While adorable dogs, the magical smell of beeswax candles, and oodles of gorgeous glassware are pretty darn nice, the thing that REALLY makes The Foundry feel like home is our family. While well-made objects of beauty and use make the daily rhythms of life more pleasant + effortless, like in any home, it's the people inside that really make it glow. Since not all of you live within striking distance of our real-life shop, we wanted to bring a little Foundry Family magic your way (if we close our eyes and *wish* it will almost be like we all live together on the same block). Next up in our getting-to-know-you series, ERIN, our resident pen-and-ink-entrepreneuress who is also our only friend with a legit wine cave in her cellar.
The Foundry Home Goods: Where are you off to?
Erin: After we chat, I'm on my way to meet a friend for champagne at St. Genevieve. (Foundry note: it was about 4pm on a glorious clear, cool, and sunny afternoon)
TFHG: It's 5 o'clock somewhere!
E: That's right... and it will be 5 o'clock at St. Genevieve right when I get there for champagne! But, really, let's be honest, every time is the right time for champagne. I love that clock in the shop basement that's always set to 5pm just in case you needed a reminder to make time for celebrations.
TFHG: Ahhh! Yes, our "Secret Foundry Bar Clock"... this is really turning into an exposé. Back to you (before we spill allll of our secrets). How did you find yourself in Minneapolis?
E: I was born and raised right here in Burnsville (Foundry note for non-natives: a suburb of MPLS). I moved to Southern California for 5 years when I was in college but this place has always felt like home to me. I do definitely miss that sunny California weather sometimes, though... When I moved back I started working in retail operations + management, first at Saks 5th Avenue and then at Target for years. I loved that work and have always loved the power of a shop to build a sense of place but, honestly, the "corporate grind" was really getting to me. I was dying to do something more creative so I started my own stationery and illustration business, Denim & Ink (Foundry note: as lovers of the handwritten letter, we absolutely adore Erin's sweet, cheeky cards). I guess I also still needed some of the camaraderie that comes from working in an office, though, because after a year or so of working solo from home I was going stir crazy. My husband said 'You have GOT to find someone to talk to besides me' HA! He was right, though. It was perfect serendipity because that day I saw a post for a part-time opening at The Foundry and it was like fate.
TFHG: Ahhh, like the stars aligned!
E: Exactly! I used to come into the North Loop shop and I loved the sensibility there and knew just from the vibe that it would be a fun place to work. Plus, I'm a little bit of a decor addict so being surrounded by interesting people AND pretty things all day (all while still having the time and freedom to run my own show) is pretty darn perfect.
TFHG: Well the feeling is totally mutual. And we've gotta say, with your years of experience with larger shops, you've been instrumental in helping us as we grow.
E: Aww, thanks! I've always loved the operations side of things...how to streamline systems, how to organize simple things like shipping (which are always way more complicated than anyone realizes)... but it definitely goes both ways. I've learned so much from Anna in my time here. It's like she just floats around the shop like your average person would be tidying up and then *poof* there's a little herd of horses grazing in a field of dishbrushes surrounded by beeswax trees and, well, it's pretty magical. As my personal taste has evolved I always come back to that: is something beautiful and well-made, is it useful, and does it have a little bit of magic in it?
TFHG: Rules to live by. By that account, what's your Foundry daily?
E: Well as far as beautiful, well-made, and useful: I use the wet-dry face brush every day. It's a total game changer (and I guess that's magical?). I always have the Olio E Osso lip balms we carry in my pocket and I love the Tensira linens. I'm ordering a bedroll for my pups after seeing how much Ruby + Turnip love them.
TFHG: Oh, yes! Tell us about your dogs!
I have two! A German Shepherd named Rhaegar and a wonderfully crazy old English Bulldog named Brooklyn. Rhaegar comes into the shop to visit but I have to keep his tail in check. He's incredibly friendly and full of love and gets so excited to be here that I'm honestly afraid for the porcelain. Brooklyn marches to the beat of her own drummer and does exactly what she wants. Which is NOT make small talk with other dogs. Sorry, guys, she's too cool for school.
TFHG: When you're in the shop by yourself what music do you put on? (Foundry note: all of our shop playlists are available for your streaming + dancing pleasure *here* as user THEFOUNDRYHOME).
E: I love all of the playlists! I even have a few that I play at home when I'm not at work. Detective's Medium Rare Mix is one I love in the shop and also play when I'm just bopping around at home working on the house.
TFHG: "Working on the house"?
E: Fixing up old houses has always been a labor of love for us (Foundry note: see above prowess with power tools! building a bar!) we've ripped out walls and installed new tile, redone master bedrooms, put paint on everything, redone cabinetry... you name it, we've done it. It's wonderful to work with what an old house has to offer. The mysteries of old houses often surprise you in the best possible way. Like we live now in one of those classic 100 year old Minneapolis bungalows and it has a vaguely damp cave-like basement. We decided that it would be perfect for storing wine! My husband and I are kind of "wine people"... In France they store wine in caves, why not here? We love entertaining and having a designated place (nothing fancy, just a few fridges and storage) to store our special bottles and just having bottles to hand has made it super easy for those long, effortless evenings with good friends just sort of happen. So many times we've started the night with a friend or two hanging out in the back talking about our days or whatever and before we know it the table is full, it's been dark for hours, and we've all just been hanging out for forever. It feels easy and it feels wonderful, like a gift from the house.
TFHG: Oh, yes... "the back". We've heard that your back patio is the stuff of legend.
E: HA! I don't know about that, but it's definitely been one of my favorite spaces we've built. In Minneapolis winter is such a thing that lots of times outdoor spaces get a little overlooked. We try and use it as soon as it's even pretending to be nice outside in the spring and we have a fire pit (Foundry note: see above! Isn't it divine!) so we can use it well into the fall. The backyard/patio is definitely one of our favorite places to just take time and be with friends. That's when I'm happiest: good company, a wonderful meal, some wine from the cellar, and absolutely nothing "to do" on the schedule.
TFHG: Who's your celebrity crush/style icon?
E: I thought you'd never ask! Hmmm... I actually have two. Iris Apfel and Audrey Hepburn. I kind of feel like those two exactly capture all of my contradictions. Like Iris is all about empowerment. You can never have too much style or flair, too many bold colors, too many rowdy patterns... as long as you're authentic to yourself your style can be whatever you want it to be. You can do anything. Power tools and bright red lipstick. Audrey is more about the architecture, clean lines and a classic perspective, more traditionally "ladylike". I feel like both of those are really me, and I hope I inhabit them in my everyday.
TFHG: YES. We love that. And we think you nailed it. Lastly: are you more of a Ruby or a Turnip?
E: Well, I'm usually a Ruby but I'm probably a Turnip after a few glasses of wine.
TFHG: Perfect! Well, we think it's time for you to head on to St. Genevieve and get your Turnip on!
THANK YOU ERIN!