I am over the moon about Live Like Your Traveling’s mission to inspire people to live with a travel mindset, and turn the everyday into the exotic. As an individual who has been deeply shaped by my travel experiences, I completely relate to that “travel high” feeling one gets from breaking away from daily routine.
As an interior designer, I find the best way for me to help bring the exotic to others is through their home décor.
While it would be lovely to jet set around the world finding amazing items for our homes that isn’t reality for most of us. The next best thing, in my opinion, is a source for high-quality, fair trade goods from around the globe. One of my personal favorite brands is San Francisco based, St. Frank. On a recent visit to San Francisco, I sat down with Founder & CEO Christina Bryant, to learn more about the online company and their new brick and mortar location.
• • •
Tell us about the meaning of your company name, ST. FRANK:
While St. Frank’s roots are global, sourcing our textiles from low and middle-income countries, the company’s name honors the special place in which it was founded—San Francisco, California. We are grateful for our home, a fertile ground for entrepreneurship and social innovation. We also celebrate our ancestral namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, son of a wealthy textile merchant, who dedicated his life to the poor.
How does a customer’s purchase with St. Frank directly impact your artisans?
I’m really passionate about our approach to social impact because I believe it has a deep and lasting potential to change communities. Rather than adding a charity on top of a business, we aim to harness the power of business to create social change. Our goals are to both provide quality jobs for artisans (so that they can make choices on how to better their lives and communities) and to preserve transitional crafts. To do this, we partner with a range of organizations. All of our contemporary artisan partners are employing fair wages, skills training, and other holistic supports to their craftsman. Our vintage textile partners are knowledgeable vendors, small business entrepreneurs like us. In all of these cases, our partners are creating good jobs in their communities and we are striving to help them build capacity to further their good work.
You’ve recently outgrown your start-up office space, congrats! Tell us about your new business location and how you plan to develop not only a retail space, but also a community space.
We are really excited to be opening our flagship store downstairs from our original startup offices on charming Sacramento Street in San Francisco. Of course, we want to give our collectors the chance to see and shop our products in person, but our intention behind this space goes further. The store is designed to be a place for our customers to take part in the St. Frank lifestyle. For example, we will regularly host other exciting brands whose work we love, how-to workshops and wine tastings. We aim to give our collectors the chance to discover new, emerging work through us, meet with the designers and live a beautiful and interesting life aligned with our values.
What is your best decorating advice when it comes to incorporating globally inspired textiles into someone’s home?
Choose beautiful, ethically sourced pieces and incorporate them in a way that adds an interesting layer to your space. Global textiles are known for their pattern and texture. Try an accent pillow, fabric by the yard over a headboard or bench, or (in our favorite case) frame textiles to showcase the handwork and craftsmanship as art on your wall.
Where and when can San Franciscans and travelers alike visit St. Frank?
Our flagship store opened mid-November this year - 3665 Sacramento Street! For those who can't make it out to the store, shop and learn more about the artisans and their incredible work, over at st.frank.com.
Claire's St. Frank Favorites
PHOTOS: CAROLINA MARIANA
Claire Rose Staszak believes in the power of personal sanctuary. Her interior design work has been featured on national blogs such as Apartment Therapy, Design Sponge and The Everygirl. You can find DIY projects, inspirational interviews and design tips on Claire's blog Centered by Design.