Memorial Day Midi

Memorial Day Midi

A week of sunshine has never been more welcome or needed here in Portland.  After a long, cold, wet winter and disappointing start to spring, a few days of 75 and sunny is just what the doctor ordered.  Unfortunately, our phones can't tell us exactly what's happening over the holiday weekend, so it's best to be prepared.  Rather than risk freezing your tail off in a sundress and sandals or wilting in jeans and a jacket, we thought we'd combine the best of both looks for an easy and casual Memorial Day look.

From L to R: ALC Sandra Dress, Vince Military jacket, shay white gold and diamond choker & Jack gomme leather tote.

Start with a breezy midi dress that can stand on it's own - this is a great time of year to snag a couple of versatile dresses (hello, wedding season) that can be worn day to evening - then trade your sandals for a pair of white sneakers to keep your look fresh and comfy.  Throw a military jacket over your shoulders to keep you warm into the evening and add a choker (that's on sale!) for a touch of glam. Finish it all with a light weight leather tote bag so you can bring along your BBQ essentials (a bottle of rosé and your favorite sunnies of course).

XO
Mercantile

Designer to Know: Jen Hansen

Designer to Know: Jen Hansen

We're thrilled to be hosting Chicago based jewelry designer Jen Hansen for a trunk show this weekend.  We love the contrast between her oxidized sterling silver chains that can be mixed and matched with delicate diamond and gemstone encrusted pendants, all of which makes her pieces easy to wear and super unique.

We thought the best way to get to know Jen and her collection would be to ask her a few questions about her process, inspiration and commitment to charity.

1. How did you get your start in jewelry design?
When I was a child, my grandmother took me to gem and jewelry shows. She really spent time with me and encouraged me with designing. She was a potter who had her own ceramics business, so I really learned a lot from watching her as an artist and an entrepreneur. Her nickname was Peppina, so when I launched my business I named it after her. She meant so much to me and did so much for me.

2. Who or what inspires you most?
Nature! My brand started with the PEPPINA ORIGINALS line, which for me was really about designing beautiful jewelry inspired by the unique, natural inner beauty of each woman, which is reflected in the one of a kind gemstones used in these pieces. I designed my first collections in my family's lakeside cabin in northern Minnesota. Now it's really about spending time near a body of water - lake, river, ocean. I've been spending more time on the West Coast recently and really enjoy my days at the beach. The colors in the jewelry all come straight from nature, so any time spent there gives me ideas!

3. When and how did you decide to integrate charity and giving back into your
business?

True luxury is giving. We say it every day, but we don't take it for granted because it's so true. Giving freedom is at the core of our brand. When I started my business, I was contented making pieces for friends and family, but I knew I could do so much more for others, particularly on the issue of trafficking, which is so close to my heart, if I had a brand to use as a platform from which to speak out on this issue. From the beginning I was giving to organizations like International Justice Mission, and as the brand has grown, so has our ability to make an impact. Last year we celebrated the launch of our new website with a Freedom Package contribution to IJM, which sponsored a sex trafficking rescue operation inclusive of aftercare packages and trauma counseling for survivors. It just means so much to me, so deeply, that we can do this for others through the jewelry.

Jen Hansen Jewelry

4. What is your favorite metal to work with?
14kt! It's just so durable, and the quality really shines through. We have 14kt pieces in our FINE and DIAMOND lines. FINE is so light and delicate and DIAMOND is more modern and edge, more statement, so there's really something for everyone.

5. Favorite piece for spring/summer?
I LOVE our entire MIX & MATCH assortment from the DIAMOND line, and it has been so popular, and so well received by our long time clients. Everything is so easy to wear. The long necklaces are great to layer and the ability to switch out the pendants keeps your look fresh for summer. I love mixing metals, having the 14kt gold with the oxidized sterling and the gemstones for a pop of color, but if you prefer a monochromatic look we can do that too - so chic. The jewelry really makes the outfit.

