be a few vibrantly colored Dahlia’s as big as saucers. Maybe no flowers at all! Whatever feels natural and organic for the event and space is how I like to design.

wooded, wedding, lakeside, wabi-sabi
The water and woods provide the backdrop for this intimate lakeside wedding (left). Foraged rocks create the the aisle and a simple, but dramatic floral arrangement create a focal point at the end of the wooded path.

3. Are you encountering more clients who are seeking a ‘quieter’ celebration of their big day, i.e. drawing from the wabi-sabi ideal?

We tend to draw a more minimal bride that doesn’t want to overshadow the surroundings and isn’t as interested in adding things that don’t make sense. Just because you’re ‘supposed’ to have a guestbook doesn’t mean you have to. I think Wabi Sabi in the bridal sense means authenticity and paying attention to things that matter most while ditching traditions just for tradition’s sense. Montana is such a vast and incredibly picturesque locale, so our clients really want the beauty to shine through from the already existing landscapes.

place setting, palo santo, weaving
Woven favors handmade by the bride accompanied by Palo Santo bundles.

4. How have you incorporated the wabi-sabi mindset in your personal life and your home?

Definitely. I’m a non-clutter type gal. I definitely have certain things that I love to collect and value but I’m not attached to things as much as I am to memories. I try to buy art everywhere I travel to remember the feeling of where I was. Wabi Sabi finds beauty in imperfection and that’s pretty much mantra in all aspects of my life.

Ready to adopt the Wabi-Sabi mindset? Start by grabbing a copy of Julie Pointer Adams gorgeous, Wabi-Sabi Welcome at the shop and be ready to embrace a life filled with thoughtfulness and ease.

Images by Pascal Shirley

2017 Trends: What we Found at NY NOW

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Last week we jetted to the city that never sleeps in search of the the latest on point gifties and accessories at NY NOW. Never heard of NY NOW? It’s one of the largest home, lifestyle and handmade wholesale markets of its kind. Makers from all over the world gather at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC to showcase their wares in hopes of catching the eye of retailers like Architect’s Wife.

After three days of fighting the crowds and pounding the 525,000 square feet of paved halls at the Javits Center, we were pretty enthused about our finds. We tracked down everything from furnishings, textiles, table-top accessories, ceramics and hand blown decanters.

While on the hunt for new shop goods, we were keenly aware of some emerging trends. Below is our roundup of market finds and trends that stood out on our whirlwind buying trip.

design trends

1. Greens! (Thank you 2017 Pantone Color of the Year) This green velvet Roxy Chair only lasted a few weeks on our showroom floor.

2. Fringe is back! We found it on the ends of pillows, throws, and curtains, just to name a few. One of our favorite incantations of this trend was in the work of Neem Living, founder Louesa Roebuck. Her soft cotton throws and fringed wool pillows will be your go to snuggle pieces this Fall.

3. Texture. In this intensely virtual world we live in, people are craving more tactile pieces for their homes. We discovered Stinson Studio, a father and son shop in Ontario who sources burl wood for their pieces and embodies this aesthetic.

4. Navy is the new black. On point: The Fatty Sectional by Eilersen is rich in color and style.

5. Artisanal rather than DIY. We noticed a return to glass blowing, handmade porcelain and ceramics, and woodworking by skilled craftsman. With that in mind, we honed in on the work of Nate Cotterman, an LA based master glass artisan. He uses traditional Venetian glass blowing techniques to create innovative bar ware, lighting and home décor that are strikingly beautiful. Keep an eye out for his patented whiskey glasses (pictured), decanters, and vases.

6. Raw White (chalky and bone white). The concept of a return to a more natural, organic look.

7. Intense Jewel Tones like bright blues, green, fuchsia, purple, etc. Our Saba Amelie arm chair in blue velvet is the definition of this trend.

8. Handwoven baskets. Using traditional methods to knit and crochet their woven goods together this Italian company, Neo, puts a modern spin on their product by using neoprene to craft these gorgeous baskets. Can’t wait for our collection to arrive here in Bozeman!

9. Hygge lifestyle. (pronounced: hoo-gah) Hygge is not a tangible thing, but rather a concept. It’s that cozy feeling you get when you curl up with your favorite throw and read a book or sip hot tea and watch snow fall. Stay tuned for Hygge Games and lifestyle items at Architect’s Wife!

