{Featured Sponsor Spotlight -- Souchi}

Souchi is a line of gorgeous handmade knits made in Portland, Oregon by designer Suzi Johnson…it’s also a fantastically curated store located on NW 23rd in Portland, Oregon, boasting hard-to-find lines like Christina Lehr, Jackson, Johnston and Roe, Bruce and Page Sargisson.

Oh and Souchi was also one of my very first Simple Lovely sponsors…

So I wanted to do a little something different with this post. Suzi has such a great eye and is so incredibly creative, I thought it would interesting to learn more about what inspires her -- the things that get her wheels turning when she’s designing for the Souchi line or buying for the store.

So without further ado, herewith Suzi’s inspirations. Enjoy!

-- when i was 9 my little brother (he LOVES when i tell this story) and i had 'borrowed' our stepdads golf club and thought we learn to play in the front yarn or our new home. things were going well until it was my turn, and he swung the club to keep it away from me, accidentally connecting with my eye socket and nose, resulting in a torn eye socket, severed nerves in the eye and a broken nose. i was told i'd be disfigured and blind in my left eye and the right would be blind by the time i was 20. i was lucky i had a risk taker mom and a grandmother who prayed 24/7, and we went with a new surgery technique, resulting in no scar and 20/20 vision. forever, my eyes will be my greatest inspiration. it really just takes opening your eyes to the things around you. my friends tease me that i miss the elephant in the room but somehow spot the ant...

inspiring designers -- my fave go to inspirational designers: lanvin, dries van noten and ports 1961. these designers never let me down! i love the simplicity in form but the free spirit in color, proportions or accessories that makes it both interesting and timeless.

nature -- not only do i love sunset, clouds, trees, flowers, succulents, etc but the chaos, noise and power of nature. a loud angry sky, a torrential downpour to a tragedy of natural disasters. the thing with nature is it has the power to bring people together and drive them apart. an interesting trunk of a tree, to a bright beautiful flower, to people helping others in times of crisis all can make me cry and make me smile.

beatriz milhazes -- i stumbled across a book on beatriz at powels. the vibrancy of the cover stopped me in my tracks. she is now my favorite artist. her sense of shapes and color is so beautiful. her palette have inspired a few collections and certainly my eye for buying accessories. if i could have her paint every wall in my house i'd be so happy!!

doors -- i love that they have the obvious function (like clothes) but there are so many options...i am always taking pictures of doors.

patch nyc -- don and john are great friends of my. two spirits that have changed my life personally and professionally and the way i shop! less is never more with patch and that makes me so happy. there is no 'but where will i put this' or 'will it work' they simply find a place and do so in the most cohesive and incredible manner. being in their home and in their life is to walk in a dream...i love to visit and just linger over every inch of their space.

travel -- i love to be on a plane. i love to get lost and wander and stumble onto things. i like to stay places and not rush through a city. i like to go back to the same places. once in paris, i ate at the same place 3 nights in a row. it seems to make me feel like i live there. for work, the most inspirational so far has been tunisia, paris and playa del carmen.

food -- i haven't always loved food. well, not in the way that would make it an inspiration. i grew up on meat and potatoes with some pasta thrown in for 'something different'. now, i love the colors, the shapes, the different tastes, the plates and the way good, fresh food not only tastes but makes me feel. i like to use that same philosophy to my designs (color, shape and how it makes me feel.)

my dog billy brown -- my love. my baby. my monster. he inspires me every single day to take pleasure in everything new and familiar over and over again. billy lives most days as ground hog day. yet, the same things cause the same reaction and non-stop tail way. it makes me wonder if he finds something new in the same toy, plant, treat, etc or if it's as simple as it just always makes him happy.

color -- after doing this exercise, i realize my greatest inspiration is color! it evokes so many different moods, moments, memories and places...

{Interested in becoming a Simple Lovely sponsor? Contact me for more information...}


Wandering Eye said...

I love the SOUCHI collection and I love PATCH NYC (of course!).....Suzi Johnson is a truly talented knitwear designer and Portland is super lucky to have her! Thanks for featuring SOUCHI!
Wandering Eye

seesaw designs said...

souchi looks amazing, and i love all this inspiration.

Unknown said...

Thanks for featuring SOUCHI and Suzi Johnson. Portland IS lucky to have her...as are her Portland friends! Nice approach asking for her inspirations. I love reading Suzi's words because I can almost hear her saying them! She's a gem, the knitwear is stunning + sensual, and the store is the definition of beauty and TEMPTATION!

Melissa Blake said...

What a great spotlight!! :)

Anne Zimmerman said...

This is a beautiful feature. Good questions too, I have known Suzi for awhile and still learned something new about what inspires her collections.