At Lola Earl, we believe in modern and sustainable decor, which is why we buy from Artisan brands that make beautiful, small-batch, handmade products that are good for the environment and look lovely in your home. We love having unique items that tell a story through creativity, passion, and design. In our new blog series, we will be showcasing our artisan partners behind the stunning products that we sell at Lola Earl. These stories will allow you to learn more about the artisans and their products.
In this article, I spoke with Blake Kahan, Founder of Willow Ship, a textile company based in Portland, Oregon. In 2011, Blake started her company working as an Art Director in San Francisco. She filled sketchbooks with ideas of unique, pattern-driven homewares that would celebrate slow meals and sustainability. She created a small collection of hand-printed, 100% linen homewares — mostly napkins and pillows. Since then, her business has grown, adding additional textiles to her roster. In this article, Blake will give you insight into how her products cultivate a more intentional, sustainable lifestyle.
I know you will fall in love with her textiles like we have at Lola Earl.
Every home tells a story. Write yours with Lola Earl.
Volume No.1: Meet the Maker, A Conversation with Willow Ship
Meet Blake Kahan, Founder of Willow Ship
LE: Please tell me about your brand and what you sell.
Blake: At Willow Ship, our goal is to find the sweet spot between beautiful design and less waste in the home. What if we could move away from disposables and step into creating beautiful moments together? In 2011, Willow Ship was started in San Francisco with the idea to explore craft printmaking traditions. Now, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, we’re family-run, producing a line of unique 100% linen homewares. Inspired by Scandinavian and Japanese design, as well as slow lifestyles, our designs draw upon the power of graphic repeat patterns and the emotional impact of color. We provide high-quality options to those seeking thoughtful gifts and beauty at the table.
“Our designs draw upon the power of graphic repeat patterns and the emotional impact of color.”
LE: Please tell me what makes your textiles unique and how they benefit the environment.
Blake: Our products are unique in their design elements, drawing upon color and abstract forms. The making of a Willow Ship product usually begins with creating an evocative color palette. Our colored base fabric of 100% linen is selected, and a design is developed for hand-printing. Our design motifs start with a cut-paper ideation process, where shapes are cut quickly and intuitively and arranged (and re-arranged) for the desired effect: usually a balance of spontaneity and order. The resulting designs are hand-printed through different methods (block-printing, screen-printing, etc), lending a satisfying feeling of the maker’s hand to the products.
Willow Ship textiles help thoughtful people cultivate a more intentional, sustainable lifestyle. By setting the table with strong, made-to-last 100% linen napkins and other textiles, it’s possible to reduce reliance on single-use products, while also beautifying the dining experience. The making of our 100% linen products also supports the environment: made from the flax plant, linen requires minimal water and fertilizer compared to other crops. Flax plants also grow abundantly and don't require pesticides, making linen production more sustainable.
Every Home Tells a Story. Write Yours with Lola Earl.
We have compiled a few of our favorite Willow Ship items. Visit lolaearl.com to shop.