Those girls in the lunch club have cooked up some more delicious meatless-wheatless-mushroomless meals and would like to share their recipes! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see this entry.) Here are the best from the last 2 weeks…Above is the lentil dal. Find recipe here. The FP chef said she had a little trouble with the first step calling for “enough water”. She had to keep adding more. Another tip… she also forgot to seed the Serrano chiles and burned everyone’s little tongues. EEk
And here we have a veggie shepherds pie. Looks yummy. Find recipe here
We have a new addition to the Free People team, our Creative Assistant! One of her first projects was to create a big shared calendar to get everyone’s life a little more organized. She used the back side of old wallpaper rolls, old blank sheet music, and other found papers all stapled onto the wall. The grid is made from yarn spools we have decorating the building, and then the letters of the month are cut out with an x-acto blade. We wrote on the calendar with pastels and markers. Now everyone can know what’s going on in the different departments. We already feel more like a team!
See? Look how effective…
The Free People home office is a dog friendly environment. It is not uncommon to see dog beds in the corners or little food bowls under people’s desks. So here are some pictures of the pup’s that are the office companions… Above is Fritz. He’s on the buying team. Fritz buys our knit tops and all of our accessories.
This is Barley. Barley is the master of the Free People website.
And here is Josie. She works on the photoshoots for the web. Here she relaxes in the studio in some fake snow used in the latest shoot.
Every now and then, we receive an email from our customer service manager letting us know there are fresh steaming hot soft pretzels in our kitchen waiting to be eaten. He is nice enough to pick them up in the morning from Federal Pretzel, a small pretzel bakery in South Philly (on the corner of 7th and Federal). The bakery pulls them right out of the oven and into this lovely cardboard box. Bob (our customer service manager) recommends you add mustard to really get the full taste. Thanks Bob!
Some of the girls that work on our website have a serious passion for cooking. They started talking about all the recipes they were trying for entertaining friends and family, and decided to try cooking for each other. They take turns bringing lunch to the office every day and have a few rules in order to accomadate everyone in the group. Each meal must be meat free, wheat free and mushroom free! Today they made the lovely meal pictured, curried butternut squash soup with potato & onion cakes. I’m kind of jealous I’m not in the club. That potato onion cake looks real yummy. Check out the recipes here and here.
Since I was talking about interview projects (see below entry) I thought I should really show you this picture. One of our buyers was interested in moving into a design position, and wanted to show that her creativity went beyond numbers and dreaming up new accessories to sell. So she made one of her own paintings come to life using strips of fabrics and paper mache. The inspiration was based on a spring trend concept we’re working on called Landed Gentry (more on this later).
This is how she described her project…”Handmade, tangible structure and materials for the intangible concept. Pink horses, flying pigs, buyers going into design…” She’s awesome.
The lady on horseback has been decorating our hallway, and the artist calls the piece ” rosy equine hall ornament”. I just think it’s so great to see the different ways people can artistically express their enthusiasm and understanding of what it takes to create here at Free People.
In order to get a creative job at Free People, you are asked to do a project that expresses your creativity and understanding of the Free People aesthetic. It’s a really great way to show what you are capable of beyond a typical portfolio. So anyway, one of our accessories designers had hand made these super crafty luggage tags for her Free People interview. She tapped into how important travel is to the Free People girl, how inspiring it can be. Obvoiusly she was right on, got the job, and months later is seeing her creations sold in the Holiday Catalog! Check out the hand embellished tags for sale on freepeople.com
Nylon‘s November issue features a section highlighting what’s going on here in Philadelphia. As you may know, Philly is the city Free People calls home. So Nylon scouted some girls on the street to be part of their spread, and the three pictured all happen to be designers associated with FP. (Check Nylon‘s website soon. They have been posting all of their issues for free online!)
Our display team has been doing some amazing art inside the fitting rooms of our boutiques. Each one is different and done using paints, markers, stencils and stickers. Check out the photos above of walls from our latest store location in Boston’s Prudential Center.
Once our designers design a style and colors, fabrics, and trims are chosen, a factory will send a proto for them to approve. The designer then approves or makes changes before it goes into production. Our factories usually send us proto samples in a real life women’s size, so our knit designers were totally surprised when this mini sample arrived in the mail! The hoodie is so cute tiny it makes you think how adorable Free People baby clothes could be…
While shooting our fall catalog in Poland, the girls visited a small village called Zalipie. This town was the inspiration for our fall “Cabinet of Curiosities” trend, with all of the handpainted wood work influencing both our clothing embellishment and store display design. In searching for locations for the shoot, they found this amazing painted dog house; the home of these sweet little puppies.
We here at free people are a curious bunch. We share an interest in exploring all aspects of the artistic culture that surrounds us and in the people that create it. This blog is about sharing those discoveries and maybe even inspiring you to do some discovering of your own.
(the Free People Girl was illustrated by one of our Structured Wovens designers)