Sunday, April 27

"love it" launch! with beth mueller

our first featured artist that we love is beth mueller. i have been carrying beth's ceramic works for what seems like a coon's age though i do remember being agog standing outside her booth at the new york gift fair for the first time. her work was so different and sweet. it spoke to me and i just had to have it. since then we have carried so many of her pieces and with much success, including cards and baby items that she introduced a few years back. she has also made me some special goods that i have gifted to my staff and husband over the years and an outfit for red (below) with an icon well suited for him. she is our first featured artist in our "love it" monthly post and has honored us by giving us a glimpse into her world by answering some questions.

#1 what was your first job and how did you end up making ceramics?

my first job, other than the obligatory babysitting was working in a fabric store cutting fabric. this was through high school. hmmmmmm. i didn't really take any art during high school, and i think all the pent up ideas just came rushing out once i was in college. i loved working with clay, but pretty much equally loved printmaking. went with clay after i graduated, doing an apprenticeship and eventually found a way to combine my love of surface narrative and pottery.

#2 what is your favorite piece/group/series of your work?

currently i really like these mugs that we are making. they are just a very pleasant shape and size and really nice to draw on.

#3 who or what inspires you?

inspiration. there is so much. spring. anyone who works with passion or devotion. athletes. have been reading about the eames, so them. wendell berry. john edwards.
wislawa szymborska.

#4 describe your ideal sunday.

up. go for a run. church, and having the kids in sunday school get what i am trying to teach. big lunch. nap. garden or ski depending on the time of year. cook fun dinner. movie. no house cleaning at all.

#5 what do you see outside your studio windows?

right now, lots of flowers and my next door neighbors.

Saturday, April 26

suz interviews herself...

i thought for fun i would answer the interview questions posed to the artists we will feature on the blog in the very near future. it only seems fair, and though i am not an artist per se, there is art all around me everyday and buying, arranging and encouraging it to go out the door has become my "creative outlet" and passion.

#1 what was your first job, and how did you end up with a retail career?

my very first job was taking polaroid pictures of willing shoppers at k-mart (the one here in cville). this would have been around the summer of 79' or 80' (fuzzy memory, wonder why?) actually, it was fun. polaroid cameras were making their debut, i think, at least in a k-mart kind of way, and people were eating them up. also, who can resist a 14 year old with wings and highwaters? i don't remember what i got paid, but the minimum wage was under $2.90 an hour and i was 14, you do the math. anyhoo, i am not sure if that summer job could be solely responsible for my career of retail shop owner, but it was responsible for my ongoing love affair with the big k!!!!

#2 what is your fav piece/group/series of your work?

well, while i have no tangible "work." humor me when i say the GOODS store i have now is my best "work" ever. with this shop, i am focused and proud, having worked hard enough to afford myself the chance to raise my son redford the way i want to. i love what i do and am now missing it but enjoying where i am in my life, knowing this is exactly as it was meant to be. i will be back in work mode in full force soon enough. for now, the gals of o'suz are holding down the fort in a way that is ever so valuable to me and to our customers. i can only say the words THANK YOU here, it's not enough but they know how much i adore them.

#3 what or who inspires you?

hmm? as far as the store is concerned, if i consider that my craft in this context, i draw inspiration from the artists and product i sell. there is such a plethora of talent out there, it astounds me daily. i am currently scheming to have a much much larger space in which to house even more of this talent, but first things first! i am also inspired by my staff (insert another chance to give them the praise they deserve here).

they live their lives with such fervor and commitment. they also make living through their 20's look good to me which is no small task. they are individuals in every way, living their days with a genuine perspective that can only be called inspiring. as for other "who" inspirations, but along the same lines, as i am so corny, i would say my husband (i call him daddy now) and my loving grandmother, we called her granny. i also love the poems and essays of
mary oliver and billy collins and the full body of work of robert redford.

#4 what is your ideal sunday morning?

my ideal sunday begins by waking up to the men in my life and our dog, g. (g stands for girl.)

and a cup of coffee made by my loving husband. he takes pity on me and brings it straight away to our bedroom before i have a chance to realize i am sleep deprived. from there, it could go just about anywhere as i love sundays best. we might watch a movie in 15 minute intervals on low volume missing much of the dialogue but loving it just the same. (redford is four months.)

insert more coffee here, cold is fine, just more. we might take red for a walk in the mountain buggy on our property followed by breakfast which most always includes eggs and cheese for me and faux sausage, and yes, more coffee. ideally the afternoon would involve nap (s) and or more coffee. you get the idea. no real agenda is the way i like it. having a baby lends you to surprises at every turn so one never knows about any given day really.....

