(Click on the image above, hit "Play" in the upper left corner, and enjoy a highlight of 2015)
Amy and El's THIRD year in business was the best yet; filled with 8 pop-ups, the launch of the new "HERE. and NOW xo, Amy & El". line, the second annual Fall fashion show, parades, partnerships, concerts, new artists, and countless glasses of wine!
There are such exciting things in store for HERE. in 2016 (think online shopping! among other things). We cannot help but thank every single artist and customer who makes this craziness all worthwhile and offer you a hearty CHEERS! from all of us HERE.
Hi there! I am Meghan, HERE.'s newest #bosslady and the one behind this blog! I just joined the girls in September and have already had so much fun getting to know Amy, El, Kim and Lauren and working in 3 of the shops, including the FIERCE. FALL. FASHION. show back in October.
My full time job right now is being mama to my 3 little ladies; ages 4, 3 and 15 months. Throw in a bulldog and 4 chickens and there is never a dull moment around here! My background is in Fashion Merchandising and in the past I have worked in DC for Ralph Lauren after graduating from University of Delaware. I have always lived on the eastern shore, spending summers on the water, and currently reside in Centreville, but attended both middle and high school in Annapolis. Anytime we need a night out, we generally head over the bridge to some of our favorite spots like Joss, the Boatyard, or Kilwin's for ice cream. Most Saturday nights in the summer you can find us jamming at the outdoor concerts at Quiet Waters Park.
I was introduced to the pop up shop and Amy and El by my friend and HERE. featured artist Lindsey Lowery of LBo Craft. I reached out to the ladies a few months ago about helping out any way I could and the rest is history! I cannot wait to see what is in store for this amazing little shop and being a small part of the story, and recording it on here as we go. Stay tuned, and as always, CHEERS to HERE.!
Champagne. Oysters. Local Artists' goods. Amy and El's smiling faces... What more reason do you need to stay up until midnight on a Thursday night??!
Thanks to these dudes for shucking over
400 oysters for us!
The shop was PACKED! in the best way possible, with hardly enough room to fill your arms with all the goodies that would make the perfect gifts, for family, friends AND yourself.
From jewelry to wreaths, chocolate to candles, and stockings to dream catchers, the shop did it again, restocked, for the second Midnight Madness. To change it up, they offered samples of Jailbreak Brewery's "Feed the Monkey" to go with bags of fresh popped pop-corn with Old Bay on it. They also gave away HERE. a pop-up shop/Jailbreak pint glasses to the first 75 shoppers! And the #bossladies always keep the bubbly flowing well into the midnight hour, even when the other stuff runs out!
Another highlight from Midnight Madness II were the ladies in their own fresh greens skirts! The mannequins they had done for the windows had gotten so much attention throughout the week that they didn't want to be upstaged :)
53 Maryland Avenue is closed now, but not forgotten, HERE.'s holiday pop-up "Deck the Halls" was definitely one for the books!
How long have you lived/worked in Annapolis?
I don't! We currently live in Washington, DC and are moving closer to Annapolis soon. I've always visited downtown Annapolis since some of my family lives there and it's the coolest town ever. I've had many a fun time in Stan & Joe's.
What are a few of your favorite things about this area?
I LOVE how eclectic the downtown area is. Walking around there on a sunny day with the water shining off in the distance is just the best. So much great food, great people, great art and lots of ice cream shops. I love ice cream. I also love checking out all the homes nestled in there. So many beautiful structures and I'm always discovering new things when I'm walking around.
Where are your favorite places to eat and shop?
I love a good sushi joint and always enjoy Nano Sushi on Main Street. As for shopping, HERE., duh!!! I'm excited to explore the area more when we move a bit closer.
What does the Annapolis art scene mean to you? How does it compare to the art scene in other cities? How can it be improved?
I consider myself a newbie to the whole art scene so I don't know how much I can answer this question. I've explored some of the scene here in DC but have met more artists and supporters in Annapolis than I ever did in DC.
How does Annapolis specifically influence your artwork?
There isn't much influence since I'm not local but I'd say all my booze-related art could count ;)
What is your favorite piece that you have created or are most proud of?
My favorite and most proud pieces are definitely the illustrations I did of Kanye West and Drake. Both of these came about through custom projects and I was intimidated when I first started. Drawing people has never been my strong suit! But eventually I learned how to be comfortable with my own vision and style, and really love how they turned out! Next, I'm working on Queen Elizabeth II and Harry Styles as gifts for my friends. I'm excited to try different people and play around with it.
I'm also super proud of the new HERE. website! It's my web design baby and I had so much fun working with Amy & El on it.
