Tag Archives: art and commerce

A dear friend’s new business venture

We love supporting our friends. We believe that interactions with successful small businesses and their passionate owners are some of the most refreshing, and grounding experiences we have in the workplace.

Lately, we have been bombarded with all types of creative and intelligent friends who have been seeking advice on running their own business. Shannon is a wonderful resource and wealth of knowledge; having been successfully self-employed for the past 30+ years, and the owner of 2 businesses (with services expanding constantly; including Consulting Services for small business in the creative field).

One such friend, Joan LeMay, consulted with Shannon for guidance and assistance in the revival of her past business, Fifth House Interiors. A once successful, boutique service, she dissolved the company when she left Portland and was wanting to revive it across the country in New York.

Imagine how thrilled and proud we were then, this week we received this email from the new Fifth House Interiors:


Dear Friends and Family,

Hi. As many of you may know, I have always really, really been drawn to all things interior design and decor-oriented. When I was a little kid, I would confuse my pals and their parents during sleepovers when, instead of wanting to play a game, I’d ask to reorganize and reconfigure the bedroom I was sleeping over in. I remember endlessly rearranging my own bedroom, and have always reveled in the opportunity to change up spaces I’ve lived in. I love the thrill of the shopping hunt, and I love a good before-and-after.

Five years ago, I launched an initial version of Fifth House Interiors, my one-woman interior decor and design venture, in Portland. I went into the homes and apartments of friends and acquaintances and re-tooled their spaces using things they already had on hand, and I loved the work of it immensely. I also had the opportunity to study and work under my mindblowingly amazing dear friend and mentor, Shannon Baird, at her firm SBaird Design. Her guidance then, as now, is invaluable to me.

The initial incarnation of Fifth House Interiors was something I let die on the vine, as it were–after all, my professional life was and is very full with Riot Act Media–I love the music publicity work I do and the incredible people I get to work with more than I can adequately express. Plus, there’s painting on the side! And, y’know, life! I always wanted to pick Fifth House Interiors back up again and mix the interiors work I love back into my life, but for a variety of reasons, the timing never seemed right.

You know what they say, though–you can wait for “the timing to be right” forever, and that’s how things never get done. That’s how five years passes. Thusly, I am very excited to be relaunching Fifth House Interiors today.

Please have a look around my site, check out the blog (hey, two posts so far!), and peruse theservices I’m offering. If you have anyone in your life who might be looking for help with their space and would be so kind as to pass along my name, I would be very thankful. This is, like anything, going to start out slowly and grow organically through word of mouth and as time and energy allows (I’m going to remain concurrently committed to Riot Act and my painting work).

If you’re getting this, it is because you are near and dear to me. Thank you so, so much for being in my life. I mean it.

Here’s to doing more of what you love!

All the best,


Fifth House Interiors is on Twitter and Pinterest. Follow me there!

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I met Julie Pointer at a YU Contemporary founders dinner, while she was there observing the art of the table and assisting John Taboada from Navarre with the preparation of the food and serving. The table, in my opinion, is roughly translated in how people come together to break bread, and the ways in which magic can happen when meals are shared and when one least expects it.

She has been attending a 2-year joint MFA program between PNCA and OCAC, called Applied Craft and Design.
The program focuses particularly on merging craft/design solutions with relevant social and environmental issues, and has an entrepreneurial push to it.

Julie has been observing time, place and environment, recently completing the massive undertaking of providing an artistic backdrop, along with table settings and pot luck assignments, for an outdoor meal. Gifting this, her thesis, to her direct neighbors and community where she lives in SE Portland, she created what I believe is so desired by many, that of creating relationships around sharing food together. I have been following her blog for awhile now, and am always amazed at her perception of beauty in the natural environment, the simplicity in which she weaves items together to create a whole new world for this one event. Whether through the invitations lovingly prepared or to the thought in which she chose the dinnerware, and brought together perfect strangers for a captivating event on May Day. She is someone to watch. The inspiration pages that she created as a backdrop for where she was headed with the final project are something that seems to have come from my dreams, I love the way her eyes and design sense capture exactly what I think is quite exquisite and complete to me.

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YU Contemporary Art Center

YU hosted it’s first dinner for founding members yesterday evening. The meal was prepared by Navarre’s chef/owner John Taboada, with wine provided by Carlton Cellars and Martelo winery. The history of contemporary art in Portland for the last 30-40 years was distinctly represented around the table by Mary Beebe, Mel Katz and Jay Backstrand from PCVA 1972-1987. I was struck most by the intrinsic marriage that I feel must take place between the old guard and the new, with Portland sorely lacking in a contemporary arts facility and home. YU has the capability to become larger than anyone can conceptualize at this point of it’s early inception. The promise is high and I believe that it will be met.

I wanted to recommend attendance to this event this evening.

