Italy: Little by Little visits Patina Vie
ILBL: Now that you’ve created so much success from your design career, can you tell us where your story began and how it has evolved?
Sarah Willett: Patina Vie started simply as a means for us to share our casual + fashionable lifestyle. Antiques, vintage, pretty treasures and our own collections of authentically designed goods have helped us grow our casual brand, Patina Vie. Patina (Italian) the coveted, subtle, luscious layer of age that graces copper, leather, wood, plaster, and women (smile). Vie (French) for life. My lifelong celebration of tumbled imperfection, history, and style that can’t be manufactured, planned, or duplicated. It lives in the real moments of everyday and gets better with time. Patina Vie is simply a charming front door to our authentic life + style. Thankfully, we evolve everyday. I wouldn't have it any other way!!
ILBL: Most successful folks have experienced some challenges along the way, what were your greatest obstacles and how did you overcome whatever stood in your way? Have things gone according to your plans?
SW: Without a doubt, creating a business on my own terms has taken more care. Here are a few things I've learned along the way:
-create a list of can't live withs (a few of mine) : commuting to an office, managing a staff, artificial layers of business, crabby people, days that feel the same, rules of any kind.
-can't live withouts (a few of mine): collaborating + sharing this cool journey with my crew + family (my peeps), XM radio’s Coffeehouse in the winter; and Yacht Rock in the summer.. good tunes are essential to the day, killer good outfits for every meeting (keeps your mind free and your heart alive) my favorite anthropolgie.com.
-be present: make every call, attend every meeting; every presentation, try every product..
Live every morsel of your business.
-pieces you don’t like: (hmmm.. accounting.. bookkeeping…)? No worries.. find someone you trust to delegate to. You can’t be brilliant at everything!
-stay curious: You will learn something from every conversation; every person you bump into. Ask anything and everything. People are usually flattered that you care enough to ask.
- don't let rules or expectations get in your way: There is nobody like you.. Nobody has done what you are doing before.. in your way… with your circumstances. Just get on with it already.
-celebrate your genius. Don’t try to validate your moves.. just go with it (this week I’m reading both Jane Austen and Amy Schumer).. go figure.
-be your own customer. Would you buy it? Do you love it!? Does it make your heart flutter…. If so.. rock-on sister! (If not.. get back at it until you get it right).
-keep moving. Life has never moved faster for any of us. We're all on to the "next" faster that I can type. Be efficient in everything you do.
-stay relevant. Travel, follow inspiring blogs and instagrams, read and flip through as many books and magazines as you can get your hands onto, get your fanny into stores and see what's happening, listen, watch, ask.. have your teen age kids’ friends follow your brand. They’ll tell you everything you need to know.
-say yes. To every intriguing opportunity.. No worries if you don't know what you're doing. Trust your gut.. Give yourself credit and fly darlings, fly ..!!
ILBL: In terms of Patina Vie, what would you say sets you and your designs apart?
SW: Everything coming out of our studio celebrates a truly artisan spirit. We crave hand-touched art and layered pattern that can't be created electronically. Our inspiration is a soulful one that takes us back to materials that are gathered; not just engineered. Textured wovens, faded prints, vivid hues that make our heart beat a little faster (smile). We adore fashion and love throwing our casual spin onto everything we can get our hands onto!
ILBL: What’s next and what big plans can you share with us?
SW: We're opening our flagship Patina Vie boutique this summer in our charming downtown
(Ripon, Wisconsin). We're soooo excited to have pretty little spot with all of our favorite things. We're tucked among some darling shoppes, pubs + casual dining on our historic Main Street.
(Perfectly "road-trippable") Check out our online store for a taste of what we'll be bringing to life www.patinavie.com
ILBL: So fantastic to catch up with you Sarah! Thanks for the visit...It's been way too long!
We'll hope to see you at the new flagship Patina Vie this Summer! Ciao!