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Unison Q+A: Joslyn Villalpando of J.Villa Workshop

We recently hosted a Weaving Workshop using our scrap fabric with Joslyn Villalpando, founder of J.Villa Workshop. We talked to Joslyn about her practice, and how her love for teaching translated into hosting events, and what’s next for J.Villa Workshop.

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1. How long have you been teaching as J.Villa Workshop and how did it begin?

While teaching art for Chicago Public Schools, I was working on my thesis at the School of The Art Institute Chicago around creating community with craft and fiber art. After a long day of teaching and writing paper after paper for grad school, I was craving two things: time with friends and making art again, so I started hosting craft gatherings in my little Chicago condo with my friends. Each gathering, usually around a holiday, was paired with a cocktail and treat.

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For instance, I had a group for Valentines Day and we made block print cards, sipped a pink gin drink, and ate sugar cookies.  I love craft media; weaving, embroidery, macrame, etc. because of its implications of approachability and I love seeing what contemporary makers are doing with the traditional techniques.

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Curating a whole craft experience brings me so much joy so I started reaching out to various venues around Chicago to see if they’d be interested in hosting my craft gatherings that would involve them, in some way. I was pleasantly surprised that most are really into it and have fun coming up with the workshop with me! I’ve done some fun events with Bang Bang! Pie, Antique Taco and The Barrelhouse Flat.

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2. You teach a wide variety of workshops, including printmaking, weaving and embroidery. Do you have a favorite that you like to teach?

I love teaching each one for different reasons. Embroidery is so gratifying because I know how intimidating it can be for beginners and its fun to create an accessible workshop where people leave saying, “oh ok I can do this, I got this!” Weaving…that was my first love so I know my joy for that one comes through when I teach! I just love them all! 

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3. You also create custom weavings, how do you determine the color palette and patterning for those pieces?

I love creating custom weavings. I’m usually inspired by a color palette and I’ll stick with that for a weaving or two. I love switching it up between tight, laborious weavings with a more intricate design and textured, loose, minimal weavings. 

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4. What’s next for J.Villa Workshop?

I’m working to make J.Villa Workshop my full time job, this coming April will mark one year and I’m having so much fun continuing to come up with new gatherings! I started with a few contacts and venues who wanted to work together and those have each led me to new ones. I love collaborating with new makers, venues, and small business owners as my own business grows. I’ve found such a beautifully supportive community in Chicago and I’ll keep curating craft gatherings as long as people keep joining me! 

Learn more about J.Villa including upcoming workshops here

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Dream Weavers: Introducing Makaua Woven Baskets

 

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Beautiful things happen in the hands of artisans. Now imagine what’s possible when more than 500 artisan families are empowered to use their talents for the betterment of their community.

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That’s the story behind Makaua Baskets, a new addition to our Spring collection. The aesthetic of the baskets was what first grabbed our attention; they’re made from rustic natural palm leaves but manage to look so perfectly modern. Then we discovered their story and knew we had to share them with you.

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Makaua Baskets are made by in-need families in Mexico, who use traditional hand-braiding technique passed down through generations. These artisans have been making the baskets since 2002 and have been able to improve their quality of life with their income. It’s true — more than 500 families have been involved and positively impacted.

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The palm used is a sustainable natural fiber that’s abundant in the south of Mexico. Its gorgeous neutral color goes well with any living space. Also, those leather handles – they add refinement and make the baskets easily tote-able.

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We hope you love them as much as we do. Shop Woven Natural Baskets here

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Stylist Feature: Janelle Gonyea

At our recent store event: Well-Fashioned Feast, we asked stylist extraordinaire Janelle Gonyea to bring her table styling tips and tricks to assist Unison customers with their own holiday entertaining. We chatted with Janelle about her background, style inspiration and how she entertains in her own home.

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Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became interested in styling:

I have always been interested in telling stories through creating beautiful color palettes and styled vignettes. I have an arts education, and that has informed much of my creative career. I began as an illustrator and graphic designer drawing and arranging items on a page. From there I moved onto arranging flowers and have since eased into styling objects in space.

