I'm so excited to be featuring Eunice of Hello! Lucky as part of the latest in our tastemaker talks series. I've been a longtime fan of Eunice, seeing photos and articles about her business, wedding and studio years ago on many of my favorite sites such as DesignSponge and Martha Stewart. Needless to say I was a little fan girlish when I met her in person in San Francisco several years ago. I wanted to be her best friend right away and have been lucky enough to get to know her better and chat with her over the years about everything from parenting, to travel, to owning a business and much more.
Visiting her home to shoot it for Bitte I fell in love with Eunice even more! Her home is one of the most beautiful, light-filled, San Francisco Victorians I've ever stepped foot in. It's not overly styled or staged, it feels like a family actually lives there and has endless fun there. From the Papier-mâché owl half way completed on the dining room table to the numerous lego projects mid-build in the corner of the living room. This is a home and family that lets creativity shine. I feel a kinship with Eunice's style of parenting, it's so free and lively and clearly loving. I hope to emulate just a smidgeon of this mom boss's kick ass approach to life and parenting. Read on to learn of why she's so inspiring and also make sure to check out her hand-selected favorites collection here.
Eunice was also nice enough to partner with us in an amazing Birthday Bundle giveaway that you can read more about and enter here.
First off, I’m a huge, long time fan of your stationery brand Hello Lucky! That you started with your sister. Can you tell us a little more about how that business came about?
In some ways, we stumbled into it. After a few years as a web designer, I took a letterpress printing class at the San Francisco Center for the Book and fell in love with the medium and the process of making something by hand. There is something incredibly beautiful, authentic and tactile about letterpress — there is no substitute that we know of in the world of printing. At the same time, I was thankfully laid off from my job as a web designer and saw cards as an affordable way to get into the world of print. I started designing and printing cards for friends and at some point sent some samples to Kate’s Paperie in New York on a whim. They placed our first big order and the business grew organically from there. My sister had just graduated from Stanford Business School and brought her business acumen (and mastery of the excel spreadsheet), pithy writing style and savvy artistic eye to the table. It turned out that we made a great team - it’s a balance of skills that has served us well.
Hello!Lucky has such a fun playful aesthetic, what inspires your work the most?
I find inspiration everywhere - I’m a sponge in that regard, but I’m particularly inspired by travel, children’s books, fashion and toy design, French, Japanese and Californian design, fashion and textiles. I’ve also really loved the aesthetic that’s been coming out of Melbourne lately.
Both my sister and I have the sense of humor of an 11 year old boy, so we get a lot of inspiration from our dad’s cheesy puns (our dad is the master of the pun, the faux pas, and the bad joke — it still baffles us that he was ever a diplomat!) and our kids’ obsession with potty humor.
We also love to riff off of current slang and memes; we draw a lot from pop culture. My daughter, Imogen, who is 2 ½, is crazy about Katy Perry and has definitely inspired a card or two!
I know you spent your childhood all over the world, do you feel that influenced you as a designer? If so, which country do you think had the biggest impact on your style?
Absolutely - living all over the world gave me a very particular mind-set and exposed me to a myriad of design and illustration sensibilities. Funnily enough, I think the cultures that influence me the most are countries I visited, rather than lived in. French, Japanese, and Scandinavian design are probably the most influential. I also love the Northern California earthly seventies vibe. We spent a lot of summers in California... I think it rubbed off.
You have 2 adorable little one’s, has your approach to design or being a business owner changed at all since having kids?
I’m definitely influenced by toy and clothing designers as well as children’s book illustrators these days now that I’m constantly exposed to the world of children’s design. I also find the kids to be great sources of inspiration - between their humor (puns! Poop jokes! Random rhyming!) and their own drawing styles (particularly Jude, who has a wonderful loose and quite witty illustration style - Imogen’s still more scribbly), they are my mini-muses.
Your family calls San Francisco home, any favorite spots that your family likes to visit?
I love the Mill on Divisadero - beautiful coffee shop with delicious pastries and fancy toast. Caffeine is an integral part of my parenting plan!
We climb Corona Heights with our dog, Freddie, most weekends - it’s just around the corner from our house. Amazing views of the city and fun little hike.
Chrissy Field is always a lot of fun - views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz and a shallow mini lagoon that is fun for splashing around. And it’s always fun to watch the boats and the kite-surfers.
I also really love Stowe Lake for an afternoon wander - loads of birds and a nice little walk as well as paddle boats which are always a hit with the kids.
