Verve Culture

Hostess Gifts

I’ve been spending time with friends and family in an effort to savor the last days of summer. The season has certainly been a step up from last year when my primary source of joy was flâner-ing with a straw tote. Zoom meetings don’t compare to seeing someone face-to-face, and in my world, dinner and the hostess gift have made a comeback.

I never show up to someone’s house empty-handed unless the token of my appreciation is arriving via mail. My creativity is usually put to good use in the selection process, but when I’m pressed for time, I opt for the respectable homemade baked good or flowers in a vase with water. Sending a handwritten thank-you note shortly after the event has passed is an elegant gesture.

Works Sighted

Uncommon Goods swivel cheese board // Mark & Graham small bamboo lacquer tray // Creekside Farms dried French herbs wreath

Pineapple Collaborative olive oil // Verve Culture Moroccan glassware // Hu Kitchen chocolate gift box

CapaBunga cheese vault // Anthropologie serving set // Art et Manufacture pie plates

How to Discover New Brands in 4 Steps

A brand’s products speak to its history and vision. Thus, reading a business’s about page is on par with making a wish list. Recently, I became aquatinted with the following brands: Poppy and Sage, Verve Culture, and Papillon Press. The process by which I became aware of them can be easily replicated. Here’s how to discover new brands in four steps:

Step 1: Make a Map // I started designing city guides to map past shopping experiences and ones on the horizon. Adding pins to the Philadelphia Guide compelled me to make an immediate plan to visit Moon + Arrow, a boutique that had been on my radar for years. Destination: 742 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147.

Step 2: Go Brick-and-Mortar // Having the opportunity to experience carefully-curated spaces with my senses is a privilege. When I opened the door to M + A, the scent of something pleasant wafted over me. I was transported to a sunny seaside place void of SEPTA buses. A basket tote by Poppy and Sage and a citrus press by Verve Culture further inspired my vision. As did sea-glass-tinted Moroccan glassware (also under the Verve Culture label).

Step 3: Talk to Shop Employees // My conversation with a lovely M + A employee led me to Walter Pine, an oasis and floral studio across the street (729 S 4th St). In a green sea of houseplants, I discovered Papillon Press, a letterpress company specializing in notebooks and greeting cards.

Step 4: Research Online // Upon returning home, I took to the internet to investigate all of the brands I’d been introduced to during my outings. Compiling a mental list of most-liked products provided an opportunity for reflection.

Founders Roll Call: Poppy and Sage: Robert and Carly Waters // Verve Culture: Jacquie Lewis, Jules Vertrees, and Sarah Laping Garland // Papillon Press: Madeleine and Vernon Wiering // Moon + Arrow: Chelsea Pearce // Walter Pine: David and Christina Cavagnaro

Works Sighted: Scenes from my visit to Moon + Arrow