3 items or designs that you love from other HERE. featured artists
I LOVE Kim Hovell's work (who doesn't?). Hi Kim! You don't know me but I'm obsessed with you!!! I've always been drawn to florals and love her use of color and light. Upcycler is also awesome. I was randomly following him on Instagram before I figured out he was from Annapolis and we we're both artists with HERE. Small world! I'm also a big fan of EcoRarium's terrariums and can't wait to get a few for our new pad.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
Ohh, that's a tough question. I'm definitely a perfectionist so I could find things wrong with a piece forever if I kept looking at it for too long. Sometimes when I'm nearing the end, I'll leave that piece alone for a few days and then come back and look at it one last time. Then I'll either adjust a few things or leave it as is.
How do you decide which pieces will fit HERE.?
I first heard about HERE. early this past summer and decided to check out their pop-up, and pitch my work to them if the shop "felt right". I knew immediately when I walked in that we could be a good fit. I loved so much of what they had in there and there was so much great variety of products. When I think about pieces that fit HERE. best I always think of things with a bohemian or nature-based vibe and also fun, loud artwork that makes a statement.
What is the most memorable response to your artwork that you have experienced?
My favorite response is getting pictures from friends, family and customers of my work displayed in their home. It always surprises me and makes my day. I love being able to express myself but it's even better that people would want to live with my work in their own spaces and homes and see it every day! It's surreal!
The gals at HERE. also got some great feedback for the new website which was definitely a great feeling for me!
How did you get started with your art? What is your artistic background?
Well, I was a junior at Virginia Tech studying biology and psychology for Pre-med when I realized... well, shit. This isn't really what I want to do with my life. Instead of switching majors and starting over, I decided to finish my degree and see if I could find my own way after school. I had a bunch of different kinds of jobs and then landed a marketing gig in DC. I got to do a lot in that role and learn different things about web design.
Then I met my husband, we had a baby and I left my job. I was suddenly home with a baby and craving a creative outlet. I bought Photoshop, a tablet, took a photography course, took a calligraphy course and started a blog. And then I just had some fun! I started doing free holiday print and card downloads for my blog, and when people seemed to like what I was doing, I decided to open an Etsy shop. Art and design has always been something I love and I'm glad life lead me this way. I've enjoyed learning thus far and can't wait to learn and create more and more in the future!
Describe your personal creative process
I definitely go through spurts of creativity and slumps of struggle. I usually find inspiration in pop culture and nature (because those are so similar?!). I love getting outside when I'm feeling stuck or just away from my kids for a bit :-P. I think what has helped me along the way is taking on so many custom orders in the past. Doing that helped me explore so many different aspects of my own vision and showed me how collaborating with others can really bring out something special. The space for me is also really important for the process. We're moving to a new home soon and I'm really excited to create an inviting work space with lots of bright colors, natural light and fun decor.
How did you find out about HERE. and when did you first have your work featured?
My husband works with Doug and they got to chatting about HERE. one day. Josh brought their card home and I looked them up, found the pop-up shop and that was that! My work first joined the HERE. shop at the Homegrown pop-up in September.
First impression of Amy and El
Sweet, passionate, hard-working and fun.
Funniest experience with Amy or El or in a pop-up?
I think the funniest experiences we've had together was while working on the website. They're both self-proclaimed technology strugglers so that led to some funny moments.
How many new connections and friends have you gained through working with HERE.?
I've met SO many people and gotten some great opportunities while working with HERE. It's been absolutely wonderful!
Aside from the obvious short term nature of HERE., what makes our shop unique compared with to other shops/ galleries/ boutiques that carry your work?
I love being able to interact directly with makers and artists at the parties HERE. hosts during their pop-up shops. The more I get to know these makers the more I want to support their work. If I'm going to shop I love to be able to support the local community and local artists while doing so.
What other hobbies or interests do you pursue?
I love writing and blogging over at www.foreverfireflying.com. Writing has always been a passion of mine. I'm also a huge fan of the show The Office. I'm on my second round of watching it beginning to end and it's just too freakin' funny!!!
Describe a typical day for you.
I spend most of my days hanging with my babies! They're two-and-a-half and 7 months. They definitely keep me busy, that's for sure! I love having the opportunity to stay home with them while also being able to pursue freelance work during nap time :)
What is in your bag?
Diapers and lots of extra baby clothes because my girl can't seem to stop poopin' her pants!
If you could go anywhere, where would it be and with who?
Josh and I just got married in September and we're waiting a few years to take our honeymoon. I'd love to eat my way through Italy with him and then hit some Mediterranean beaches!
What book are you currently reading?
I'm about to start Girl on the Train.
What is your favorite movie or book ever?
Forrest Gump always wins. Tom Hanks, I love you forever and ever!!!!! Book..... hmmmmm.... I think I have to go with She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb.
Hi! That's me, El, on the right!
Photo credit: Renee Lynn Photography
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