today we’re dropping in on multi-talented, multi-media artist emily katz who lives in inner Northeast Portland, Oregon. emily shares her eclectic, cozy, plant-filled home with her partner in life and design, Adam, along with their dog Donut, and cat Cowbear. Emily is currently traveling the world teaching macrame workshops, learning about energy healing, art directing and styling photo shoots, hosting dinners and events, collaborating on interior design projects and products, and dreaming up her next big adventure. from interior design to music to macrame, emily fearlessly dives into all she does and her home is a beautiful reflection of her endless creativity. be sure to check out her macrame kits and get inspired by her blog and instagram feed. let’s have a look at how she lives and creates.
What is your idea of a perfect day in Portland? Any favorite secret spots we should know about?
Since I travel so much, I love spending time at home, but my perfect day would be walking the dog to the Sunday farmers market up the street, meeting friends for brunch at P’s and Q’s market. Browsing the plant dream space of Solabee Flowers and Botanicals, and ending the day with oysters and bubbly at Olympia Oyster Bar. All of these places are within a 30-minute walk through the neighborhoods. I love getting front porch and landscape inspo on my walks.
What’s the easiest way for you to find inspiration?
I think taking time off is the best for gathering inspiration. Gathering myself up, slowing down. I actually LOVE to get bored. There is something special that happens right when I don’t really know what to do with myself.
What does success mean to you?
Success is the moment I realized that I could do anything I dreamed of. That feeling comes from the confidence of knowing if I can gather the perfect team to manifest my vision, then everything will work out. And sometimes things fall apart, and that is just another step in learning and evolving. I definitely have dreams that have not yet been realized, but that will always be true.
How did you come to have a macrame business? What were you doing beforehand?
I had two clothing lines, and in 2009 I quit and ended up going bankrupt. It was a pretty big blow to my young ego. I thought I had failed. But then decided to become a novice. I worked in food service, at the Ace Hotel in Portland, helping friends out with their businesses. And eventually found myself as an art director for a local businesses. I had a great man, and beautiful home and things were going pretty well. And I still didn’t know about macramé.
My parents divorced when I was nine, and I grew up in Portland with my dad and siblings. My mom was pretty absent for nearly 20 years. She moved as far away as she could and still stay in the states, to Connecticut and started a new family. So in 2012, when my partner Adam and I were heading to the east coast for a wedding and to see friends and he said he wanted to meet her, I was a littler nervous about the whole thing. What were we going to talk about? How would we pass the time? I knew she had made macrame in the 1970’s to raise money to buy a guitar, and asked if she would teach me how to make a plant hanger. We have over 100 plants in our home and so it seemed like a fitting and functional project. She taught me in her kitchen, with my half sisters baking cookies and my partner sitting cross-legged on the floor playing the guitar. The macrame guitar — It was a great reconnection. After that I hung the plant hangers up in our guest bathroom and mostly forgot about them until editors from a Japanese magazine came to feature our home. They asked about the macrame in the bathroom and wanted to know where they could get it for themselves. SO, the next day they came back over and I taught my first macrame workshop to Japanese editors in my living room. the rest is history.
Do you have any tips for small business owners?
Do what you love because you love it and not because you THINK you should or that it will make you cool if you do. When I was 19 I had a clothing line called Bonnie Heart Clyde that quickly became very successful. We had distribution in Japan, and everything was going so well. But I didn’t think it was cool enough. I wanted to be a part of the hip fashion community, and my freehand embroidered art drawings on vintage clothing wasn’t what the “cool girls” were wearing. I quit the business for a few reasons, and now years later, I realize it was mostly because I was insecure and didn’t trust that the right people would be there to love and support it. In the end, it’s pretty funny, because I STILL have fans of that line, 13 years later. So be true to you. And don’t worry about what other people think.
What’s your favorite feature in your home?
It is a real toss up between the clawfoot bathtub with the skylight over it in our bedroom. and the kitchen — I love cooking in our kitchen. The stove is framed by a large mirror, which reflects abundance (and sometimes grease!). It is a favorite gathering place.
Is there anything you collect?
Art, home and design books, and experiences.
Who would you like to sit down to drinks or tea with?
Meryl Streep. She just seems so herself. I am inspired by authentic women. But honestly, there are so many inspired women who I admire that I would like to sit and laugh with. Share stories and relax.
Do you have a guilty pleasure or indulgence?
Watching really bad TV in hotel rooms.
If you had to select the perfect soundtrack for being your most creative, do you have a musician, album or genre you’d recommend?
Right now I am loving the new record by Y La Bamba. Luz is a friend of mine from Portland and I had the ultimate pleasure of singing on her last record. Her voice is so special, and even though I don’t speak Spanish, and many of her songs are in Spanish, I love the tone and melodic stories she tells. I also really love Sharon Van Etten. My favorite soundtrack is badass beautiful creative women!
You’re taking a road trip – what’s the perfect dream destination?
I really want to fly into Denver, rent a car, hit up some hot springs, and drive to New Mexico to visit Georgia O’Keefe’s house and ride horses.
What are some of your favorite instagram feeds?
I love @tinyatlasquarterly, @aleajoy, @anne_parker, @nicolefranzen, @kayakilims, @katherinebont (who works at NOMA, food porn central), @ignant, @Arni_coraldo, there are just so many! And you of course!
• photography by emily katz.
from sfgirlbybay http://www.sfgirlbybay.com/2016/12/14/unexpected-guests-emily-katz/