One day, about a year and a half ago, this adorable girl named Miriam started working with me at my job as a graphic designer. She majored in interior design up in Virginia but wanted to learn more about graphic design. Before starting, she had taught herself a little bit of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop here and there, but overall, she had no idea what she was doing. She made sure we were clear of that. But right off the bat we knew that she was a naturally talented artist and we loved having her with us.
Fast forward a few months ahead, and I’m obsessed with this girl. She is super creative and a talented artist with an amazing eye for something beautiful. She’s fun and quirky and you love to be around her. ~Admitting major girl crush here, y’all~ Unfortunately for us at my job, her life decided to take her in another direction. She had to move to another state. Within that journey, she wanted to find where she really belonged and what she really wanted to do.
She came back to Raleigh not too much later and started a few small companies (one after the other) to showcase her talents. She discovered screen printing and taught herself by watching YouTube videos. Then she left for 6 weeks to mentor with a design/printing stationery studio in Philly and came back with so much knowledge that she had to do something with it…so she started House as Field. She is now a local Raleigh artisan selling her amazing work at local markets around RDU and on her shiny new website and succeeding because she’s so freakin’ awesome. This girl could seriously write a book just about her life up until this point.
So…that’s my quick story about how I know Miriam and how she got to this point, but I wanted to give you guys ALL the juicy details (even more than I know). So I stopped by her apartment/studio and snapped a few pics to give y’all a little peak into her products and the area she works in. AND I got an interview. So keep scrolling for all of that awesome stuff, and make it to the bottom for a discount code for 15% off your order!
What made you want to start your own company?
First of all, there’s not really, as far as I know…there’s no large screen printing companies in Raleigh that are doing fabric design and I know most of them are small businesses going by one maker, one creative…so I just felt like I really needed to do it for myself just to see if I could do it and so I did it! I feel like if there might have been like a larger company that I could’ve tried to apply to be a part of and maybe I would have started there but…there’s screen printing companies but they’re mostly like t-shirt printing and I wanted to focus on printing on yards of fabric and doing that for myself.
Why screen printing?
My first venture into printing was with [hand-carved wooden stamps] and that came from my love of illustration and wanting to see my illustrations come off the paper and turn into an actual tactile product and so I did that for one pill and then I was like “Nope, I can’t keep doing this!” so I researched different ways to do print making. I watched some YouTube videos, taught myself, did that for about a year and then realized I actually needed to learn from a professional and that’s when I went to Philly for 6 weeks and got to study with a master print-maker.
What is the meaning behind the name “House as Field”?
House as Field came from my very high conceptual brain. I’ve always had this love for this very poetic and romantic meaning behind things and it might be my strange love for Jane Austen…so I say it’s like an inspiration between Jane Austen and the Talking Heads.
House as Field is sort of like a hybrid concept…so the house is a concept and we can visualize a house, and the field is a concept and you can think of crops growing and like you’re nurturing something. So my idea was that if you start to think of your house as the field, how can you grow your house? How can you nurture and care for your home? And so from there I was thinking that if – bear with me – the products are the actual crops that you are growing and placing in your home. You’re selecting them and it’s kind of like hoping that by treating your house as a field then you’re turning it into a home and you’re creating your own place of comfort in your own realm of happiness.
Are there any other techniques other than screen printing that you want to implement in the business in the future?
Um…yes. So I think that when it comes to right now I’m using the screen printing and almost like a painterly sense and so things are more whimsical and abstracted and not as refined, so I think in the future…if I were to do a more intricate surface design I probably would get those things digitally printed. I would still sew everything and have everything hand made from there, but I think that probably won’t happen for a while. But I do have really big ideas of super intricate designs that would take a very long time to screen print. I like the idea of the screen printing side to be more of a painterly sense and then the other side of it would be a little more refined and maybe have a more higher end feel whereas the screen printing can still be the high-end but more geared towards people who appreciate the handmade touch.
Miriam mentioned while we were taking photos that she is going to start focusing on only pillows for now, but I wanted to know more about her future visions…
Once you get more established and ready to grow more, what other products do you want to offer for HaF?