My love for styling arose out of a fascination with storytelling. You see a scene and wonder what is happening there, and the objects begin to give you pieces of that story. It can take you back in time, recall a memory, or inform a brand’s aesthetic and lifestyle.

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We especially loved the handmade elements you added to the table, particularly your illustrations. Is that something you often incorporate into your table styling?

I certainly do! Adding handmade elements to styling gives it a more personal touch and adds more life to the table or scene. I think if it can be handmade, it should be! My education was in illustration, so it’s a skill that I love to embellish with when appropriate.

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How did the Unison products inspire you in creating your tablescapes?

Unison products are incredibly inspiring, especially because you really cannot go wrong with any combination. They defy rules, and encourage you to play. I adore the minimal patterns and limited color palettes, because they provide a foundation for incorporating your own style. By mixing and matching details you can be playful, dramatic, quirky, or romantic. 

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Styling for the holidays with Unison products gave me a chance to explore all of the pieces of place settings that I may not use on a regular basis.  I love having an opportunity to be expansive and really embrace table settings for multiple courses. Their cast iron collection was incredibly enticing, and I could just picture one at each place setting overflowing with an earthy homemade individual pot pie or ginger pear crisp!

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What was your main goal in executing each of your table settings? Do you often have an overarching concept for your tables that dictates your styling?

My main goal was to showcase various place settings and creative ways to play with napkin placement while adding personal elements. While some people tend to worry about them, I don’t believe in following all the rules. That being said, I wanted to provide a range in settings from basic to formal because the holidays tend to bring together traditions and honoring many generations.

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When styling tables, I am often drawn to particular palettes or ambiguous concepts like “desert landscape” or “wintry mountain” and build out from there. Florals always play a huge role, and I am still a fan of family style tablescaping and long communal tables. They’re more interactive and allow you to really play with settings and accompanying details.

What is your general philosophy regarding entertaining? Do you like to entertain within your own home as well?

I love bringing people together and sharing a meal over delightful conversation. With entertaining, I think atmosphere plays a huge role, and I like to create tablescapes that would set someone at ease and make them feel welcome. Recently I held a gathering on the night of a Supermoon, so I used a deep indigo runner accompanied by marble cake stands, milky white platters, speckled blue bowls and lunaria flowers. 

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Do you have any additional tips for last minute holiday entertaining prep?

I would say not to worry too much about the “rules” and just have fun with it. Be yourself and embrace your unique style. Beyond the essentials of table settings from lovely shops like Unison, consider adding a simple name tag for seating or drink labels. Handmade elements are always nice, and adding a small vase of flowers gives your table a warming touch.

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Textiles are a great way to lay a foundation for color, and have a transformative effect on any table setting. A simple white, black or grey plate set can look fun and quirky on a Market Plaid tablecloth or deep and dramatic on the Garland Wine Tablecloth. Holidays are the time to bring out all of the special details you might not use on a daily basis!

See more styling from Janelle Gonyea here

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Unison x The Weaving Mill

Here at Unison, we seek out and collaborate with an array of independent artists and designers, offering distinctive accessories, hard goods, and art that infuse homes with the clean beauty and functional substance of modern American design.

This year we’re especially excited about our most recent collaboration on a limited edition throw blanket with artists and co-founders of The Weaving Mill, Matti Sloman and Emily Winter. We sat down with Matti and Emily to learn more about their creative process and all things weaving. Read on to learn more and watch our video of the weaving in action!

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Briefly introduce yourselves

Emily: I grew up in San Francisco and moved to Chicago for college. I got my B.A. in History from University of Chicago. I started weaving right after I finished college, interning with Natalie Boyett at the Chicago Weaving School. I spent the next couple years working with her, teaching at Envision Unlimited and doing various odd jobs. I moved to Providence in 2013 for a Master of Fine Arts in Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design. Matti and I overlapped for one year in the MFA program and hit it off.