10. Metallic furnishings and accents. You don’t need to wait for our market shipment to arrive. We have four of these forged bronze chairs in stock and ready for you to take home!

Stay tuned for the arrival of these goodies and more in the shop! Fret not, they will arrive in ample time for the holidays, so keep your eyes peeled on our Insta or Facebook feeds for more details on their landing date. Then make sure to stop by our downtown furniture shop to see them for yourself!

AW will be CLOSED Monday, September 4th for the LABOR DAY HOLIDAY
AND, we’ll be CLOSED one more time next week while we celebrate our talented TEAM for employee appreciation day, Friday, September 8th.

In Their Own Words: Layla and Anna Tell Us What Makes Their Dad Special

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Father’s Day is Sunday and in honor of all the Dads, Stepdads and Father figures in this great big world, we sat down with Anna and Layla Eby to talk about their dad, Alex. Alex is a teacher here in Bozeman and a guy that the Architect’s Wife has a great deal of respect for. When you hang out with Alex and his girls the love he has for them is on full display. He’s the fun dad who makes an effort to keep his daughters laughing and remind them not to take life too seriously. Read on to find out what makes this guy so special in his daughter’s eyes and find out how parenting teens is challenging him to prepare his girls for independence.

Anna (left), Alex(middle), and Layla (right).
Anna (left), Alex(middle), and Layla (right).

Layla, age 12:

What is your favorite thing to do with your dad?
I love going Morel hunting with my dad because it is around his birthday and it is a fun present to give him.

What do you love most about your dad?
I love my dad’s sense of humor. I like it because he makes everyday things that aren’t normally funny, funny.

What is the dorkiest things he’s ever done?
He kisses me in public and yells to people he doesn’t know.

If you could give your dad an award what would it be?
He gets the weirdest weirdo ever award. If you don’t believe me ask his students.

What is your dad’s favorite band/musician?
He loves Bob Marley.

From Anna, age 15:

What is your favorite thing to do with your dad?
My favorite thing to do with my dad is to travel. He is so adventurous and spontaneous and we can always find something fun to do.

What do you love most about your dad?
He loves to make people laugh, and no matter what the occasion, he has the perfect costume to wear, whether it’s a funny ski costume or his christmas reindeer suit. He’s also super playful and is never shy.

What is the dorkiest things he’s ever done?
He has this really awful all natural sunscreen that makes his face look super oily and greasy and he will cover his whole face with it. Sometimes he even puts it on his lips if it’s super sunny and it makes his lips look green. Once he did that and also tied a bandana around his head [so he looked] like a pilgrim girl, I guess that was pretty dorky. He also is a math teacher for 6th graders, so that, by itself, is pretty dorky too.

If you could give your dad an award what would it be?

Best party thrower. My dad throws a pretty good party, with lots of drinks, games, and funny costumes. He goes all out. He’s also pretty talkative, so he could win an award for that. He’s definitely an extrovert.

What is your dad’s favorite band/musician?

He likes all sorts of music, it really depends on his mood, the time of day etc. In the mornings he likes to play Bob Marley and Ray Lamontagne. For parties he loves 80’s dance music. He also has a record player so we have some old Jazz albums that we sometimes play at dinner, and other albums on vinyl.

It didn’t feel right to complete this piece without some input from Alex, so I asked him how parenting has changed for him over the years, especially now that he is the father of two teenage girls.

One of the greatest emotions associated with this stage of fatherhood comes from watching my children do things their own way. Early on, I was focused on showing them my way, the right way. I have changed as they have matured. It is a challenge, but when I’m able to relax and appreciate their style, their perspective, their strengths and weaknesses, then I’m filled with pride and wonder and reassurance. I guess that the trick is letting a situation or an opportunity play out. I have to bite my tongue. But isn’t this what we want as parents? We want our children to turn into humans that can think and choose and initiate and persevere, without us.

Alex watches his daughter's raucous rendition Chopsticks on the family piano nudging them to go faster with each round. From left to right: Alex, Woody the dog, Anna, and Layla.
Alex watches his daughters raucous rendition Chopsticks on the family piano nudging them to go faster with each round. From left to right: Alex, Woody the dog, Anna, and Layla.

