We are very pleased that on Thursday, June 2, 2022, we will host a trunk show with Boston's own Robin M. Anderson, creative extraordinaire, featuring her latest endeavor: magnificent ocean-inspired ceramics. We hope you will join us for an evening of art, fashion, seasonal drinks and light bites, good music, good vibes, and good company. Details below!
WHAT: Summer Style: Ocean-Inspired Ceramics by Robin M. Anderson and Summer 2022 at Dress Boston
WHEN: Thursday, June 2nd, 5:30 - 7:30
WHERE: Dress Boston (70 Charles Street)
This event is open to the public. RSVP appreciated.
If you have somehow missed Robin and the seemingly endless press coverage she has received over the years for her various endeavors and talents -- from her #BOSSLADIES collection of totes, tees, and sweatshirts paying tribute to female idols, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Steinham, and Oprah Winfrey, to her inimitable interior design that has been featured everywhere from Boston Globe magazine to Apartment Therapy to Better Homes & Garden -- then please read the Q&A below to get to know her. It's impossible to end the interview feeling anything less than inspired and that surely you too can conquer and achieve whatever you set your mind to ... if you're just willing to dedicate 10,000 hours.
How we met, in Robin's words:"I still remember the first time I walked into Dress about 12 years ago. It was at your Newbury St. location. I was in search of the perfect dress for the wedding of two elementary school friends. I had recently read an article that mentioned your shop was the place to find “the perfect dress.” Sure enough I walked out with the dream outfit and I’m sure a few more pieces! I feel like your store was so influential in creating my own sense of style over the years, as it has always been my go-to. You curate such a beautiful collection season after season, and Boston is so lucky to have you!"
Q: Can you start by telling us about yourself? Your background, what you do, and what led you to what you are doing now.
I consider myself to be a true multi-hyphenate. I went to school to become a lawyer and I was a prosecutor for a few years before leaving the field after the birth of my first son. I started a blog in 2008 which allowed me to share and explore my passion for interior design. For a number of years I took on interior design projects, in and around the Boston area, as well as building a home for my family in Nosara, Costa Rica.
A few years ago I was at the point where I realized that I really needed to invest time and money in my design business to allow it to grow, because at the time I was taking on an unattainable amount of work. Instead of growing, I decided to take a few steps back and slow my business. I spent my newly freed time learning French, and a skill that I have always wanted to explore; pottery. Instantly I knew that ceramics was the perfect creative outlet for me, and I have spent the last 4 years experimenting in the studio on the wheel and with handbuilding. My slab bowl collection is a culmination of my years of work and it is a collection that I am incredibly proud of.
Q: When you’re not working, what are you doing?
I am home! Whether it is at our home in Nosara or here in Cambridge, I love love love being home. That is how I discovered my passion for interiors and design in the first place. I think how how you live at home can really change every aspect of your life and I have created two homes that we live very comfortably in. So much so that it’s often hard to leave! I love cooking and spending time with my husband and our two boys and I can often be found in my bathtub. I am so lucky to have a wonderful group of girlfriends that I see regularly and I am always so inspired by my time with them! I can’t imagine life without them.
Q: What are your biggest inspirations in your creative work life?
Nature is definitely where all my inspiration comes from. We started spending a few months a year in Costa Rica in 2002, and the beauty of that country is something that I feel in my core. I grew up as a family of surfers, and I am raising kids that are the same. So much of my life has been spent in the water and it really is the place I often go to in my mind.
I believe that these experiences live inside me and that is what led to my creation of this slab bowl series. Last year I was on a beach with friends in Truro, and I had the idea to try to encapsulate the beauty of the ocean in my pottery. I had envisioned a slab bowl that looked and felt like the ocean and one that felt truly organic and unique.
There have been many iterations of these bowls but I have finally landed on a process that allows my vision to come to life. The raw, organic exterior of my bowls is reminiscent of how the sand feels, and the texture is to mimic how the rock forms after it is beaten by the sea. The inside, glazed area is smooth and glassy like the water. The various patterns created by the glaze resemble waves and the glaze pours over the side of the bowls in the same way that a wave crashes over the rocks on the shoreline, leaving behind its glossy sheen. Each piece is unique, as is each wave.
Q: What drives you, personally and professionally?
I am driven by a desire to always be doing something creative and I am always acting on instinct. This allows me to easily pivot and to make decisions quickly (even BIG ones). I am not afraid to learn something new, even something that initially does not come easily to me. I am always seeking personal growth and am pushing myself to do my best. I feel like time is the greatest luxury and I try to make the most of each day.
Q: Describe yourself professionally in 3-5 words, and why.
I am very focused, driven, instinctual and passionate. It’s a bit of a joke among family and friends, when I decide to spend my time on something… I am all in! I get so excited when I am working on a project or on an idea in the studio, I have a difficult time thinking of anything else. I hold myself to very high standards and I never want to let anyone down so I am always willing to put in the time it takes to make something successful.
Q: Describe yourself personally in 3-5 words, and why.