#5 what do you see outside your studio (office) windows?

my office at home is located on the west side of our addition, built last year in anticipation of our son's birth. it is also located conveniently right outside red's room for when he is a wee bit older and sleeps and plays in there. it has 2 windows, one looks out at the pear tree for which the farm is named, the other, at our driveway and the lovely old boxwoods that hide the parking area. i am only now using it and loving as it was completed right before the mini man was born. it is the only room that screams female in our home, housing a floral chaise lounge and my favorite local art. (note to self to maybe take pics of tree, boxwoods, chaise and art)

thanks for reading, stay tuned for may's true launch of "love it" where we will post an interview with artist beth mueller!

Thursday, April 17

just in...french bull!

most recently we received a whole slew of new melamine from french bull! we've carried french bull for several years and are excited that they are introducing new shapes and patterns in their fun housewares collection. the newest members of the french bull pack are canister sets, sippy cups, and a miniature version of the already popular nesting tupperware. the canisters are super airtight, so they're great for all manner of edibles. suzannah is going to use her new polka dot set in her recently revamped office to store various and sundry items. jessica will use hers (the classic black and white vine) to store sophie the pug's favorite treats. we're also really enamored with the new sets of tupperware, which are slightly smaller than the original version, and which are great for toting the baby's cheerios or as an alternative to your bag lunch.

in case you've just encountered french bull, they also make adorable salad server sets and colanders that make great wedding and housewarming presents, small platters, casual flatware fun for picnics, small and large tumblers, and a giant two-tone mixing bowl set for the baker in your kitchen. the primary material in french bull products is melamine, which is a lightweight and durable plastic. not only will you be able to take your potluck dishes in style, but you can skip the tupperware aisle at the grocery, too! stop in and see the fun new designs when you get a chance! until then, ciao for now, suz and j

Wednesday, April 9

"love it" post to begin in may

we decided to feature an artist or product line we love every month. we will rotate who chooses among the 4 of us and most definitely rotate those featured as we all have our own favorites. of course we love all of the amazing peeps and lines we represent in o'suz, so stay posted and most likely many will surface here in the coming months. we may even share interviews with artists, which will be super special, but, at the very least, we will reveal things and peeps we are most fond of and why. stay tuned for may's "love it" launch! it will be one of suz's favs.

Monday, April 7

a box of goodness from fluffy co!

exciting new arrivals at the store today -- a big box of fluffy co vegan goods from san francisco! we've carried their wallets and ipod cases for several years now, and we're excited about their new line of kids tshirts, called fluffy kids. the shirts are super soft and comfy for little ones and feature a lot of classic fluffy images, like bikes and birds.

they also debuted another new product at the gift fair in february, some really snazzy passport cases. we're super excited about these because it is too hard to find ones that are functional, hip, and affordable. more of the classic mini wallets and checkbook covers are back in stock, too, including the retro muscle car and the forest silhouette. one of the reasons we love fluffy is that they combine amazing design with ethics we can get behind. not only are their wallets made from vegan naugahyde, but all of their products are made in the u.s. yay for fluffy! ciao for now, j.

Saturday, April 5

city market opens today

well, today let us know spring is truly underway with the opening of charlottesville's city market located right down the way from our shop on water street. we always know it has people excited when we see big bundles of daffodils and potted herbs walking into the shop and by our windows. later on in the year it will will be juicy strawberries and yummy ripe tomatoes. the market runs from april to october selling a wide range of not only fruits, veggies and flowers but also local: cheeses, coffee and crafts. it is a gem to all who choose to stroll it regularly as well as those of us who only get to take it in once or twice a season. a big thanks to c-ville's parks and rec for sponsoring it and happy spring!

Friday, April 4

o'suz's foray into webdom.

today, fueled by coffee and yummy scrummy baked goods grabbed north of town at from scratch baking co., o'suzannah made its internet debut! for so long folks have asked us if we have a website or a catalog. we most often reply that while we have not yet opened those doors we do still hand write our tickets and hand stamp our bags focusing on in store ju ju all these 12 years rather than joining the ranks. with this blog we hope to share our enthusiasm as we, with anticipation, open our boxes and merchandise the lovely delights we've ordered and most fancy. we will also keep you in the know as to our upcoming sales (usually january and june) and shop hour changes. most importantly we are looking forward to paying homage to our favorite artists, giving them much due praise and recognition. ultimately as well we want to encourage a dialogue with our customers, friends and artists alike. please join us!