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25 Apr '16

Designer Highlight: Thread and Paper

Posted by Natasha Samoylenko

thread & paper is a small studio dedicated to slow design and the beauty of handmade. 

Simplicity, functionality and the beauty of natural materials are the driving forces behind every piece. We are super thrilled to add this local brand  to our amazing list of designers. We asked Emily a few questions about the inspiration and design process.

What was your favorite thing about growing up in New England?
Oh, I loved so many things about growing up in New England! There is an incredible sense of community and resourcefulness that I am so glad are a part of my personal history.

How does your design background translate into your current designs?
I have always been drawn to graphic patterns, but, oftentimes I find the typical graphic pattern to be very cold and uninteresting. I like playing with organic and geometric. I would like to say I've totally figured it out, but like anything else, it's always evolving! 
Where do you turn for creative inspiration?
Everywhere, really. I have a sketchbook, of course, but I don't really sketch. I typically collect samples of raw materials or tear sheets. Usually I have this really great material, like our 100% domestic organic cotton canvas, and I challenge myself to use it in as many ways as possible, most don't work, but I always feel really good about the ones that do. 
Which bag to you choose as your everyday necessity?
I am the kind of person (even before Thread & Paper) that was always changing my bags. It's really hard for me to pick just one! I do know that there needs to be a zipper, sturdy straps and a place for my metrocard. 
What is your favorite material to work with and why?
I'm always on the hunt for new and better materials, so they're always evolving. My professional and educational background is in textiles, so I think the materials are the most important part of any finished product. That being said, I have really enjoyed working with and getting to know the waxed canvas. It's a great material with a long history of practicality. 
Who is the most inspirational person in your life?
There are too many to count, and I couldn't call just one out. 
Why is it important to you to design and produce locally?
We all know that eating locally is better for us and the environment, the same is true of manufacturing. If I can manufacture on a small scale in the same communities that I am working in, it cuts down on the carbon footprint of each item produced. It also taps into a long history of manufacturing and cottage industries that I think are a really interesting, and often overlooked part of American history. 

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