Blouses. One hundred percent. I know that’s not quite a product for the home but I want House as Field to start branding as HaF and I see it being like a lifestyle brand…so like a smaller version of Anthropologie. I do have one blouse that I printed and then collaborated with a friend in Richmond. I gave her very little direction…I just told her what I imagined and I told her to please take free rein on this and she’s an artist so she makes it really beautiful. And I was like “this is amazing” and that was like Christmas morning to open it up and that’s what I envisioned for so long…so that’s the future of House as Field, at least I hope so.
You can see the blouse she’s talking about here.
Do you want to open up a storefront one day?
I’ve thought about it, definitely. We’ll see how life goes. I think if I were to do that it wouldn’t just be House as Field items. It would be very refined, though, like when you walk in it wouldn’t be overwhelming…I think I would sell like really nice handmade furniture that complimented the pillows and things like that. I would have some like wood and metal products…I always joke about how I have like this very industrial Bohemian style. Like it’s Bohemian but it’s got a tad bit of contemporary modern and then a little bit of industrial…
I joked about how this style is just called “the Miriam.” There’s nothing like her adorable unique style!
I definitely have a vision of having a store front. But will I do it? Maybe!
What other kind of hobbies do you like to do?
Well, I like to work out, I think you know this about me…
Oh, I did, very well 😂 I remember coming into work tired at 9am and she was pumped because she had already been up for 4 hours spending most of her time at the gym. She’s a super human.
…I love to move my body, I’m very active. I’ve been taking cycling classes and I’m obsessed with that. I love yoga, pilates, stuff like that. And then on the other side of that I enjoy reading a lot and perfecting the Southern biscuit, which I’ve yet to venture into, but that is something I have been talking about for a very long time. I told [my boyfriend,] John on my 26th birthday, I was like, “This is the year I perfect the Southern biscuit.” So look forward to that. Other big hobbies are eating tacos…tacos and sushi.
This girl cracks me up.
For as long as I’ve known Miriam, I’ve known that she is an amazing watercolor…ist? Watercolor artist? What’s the technical term for that? Anyways…she is extremely talented. (Oh, have a mentioned that already?) So naturally I had to ask about that.
She pointed to a tea towel that she had hanging up that she printed.
You can see sort of in that pink towel, I was trying to get sort of that “painterly feel” with the screen printing. I love watercolor I just don’t know how they would mesh. I think if I were to do the watercolor I’d have to be very strategic about it. So I think I’d have to think about it. I’ve had a hard time with that ‘cause watercolor was my first love. It was what sparked my desire to be a painter and to illustrate and everything and it’s hard to leave it behind. I think I’m just so turned on right now by my printmaking because of the shiny new thing. I’ve been doing it for like a year and a half now now but I’m still not done playing with it, so I have to figure it out.
She talked about incorporating it down the road with the “lifestyle” theme and the digital printing.
There’s just so many ideas and I get very excited and then my brain goes in a million different directions and I try to do it all at once so I’m try to reel it back in right now.
This is why she has decided to just focus on pillows for now. I can totally get this. I’ve been the same way about my blog. It’s so easy to get excited and try to do everything at once and then suddenly you’re overwhelmed. Anyways…you’re not reading this to learn more about me.
Anything else you want the readers to know?
HUGE shoutout to John because he has been super supportive. This whole thing wouldn’t be possible without him. He’s been amazing. And just a little advice for anybody: finding one person who believes in you is enough. Whether it be your mom, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your best friend, your grandma, your…mother’s cat. Somebody who believes in you is the biggest strength and I was terrified to jump into this and I had no idea what it was going to be like and he’s been so amazing and I’m just very happy to have him in my life…Thank you, John!
Now, that’s just the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. These two are the cutest, let me tell you, and it really has been amazing how supportive he has been of her!
Ready to snag your own beautiful ombre printed pillow? (Those are my favorite!!!!!)
Get 15% off with promo code SANDY at houseasfield.com.
Please tag me on Instagram @sandystilettos if you do! I would love to see what you all love about HaF!
In the mean time, have a fabulous rest of your day beauts. 💖
xo // Ems