With that, we wish all the good men out there who have a special place in our hearts a Happy Father’s Day. Thank you for supporting us and cheering us on and preparing us for this world which can feel pretty uncertain at times.

FTF is Back and Better Than Ever!

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It’s hard to believe that we are kicking of our 3rd season of Food Truck Friday with the Bozeman community, but it’s happening folks! You’ll find your favorites in the lot: Grille 406, Mo’Bowls, Tumbleweeds, Oba Acai, and we are really excited to introduce Sauce! to the FTF faithful! So, in celebration of Food Truck Friday III we’re dedicating this next couple of blog posts to the trucks of FTF. First up Sauce! and Oba.

Meet Sauce!
sauce food truck

When & How did you get started in the Food Truck Biz?

In may 2016 Sauce opened. After culinary school and a number of years working as a chef, I knew I wanted to have my own business, but not necessarily a brick and mortar restaurant. In late 2015, everything seemed to come together and the time was right to buy the truck and start Sauce!

What’s your favorite dish that you serve?

Our Bahn Mi Sandwich. It’s also a customer favorite!

food truck friday, bahn mi
Sauce’s signature sandwich: the Bahn Mi.

What’s your favorite thing about being in the Food Truck Biz?

The food truck and catering business is so dynamic that it always keeps me on my toes. We love being able to provide great local food to a variety of clientele, from global street food served from the truck to coursed out farm to table meals for special events. Gallatin Valley has so many incredible producers which allows us to source our ingredients locally and change our menus based on what is in season and freshest. Also, we have the best staff in the business (though we are probably biased) and are fortunate to be part of a great community of mobile vendors in Bozeman.

Where’s your regular perch?

We move around Bozeman and the surrounding area. That’s the beauty of being on wheels! This year we have ramped up the catering side of the business and will be doing a lot of private events like weddings and corporate parties. We will never abandon the food truck side though and you can find us at festivals like Red Ants Pants Music Festival and the Montana Folk Festival, weekly events like Mobile Mondays at The Emerson, Music on Main, and of course Food Truck Fridays.

Sauce's taco offerings range from carnitas to shrimp.
Sauce’s taco offerings range from carnitas to shrimp.

Do you have a favorite event/venue?

Music on Main

Where did your truck come from?

The truck is an old laundry delivery truck from Livingston that was converted to a food truck by the previous owner. It was formally the Amok truck in Bozeman

Last three Google Searches.

Bozeman weather, Bridger Bowl live cams, Yellowstone River fly fishing report

What’s on your playlist.

LCD Sound System, Talking Heads, and Paul Simon

Meet Oba!

food cart

When & How did you get started in the Food Cart biz?

The cart was opened Late April Early May after a trip home to Brazil.

Why smoothie bowls?

Because its a piece of home (Brazil) here in our new home

Tell me a little about Acai and Pitaya?

Acai and Pitaya are some of the worlds best super fruits. Allowing many health benefits with a fun and funky way of eating.

smoothie bowl
The Acai smoothie bowl.

You have a new store front. Where is it located?

Yes we do! We just opened our store next to Kohls. We feature smoothie bowls as well as our favorite Brazilian dishes and more!

What does a acai/pitaya bowl consist of?

We serve Acai and Pitaya Bowls which are both served with granola, your fruit of your choice, and the topped with any other dry topping of your choice.

What’s your favorite thing about being in the Food Cart Biz?

Our Customers, Downtown is such a lively place with tons of friendly people and customers.

Do you have a favorite event/venue? (besides the Architect’s Wife of course 🙂 )
pitaya bowl
The Pitaya bowl.

Farmers Market

There are four owners & I hear there’s an interesting story about how you met. Can you tell me about that?

Basically two love stories with two different couples that started in Brazil then came to Bozeman. We met each other (the other couple) downtown due to our similar language (Portuguese) being spoken. And the rest is history as they say.

Food Truck Friday happens today in the parking lot of Architect’s Wife. Join us for lunch and delicious treats from 11:30 – 2:00 along with Tumbleweed’s, Mo’Bowls, Grille 406, Oba and introducing Sauce!.