The other thing I love about living in San Francisco is how easy it is to get out of the city and have a real Northern California coastal experience in places like Inverness or Point Reyes. Our son goes to school in Sausalito, which is just over the Golden Gate Bridge, but is so sunny and beachy with incredible views of the city, it’s like going on a mini vacation whenever we are over there.
You have one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever been in. One of the things I really love about it is how kid friendly and comfortable it feels. How would you describe your home decorating style?
It’s a constant battle between my fantasy of an all white, organic wood, French/Boho/Scandinavian look and the Lego and general kid chaos that is everywhere, all the time!
We definitely decorate to accommodate the wear and tear of two little kids and a giant fluffy dog who loves to lounge out on any soft surface. I love a lot of white - a breezy, light filled room is my favorite. And I find myself attracted to hand printed textiles (no doubt from having spent years living in and visiting countries where hand printed/painted textiles are everywhere). I also am a big fan of traveling and bringing back things I find from around the world - living in a house filled with souvenirs of our adventures and happy memories.
Generally though, my strategy is a combination of cheap and cheerful with a few carefully chosen special pieces and everything is kid and dog friendly. Nothing is really off limits to them. This is why I love things like boucherouite rugs - the bold patterns are highly forgiving and you can toss them in the washing machine if something really drastic happens to them!
What are some of your kids favorite items to play with?
My daughter, Imogen’s prized lovey is Bernard, a hilarious fox doll by Moulin Roty (one of my favorite French brands) as well as a hand me down little baby doll that is *extremely* grubby and much loved.
My son is obsessed with Lego at the moment which is great and reminds me of many hours spent building when I was a kid. He’s also really into Star Wars, but he loves DIY-ing it. The other day he made a really fantastic lightsaber out of a gift wrap roll and a Storm Trooper mask out of a cardboard box.
What are some of your favorite items of theirs? Do you plan on keeping and saving any special toys or clothes as heirlooms?
Oh definitely! Let’s face it, half the time, when I buy them toys, I’m really buying them for me! We trash-picked an old 70’s dollhouse that we “remodelled”. I got really into that one, making them tiny mattresses out of Japanese double gauze and little bean bag pillows, side tables out of wooden thread spools, and furniture from balsa wood - note, not very child friendly, I’m pretty sure most of that furniture is in pieces now; live and learn. I even tried my hand at weaving a little rug - my husband thought I was nuts!
We also have a couple of Jess Brown dolls that are pretty fabulous, and lots of special clothes. One of my favorites is a band leader jacket that Stella McCartney did for Gap that I bought for Jude before he was even born. I was the crazy mom standing outside the shop the day the line came out just to get my hands on that thing. It’s been a favorite for both my kids.
Another keeper is a tiny Wonder Woman costume I made Imogen for her second Halloween - it’s pretty fabulous, all made from shiny spandex complete with lasso, crown and shiny red and white boots.
There’s also a quilt I made for Imogen out of this cool Japanese seersucker-ish fabric with neon pom poms that I’m a pretty big fan of. And probably these rubber bats that Jude has been obsessed with since he was super little (these were the cohorts of another much loved plushie “Baby Dinosaur” who was sadly left on a London bus a couple years ago. Tragedy.)
Any fun travel plans this year? And follow-up dream scenario question, if you could go anywhere in the world with or without kids where would you go?
This summer we’re staying relatively local - we got our travel jollies over the holidays when we went to visit family in London, Lyon, Geneva and St. Moritz. That was an amazing trip. I think we’ll likely do a road trip up to Oregon and Vancouver B.C. to visit my parents and my husband’s dad. We’re contemplating a trip to Tahiti and Australia over Christmas. We have a much beloved uncle and aunt in Australia who we try to visit with as often as we can, and we are slowly working our way through the francophone countries of the world (the kids and I speak French at home, so it’s always fun to visit places where we can really immerse ourselves!)
As for fantasy trips - there are too many places to count! I’m really looking forward to taking the kids to Africa - particularly, I would love to got to Morocco, but Kenya and Namibia are high on my list as well. I have many incredible memories of traveling the world as a child and I think traveling with children and showing them the world is one of the great pleasures in life (possible with the exception of the 12 hour flight with a two year old part - on our way to London in December, Imogen stood up and fully smacked the man in the seat in front of her on the head. He did not find it funny, not at all. So there’s that!)