Over the years we have found so much joy in discovering talented, inspiring local artists who work and live near us. Olivia Joffrey is definitely one of them. A clothing designer and creative artist based in Santa Barbara, Joffrey creates California-inspired clothing collections of refined dresses and leisurewear for women as well as watercolor and prose. During quarantine, her creative energy led her to design a collection of playful yet sensual watercolor and prose 'Orbs.'
Below, Joffrey shares a little bit of what inspires her to make and create and spend her days. Oh, and if you're curious, we just stocked our Carpinteria store with a collection of watercolor and prose 'Orbs' with our Heritage customers in mind. One collection honors the inspirational surf vibe that is infused in all that Olivia designs and the other is an ode to cooking and food. All of the 'Orbs' hold a special place in our hearts and we know they will for you too!
Tell us a little about yourself. Have you always had a deep connection to your craft? If so, where do you think it came from and what influenced you to become a designer and artist?
I am an only child and have always kept a journal. Those two things go hand in hand: when there weren't other kids to play with, I found great pleasure in drawing and telling stories on paper. My caftan line grew out of storytelling too. When I started my company, I was living in the midwest and missing my native California and the breezy chic clothes my mother wore when I was a little girl in Santa Cruz, CA. The orbs series emerged during quarantine, from some visual vignettes that felt like they needed to be put to paper. Things that made sense to me as juxtapositions of the California I know and love: "Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and Chips and Salsa and Pacificos." and surf-related mood pieces like, "Steamer Lane and John Coltrane" and mentioning things like the tide calendar and foghorns. I am a California sensualist. I cannot get enough of our climate, landscape, and culture.
What words do you live by?
I live by six core values for myself & my little studio:
- Make it elegant.
- Advocate for slow.
- Conjure humor, charm, kindness.
- Celebrate being here.
- Believe in your gifts.
- Words create worlds.
Is there something you are currently working on that you are excited about?
I am writing a book about Santa Cruz, and the beachtown bohemia of my youth there. It's illustrated.
Do you have a bookend to your day? (a morning practice or an evening practice)?
I love ritual. After a morning coffee (french press), I savor a neighborhood walk sans phone. The sounds of the morning, the scurrying animals, the fresh scent of fog and trees, so few cars on the streets, the way the air feels -- it's all so ripe with optimism and possibility. Catching the sunrise is the cherry on top. Most of the time I wear corduroy pants: I like the sound they make when they brush against one another.