A few weeks back, we introduced Erin Connelly (now Reitz), the newest member of our design team. She co-owns a store dedicated to selling American-made goods for the home, called The Commons. But what we didn’t mention is that she has extensive experience and a deep passion for the design industry.
Erin’s mother taught her how to sew, and after she completed her first quilt, Erin began making her own simple bags and clothing. At twenty-three, she found herself living in New York, business degree in hand, searching for a job. One night, while wearing a bag she’d made to a bar, Erin (unknowingly) introduced herself to the head designer for the Nanette Lepore label. Erin’s bag had caught her eye and, when she found out that the bag was one of Erin’s own designs, she offered Erin an internship with Nanette Lepore. Within the first five minutes of her time there, Erin knew she wanted to become more involved in the design industry. She found the work stimulating and describes it as a perfect combination of what she had studied, and the creative environment she had been craving. After working at Nanette Lepore for a year, Erin left to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
Years later—unhappy with the rapid and wasteful nature of fashion, the movement of design production overseas, in need of a slower schedule, and more time on US soil, Erin decided to take a break from the fashion world. She loves collecting beautiful housewares, and she and her business partner, Kerry Speake, made it somewhat of a hobby to seek out new and unique pieces. Inspired by a road trip across the United States, the two women decided to open a space dedicated to selling simple, modern, and American-made goods for the home.
And all along, Erin has remained inspired by the importance of family and community in American craft. (You can see why she fits in so well here.) We are overjoyed to welcome Erin aboard.