A MORNING STORY: EVA CALONDER

I first met Eva Calonder, of Printed Wild, at a wine night with fellow D.C. design ladies, years ago. The thing about Eva is when you meet her, you're struck first by her effortless elegance (I attribute this particularly to the fact that Eva is French—she grew up in Provence!) and second by her warmth—everyone is instantly a friend. We caught up with Eva on a recent morning in her home/studio where her eclectic style and enviable green thumb are on full display. When we arrived, we were welcomed by French radio streaming through the apartment, fresh coffee brewing and pastries waiting for the whole crew. We also learned that she is expecting a little one later this year! Congratulations Eva, and thank you so much for sharing your morning with us!


 
 

Eva's brand Printed Wild is a range of ethically-made products and accessories featuring prints and patterns of her own botanically-inspired artwork. Whenever I visit her studio and see the rows and rows of pouches hanging on the wall, I'm amazed thinking backward through her process, at all the time and care that goes into each piece. What starts as an original pen drawing (say, from a visit to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, perhaps?) to digitizing a pattern, to producing a silkscreen and printing material, to sewing the bag, to cutting leather straps and riveting them by hand... the mind reels. And not only are Eva's patterns inspired by the natural world, but her entire business is evolving toward a fully eco-friendly supply chain. Her bags are constructed of certified organic fabrics and she is exploring new ways to minimize her business impact on the environment. Her transparency on this journey and attention to even the tiniest details has been inspiring to me as a fellow business owner, as well as a fellow human being on this planet. Here's a bit more from our visit with Eva...

On mornings and routines...

On a perfect day, I like to get up early, make coffee, go for a run in Rock Creek Park, get ready and start working around 9:00 AM on the sunny dining room table while listening to some good music. Every day is different, but I would say mornings are for non-production related work in general. I either focus on the digital part of pattern design working on photoshop, or respond to emails, do some market research, update the website... all kinds of things! Afternoons are usually for production. I work in my home studio, cut leather, sew prototypes or have my assistant help me with cutting the fabric, ironing the padding etc. I also work on sketching the patterns, which is definitely my favorite part. It brings me outdoors most of the time, in parks or gardens. I feel very lucky about that!

On upcoming projects...

I was working on an exciting environment- and socially-related project I thought I would be able to launch in 2017, but then another big BIG project happened - we are expecting a baby! So I had to prioritize. I am finding solutions for our future life, being a mother as well as a kick-ass business owner. I am also currently working on some very exciting pattern-driven collaboration projects: District of Clothing, Stitch & Rivet + The NMWA Gift Shop and La Bastide du Roy René, all that while keeping the usual Printed Wild production going.

What's in her bag...

I always carry a notebook on which I can write down ideas, to-do lists (tons of them!) or draw little sketches. I definitely carry way too many pouches, of all kinds: a crayon and pen pouch in case inspiration strikes, another with the usuals: card holder, keys, lipstick, identification... I like to carry a book, these days I am reading Écolonomie, it is about becoming a conscious entrepreneur and finding organic solutions to reduce any negative impact of your business on the biosphere. A big ambition and a must read!

There is also a little superstitious piece I like to bring everywhere I go: a small piece of driftwood I found on a beach somewhere in South of France. I love trees and I feel it brings me luck or at least positive vibes. In French we say "toucher du bois", which basically means "knock on wood".

Eva is styling the Laird Convertible Backpack in vintage saddle. 

Photos by Laura Metzler.

Carolyn Misterek