We're excited to be launching a new sub-category here in our blog dedicated to highlighting the beautiful retailers that we partner with that help make Rylee & Cru what it is. Each one all over the world has it's own look, feel, and story so this is where we get to share that local feeling with all of you and the inspiration behind the store.
For this first installment it felt fitting to spotlight a really aesthetically inspiring and perfectly curated space right here in our home town of San Diego, CA called Pigment so we picked the owner Amy's brain on a few questions about the shop and the neighborhood they are located in. Enjoy.
How did the idea come about for you to open Pigment?
We actually wanted to open an art gallery. In the early days, we even had a studio in the back. Over time displays of artwork were complimented by other finely crafted wares. We didn’t know it at the time, but our search for well made products from small vendors coincided with what is know now as the “maker” movement. We just thought we were supporting our friends and their artistry.
How do you select the brands you carry?
I wish there were a formula, but there really isn’t. It often begins with a visceral response to the work. Their might be one product that draws me in. Falling in love with the entire line doesn’t happen as often, but when it does its a thrill. That only happens when the brand has a strong identity. I think of it as recognizable handwriting. Just like an artists recognizable brushwork or your mom’s penmanship next to your dad’s, I like to be able to recognize their handwriting across the breadth of the line. When the brand isn’t well developed, we also look for potential. Young brands tend to have a hunger and enthusiasm that’s infectious. Lastly, when we can we love to keep it local. That said, we also recognize that there are like minded businesses across the nation and the globe and we love them too. Our vendor community is a broad one and we love it.
What is your favorite thing about running your store?
The gratification of playing a role, however small, in the growth of other small businesses is my favorite thing about owning the shop. There was a moment where a young paper company commented that our order was the largest she’d ever fielded. She was pumped. The notion that we play a role in the success of other entrepreneurs left me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
If we had one day in your hometown, where should we visit?
I’m drawing on my youth to answers this question. Weekends were spent at the “world famous” Zoo. Nana took my brothers and I when we were young. My girls and I visit with the same enthusiasm today. My kids love seeing the animals and we talk just as much, if not more, about all the plants. You don’t think of the Zoo as being one of the largest plant collections in the world, but they are. A segment from a college course in museum studies introduced me to the thousands of species in their collection. There are trees there that were planted by Kate Sessions herself—a pioneer in botany and the mother of plants in SD. They even have botanical tours now. Skip over to the Botanical Garden for an added thrill.