Matti: I grew up in Boston and got my BFA (Painting) and MFA (Textiles) from RISD. I have worked for a number of artists over the years as a studio assistant, which informed my desire for a collaborative studio practice. After grad school, and before moving to Chicago, I participated in the Land Arts of the American West residency which expanded my understanding of the studio as a practice vs. a place.

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What is the history of The Weaving Mill?

The Weaving Mill is an outgrowth of the Chicago Weaving Corporation, a textile company that started in the 1940s. The CWC began in Wicker Park, moved to the suburbs in the mid 80s and in 2005 partnered with social services agency Envision Unlimited to create a job training program for adults with developmental disabilities.

I (Emily) worked at Envision Unlimited as a teaching artist and knew Jim, who ran the mill. When I was in grad school, I learned that he was retiring and that there weren’t any concrete plans for the textile equipment. I started talking with people at Envision and at RISD about the possibility of restarting the weaving program at West Town Center. I asked Matti if she would be interested in coming to Chicago to work on this together and she said yes, she would. We both moved to Chicago in the summer of 2015 and started cleaning up the workshop, learning the equipment, and teaching sewing classes to Envision’s clients.

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What is it about the art of weaving that you’re drawn to?

Textiles are always in some in-between territory, between art and design, utility and aesthetics. This makes it a really meaty medium to work in, because it always pushes a little bit against some of those conventions. We like that the fabric we make always moves into the world in ways we don’t anticipate.

Can you talk a bit about your residency program?

Hosting an artist-in-residence was a fundamental program of The Weaving Mill since our initial brainstorming conversations. We always imagined The Weaving Mill as a multifaceted organization. Looking towards The Fabric Workshop as an inspiration, we believe the integration of working artists into our studio and the art program at West Town Center would elevate everyone’s practice. We received a Propellor Fund grant last fall that has funded our pilot program. This summer, three artists, staying for a month each, have brought their studio practices and energy to West Town Center. Each artists contributes 16 hours of workshops for Envision Unlimited clients. The remarkable response to the workshops has solidified the importance of continuing the residency next year.

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Do you find weaving to be a fairly accessible medium for your students?

West Town Education for Textiles (W.E.F.T.) is our textile education program at West Town. We work with two groups of Envision clients twice a week, building up sewing skills. We work on cutting, measuring, design, and sewing machine skills. Our hope with this program is that participants will become comfortable with these skills and be able to use them in their personal lives and in the future, for paid production work.

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How did you begin working with Unison?

When we discussed The Weaving Mill prior to moving to Chicago with our RISD faculty, they would nod and whisper “you need to talk to the people at Unison,” as if they were giving us top secret stock tips. We have admired the level of design coming from Unison from afar, but it took Liz Collins, mentor, artist and former classmate of Unison Co-Founder Robert Segal, to give us the moxie to make contact. Eventually we hosted the team here to The Weaving Mill to geek out and talk weaving. Several months later, when Unison Production Designer Erica Lubetsky proposed this collaboration, we were beyond excited.

Shop the Unison x The Weaving Mill Throw Blanket here

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Have you partnered with other brands before? If so, which one(s)?

We are working in 3 realms right now: we do our own projects (TWM Projects), which are single-run editions of textile objects. We have done 3 of these projects so far (100 Blankets, VA! Jackets, and A Very Big Blanket) and have more coming up. We also work with artists to do more experimental yardage—this involves a process of collaborative sampling and really thinking about how to push the possibilities of our looms. We are currently working with Portland artist Sarah Wertzberger on a project, as well as Providence artist Jungil Hong. We do collaborative design and production work with other businesses—we have done projects with print designer Rebecca Atwood, apparel designer Jamie Hayes and artist Nuria Montiel (for Jamie’s line Production Mode), and textile studio Herron.

What is next for The Weaving Mill?

We recently had an exhibition at Wheaton College and we are working on the next TWM project (Navajo churro wool blankets), and we have a couple of collaborations cooking. Sign up for The Weaving Mail!

