When it comes to your daily matcha lattes, the ladies of The Setting know it’s sometimes as much about the cup as what’s in the cup. That’s because Amanda Shine and Billur Kazaz, co-founders of the NYC-based ceramics and event planning company, believe that those few precious moments are more than the product: they’re an experience.
The simple act of taking a few minutes to hold, inhale, see and sip that latte — to really be in the moment and not just absentmindedly inhaling a beverage for the sake of caffeinating yourself — is a practice in self-care. That morning beverage sipped out of a gorgeous mug? That thoughtfully prepared dinner eaten off a handcrafted plate? They’re meaningful experiences and should be treated as such. In this fast-paced world, some things are too important to be rushed or overlooked.
That’s why Free People is so thrilled to be partnering with The Setting to bring you their one-of-a-kind zodiac tumblers. Each features unique, hand-drawn zodiac art and is truly the perfect vessel to enjoy (and appreciate) that daily latte out of. What’s more, Shine and Kazaz hope people get creative with their ceramics. Matcha lattes not your thing? Use the tumbler to organize the pens on your desk (hello, Virgos!), hold your paint brushes (looking at you, Libra!), or to organize fresh blooms from your garden (hi, Taurus!).
Below, Amanda and Billur chatted with us about how they built their company, what it’s like to work with their hands every day, and what wellness means to them. Cheers!
Tell us how The Setting got started.
The Setting was formed when we met in a ceramics class in New York in the spring of 2015. We had both been working on outside creative projects in ceramics, illustration, event production and design. There was a natural ease in sharing ideas and we took that a step further by working on photoshoots, content and eventually landed our first client from there.
Why are ceramics your medium of choice?
Ceramics are universal and evergreen. They are for everyone and are a daily aspect of life without being precious or out of touch. We love lending customized elements and playful design to that basic need as a fun way to elevate an event, tablescape or special moment.
What is it like to work with your hands every day and see the fruits of your labor so immediately?
We work with so many incredibly talented production partners, clients and girls on our team that it’s both rewarding and also a very detailed area of work. There needs to be clear communication from inception through completion and that is both gratifying and bonding. We have traveled around the world together sourcing the best ceramic partners and I think our secret weapon is how much we respect the craft of ceramics and the work that goes into its creation.
Why do you think customized pieces are so important to someone’s lifestyle?
We think a bigger trend in consumer behavior is the peer-to-peer conversation around co-design and co-creation, and customization is just an extension of that. We love to work with individual customers, broader retailers or hospitality partners to develop a product that makes them smile while they’re having coffee in the morning or a meal in the evening. Whatever customization means to them, we want to be the company to bring that to life!
What does entertaining/hosting mean to you? Any hosting must-haves?
Easy, elevated entertaining is the core value of our brand. We want to showcase that hosting does not need to be an overly formal, outdated or intimidating tradition and should be what it’s intended to be: a way for friends and family to bring people together to celebrate life and create beautiful memories.
How did you land on the zodiac for these tumblers?
The tumbler as a vessel is multifunctional and since it is such a diverse silhouette, you can place it in your kitchen, on your vanity or desk. We wanted to ensure that the customization felt unique to each individual and reflected their personality as well as their design aesthetic!
How does your sign influence your work?
As a true Libra, Amanda has an incredible eye for design and always strives for beauty and balance. As a Taurus, Billur is good at creating, building, staying grounded, calm and being practical.
Favorite thing to drink out of your zodiac tumblers?
How do you practice self-care while running a business?
We put a lot of care and thought into our office and our homes. How we keep them and how we treat our team is a big priority. Even when we’re really busy and can’t step out during the day — which is nearly every day — we always have fresh flowers, sparkling water and snacks. We work hard but we love to travel and explore new cultures. It’s a balance and it changes as the business evolves. For now, we’re really busy and we’re reveling in that so we make time for experiences, friends and family. But a really simple rule of thumb is good sleep, exercise and surrounding ourselves with good people who appreciate this special time for our brand!
What does “wellness” mean to you?
Wellness means taking care of your mind as much as your body. We really value good energy throughout the spaces we spend the majority of our time in. That means working with people we admire and who also treat us well in return. Creating a small community among your team and broader network who all value hard work, but also the importance of balance. Simple things like a dance class, a nap, massage or manicure all help to keep the engine going. A little love goes a long way!
+ Shop The Setting’s one-of-a-kind Zodiac Tumblers here!