Seasons Shift

Who else isn't quite ready for the weather shift that is taking place? It's been a busy summer for us here at LeMay Shop and now that the inevitable transition from late Summer to Autumn is beginning we're realizing how little of the summer we took advantage of. Perhaps we're noticing it today especially having just gone from a record breaking heat wave to eerily abrupt thunder and rain. 

we are longing to stave off Fall for just a bit longer, especially As we start to notice images all across Instagram of fall leaves and mention of pumpkin patches. Hopefully we're not alone in trying to soak up the last bits of Summer - Cold cocktails in the warm evening, afternoons on the water, day trips hiking and exploring the California coast, and nights spent outside eating long dinners with close friends. Is anyone else not quite ready for spiced lattes and sweater weather...?

so while the Bay is blanketed in a grey cloud covered sky and impending rain to look forward to, we've distracted ourselves by going through our phones, cameras, and pinterest to look back on a too short but oh so memorable Summer. 

Meet the Maker - Melanie Abrantes

For our first Meet the Maker, I'm pleased to introduce the work of Melanie Abrantes Designs. a fellow Oakland local, Melanie has captivated the hearts of the design community and just celebrated the 3 year anniversary of her business. Melanie, A creative entrepreneur is a perfect pairing to Lemay shop, Melanie Abrantes Designs is a female owned business, all products are handcrafted, and every piece is responsibly made with local and sustainable materials, We can't get enough of this work!

One of the most exciting things about opening this shop has been having a platform to bring my favorite designers work together.  This grouping of work creates a dialogue amongst the objects that although very distinct when shown together speaks to what is coming out of the West Coast, and more importantly, at least to me, what is coming from female designers. Melanie's work is a perfect example of the preference for pieces that are handmade by an independent designer. If you're looking for one-of-a-kind, you've come to the right place. Each Bud Vase is made to order,  hand turned by Melanie on her lathe in West Oakland. 

A graduate of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, Melanie studied product design in school. Before graduating she began experimenting on a lathe turning wood into curvaceous designs that have transformed over the years into the beautiful bud vases I now carry at LeMay Shop. Each object melanie designs is created using domestic hardwood purchased locally in California. Although her work expands beyond wood vases, the simplistic shape and delicate curve of these pieces have made them a long time favorite.

Growing up with a Portuguese / Brazilian father has influenced Melanie's designs significantly. Spending summers in Portugal living with her grandparents, Melanie was exposed to products created from cork, a material with a profoundly different use than here in America. It wasn't long after learning to lathe that melanie realized the possibilities the material had, she immediately absorbed cork into her design practice reinterpreting for an american audience what was possible with this portuguese tree bark. each unique object is a modern heirlooms, using both cork and wood  Melanie has built a business that embodies handcraft. 

Photography by Melanie Riccardi, styling By Genevieve Bandrowski

LeMay Shop - An Introduction

Hello, Welcome to LeMay Shop! I'm thrilled to be launching a store that will exclusively feature handmade, carefully considered, craftsman objects. I've worked alongside designers for years and have even launched my own brand, but never considered joining the throws of individuals who have opened retail stores. With how popular and easy it's become I have admittedly felt an over saturation of online retail. Each new store popping up offering the same Products every other similarly minded, self-proclaimed "tastemaker" sells. 

But that's where I hope to be different. Alongside the well-known designers, there are the small local brands that have not yet had a platform to be seen. My hope is to feature the exceptional designs of the lesser known, found objects discovered in travel, pieces made by craftsman with no interest in mass production, modern heirlooms that will carry a story, and my greatest hope is to feature as many female designers as possible. There is so much talent amongst us, this small corner of the internet will introduce you to objects that have stopped me in my tracks, I hope they will do the same for you.