Our Mother’s Day Favorites

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Because your mama loves you to the end of the earth and back again. Because she deserves to be pampered and treated like a queen on May 14th. Because she has earned a nice gift. Check out our top picks for Mother’s Day:


1. Doris Tray, $260; Textured Glasses, $30 2. Flowers: Art & Bouquets $85.00 3. Brass Bud Vase, $150 4. Paper Sculpture, $150 5. Half Moon Clutch, $92 6. Lines Pillow (New Arrival!), $112

Stop by our downtown Bozeman shop and peruse our curated collection of gifts and furniture for mom and more!

How to Style Your Coffee Table.

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Do you have an amazing coffee table that needs a little life? Architect’s Wife asked her go to girl, Hillary , to add some energy to our new, substantial, mahogany coffee table (so substantial was this piece of furniture, it took four grown men to move it in to the shop). Here are Hill’s fail-proof suggestions for styling your table.


1) Stack Books. Stack your favorite books as an anchor. Books are a great conversation starter and they create an additional surface for you to layer accessories.

2) Add Height. I added a cloche to create height and add interest — this helps lead your guest’s eye through “the scene”.

3) Add Life! Instead of flowers, add a low maintenance plant to the mix for color and life!

4) Personalize the Space. Personalize the look with some of your favorite objects. Here I added some petrified wood and a gorgeous handmade wood bowl by local maker, Lui Ferreira.

And, there you have it — Hillary’s super-simple steps for creating a dazzling scape for your coffee table. To shop the look, click links in the copy or visit our Bozeman shop and have our expert staff guide you to the perfect pieces that will set your coffee table apart.

Deborah Monaghan: Anatomy of a Textile Designer

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textile, designer

Before Deborah Monaghan moved to Livingston from the Bay Area, she spent a lot of time sitting in front of a computer screen. Her mind would wander occasionally and she watched as her co-workers tapped at their keyboards, laser-focussed on their monitors. She realized nobody in the room was really aware of their environment.

With that realization and in attempt to feel more connected to herself and her body, Deborah’s mind traveled to the inter-workings of the human anatomy — the heart pulsing blood through her veins and the exhalation of her breath. This daydreaming lead her to deconstruct the human anatomy on the printed page. She noticed there were obvious and beautiful patterns within anatomy and she began playing with those patterns on the computer. Deborah took these patterns one step further and began printing them on fabric and producing pillows and scarves in vibrant colors and began selling them. As a resident of the West, she is now heavily influenced by her Montana home. Her current work (and the work we have in the shop) is a study of animal anatomy, horses and cattle, to be specific.

Deborah’s horse and cattle inspired pillows now available at Architect’s Wife.

In the end it’s Deborah who has dominated the virtual world. By deconstructing anatomy she pulls us out of that artificial world and forces us to study our inner-workings and the inner-workings of the animals we coexist with in the real world on fabric and in tactile form.

Deborah's design process.
Anatomy of a bull: Deborah’s step-by-step design process.

I asked Deborah to elaborate on her process and technique, because her process is so fascinating. Below are her responses.

How long have you been working as an artist?

That’s a difficult question for me to answer; I still have trouble calling myself an artist. I’ve always been artistic since I was little and engaged in some artistic medium here or there, but something about defining myself as an artist has always freaked me out. I think it adds too much pressure to the process, especially when I’m not currently working on something. In this current medium of pattern, which would turn into textile design, I started work in 2011.

How did you get started working with fabric?

Part of why I apply my designs to fabric are in response to the increasingly virtual worlds we find ourselves in. When I find myself in front of the computer for too many hours in a day, or week, I become aware of my senses dulling, my peripheral vision narrowing, and generally, the world feels less tactile – a drag if you ask me.

textile, designer, fabric, pillow
Deborah in her Livingston home with some of her original designs (also available at Architect’s Wife).

The human anatomy patterns are a prompt to pay attention to the sensory experiences one may be having within and to encourage that aliveness. By extension, placing the patterns on items you see and use and touch extends the idea even further. My hope is the visual prompt of the pattern and object within the environment will [encourage people to be more aware of themselves and their bodies]. The animal patterns follow along that same vein; I want to encourage people to view the horse and cattle with deeper appreciation, and by extension encourage a deeper appreciation for their role historically and presently in the West.

design, process, scarf
A silk scarf and a new anatomical design Deborah is experimenting with.

Tell me about your process.

