While in California a couple of weeks ago, I jumped at the opportunity to visit our FP Movement designer at her home in Inverness, California. I had heard how amazing it was beforehand, but had never seen any photos. Early Monday morning, after the festival was over, I hopped in my rental car and crossed the Golden Gate bridge into Marin County. If you aren’t familiar with this part of California, let me just say that personally I think it’s the most beautiful place in the world. My drive to Ryanne’s took me past the houseboats of Sausalito, through the adorable Marin towns of Fairfax and Lagunitas, and along a road with redwoods shooting up on either side.
The house is on a hillside, and as I crept up the winding road and pulled into her driveaway, I still could barely see it among the trees and rose bushes. But suddenly there it was, a beautiful wooden structure with sea blue window frames. A house that one dreams of. Take a tour of Ryanne’s incredible home and learn more about this talented beauty!
Where are you originally from? What is your fondest memory of your hometown?
I grew up in a small beach town south of Boston called Scituate. It was an amazing place to grow up, especially in the summertime. I still love driving into the harbor & smelling the salt air mixed with the slightest hint of fish ;). I grew up right on the beach, so I could hear the waves crashing as I went to bed – something I definitely took for granted at the time.
You’ve been with Free People for a while, what originally drew you to the company and what has kept you here?
I was originally drawn to Free People because of the aesthetic; free spirited, creative, bohemian. I loved what the girl represented and I wanted to design for her. I learned so much the first couple of years I was here, and I am still learning new things and being challenged daily. I have made my best friends, I am constantly learning and being inspired, and I get to be super creative. The energy of the company and the people who make everything happen are very special. It’s truly a family and I think there is no other place like it.
Tell us about your home – how did you find this amazing space?
I actually had seen it for sale about six months before we were moving back west. I totally fell in love with it. Luckily, it popped up on Craigslist for rent when we were moving… meant to be :).
How would you describe your home décor? Where do you draw inspiration?
My home decor is a mix of homemade and vintage… kind of bohemian forest gnome? We don’t have much since we have moved around a lot, but it’s the perfect amount of stuff for this house. It mainly consists of my husband Ben’s beautiful furniture. He has his own furniture company, so I am lucky to have a lot of his pieces in our home. While I’m researching for work, I’ll come across great home inspiration on blogs or Pinterest, but I think this house mainly dictated the decor, and what we’ve added to our collection.
You are now the designer for FP Movement – how does this differ from designing everyday pieces like knits or tees?
Designing Movement has been a really fun challenge because I am so used to designing tee shirts. The fit, construction, and especially the function of the garment are things that are not at the forefront of your mind when designing tees. But…I love it!
You work from your gorgeous home in California – how do you stay focused when you’re not in an ‘office’?
Working from home is extremely different than being in the office, and more of a challenge than I anticipated. When I was in the office, I was constantly in meetings or meeting with my team, so there was a lot of structure to my day. Now, I make daily & weekly schedules and goals for myself to stay on track. It is very quiet & peaceful at my house, but I’ve found I miss being around people; so I listen to various podcasts when I’m sewing, which I’ve found helps me stay focused as well.
What are some of your personal favorites from the Movement collection?
Tell us about one or two of your favorite pieces in your home, and the story behind them.
One of my favorite pieces is the Martell Woodworks leather & cherry counter stool. It was one of the first pieces Ben designed, and it’s worn in beautifully over time. My other favorite is a vintage poster advertising a craftsman furniture show, that was given to us by my in-laws. Besides being an awesome, colorful print, Ben’s dad is on the left hand side of the poster. Also a woodworker, he worked with some amazing guys in a special town not far from here called Bolinas in the 70’s.
It’s a perfect evening in California and the sun is setting, you’re hanging out at home with your husband…what record is playing?
Probably Neil Young’s Zuma or the Grateful Dead Europe 72′.
What’s for dinner, and if you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to join you, who would it be?
We live super close to a few different oyster farms, so fresh oysters and clams have become our favorite meal. My dinner guest would be my grandmother. She passed away when my dad was really young, so I don’t know much about her & I would love to get to know her and share stories.
Can you tell us anything (without giving away any secrets) about what’s coming up for FP Movement?
We are continuing to evolve Movement, by being inspired by fashion, without sacrificing function. We will be introducing new fabrics, washes and new collaborations. It is really exciting!!
Thanks for having me over, Ryanne!
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