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Inn Style: Unison + Longman & Eagle

Our latest bedding is custom-made for a Chicago destination that’s anything but ordinary.

We’ve been told our bedding is perfect for guest rooms, and Chicago’s iconic Inn at Longman & Eagle agrees. It now features Unison special-edition bedding that was created as a collaboration between Cody Hudson (partner at Land and Sea Department, which owns and operates the Inn at Longman & Eagle) and Unison co-founder Robert Segal.

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You can purchase the bedding, a quilt that reverses from navy blue to light grey, online or in or store. But we hope you’ll visit the Inn, too, to see it in its native environment. The Inn features six small eclectic rooms and sits above a whiskey bar serving Michelin-star-rated food. Inside each room: a mix of furniture designed and built by Land and Sea partners Mode Carpentry, plus curated artwork by Stephen Eichhorn, Ryan Duggan and other noteworthy creatives.

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We caught up with Cody, who shared more about this unique Chicago destination and what makes its new Unison bedding such a special touch.

Unison: You’ve had a longstanding collaborative relationship with Unison. What made the bedding the natural next step?

Cody: We’ve been using Unison bedding at the Inn since we opened. We like to support local companies so Unison was a perfect fit. After a few years of using the bedding we thought it could be interesting to do more of a custom comforter for the rooms.

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Unison: What were some key things you kept in mind when creating the design?

Cody: [We wanted] something simple, clean and a little utilitarian that would hold up in an inn setting. Also, there’s a lot going on in the rooms already so we wanted something with some color and pattern but not too much.

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Unison: These aren’t your typical hotel rooms. What’s the vibe?

Cody: It’s a pretty casual experience, almost like staying at a friend’s house who has a really cool guest room and has great taste in music, art and whiskey.

Unison: Another one of your collaborations with Unison, the Anchors bedding, was based on your hand-drawn illustrations. Tell us about your process for the Longman & Eagle bedding.

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Cody: I had a few meetings with [Unison co-founders] Robert and Alicia and talked about what fabrics would work best and what would go with the sheets and pillowcases we were going to use. We landed on this clean combination.

Unison: All beds at the Inn will also have the Sailor pillowcases. Why go with these?

Cody: We wanted the colors on the comforter to work nicely with everything else on the bed — it was a good fit.

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Unison: Tell us a bit more about your own studio practice. What’s your main focus and any new evolutions as of late?

Cody: I split my time between Land and Sea Department projects, traditional graphic design work and working on my personal art in the studio. In my personal work I’ve been focusing on more abstracted paintings on linen as well as steel and wood sculptures. I spent the last two months painting quite a bit getting ready for a few shows but now I’m back pretty heavily focusing on a few new LSD projects in the works.

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Unison: Where else can people see your work?

Cody: I had a show at Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago last month, I’m doing a small show of sculptures in Amsterdam in December at Mini Gallerie. I’m slowly working towards a few other painting shows later next year as well as wrapping up details on a few mural projects for later in the year. That and raising two young kids is keeping me pretty busy right now.

Want to learn more? Click here for a peek inside The Inn at Longman & Eagle. Or, get immediate gratification and shop the new L&E Reversible Quilt here.

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Fall’s Best Friend: Rhine Hall Distillery

Apple and plum brandy? Indeed. Get the latest on seasonal pours and entertaining tips from a Chicago star. Read on for cocktail recipe and watch our video for a peek inside Rhine Hall.

Holiday season is coming – time to get your bar game strong. As you get your glassware in order and your spirits stocked, we’ve got inspiration to guide you. It comes from the pros at Rhine Hall, a small-batch distillery located just down the block from our Unison design studio in Chicago.

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There’s so much to love about this family-owned spot. Its expert selection of well balanced fruit spirits. It’s laidback vibe and bright, charming interior. It’s commitment to local, sustainable ingredients. And, of course, it’s willingness to raise a glass and celebrate. In fact, they’ve come up with cocktail recipes inspired by some of our new barware.