The line and shape are already there; it’s really about context and deconstruction or abstraction – or alternatively, just getting out of the way of what is already there. That’s the amazing thing to me and again, it’s a response to the virtual world breathing down our necks. We don’t have to make anything up, nothing needs to be more awesome, just look around!

I start by perusing anatomy books. Once I’ve landed on a part, or animal that’s piqued my interest [I begin studying it]. Sometimes the process is finding the right illustration for the part, other times it’s finding out what’s unique about the animal. Either way, I find an illustration that I find interesting and start tracing the lines and shapes. From there it’s delete this, add this, scale that, repeat this. I usually arrive at something in a mess of a sketch and then it goes to my friend and collaborator, Francesca, over in France for digitizing and clean-up. Though, sometimes I will send Francesca a bunch of illustrations and thoughts and ask her to put them together directly into the computer. I draw terribly and though I can see patterns in my head, sometimes I’m not the best at getting them to paper. Francesca and I go back and forth with formations for the pattern and edits until one seems to satisfy both of us. Then it’s time for color. I’m incredibly thankful for our collaboration.

You have mentioned that the mind/body connection is an important part of your work. How did you get interested in this connection and how is it reflected in your work?

I have a belief that the mind does what the body does and the body does what the mind does. I’ve been on a search my whole life to understand that relationship and make the best decisions I can to think well and be well; life is a co-creation in that way. As an example, I’ve always loved the quiet primal space one gets to when hiking in the woods; you’re in-tune with your body, thoughts have slowed (hopefully) and everything seems to be working in some unified system. That experience also can occur from body work, or tuning into silence, or – you decide. If I could feel that way in everything I do, I’d live in bliss. Modernity, along with life experiences though offer a lot of interruptions from that way of being. So what can we do to set ourselves up to live with ease? What choices can we make to prompt that result, internally, and externally? Hopefully my work offers some advice in those regards.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

Keep doing the next most obvious thing and take it from there. Be wary of lifestyle marketing being your guide.

How long have you lived in Montana? What do you love about living here?

I’ve been in Montana for about 5 years. I love how raw and wild it is here. I love how nature affects our rhythms and character here – or yet, how nature sets the rhythm and how the humans more or less have to fall in line. Despite our technological developments, nature is still king here when it comes down to it. Because of that, the people here share some inherent commonality and the community here functions in some particular ways that I really appreciate. We need our neighbors, partly for survival and partly for entertainment; so play nice and fair or else you’ll be stuck in a snowbank and bored. Having that tight knit community alongside a culture of rugged individualism makes for a pretty sweet spot.

Deborah's inspiration wall in her studio.
Deborah’s inspiration wall in her studio.

What book are you reading right now?

Yellowstone Has Teeth by Maryjane Ambler

Favorite color?

That changes based on my mood, season and locale, but the palettes of the art deco era get me every time.

Favorite TV show?

Honestly I have to say Scooby Doo. I just turned 40 and I still love watching the old episodes from the 80’s. The atmospheres were always so mystical and groovy.

What music are you listening to these days?
Old soul! Some new. On vinyl please, the production of music these days lacks so much warmth and depth. If that comment doesn’t resonate with you, please go investigate; you’re missing out, and we should demand better sounding music.

No cheating. What are the last three things you’ve Googled?

How to care for a rubber tree plant?
Google Mapped Portland to Livingston driving directions
Ilse Crawford

Her pillows are on display at our downtown furniture shop. Stop in and ask our staff to teach you more about her original patterns and help you find the animal hidden within each fabric. You can also learn more about Deborah’s work at her website Think Body Design.
P.S. Her design can be produced as wallpaper too!!!

Date Night: What to do With BAE on V-Day

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Whether you’re hanging with your BAE or having a night out with your best gal pal, Architect’s Wife has rounded up our go-to spots for date night around town. From our favorite eateries or goings on about town, to THE most romantic way to start your evening, AW has you covered.

Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?

5pm Sunset Sleigh ride with Bridger Mountain view. Saddle up with Shane of Sunrise Pack Station and take your boo for an hour long sleigh ride through the woods. You’ll pause midway for hot chocolate and watch the sun descend the sky and finish up with time to spare so you can move on to your next destination: dinner.

Watch the sun set and sip hot chocolate on this 30 minute or one hour tour (we recommend the one hour ride).
Watch the sun set and sip hot chocolate on this 30 minute or one hour tour (we recommend the one hour ride).