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Excited about – Little Winter Market – Ace Hotel this weekend

photo courtesy of the little winter website

At the cleaners at the Ace Hotel | 1022 SW Stark 503-228-2277

11-6 Saturday, November 6 | 11-5 Sunday, November 7


vendors |


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personal dominions and thoughts #3

may juliette barruel – a friend, a small business owner, a local force in the art + music community and someone everyone should be inspired by….visit NATIONALE 811 east burnside portland, oregon 97232.

favorite wine?

shiraz grapes, usually. for special occasions, vacqueyras and chateau neuf du pape have been my favorites so far.

what is always in your fridge?

good butter, which i keep sealed in a glass jar. i got the trick from my friend laurence a few years ago to avoid taste contamination. this way, it stays as good tasting as when you bought it. my boyfriend calls me “the butter snob” and he’s completely right. the best butter that i remember having was at navarre, french with big pieces of salt!


my music collection is pretty small, because i am quite happy with the few things i have and still not tired of bill callahan, neil young, and bruce springsteen. my solo show last fall was a lot about these three guys and how their songs have been a constant for me, especially emotionally.

thank you bill callahan (detail), thread on linen, 2009

i‘m very obsessive in my listening process. mostly because of the meditative mood i get from the music looping. on repeat lately, men with broken hearts, a country music tape compilation by josh kermiet.

that being said, i’m also very lucky to have someone in my life with an amazing record collection and who always brings various records over for me to listen to. saturday night, charles mingus’ tijuana album blew my mind.

favorite city...

different places are good for different reasons and portland has been a very good city in terms of living and enjoying the everyday routine. but, just thinking of walking down a tiny sidewalk full of bursting life on a foggy parisian morning, well there is no denying that i will always miss that so much. the general aesthetics, the sexually charged looks, the perfect balance of speed and quiet living.

wet sidewalk, paris, may 2009

favorite piece of art that you own…

so hard to pick, especially because i like how over the years art remnants from friends have all accumulated on my walls to form one big piece.

but, to answer the question,

the embroidery piece ( detail above ) from ty ennis’ you’ll love it here show that i received as a present last year and

the paper dumpster with casey’s graffiti from ryan boyle that i purchased in SF a few years ago.

what is hard and what is not about owning your shop?

hard : the talkers, they make it hard to know who to trust. and the constant worrying. not knowing if it will make it. not having the financial means to do what would make it successful. my brain working 24/7. not ever getting a paycheck. always having to plan the next show/event, even before the current one has happened.

not hard : the collaborations that have happened and weren’t part of the plan. my initial feedback given to heather from olo on the scent that she did for NATIONALE (6/7) and it leading to us having an entire line of her perfume being sold here, and the customers going pretty crazy for it. also rikki rothenberg having her studio at NATIONALE and helping me in exchange with the shop. not having planned any of this, and just watching it unfold. it’s been such a pleasant surprise.

what windows give the best light that you can think of?

the winter months in my apartment, when the tree leaves are dead and light comes in all day ( south ). crazy big windows that make me want to not leave the house. ideally, a home would follow the pattern of the sunlight, with east facing windows in the bedroom for easy, happy getting-up, south exposure living area, and maybe sunset deck for dinner?

favorite chore – why ?

washing dishes after dinner at friends’. it calms me and it’s a good time to be alone for a bit. although i have the bad habit to leave out the silverware. i don’t like washing the silverware at all.

item that most represents you…

these boots that i bought at the salvation army in pendleton last summer. because of their utilitarian aspect, strength, and history ( the ranch’s letters are branded on the back ). they are a no bullshit kind of object, so well made and the best spent $5.95. i wear them every day. they’re also a very personal symbol for me, of a great time of happiness, when everything falls into the right place. a reminder of that being a possibility.

what is on your bed right now?

my cat malick, my big bags that i just dropped there when i got home.

what does your office space look like?

right now, non-existant at home and in transition at the gallery. it’s usually very messy and always has pieces of inspirations pinned on the wall, souvenirs, a vision quest of sorts.

misconceptions about you…

that i do the things i do because i’m french. people like to always say that, “oh, she’s just french”, on issues that are such clichés. but then, they never really take the time to ask themselves what is truly different within these two cultures, and they often fail to recognize the things that i do do because i’m french. because of my upbringing. my not shaving my armpits has nothing to do with my being french, every woman i know in france shaves their armpits, maybe not obsessively everyday, but they still shave them. however, my not being an optimist has a lot to do with growing up in a country that lost its glory two hundred years ago and has gone through two world wars on its soil while being occupied. my grandmother at her death left a letter saying ” i was a very happy person until the age of 7, in 1914, when my father was sent to war”. this, i think, reveals so much more about me and the culture i come from than whether i have baguette, cheese and red wine for dinner every night.

marthe arnaud, 1907-1998

fitness routine…

none. hopefully start biking and walking to work again real soon.

what inspires you the most and the least?

most: collaborations

least: people with an agenda / shark-like ambition. it is so transparent and boring to me.

fantasy career…

when i went on my first road trip by myself two years ago i decided to start a blog and pretended i was sent on a job. for five days i forced myself to describe as best as i could and in my own style the places that i visited. the process and results were so rewarding on a personal level that i have fantasized ever since that this could be my career. may juliette barruel, professional blogger! with no pressure whatsoever about the things and places i would cover. i guess i have tried to continue doing that with a la claire fontaine, but lately there is just no time for it.

some favorite traveling posts:



Filed under Culture, design, local portland stores, Music, Uncategorized


Screen shot 2009-10-23 at 3.40.33 AM

click below to watch a short video on portand love.

possibly all of the reasons that we love portland so much, has to do with the proximity to mountains, rivers and sea along with the coffee, powells books, and the natural beauty around us, this makes being a designer so inspiring everyday.

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Why can’t America have stamps like these?

The British seem to know how to make even their mail look chic and interesting –

Picture 17

Picture 13

Picture 18

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