Am I a Hoarder or a Genius?
Studio tour : Part 1
We work in a box. It's about half the size of a squash court, and in this box, we unpack the widest reaches of our imagination. MOO-YOUNG is about play. Our philosophy is always, "An idea? Let's try it!” As Francine’s grandmother used to say, "where there’s a will, there’s a way."
Now, let's enter our box for a tour. There are shelves packed with leather, walls of tools, findings, beads, more tools, and plants everywhere. Lola is the shop dog; she has claimed multiple surfaces and boxes as her “beds,” and insists we work around her. The air is rich with the smell of leather, a nostalgic musk that tows the line between a barn and a boutique. There are two sewing machines, and three enormous work tables. Often, our first task of the day is to spend thirty minutes clearing off at least half of one of these surfaces, just so we can proceed with a project. I cannot stress enough: There is material everywhere. This is what the mind of an artist looks like: thousands of possible avenues, and a dozen ways to deliver each spark.
Let me zoom in for a minute on what I mean by material. When we examine one of these tables, we see: small rolls of leather for our Skinny Bangles, at least two piles of leather bags that are halfway complete, one or two rolled leather hides, a pile of orders to be made, some cut pieces for one of our many wallet designs, and, most of all, a lot of scraps. Scraps of suede, scraps of dyed veggie tan leather, scraps of metallic leather - we keep all of it. We keep a barrel for scraps on the table, paper bags for scraps on the floor, and bins upon bins of yet more scraps. The scraps are small pieces of leather that are the excess of what we cut into product. Why are we so obsessed with keeping our own refuse? Because there is always an afterlife for this leather, even if the piece is the size of a dime.
We sort the trimmings first by type - suede with suede, and so on. Then, often, these bins become the fodder for our creative fire. While they may create piles to the ceiling, we bank on the fact that whatever we store in them will emerge to see a better day. Even the tiniest leather trimmings will surprise you with their potential!