6:15 Dinner. Valentine’s Day just isn’t Valentine’s without a delicious meal in your belly. AW has a few favorites in town.
Bisl. Bozeman’s newest culinary hot spot (conveniently located parallel to AW).
Saffron Table. South Asian goodness. We’ve had friends from far and wide visit and declare Saffron has the best South Asian cuisine they’ve ever eaten.
Feast. AW has a serious soft spot for this place. Not only is the food delicious, but our sister biz, Abby Hetherington Interiors, designed the interior space.


3. Show. For those of you who celebrate V-Day in advance, check out Barefoot Movement at The Ellen. The show starts at 7:30, February 11th, so you’ll have to celebrate V-Day in advance, but it’s a small price to pay to see this Nashville folk band in person.

Don’t forget that all important giftie for your special someone. We have an excellent selection of gifts big and small for your bestie or your S.O.

Great gifts for your love, from left to right: Forget the flowers, buy her a bouquet that will last forever, Flowers Book; Buffalo Check blanket, perfect for that horse drawn carriage ride; Spy Deck; Ski Books.
Great gifts for your love, from left to right: Forget the flowers, buy her a bouquet that will last forever, Flowers Book; Buffalo Check blanket, perfect for that horse drawn carriage ride; Spy Deck; Ski Books.

Hometown Darling, TART, is BACK (With a Vengeance!)

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tart-boutique Image Courtesy of Tart

When the doors of Tart closed in the Emerson last Spring, a collective gasp could be heard throughout the Gallatin Valley. Since 2007 Tart was our go-to place for fun, quirky handmade in Montana gifts. When the doors closed it left a huge hole in our local world of retail therapy and more importantly, our hearts. Its proprietor, Anna Visscher, was a familiar face and our tour guide for the tartist landscape of Montana.

The passing of the torch. Anna Visscher, former owner of Tart and Serena Rundberg, Tart's new proprietor.  Image Courtesy Tart.
Passing the torch. Anna Visscher, former owner of Tart and Serena Rundberg, Tart’s new proprietor. Image Courtesy Tart.

But, after 9 years of business Anna was ready to take a break from retail life. Enter Serena Rundberg, proprietor of Nova and Feed Cafes. Thanks to Tart, Serena and Anna had a great working relationship. Not only did Anna run Tart, for many years she also curated the gallery space at Nova adorning their walls with original art from artists represented at her shop. Based on what happened in the months following Tart’s closure, it’s safe to say, Serena gasped the loudest when Tart closed.

The hallmark  of Tart's offerings: handmade gifts made in the United States. Images by Cathy Copp
The hallmark of Tart’s offerings: handmade gifts made in the United States. Images by Cathy Copp

Serena was busy operating her latest culinary venture, Feed Cafe, when her light-bulb moment came to her. Rundberg was wandering the aisles of Costco, searching for her next bulk bargain and talking to her general contractor when the moment came to her. Her contractor mentioned his wife was lost since Tart closed. The shop had long been her go-to place to buy gifts for friends and family and there was a huge void left with its closing. That’s when it hit her, there was some vacant space next to Feed which, for a variety of reasons, couldn’t be converted to extra seating for the restaurant, why not relocate Bozeman’s beloved boutique to this space?

Restaurateur, Serena Rundberg. She is venturing in to the world of retail with Tart. Image by Greener Visuals
Restaurateur, Serena Rundberg. She is venturing in to the world of retail with Tart. Image by Greener Visuals

Serena has a reputation for being a dynamo, so it didn’t take long for her plan to re-open Tart to come together. She immediately reached out to Anna, negotiated the purchase of Tart, and her ambitious plan to open by Black Friday 2016 was realized.

For long time Tart loyalists, the new space will feel familiar. It is light and bright with touches of yellow and the iconic button closure gift boxes are stacked neatly behind the counter. The store continues to carry exclusively handmade art and gifties with at least a dozen carry over Tartists, but they’ve made a commitment to cast a wider net and are now working with artists from around the United States to bring Bozeman unique, one-of-a-kind finds.

Left: Tart isn't Tart without their signature button closure gift box. Right: A bird's eye view of fused glass plates made by Serena's business partner's mother.
Left: Tart isn’t Tart without their signature button closure gift box. Right: A bird’s eye view of fused glass plates made by Serena’s business partner’s mother.