I am creative, loyal, emphatic, and thoughtful. I care deeply about my friends, family and the world around me. Relationships are very important to me and I am always trying to bring joy and beauty into the lives of the people I know and love. A number of the design projects that I have done have been for friends or family members and I’ve loved sharing both my design skills and my pottery with others. Outwardly I am a very enthusiastic person, but I also need a good amount of alone time to turn introspective… that is where I tap into my most creative self. Pottery is the perfect outlet for that!
Q: Describe your style. For yourself. For your home. Other people whose style you admire?
I definitely have a pretty specific style. I love pattern and I love color but I also crave simplicity… and comfort is a must! I am drawn to the colors blue and green and I am always trying to infuse a sense of nature into my work and wardrobe. I love things that are a little quirky and also pieces that are unique and unexpected. I am drawn to things that are curved and rounded and the more organic the better, in my book. Right now I am pretty obsessed with all things French / English “country” as we are currently preparing for a move overseas. As far as fashion goes I am so drawn to the past, and in my mind I still live in the 70’s!
Some interior designers I am influenced by are Beata Heuman, Roman Williams, Pierre Yovanovitch, Kelly Wearstler, and Ash + Leandro. As far as ceramicists, I deeply admire the work of Joe Skoby, Eny Lee Parker, and Simone Bodmer-Turner.
These designers / ceramicists have little in common other than the fact that they all have their own and very unique point of view. That is what I admire most about them and what I aspire to have in my own work.
Q: Favorite fashion designers?
I love Ulla Johnson! Also, Mara Hoffman, Emerson Fry, Isabel Marant, Mother Denim (the best high waisted, flare jeans, in my mind) and Vanessa Bruno (who I was introduced to by Dress Boston!). I feel like each of these female designers really understand how to dress a woman and their pieces make you feel confident and stylish while wearing them.
Q: What has been your proudest professional moment?
It’s hard to pick just one! Meeting Jenna Lyons at her office at J. Crew was definitely a career highlight. I had put her on my first #BOSSLADIES tote and she really embraced the brand. She even wore my Hillary sweatshirt to the Obama White House on election night!
I was honored to be named one of the most stylish Bostonians by the Boston Globe a few years back and I am humbled that my design work has appeared in a number of local, national and even a few global publications. I feel like it is a “pinch me” moment every time I see my work in print.
This event!!! I cannot even begin to state how excited I am for June 2nd. I have been waiting to share my ceramics with the public for so long and I really just can’t wait to release this collection into the wild. Having this event at Dress Boston is such a full circle moment for me and I couldn’t be more grateful to you, Jane and Martha!
Q: Do you have advice for someone considering following a life's passion like you did with Ceramics?
You just have to trust your gut! If you love doing something and it feeds your soul… go for it. You know when something just feels “right” and I try to lean into that feeling. It sounds corny, but it really is about the journey and not the outcome. You have to trust that what you are doing is going to help you grow as a person and if you give it enough of your time, good things will happen. I really look up to people who have pivoted mid-life because it shows that you don’t have to spend your life doing just one thing. We can always start a new chapter!
Q: Are there any words you live by? A mantra?
Yes! I live by the motto “10 Thousand Hours” which I actually have tattooed on my arm. I find so much comfort in the idea that essentially anyone can be good at anything, if you just put in enough time. It is what allows me to confidently seek new experiences and challenges. It might take some of us until hour 8,000 for something to click, but eventually it will!
Q: What is something you’re learning about yourself right now?
I am open to change! For so long I feared it but we have so many new changes coming up right now, between my boys finishing elementary school and junior high, and our big international move - which is coming up in two short months. Instead of feeling stressed about all the unknowns I am allowing myself to fully embrace the changes that are coming our way and be open to the journey. I could have never predicted the way my life would be 10 years ago, and I can’t imagine what it will look like 10 years from now- I am just excited to be on the ride!
Q: We know you’re moving to Europe soon – what comes next for Robin M. Anderson? Your pottery? Any plans for something new?
Yes! We are moving to Switzerland to a little town between Geneva and France, in June. It’s a decision we made in the beginning of Covid lockdown and I am so excited that we are so close making this move a reality! When travel was shut down we realized just how important it is for us to live in nature and that we are at our happiest the few months a year when we are in Costa Rica. We are now searching for that same feeling for the rest of the year. I’m also happy I will be able to put my years of French classes to good use! We love the mountains and I am looking forward to exploring all that Switzerland, and Europe has to offer.
I am also looking forward to having a pottery studio in my house, which is something that I have been unable to have room for as of yet. I would love to experiment with making ceramic furniture pieces and lighting, and I know having a space of my own will allow me to really invest the time I need to bring these pieces into reality. I want to continue making my slab bowls and experiment with new glazes. Who knows, maybe the next collection will be inspired by the Swiss alps!
Q: What can people expect from the June 2nd event at Dress?
One Word- FUN!
We are going to have drinks, light bites and great music playing from the speakers. For the first time people will be able to explore my collection in-person, and all of my pieces will be available for sale. We are going to be able to shop from Dress Boston’s 2022 Summer collection and I am so excited about the prospect of shopping in-person again… and with friends. It’s going to be an incredible night filled with art and fashion and it will be the perfect kick-off to Summer! I can’t wait to see everyone there!