vanessa holden

I first met Vanessa Holden in the flesh  when West Elm launched here in Australia ( she is their Creative Director) and later at their HQ in Brooklyn when I was in NYC earlier this year.

I get to met a lot of talented and creative people and Vanessa is one inspiring person. She is proof that doing what you love and loving what you do is the only way to be, here is a little insight into her world…

you can follow her on instagram here

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where do you live?
Tribeca, NYC

how would you describe the look of your home?
We call it Tribeca Beach – it’s our little Sydney beach house in the city

what is your favourite thing in your home?
My family

what do you collect?
I’m a bower bird , drawn to beautiful blue things from duck egg to deepest indigo. Especially hand-painted ceramics splashed with shade of blue; textiles from vintage indigo-dyed Japanese shibori to well–loved turquoise khantha quilts; bell jars, beakers and beads; paintings, sketches and photographs of water and horizons – I think it’s my way of making a little ocean in a fifth floor walk-up loft.

what are you loving right now?
Instagram: I’m loving it a little bit too much :/ it’s an inspiration and motivation mine!

coffee tea or?
Coffee is my oxygen

what is on your shopping list?
This week?
To wear: Shoes to go faster in – I’m having a sneaker moment – everything from all white Vans or Celine LOVE LIFE slip-ons to the newest editions at the Nike flagship on Mercer.
To carry: An Art Pop pouch from Kindah Kalidy
To eat: Lundbergs rice cakes – a new snack obsession ℅ of a co-worker.
To wish: Something from Paddle8 – “No Clothes”, Grace Coddington’s auction of nudes just went live!
To dream: Figuring out summer vacay: Bali is so exotic when you live in NY! Suggestions pls!

favourite thing to do on the weekend?
A sneaky brunch or linner with my husband (right now I’m thinking about how to get to NAVY every weekend – a little hideaway spot on Sullivan St dreamed up by @CamilleBecerra) and a little Soho safari (see below)

favourite street to shop in?
I love a Soho safari through its’ quieter streets: down Mercer, across Howard and up Crosby Sts. In about an hour I can hit Rby45RPM, Marc Jacobs, APC, Acne, Alexander Wang, the new Margiela store and DQM x Vans, Philip Lim, Nike, Opening Ceremony, DeVries, Michele Varian (snack at The Smile), Maiyet and BDDW. It’s my own little Manhattan mall walk 😉

favourite day of the week?
Monday – the day to lead the way!

favourite place to shop?
Gorman! Luckily I only get into one once or twice a year!

favourite place to eat?
Right now in New York – NAVY and estela. But my hands-down fave is the relaxed deliciousness of Ruby’s Diner on Bronte Road in Sydney: I’d rather eat there – anyday, anytime – than anywhere else in the world.

what is your signature dish?
Avocado toast. For me, toast is cooking.

what is your signature drink?
Pisco sours are my summer pour this year, but G&T&me are forever

favourite holiday destination?
The very bottom of the boot in Southern Italy – the last two years we’ve headed to Calabria with friends : it’s hot, the water is crystal clear and cool, the food is sun kissed and simple, and there’s nothing to do but talk, read, swim and sleep. My perfect vacay.

favourite quote?
“Some things go and some things stay and the world is a new world every day” – it’s a little piece of a poem I learnt in primary school that reminds me to savor the now, to not hold on to things too tightly and to not be afraid of the future. Words to live by.

what are you reading?
Nothing longer than a caption, unfortunately. But I do have Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch on standby – I can’t wait to get my teeth into that book.

what are you listening to?
Disco by day and dive bar classics at night – Spotify radio is my best friend

what are you working on right now?
Making west elm better, in some way, every day! Our creative teams work on about five seasons at once in various ways – right now, that means everything from this years’ summer catalog layouts to concepts for Fall 2015, to events we’re having in the stores in a month to partnerships our customers will see in a year. Every day is different.

what/who are you inspired by?
The team at west elm – honestly, they make me smarter every day, and the work that we do with design, craft and artisan collaborators is a daily source of inspiration. We’re on a mission to inspire people to be creative and express who they are at home – for me, that’s endlessly motivating.

what makes you happy?
I’m happy when I’m totally engaged in doing something I love, with people I care for, respect and admire. That ‘something’ could be working, or traveling, or sharing a meal, or talking up a storm around a table: I’m most happy when I’m up to my neck in living!