You may have noticed this post has nothing to do with furniture or a maker that we work with. It has everything to do with why we love our community — because it supports local talent and handmade goodness and holds on to businesses that are worth keeping around. In this age of encroaching box stores, Architect’s Wife couldn’t be happier to see this darling of Bozeman back in business. If you haven’t visited the new space, get yourself over there! Better yet, stop by Feed for breakfast and browse Tart’s offerings while you’re waiting for your grub.

The new Tart is located in the old Kirk Homestead (the red barn on Main Street).
The new Tart is located in the old Kirk Homestead (the red barn on Main Street).

Wait. You didn’t think I forgot about the scoop I teased you with on Le Social Media, did you? Never. You heard it here first folks: Nova and Feed will be joined by a sister restaurant which will take up residence in The Cannery district! Stay tuned folks, more deets to come!

The World Class Pottery You May Have Never Heard Of

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Stepping on to the property of The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts is like stepping on hallowed ground for a ceramic artist. The sprawling compound is a former brick factory and the dream of Archie Bray to “make available for all who are seriously interested in the ceramic arts, a fine place to work.” Located just three miles outside Helena, Archie inherited the brick factory from his father, Charles, when he passed away and in 1951 he joined together with Peter Meloy and Branson Stevenson to build the Pottery. Rudy Autio and Peter Voulkos both talented ceramicists in their own right were brought in to manage the pottery and quickly established the foundation as a significant center for the creation and study of ceramics.

peter voulkos, archie bray
Founding members Archie Bray Sr. (left) and Peter Voulkos (right).

Since its humble beginnings 65 years ago, The Bray has hosted over 675 resident artists from all over the world from as far as Taiwan, China, Serbia, and Israel to name a few. Ceramic masters like Akio Takamori, Sarah Jaeger and Steven Young Lee (The Bray’s current director) have all attended The Archie Bray making it a world class facility.

Archie Bray's current  resident artists. From Left to Right:
Archie Bray’s current resident artists. From Left to Right: Nicholas Danielson, Ling Chun, En Iwamura, Michelle Summers, Perry Haas, Noah Riedel, Hannah Lee Cameron, Myungjin Kim, Lauren Gallaspy, Chris Riccardo, and Steven Young Lee

True to Archie’s vision, the Bray encourages and celebrates the work of the artists by hosting gallery space and providing studio space to the resident artists as well as a shop for the makers to sell their pieces. The result is that the artists are given the freedom to study, test, and create work at their own pace as well as learn from each other.

Sample works by some of  "The Bray's" current artists. Top Row, from Left to Right: Nicholas Danielson, Ling Chun, Chris Riccardo; Bottom Row, from Left to Right: Hannah Lee Cameron, Perry Haas, and Myungjin Kim.
Sample works by some of “The Bray’s” current artists. Top Row, from Left to Right: Nicholas Danielson, Ling Chun, Chris Riccardo; Bottom Row, from Left to Right: Hannah Lee Cameron, Perry Haas, and Myungjin Kim.

Architect’s Wife had the opportunity to visit the Archie Bray Foundation last Spring and wander its grounds. One of the things that stood out for AW during her visit is the accessibility the public has to this space. Everyone is free to experience the facility by visiting the gallery and touring the studio space to see the artists in action. There is even an artist’s shrine which ceramicists have been contributing to over the years. This place is special and well worth the drive to soak in the wonder of watching people study their craft and view their original works in clay.

Works by <a href=
Bobby Tso, left, and Brooks Oliver, right, currently available at The Architect's Wife. ” width=”1178″ height=”785″ class=”size-full wp-image-1137″ /> Works by Bobby Tso, left, and Brooks Oliver, right, currently available at The Architect’s Wife.

AW couldn’t let a trip to the gallery pass without making a few acquisitions for the shop, so if you don’t have time to visit Helena (although we HIGHLY recommend the trip), stop by our furniture shop to gaze at the works of some of the current resident artists.

Work by current Bray artists in residence. Clockwise from left to right: Lauren Gallaspy, En Iwamura, and Michelle Summers.
Work by current Bray artists in residence. Clockwise from left to right: Lauren Gallaspy, En Iwamura, and Michelle Summers.

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