With Christmas quickly approaching we have put together our favorite items for those last minute gift givers. All shipments that go out before December 18th will arrive on time. Here is a quick list of our staff favorites for every budget.
The Balsam and Cedar Incense pack by Illume is only $12.00. It smells just like the Holidays.
This Alexander Pouch by J. Paige is one of the newer lines that we've brought in this season. J. Paige is made right here in Bend, Oregon. Her detail is amazing and has become a store favorite. $84.00
These bold Patchwork earrings by Alchemilla would be perfect with those Holiday outfits. $90.00
Every year I think I've ordered too many ornaments and every year I run out before Christmas. These little guys have been one of our best sellers. The Raccoon Bandit Ornaments by Roost are too cute to resist. $12.00
Zestt is another new line we brought in for the Holidays. This Sterling bottle opener is a thing of beauty. This is one of several designs that we carry. $30.00
Last but not least, our favorite item of the season is always the Roland Pine votive candle from Soap and Paper Factory. I think I'm on my third order in the past month. Each time I double the order to meet demand. I think it's one I'm going to start keeping year round. $12.00
Ainsley J Fox is a Portland local who grew up in a family of creatives, so it's no surprise that this self-professed foodie has combined her love of tasty treats with her love of nail polish. Visit Bridge City Mercantile soon to see all of the amazing colors we have in stock.
Tell me a little bit about some of your major influences growing up and how you eventually made your own company doing something that you love.
I’ve always been surrounded by creative ladies in my family, my Aunt owns a jewelry business (Peach Treats) and my Gram was a school teacher for many years, she's still creating something handmade every time I see her! My mom had dozens of bottles of nail polish growing up and when I started wearing nail polish it became a hobby to collect myself. Shortly I, too, had accumulated hundred(s) of bottles. My whole life I’ve been into gourmet foods and eating out or cooking with my family at home. One day it came to me that combining foods and nail polish could be a “thing”.
Who first encouraged you to become an artist?
My gram definitely sprouted my interest to dabble in art. She made it easy to pick up little crafts and fun sewing projects.
What is the process of creating nail polish? Do you have a studio at home?
At first I was making nail polish for myself at home by mixing minerals to topcoats, but when I decided to go full force and sell my product online and in stores I knew that I would need a manufacturer to help produce my product in large numbers. It typically starts with a name or idea of which food I want to create a color after, then we curate formulas together to fabricate those colors. Aside from mixing and pouring, everything else I do from my home here in Portland.
You mention that your “…line is 5-free, excluding the toxic chemicals: toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin and camphor.” When you began your work, were you aware of the toxic chemicals found in nail polish?
Being aware of what I put into my body has always been important to me. I slowly stopped eating meat throughout my teenage years and would read ingredient labels of everything I purchased. The same goes for beauty products, I didn’t want to know just want I was putting IN my body, but also what I was putting ON my body. I started exclusively buying OPI and Essie polishes because I knew they were 3-free. It wasn’t until really researching how to make nail polish that I found 5-free (excluding two extra toxic chemicals) was an option. All signs at that time pointed to GO FOR IT.
On your blog you write that you’re both a “foodie” and a “travel bug.” Is there any particular place or any particular food that you draw the most inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from everywhere: foods I’ve always loved, pictures I see on social media, a new fruit or vegetable I try during my travels. Every food has potential of being turned into a nail polish color!
What color has been most popular this season?
Ooh, that’s really hard. Neutrals are always very popular during the fall and winter months. I’d have to say Chai Tea Latte and Nori do very well this time of year, but so does Gold Gumdrop! Everyone loves a little glitter!
Click on any of the pretty bottles below to see more of Ainsley's Instagram pics!
Photography: Ainsley J. Fox
Recently, we had the pleasure of asking the incredibly talented, self-taught artist, Marika Paz a few questions about her life, her love of art, and the inspiration behind her work. Her work encapsulates a love of fantasy and the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest. Visit Bridge City Mercantile soon to get your hands on a one-of-a-kind print.
In college, I studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh Scotland. While exploring Edinburgh's old bookstores, I remember finding a copy of King Arthur illustrated by Arthur Rackham. I was so taken with his illustrations and drawings, and before this moment had never considered being an illustrator. I became obsessed with illustrators of the golden age, such as Arthur Rackham, Aubrey Beardsley, and Edmund Dulac. After college, I became serious about becoming a working artist and illustrator.
My mother. She has always supported me and encouraged me to create art.
Yes! My mother was always creating art around me- she played music in bands, wrote, and was also a painter and artist. Being in such an artistic environment definitely fostered my own creativity. She was always encouraging me and would often work on art projects and draw with me. Many of my first memories are of drawing together. Fun fact, my mom wrote my bio!
Most of my personal work starts out by daydreaming. I think of the outside, nature and its animals, the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest. I usually start out by lightly sketching my idea in a sketchbook- not on the paper I will use for the final piece. I do this to get the 'feel' for the piece- the shapes and spacing. It’s really rough and light. Then I sketch in pencil onto the paper I will be painting on. This sketch is really light, mostly just shapes without a lot of details. I then paint- I am not very strict with following my exact sketch and get more of a feel for the piece as I work. When I am done painting, I then draw on top of the paint. This keeps the ink looking black, instead of painting on top of the ink which washes it out. I don't have any designated daily routines I follow, but I have gotten into some habits. I try and draw every day. I make lots of to-do lists, I try to stay organized (but most of the time my studio is a bit of a cluttered mess!), and I always have some coffee!
This changes often! Currently, but in no particular order, I am listening to: Noah Gundersen - Alpine - Ben Howard - Olafur Arnalds - Kishi Bashi. I also love listening to podcasts while I work, my favorite is Radiolab.
I recently read Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It's a fantasy book that is like reading an old fairy tale; I really enjoyed it. Books definitely inspire me and I collect them, especially antique and vintage illustrated books. I love how books feel and smell. I read a lot of different books: fiction, history, fantasy, to young adult- anything with a great story. I love books of old folklore and tales, which has definitely impacted my artwork. I have been really interested in the occult arts and alchemy and have been picking up any and all books I can find that have to do with alchemy- you can see a lot of these symbols in my work, especially my spirit animals.
I hope that they connect with it. I hope they enjoy it. I hope they feel something.