Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Patch NYC

In the summer of 2009 I had the pleasure of accompanying my husband to Boston for three weeks.

He was in school and had classes and tons of work. His choice.

I, on the other hand, had three weeks to fill! Some people can't quite get this, asking why would I want three empty weeks. I was thrilled!

Being the design junkie that I am, I researched and explored every art and design museum, every art gallery, antique store and home furnishings boutique. I learned the public transportation system in Boston and I wandered streets all over, admiring architecture, from old historical..................

The Paul Revere house

 to the most contemporary.

I always tear pages from magazines when I stumble upon an interesting shop, gallery or museum, in hopes that one day I will get to visit whatever town it might be in. 

That summer I had a long list of places to visit in Boston, and Hudson , in Boston's South End, was at the top of that list.
I walked into Hudson and was immediately taken with the design aesthetic there -  perfect mix of vintage and modern and loaded with charm.

 I soon learned that I had, most unfortunately, just missed a special "Pop Up Shop" within the
Hudson shop.

 Patch NYC had taken over the back room and literally made it into their own "pop up shop" for one week.

Take a look at some of the photos from that short visit and you will see why I was so disappointed.

I had the nicest conversation with Lindsay, the manager of the shop, and she told me all about the creative two behind this clever and amazingly delightful collaboration.

Don Carney and John Ross established Patch NYC in 1997 with a collection of hand crochet wool hats inspired by a hat made by John's mom, Yasuko, for her son's first winter in New York City. The rest, as they say, is history.

John and Don
 Boston Globe Photo - 2008  Photo by Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff 

Read more here.

I was smitten with their style, attention to detail and artistic, witty talent.
So, a few years passed and I followed Patch NYC - noting they partnered with

 West Elm ,

creating unique and imaginative products for each.

Each time I would walk into either store, I would immediately scan to see if I could spot what might be "Patch", as I call it in my mind.

I wondered if they would change - if the partnership with big name stores might affect their individual style, their distinctive and original flair.

Fast forward to last week - May of 2011, and I found myself in Boston again for my husband's graduation.

Big event, BIG.

I would be remiss in not bragging on him for obtaining a Masters Degree in Health Care Management from Harvard!
It has been a long, tough road, and he works full time too - very full time.

His journey has affected our entire family, and we were all ready to celebrate his accomplishment, AND his completion of the degree!!

And, one last hurrah for me as far as having an excuse to fly to and explore Boston!

I did not have time to visit all of my favorite haunts, but we did venture down to the South End on Saturday for a bite of goodness at the Buttery and a few stops in the neighborhood for me!

So, quite a while ago, my husband decided that he liked the bench outside of Hudson. After our afternoon snack, he headed next door to take his spot while I wandered.

He is voracious reader, so he is quite content here for hours......okay maybe not hours, but for quite a while!

I have to tell you, he is most patient and a great companion.

He comes along if I ask, actually shows interest if I want to share, but is also quite content as a "husband bench sitter" - you know what I mean.

 (He couldn't find a bench at the SoWa market, but found a window sill that was perfect to lean into and read away!)

anthropologie NYC one Christmas - I think he was getting tired here.

The man is a saint.

 Oh look - back at Hudson!!
Again - do you think the folks at Hudson recognize him yet? This time my younger daughter hung out with him. These two can be dangerous together.....dangerously hilarious.

Oh, but how I digress...................

Now, back to PATCH NYC!!

So, I hope you are still with me because here is the good part.

I knew that Don and John had a small shop just around the corner from Hudson.
I had made several futile attempts to visit and they were closed each time. So, this trip I decided to give it one last try.

I was accompanied by my older daughter, who, I have to brag again.....

just graduated a few weeks ago from Vanderbilt!!

She is the cutie who asked me to go to San Francisco to "look at lots of art and design" over her last spring break.

I posted about our trip here.

So, we left the two clowns sweethearts on the bench and off we went to see if we could find the Patch NYC studio open.....and......

TA DA!!! 

They were open and both were there in their PATCH NYC SHOP,( in the courtyard at 46 Waltham Street  - corner of Washington Street)  and I got to meet and visit with each of them.

Now, one might expect two such talented guys who have had so much success and tons of press over the last ten years to be, well, a bit arrogant, or  at least, slightly aloof ....... not at all. 

 We were greeted warmly by John and invited to look around the tiny, treasure filled space.

As we browsed, Don appeared and asked me if I was familiar with the shop.

I confessed my semi - stalker status  (I think I just told him I was a "Patch follower" ) and we chatted a bit.

There could not be a nicer, more down to earth person, and I loved comparing notes on antiquing and flea markets.

In my reading for this post I came across this post from design sponge, and if you have the time you might want to read it - very good info for shopping flea markets, straight from the Patch guys, Don and John.

I didn't have my camera with me, but have taken the liberty of borrowing some photos from the

Patch NYC blog of items I saw in the shop.


 Vintage photos framed in black crochet with charms.

Charming, charming, flowers made from vintage neck ties.

Delicious smelling candles with designs from Don's hand inked drawings.

Speaking of hand inked drawings, Don told me about his love of vintage frames, and how often the frame inspires his drawings.


I have one of his originals on my wish list. Now my challenge is choosing which one.

They are each hand drawn, and framed by Don in which ever special antique frame he chooses from his collection.

I might even ask him to do one especially for me - he will do that for you, too!! 

To find out more about this design duo, check out their website and look for their creations at such places as Barneys, ABC Home and Carpet, and Jonathon Adler.

About that concern I had  - would they lose there individuality and charm partnering with the big name stores?

Not a chance - my guess is that they will continue to invent and evolve and create and change and grow.

Meeting creative, authentic, genuine people might just be my most favorite thing in the world.
I found meeting Don and John heartwarming and inspiring and
  I can't wait to visit Boston again to see them and their shop.

Meanwhile, thank goodness for email and blogs!


  1. Congratulations to your husband (and entire family for the support & adjustments necessary along the way). You've whetted my appetite to explore Boston! I'm a lone shopper by nature--like the freedom to move quickly through shops I don't find interesting and linger in those I do....My husband is very patient & accommodating, too.

  2. warmest congratulations to your husband on his accomplishment! Truly admirable - I'm sure he will advance the field! So many challenges now and in the forseeable future.

    Wonderful introduction to this fabulous design team - their products seem so inspired and just a step apart from the competition.

    Warm wishes to the entire family - I know this must have been a total team effort.

  3. I absolutely adore Boston and am longing to go back someday. And I love those Patch NYC candles. I must order some soon.

  4. What a wonderful post!! Congratulations on the graduations and I loved learning about Patch NYC!

  5. Amazing to think it all started with a hat!!

    Congratulations to your daughter and husband!!

  6. WOW, love it all! Thanks for the introduction to Patch NYC. You know if it were not for you I would have NO taste at all. LOVED the pictures of your precious family. The pictures say it all-------
    Thanks for sharing your trip, your tastes, and your life.
    My favorite part was the TA DA!!!!!!!!

  7. Yay for your two graduates!
    I always enjoy "tagging along" on your trips. I especially like the pictures of your patient hubby on all of the differnt benches/window ledges. Hope Mike has a Kindle to help while away those antiquing hours.

  8. Congratulations to your two graduates! Such wonderful accomplishments. Looks like you had fun poking around in Boston. Patch makes some truly unique items. I enjoyed your post!



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