I was introduced to Karen Young's talent, the mastermind behind Hammocks & High Tea while in NY for the Nate show. Although we didn’t get a chance to meet face to face, I am in love with her designs. The name alone is one that adheres to my mind. But the product is one that I felt the need to share. Beautiful patterns, and relaxing scents are a staple of every home worthy of the word. With a variety of items sold, there is something for everyone that wants that Hammocks & High Tea look in their home. The store currently sells napkins, sachets, pillows, tea towels, placements, and linen spray to name a few. Karen is passionate about her business, and doing what she loves. I am inspired, and I hope you are to. For more info, and to shop. Please go here.
Can you give my readers a little background on Hammocks and High Tea?
Hammocks & High Tea was dreamed up about three years ago while I was still working as an account executive in the fashion industry. I wanted to bring a sense of my unique take on global style and trends to the market, in a way that could fit into anyone's home. My family and childhood spent in South America exposed me to a mix of cultures and I see style the same way. Blend it and it will work.
Where did the name come from?
The name is an homage to my family and my upbringing in Guyana, S.A. The story is familiar; the country is a blend of everything that it has ever encountered, French, Dutch, British, Spanish and Indian to name a few. The fact that a cobblestone street led to the beach or the intricate architecture was painted in bold azure, or hot pink, always fascinated me. At the end of the day I would come home from school to have "supper" and our palm trees were strung with lights on the front lawn for Christmas..which was 90 degrees. Hammocks (carib) & High Tea (british) means a literal blending of culture.
Why home goods?
I thought for a long time that I wanted to get into fashion but realized that the trends moved too quickly for my concept. I want to create things that will have a sense of heirloom. I imagine that a young girl can raid her grandmother's linen closet in 20 years and find one of our patterns in a well worn and loved tea towel.
What was your original vision and goal for your product?
My original vision and goal has thankfully remained the same for the company. To create items that people will find useful, beautiful, and of quality. I am influenced most greatly by antique textiles. The fact that they are still here, still beautiful, and still find their way into the most modern of spaces.
What makes Hammock and High Tea different from the rest?
My vision, history, and concept belongs to me. Therefore everything I create is authentic. Hammocks & High Tea is a brand as well as a story.
Was there a plan B?
No. I'm open to following forks in this road but there has never been a plan B.
What advice would you offer women who have hopes of becoming successful entrepreneurs?
-My first bit of advice would be to not do it unless you absolutely love it. You will sleep & breathe it for a long time so it must sustain you in other ways or you will divert when it gets tough.
-I would also suggest becoming part of a network of other women business owners. I've recently discovered the power of this and it's invaluable to exchange ideas, and just be able to talk frustrations out with others who have similar experiences. Twitter has also been amazing for this, the community of creative women business owners there is phenomenal.
One wish for Hammocks and High Tea?
I wish to create a business that maybe one day my son or daughter would be proud of and possibly call their own. No pressure though.
What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now with the line?
I would love to have a collection of sustainable furniture, a blend of vintage items and pieces made from eco sources in the Caribbean.
First major splurge purchase?
- I haven't splurged yet, but in all honesty it looks like a trip to Tahiti may be in order when I'm at a place that I can splurge.
What would those close to you say is your favorite personal item to wear? (something they see you in often)
- They would laugh first and then say jeans. I find a reason to wear jeans everywhere.
What's one thing you put in every handbag?
-Rosebud Salve. I once resorted to putting lotion on my lips when I forgot it and it was a dire situation. *shudders*
Silver or Gold?
Flats or Heels?
Gloss or Lipstick?
Coffee or Tea?
Cake or Pie?
PC or MAC?
-PC for now, Jumping ship soon
Books or Magazines?
Colored Nails or Naturally Beautiful?
Early Riser, or Late Riser?
Apartment or House?
SUV/Truck or Cute Car?
Favorite TV shows?
-Modern Family, The Cosby Show, Burn Notice, House
-entirely too many to name honestly
Favorite Real Housewives series?
-New York & Atlanta
Favorite City to visit?
-I love New Orleans. The architecture is incredible.
I want to create things that will have a sense of heirloom-- Karen Young
High Fives & Hugs,