6. Favorite way to style your jewelry?
Layer, mix and match! I love having four lines, from fine jewelry to fashion jewelry. There's something for every taste and budget. Everything is designed with layering in mind. Here are a few examples:  Rings - FINE rings can be stacked together, with multiple rings on each finger. Necklaces - in DIAMOND, we have chokers for the top necklace layer, beautiful pieces where the pendant lays on the chest, and then long necklaces, as well as our pendants and chains from MIX & MATCH, so you can really create a unique look for each outfit.

Thank you Jen!

XO
Mercantile

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day Gift Guide

What can we say, we love our mothers, seriously, what would we do without them???  They're our best friends, toughest and most honest critics as well as the BEST shopping partners.  It's important to show these leading ladies that we love and appreciate them all year round, but Mother's Day is the perfect chance to remind them just how fab they really are. 

We know what she really wants - breakfast in bed, a thoughtful card, a morning to sleep in and maybe a mimosa or two - but why not add a little something extra to that tray of coffee and french toast.  We've got some no-brainer ideas that will please any mom, from brand new with baby to the chicest grandmothers we know.

From L to R: G. Kero "Hip Hop" cotton shirt, Rani Arabella "Stirrups" cashmere scarf, Annabel Ingall leather cross-body & Jen Hansen sterling silver and diamond starburst pendant.

From L to R: G. Kero "Hip Hop" cotton shirt, Rani Arabella "Stirrups" cashmere scarf, Annabel Ingall leather cross-body & Jen Hansen sterling silver and diamond starburst pendant.

Cheers to Mom!
Mercantile

Maximalist

Maximalist

Despite what the calendar says, spring has taken it's time getting here.  But - and let's not jinx ourselves - the forecast is optimistically dry for the next few days, which means we're eager to bring out our bare legs, sandals and our favorite spring/summer workhorse: the maxi dress.

The best maxi hits just around your ankles (less chance of ungraceful tripping) to show off your carefully selected sandals (or sneakers) keeping things chic and modern. 

From L to R: Vince cotton sweater, Red Valentino cotton maxi dress, Rene Escobar 18k gold and sterling silver bangles, Annabel Ingall cross-body bag .

From L to R: Vince cotton sweater, Red Valentino cotton maxi dress, Rene Escobar 18k gold and sterling silver bangles, Annabel Ingall cross-body bag .

It would be a no-brainer to pair this Red Valentino beauty with a denim, military or even leather jacket, but we love the play on proportion with an oversized, cotton sweater and casual cross-body bag.  Finish the look off with delicate, suede slides and a messy top-knot to keep things casual.

XO
Mercantile

Designer to Know: Joseph

Designer to Know: Joseph

Beginning his career as a hairdresser, London based retailer Joseph Ettedgui rose to fame by curating and introducing up-and-coming designers to the world. Having launched his own line, Joseph now features elevated basics that are the backbone of any well-edited wardrobe.

Below are a few of Joseph’s high quality classics. A pale pink shell is perfect for layering or wearing alone. Here, we’ve paired it with a navy blue Herno coat that adds just the right amount of warmth for spring. The brand is also known for its twill leggings — they feel like a legging but look as good a tailored pant — available in nearly every color of the rainbow, we're always partial to a good grey.

FROM L TO R: ANNABEL INGALL LARGE ISABELLA TOTE, RENE ESCOBAR DIAMOND & STERLING SILVER BANGLE BRACELET, JOSEPH COTTON LYOCELL STRETCH TANK, HERNO THREE-QUARTERS SLEEVE ZIPPED JACKET AND JOSEPH GABARDINE STRETCH LEGGING.

FROM L TO R: ANNABEL INGALL LARGE ISABELLA TOTE, RENE ESCOBAR DIAMOND & STERLING SILVER BANGLE BRACELET, JOSEPH COTTON LYOCELL STRETCH TANK, HERNO THREE-QUARTERS SLEEVE ZIPPED JACKET AND JOSEPH GABARDINE STRETCH LEGGING.

Whether you’re looking to revamp your wardrobe or simply add a few staple pieces, Joseph is your one stop shop for easy, classic chic.

XO
Mercantile