We caught up with Rhine Hall’s co-owner, Jennifer Solberg Katzman, who shares more about the distillery’s new fall menu, personal entertaining style and more.

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Unison: Rhine Hall has been around for three years now. Tell us about your journey.

Jennifer: Rhine Hall is a family hobby-turned-business. Our mission is to make quality brandy using methods we learned while living in Germany and Austria. The goal has always been to introduce people to learn about brandy and hopefully relate with it in a way where they feel comfortable to bring it home or drink it at bars and restaurants. We’ve always wanted to make different fruit brandies/eau de vies as the fruit became available to us. We have made a few different products, as private labels from top bars and restaurants in the city, which has been unexpected and super exciting.

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Unison: Fall is definitely a time for new beginnings or at least new projects … what’s on the horizon for Rhine Hall this Fall?

Jennifer: We’ve got a lot coming up! We recently released a newer product known as La Normande, also known as a Normandy-style pommeau. Pommeau is Rhine Hall Apple Brandy with fresh cider aged in Bourbon barrels. We will also be releasing an Oak Aged Plum, as well as a private label Oak Aged Damson Plum with The Aviary in October, and yet another private label with a large hotel group that can’t disclosed until the release in November. Lastly, we hope to be releasing a bier schnapps, a commonly made brandy made from beer sometime before the holidays. But mostly we’re excited because Fall is simply the best time of year — don’t you think of brandy and apples and fruit at this time of year? I hope your answer is yes! Lots of new cocktails with Apple and Oaked Apple in the many classics — not only in our tasting room but at bars around the city and country.

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Unison: You have an exciting Fall menu that’s just been launched. What’s the scoop?

Jennifer: Our Fall menu is intended to highlight each and every one of our products, by using fall-like flavors. We like to highlight the flavors by using different types of syrups, bitters, shrubs and combinations to again highlight the spirit yet still bring a multi-dimensional taste to your palette. A few favorites would include the “Space Trip,” which is our Pear Brandy with Green tea and ginger syrup. “Fall on the Rocks” is our Cherry Brandy with a fennel infusion with currant jam and ginger beer. Lastly, “Admiral’s Elixir” is our Oak Aged Apple Brandy, egg white and cinnamon bitters. None of them are overly Fall-like but still give you a taste of the season and bring a familiar taste and aroma.

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Unison: For our new glassware — particularly the Rout Etch High Ball, Rout Etch Double Old Fashioned and Fino Tall Tumbler — you’ve created a cocktail to pair perfectly with it. How did the glassware inspire or inform those concoctions?

Jennifer: I love the delicate etching on the glasses – it makes us feel like we’re recreating something from the past and improving the cocktail with a beautiful presentation. The different etching makes the color of the cocktail really sparkle as it almost brightens the liquid in the glass with the combination of the ice.

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Unison: Why is good barware so important to mixing a good drink?

Jennifer: Good barware helps make something very simple, something special. I think cocktails and spirits in general are things that people associate with experiences, and when you really create a cool experience doing something really simple, by having a really great glass and barware, it helps improve the entire time doing it.

Unison: What is your personal entertaining style?

Jennifer: My husband and I love hosting. We normally have people bring wine and apps, however I put a good amount of time into setting the tables, using all of the beautiful cutting boards we have for different charcuterie, different utensils for the (finally) more advanced dishes, and more! I always offer an appertif and digestif, as well as cocktail after a glass of wine or beer. Hard not to provide lots of booze when owning a distillery!

Unison: Any essential advice for those that want to get into or more adventurous with cocktailing?

Jennifer: I would just look at some recipes on imbibe.com and just experiment with what you already have at home! Don’t be shy. Super easy to swap out ingredients, like Rhine Hall for a gin, vodka or whiskey; jam for any syrup; and then fresh squeezing any citrus you have. There are just three parts primarily to a cocktail, and you can make every concoction your own every time.

Unison: Great – now onto something extra-appetizing. How about sharing a cocktail recipe?

