We are Eni and Greg, a couple living in NYC. Originally I come from Albania. I have lived in Spain, Madrid for about 11 years and I studied in UK for about 4 years. Madrid and NYC are my love and it would be hard for me to separate them from each other. There are times when I want to escape NYC to Madrid and once there I want to come back again to NYC. Greg and I met in NYC, the city that both of us greatly love for its past, creativity, design and uniqueness.
However, we also love to travel all around the world. One of our favorite countries is France. It is beautiful country with an astonishing Rivera. A dear friend of mine and I traveled from Madrid to London in a classic mini cooper (at that time mini cooper owned by Rover) up the French Rivera. We would stop in different cities in France and each time the views were just breathtaking.
Last year Greg and I decided to go to Paris and meet also my best friend, Gilu (his real name Gilles) who took us in this hidden antique market that was not very well known to tourists. We were in heaven. What to buy first and bring to NY? It was a hard decision. We ended up buying French linen in this beautiful small boutique where this old grandmother was showing us her delicate collection. We left the place thinking the next time we go to Paris we need to buy more of antiques instead of just French cheese.
Why did we start our business…
Like my grandmother, I love flowers, perfumes, creams and scented candles. NYC unlike any other city in the world offers a great range of them. My favorite gifts from Greg and his family were always the candles they used to buy me. Once while shopping for candles, Greg suggested to me that I should stop buying them and try to make them myself. It is very easy to do. The minute he said that, I searched about tutorials on how to make them. There is plenty of information on how to do it out there, but as everything it requires patience, love and passion. We built around us a philosophy that our candles have to be unique, original and Eco-friendly so people do not need to worry about the effects they may have on their health. So to deliver this philosophy to people who love candles as much as I do, we search for vintage teacups, unique pieces that you will find it hard to find elsewhere. We also are continuously adding new and modern cups and mason jars to our collection.
We paint the mason jars by hand with Annie Sloan Chalk paint, distress and wax them with clear and dark wax to give that rustic look. The beauty of our business is that all our containers from vintage teacups to more contemporary ones can be re-used afterwards. In this case we all will be more responsible for the treatment and care of our environment.
Where do we find inspiration…
We have always been interested in antique pieces. What we have noticed recently with home décor is that people are incorporating the old, antique, vintage items and materials, mixing them with contemporary ones. And that’s where design becomes unique. That’s where your apartment becomes different by bringing and well incorporating the old with the new. We hope that with our vintage teacups and vintage looking mason jars can bring that old look to your modern style apartment, restaurant and vice versa with the modern containers to bring that new look to an antique home.
What we especially love to bring to you is the story behind that vintage tea cup, where it comes from, how old it is, why is so important for us. For example, I bought the other day such a delicate hand painted Japanese teacup. I was holding in my hand and it looked so breakable. The teacup is painted by an artist last century and it is now in my studio in NYC.
We are also inspired by Annie Sloan Chalk paint look when we painted our furniture. Also Greg has hand painted the frames of his photos and the end result is just great. So, we thought to try and apply it in our mason jars. Once dried, we distress them and apply either clear or dark wax. The look is unique and not two will come out the same. We use many different colors from Provence, French linen to Paris grey and so on. In the future we will be creating our own unique chalk paint colors.
I am also inspired by the scents of flowers. In Albania I had a beautiful garden created by my father who really took a special care to flowers. I remember our whole house smelled so nicely as the scent of rose bushes, lemons, oranges and mandarin trees mixed with each other that would attract all the butterflies. I miss that much simpler time, especially here in NYC. I am not afraid to mix different types of floral fragrances that will make people feel they are part of the Alhambra garden in Spain or in fields of lavender in Provence France and mandarin trees at my father’s garden in Tirana.
What is our favorite thing to collect…
We also collect antique trunks, luggage, French linen, vintage burlap, teacups, and industrial style furniture. We have been collecting these things throughout the years we have been together. They have been a good resource to take pictures of our products.