our makers towel story.
Let's start it off like this. I was in 6th grade when Jill launched Jill Rosenwald in 1996. So while everything was a big deal and my world was crumbling as a middle schooler, Jill was building an empire. Enough said?
Ok, fast forward to 2009. I was onto my second design job at a local Boston firm, Korn Design. I was living in the South End and life was really good. At Korn, we had a strong focus in hospitality and the arts. My first big account was The London Hotels: The London NYC and The London West Hollywood. I was working on their print collateral, pulling together photoshoots and developing custom products for their VIP clients and in-room amenities. Owner, boss and mentor, Denise Korn, sent me off to New York to what was then called, the New York Gift Show. It's now NYNOW. I was to find brands to partner with and products we could customize for our hotel and restaurant clients. "Don't forget to say 'hello' to Jill Rosenwald, you must find her, she's awesome." It literally went something like that. Ummm . . . ok, will do!
Without any other knowledge, there I was going up and down the never ending rows of company after company at the Javits Center looking for unique goods . . . and Jill Rosenwald. After sore feet and being slightly famished (if you have ever been to the gift show you know exactly what I mean), I spotted her! Beautiful lamps by her husband Lawrence McRae, bright colors, bold patterns and a women with an exuberant and warm personality. Denise was right, she was pretty awesome.
Jill makes you laugh. She has a personality like no other and ever since that day, she's been an incredible inspiration. She captured the attention of Neiman Marcus in the 90s and graced the pages of InStyle, House Beautiful, and Oprah Magazine just to name a few. She has since launched a bedding line, rugs and soon, new pillows which I've been lucky to get a sneak peak of!
But what I love most about Jill is her drive and her passion for being a maker. Success aside, it starts when you're young and it's about the journey that gets you to where you are. At a recent In Company of Women panel in Boston, she tells the story of being a young girl with an entrepreneurial spirit. Jill would make little objects and sell them door to door in her hometown of New York pretending she was a girl scout to "raise money for her troop". She had the entire theatre laughing and if you know Jill, there is something not so surprising about that! Jill went on to sell her ceramics out of boxes on the street. These are the types of maker stories that inspire me.
In 2013, I decided to leave Korn Design and give myself an opportunity to grow as a designer. At that point, I had been at Korn for five years. So much of what I know today (and how I think) is because of Denise.
A year later, Jill had a few available studios in her large Fort Point space and I jumped on it with two friends and colleagues, Jessica Klein and Nicole Bass. I had been at a non-permanent co-working space on Newbury and it was time to create a space for my business. At this time I was doing some event design work but what really started to take flight was the beginnings of The Everyday Co.
2016. Spring was approaching and Jill popped her head into our studio with an idea. She shared that she had yardage of this amazing fabric she had printed hanging out in the back room. She wanted to do something with it. The print was her Hampton links pattern that covers many Vintage Jill ceramics and her current bedding collection. It was a no-brainer (our cloth goods use remnant fabrics) and an opportunity for us to revive her Libeco fabric back to all it's glory. 100% linen and hand-printed in Massachusetts, this luxurious fabric was perfect for something substantial. And special.
We tossed around a few ideas . . . dinner napkin . . . placemats. I wanted to do something that would hold a story and inspire other makers no matter where you were or what you did. We landed on a towel. We would make it slightly larger than our Everyday Hand Towels and beef up the hook to match the weight and feel of the fabric. Along with my team, Caitlin and Marta, we gathered in the studio and start picking out the details. Edge colors . . . twill weight . . . twill colors. Then we noodled over construction . . . hook placement . . . stitch width . . . and the custom twill tag that would help tell our story.
The challenge here was highlighting the fabric, the technique and construction—the combination of Jill Rosenwald and The Everyday Co. The goal was to create something useful that married all of these touch points. The result, a Makers Towel that is functional and beautiful.
Cut from what was left of Jill's Hampton link fabric, each towel is numbered 1 through 80 with a note from us.
This project is for all the dreamers, believers and makers with a story. A story of conviction, passion and willingness to take risks.
Whether you're a gardener, painter, chef or oyster shucker . . . mom, pop, homemaker or shopkeeper . . . you're a maker and we hope our Makers Towel brings you joy and inspiration.
You got this.
Kathryn & Jill
Gorgeous lifestyle photography by our dear friend, Lara Woolfson of Studio Nouveau. Thank you.