Jennifer: Here’s the recipe for our #1 seller, the Rhine Hall Old Fashioned. It’s a very easy cocktail to make at home, and you are also able to swap out the Apple Brandy with other brandies of ours if desired.

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Wow your guests with this drink – and don’t forget to drop by Rhine Hall tasting room at 2010 W Fulton St in Chicago and get a fresh pour, straight from the source. Hours are Thursdays and Fridays 5-9 pm and Saturdays 2-7 pm.

Cheers to fall, everyone!

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Unison Turns 10! Our Anniversary Celebration

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In honor of our 10th Anniversary Celebration we gave our Wicker Park store a facelift and threw a party! We invited our best customers along with dear friends + family to shop our new Fall 2016 Collection and check out our store’s new look.

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We were so excited to have our artists + collaborators who have been with Unison from the beginning, as well as welcome new friends and fans to the Unison family.

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Rhine Hall, a local Chicago brandy distillery and Unison favorite, provided refreshments for the event served on our Grid Black Table Linens.

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Unison co-founders Robert Segal + Alicia Rosauer pose with Alex Fuller, designer and Unison collaborator. Fuller is the mastermind behind Shapes and Tango patterns among other great designs.

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After our gathering at the store close friends + family were invited to enjoy dinner and drinks at Chicago’s Lula Cafe.

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We decked out Lula Cafe in all things Unison, including custom Sprinkles Black tablecloths made for the event.

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The night wrapped up with a toast from Unison Co-Founders Robert Segal + Alicia Rosauer and dancing. Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate with us, here’s to another 10 Years in Unison!

 

 

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ART + FUNCTION + FANCY NAILS = THE MANY TALENTS OF HILLERY SPROATT

There’s a face you should know this fall: Hillery Sproatt. This fine artist, Unison collaborator and, as chance has it, nail artist. Her unique aesthetic is coming to life at Unison in a few ways this season, and we couldn’t be more excited.

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In anticipation of the Instagram takeover and nail event she’s doing for us — look for them on September 16-18 and October 22, respectively — here’s a quick insider’s look at Hillery’s world.

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The Bedding Collaboration

Our new Heirloom collection of bedding features a graphic derived from a painting Hillery created years ago when she lived in Grand Rapids. The Poppy duvet cover, which features a vibrant splash of blooms, was actually taken from just a small portion of Hillery’s original work. “The original had a lot of other little things going on … even horseback riders,” she says.

Hillery, who has a Fine Arts Degree from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, is known for filling her work with tiny, engaging details. It’s a nod to life’s little things that sometimes may go unseen or unremembered. “I like to fill the paper with small moments to get lost in,” she says.

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A believer in “everything matters,” Hillery also loves experimenting with balance and harmony. “I enjoy the relationships between objects and how they look together,” she says. “I’m always moving things around to see how they change when they are next to each other. I stay away from symmetry … nothing too matchy-matchy.”

Pull together your own unmatched but highly artistic scheme by shopping the Heirloom collection here.

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The Instagram Takeover

When Hillery takes over @unisonhome on Instagram on September 16-18, you can expect a look inside her home, which doubles as her studio. Based in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago, she takes an organic approach to decorating her space, filling it with modern objects (including Unison table runners and pillows) where they simply feel right.

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Shop Baker’s Stripe Dishtowel and Bottlit Spice Containers. (pictured above)

At home and through her work, Hillery admits to being mindful without over-thinking things. “I don’t sketch or plan anything out before I do it, I just sit down and go,” says Hillery. “It’s actually very meditative.”

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The Nail Event

On October 22, Hillery will sit down with guests for 30 minutes to do nail art at our Unison store. The event is for everyone — men and kids, too! Expect multi-colored designs that are mini paintings in and of themselves. Hillery doesn’t have a plan before she dives in. That’s part of the fun.

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“I usually respond to the way the person presents her or himself, and ask about their favorite colors,” she says. “But mostly it’s all about play. The nail art is an extension of my paintings, and isn’t so much about beauty, but inspiring somebody.”

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To make an appointment for the nail event, email events@unisonhome.com.

 

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Food + Design = A Very Appetizing Instagram Takeover

See What Elise Metzger of Filigree Suppers Dished Out On @unisonhome

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Brita Olsen + Elise Metzger of Filigree Suppers

This past weekend, our Instagram feed became pretty appetizing. No wonder — it was taken over by Elise Metzger, founder of Filigree Suppers, a pop-up supper club that celebrates American design.

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We turned some of our modern servingware over to Elise and she posted photos of it styled with her culinary creations. It captured the spirit of food + design + entertaining. We saw tomatoes take a starring role on a gridded serving tray, watermelon slices pop on a modern round platter, and cream chill in Biobu cups. It was a weekend that we hope made you savor summer and all of its sights and flavors.

We love Elise’s design sensibility and fun loving attitude. Get to know her a bit more in our quick Q&A.

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Unison: This was a fun partnership! What do you think are some similarities between Filigree Suppers and Unison?

Elise: We are all about being playful and quirky, but creating a balance of textures and colors. A lot of our aesthetic is informed by the products that we love and use in our personal lives, and each supper is a way to explore different aspects of our collective and individual styles. I think if Unison and Filigree were a cocktail, it would be a French 75. Classic elements for sure, but still lively and with bubbles, of course!

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Unison: How did the Unison products inspire you in creating your posts/dishes?

Elise: I like to use a lot of contrast when thinking about the relationship between food and the plate. Because the products were mostly black and white, I tried to stick within a relatively edited palette to give focus to the playfulness of the product. I used a lot of warm and bright hues/food, like salmon and watermelon.

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Unison: What was your main goal in executing the Instagram takeover?

Elise: I think that it’s fun to be conscious of plating food, even if it’s just for yourself or your family. It certainly doesn’t happen every meal of the day, but I wanted the ease of that to come across in the posts.

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Unison: What is your general philosophy regarding entertaining?

Elise: Pay attention to as many details as possible – napkins, decor, seating chart – until guests arrive. This isn’t always easy while hosting, and I could certainly improve on this, but it’s more important to give guests the attention they deserve than to fret about everything going perfectly. Also, make a mood board! Really, there’s no better way to explore your own theme than to do this exercise. Think of it as your entertaining strategy. It allows you to be really flexible (and probably have more fun!) when making decisions.

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Filigree came together over the course of six months. I was taking a pottery class and wanted to have a dinner where everything at the table was local and handmade. (The first dinner was at Ovation in the West Loop, where even the tables are hand made!) Brita Olsen, my business partner, and I both loved to throw dinner parties, and had been doing so together for quite some time. We decided to team up to be able to do it with more frequency, and to bring our love of food and design into the fold.

Unison was one of our first collaborators and participated in the first supper in February 2015. It was a natural fit for Filigree, being a design centric, locally owned business. We always look forward to our collaborations together!

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Unison: We can’t let you leave without sharing a recipe. Got a good one for us?

Elise: This is just as delicious the night you make it as it is cold the next day on top of a salad. I’ve been using it for over a decade, and I’m sure many people use it, but it’s classic and reliable.

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SalmonRecipeThanks, Elise! And happy cooking, everyone! Learn more about Elise and Filigree Suppers here

 

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A Decade of Unison

It was 10 years ago this May that Unison first sprung to life with our first bedding and pillow collections. It was the start of what clearly became an everlasting passion for creating minimal and modern home textiles.

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As Unison has grown, we’ve been so fortunate to share our vision of modern design with several Chicago artists and designers who we consider as friends. Along with the talents of our amazing staff, their dedication, skill and drive had made Unison what is today and for years to come.

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It’s going to be a special year. We’re celebrating it with new product offerings, promotions and plenty of reflections on where our interest lies: timeless modern design made consciously and with heart.

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We are so grateful for all our customers and fans who have supported us over this decade and also to those that are just coming to know us.

Let the celebration begin!

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Cheers,

Robert & Alicia