photos by Tiffany Kirchner, property of Curly Girl Design, Inc.

A few more lovelies

Photos and The Biz

A few more photos came in from the photographer and I couldn't resist sharing!! The little girl was just hanging at the park with her family and was nice enough to pose for us with our sign. How cute is that! (how nice are her parents!!?)

Have a great weekend!


By Leigh 10.29.2010 – 3:23 pm

1 Comment

Best of the Brit

Style File

I have always loved London. The energy, the accents, the 'old-ness' and especially 'proper tea'. And after my recent experience at the adorable Charlotte Street Hotel, am even more smitten. But my favorite British thing, has always been the Union Jack.

The old rule was that if "His Majesty Jack" was flying above Buckingham Palace the Queen was in residence. Home, sorting out her affairs and you know, gardening.

My love for the Union Jack is not, of course, in any way an anti-patriotic notion. I have nothing against Old Glory. It's purely aesthetic. As a designer I find myself drawn in by the glorious semmetry and bold color distribution (nerd alert!). The negative space is mesmerizing and the geometric perfection makes me giddy. And then there is of course, the ability to be applied to pretty much anything to make a statement that has as much to do with British pride as a punk quirkiness that is sure to get attention.

Here are a few of my favorite finds:

Note: many of these are from UK-based companies as you might expect. Some do deliver stateside.

1.) Smeg Fridge ~ Smeg

2.) Union Jack Beach Bags ~ Shoes Glorious Shoes

3.) 'The Who' Chucks ~ Converse

4.) Sequined Clutch ~ Monsoon

5.) Steam Cream ~ Liberty (via Wee Birdy)

6.) Dan Marty Union Jack Chair ~ Dan Marty

7.) Cushion ~ Liberty

8.) Union Jack Garland ~ Amolia Mae

9.) Flats ~ The Jacksons

10.) Antique Trunk ~ 1st Dibs


Let me know what you think! Enjoy!


By Leigh 10.29.2010 – 10:35 am


Photos © 2010Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

Shop Girl Says: Something ladylike

Shop Girl Says

For those of you who have had the great pleasure of meeting me, you already know: I’m not…girly, per se.  I wear a lot of black.  My normal outfit includes skinny jeans (dark), boots (dark, with hardware), and some sort of billowy, body-morphing, nearly-making-me-unrecognizable-as-a-human, shirt.  For the first year of my being back at Marmalade (after a short stint away) I had a fauxhawk.  And terrifyingly, at our first Halloween party ever, early this October – I dressed in my finest “Seattle 1994” outfit, complete with smudged eyeliner, dramatically messy hair, flannel and a babydoll dress.

And customers didn’t realize I was in costume.  Oy.

Which is why I need Marmalade in my life.

I mean, c’mon.  The walls are, like, neon red and orange!  There are chandeliers hanging above my head at the front counter!  There are candles, perfumes, fancy papers – frankly, there is just about everything here – and it gives me that burst of ‘lady-ness’ that I reject in my normal daily life.  Marmalade is more than just a shop, it’s like a lifestyle choice. 

“Live like a Marmalade girl” I tell myself while trying to find something to wear at work that would be even a fraction as cute as what Leigh rolls out of bed in.  “What would Marmalade do?” I say when dealing with particularly relentless delivery people or cold calls from some phone company.  And while you read this you may think, well, what the heck IS a Marmalade girl, and what DOES she do?!  The answer, after so many years being here, appallingly simple:

She’s You!

And me! I didn’t need to horde half a dozen Pumpkin candles on my mantle at home to be a Marmalade girl (though, I would do it no matter what – holy moly is that candle amazing)!  I didn’t need to buy the vintage wall art (the second I opened the box when it came to the shop) to be more like Marmalade, and I didn’t need to sport the unbelievable scent that is “paper and cotton” to be what Marmalade needed me to be.  I already was!  I like to think that just as I need Marmalade in my life to give me that girly-street-cred, maybe Marmalade needed me and my edge just as much.

So here’s to celebrating the wide range of Marmalade-ettes that support my second home, and Leigh’s pride and joy.  To the whacky artists that will talk with me about Rococo pattern work!  The shy women who prefer not to chit chat and I desperately try to oblige! To the kids that come in after school and fill me in on the latest gossip!  To my chatty-Cathy’s that visit me just to talk about the weather, the Olympics or what was on tv last night!  To the business women who zoom in and out, on a mission, and say ‘thank you!’ while flying out the door!  I salute you!


Note: Our website for the shop is still under construction and will hopefully be functioning in mere days. Until then, if you have questions about any of the products featured in these posts contact Lauren at:


Lauren is our superior shop manager at Marmalade, but she is also an art and pop-culture critic at large currently putting the finishing touches on her Masters of Arts Administration from SCAD. To hear more from her check out her blog:

By Lauren 10.28.2010 – 6:17 pm


Images courtesy of West Elm

Hand-made Holiday


I am getting in the holiday mood over here...I know! I know! don't rush the season!...but in retail 'the season' starts in August. All of the buying for the shop for holiday 2010 technically started last January (gasp!). I do that so I am fresh off of the past season and can have a good vibe for what the shop looks like all decked out. It also helps that it is still winter. I find it very disconcerting to think of snow, and reindeer and hot chocolate in August.

I guess I am a seasonal purist.

That said, the boxes are all in for the most part and we begin the decking of the halls next week!! This is exciting for me for two reasons.

1.) I get to spend a few days making a mess and rearranging things, which I love to do.

2.) I get to start playing Christmas music.

I know I said I was a seasonal purist just a second ago, but there is one caveat. Christmas Music. If the people around me allowed it, I would listen straight through the year (if you ever get ahold of my were warned. Also, I hope you like musicals.) Mostly though, I have a rule. No holiday music until AFTER Thanksgiving. I like to give each holiday it's due, and though Turkey Day has no #1 hits that I can recall, it is a very special holiday, and there is loads of food involved and I feel that warrants my full attention.

But while decorating the shop for these few days, I will let it fly! Break out the Bing, the Tabernacle, the Dean Martin's Holiday Hits, Etta, Ella, Straight No Chaser (squeeel!) and of course, the mother of all Christmas songs; Maraih Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You". My unparalleled favorite. I will sing it right outloud complete with imaginary microphone and imaginary back-up singers (every one should have "Pips"...) and love every single solitary one of it's 241 seconds.

So now you know what I am up to next week.

Today, however, I was thumbing through the new West Elm catalog and came across these lovelies. They look so crafy and fact, it looks as if WE is doing a big 'hand-made' concept for holiday this year. Love that. I bet I know a whole lot of crafty ladies that could whip up variations on these...hmmmm?

Got any clever hand-made holiday ideas to share?


By Leigh 10.28.2010 – 11:16 am


photos by Tiffany Kirchner, property of Curly Girl Design, Inc.

Calling all Editors!

Photos and The Biz

Help! I need Help!

A couple of weeks ago we had our first 'big girl" photo shoot for our 2011 catalog and print advertising campaigns. It was totally crazy and totally fun and everyone involved did such an amazing job! The lovely and talented Tiffany Kirchner of The Fancy Farmgirl came out to shoot for the day and Curly Girl staffers Laura, Erin and Emily took their Sunday to style, pose, schlep, arrange and of course, eat cake.

So now I am in a pickle. I have an ad due and I cannot decide which one to use! So I am taking a vote! Please take a second to weigh in on which would make you not be able to go on living if you didn't immediately have some Curly Girl Design in your life! Which one makes you sigh, swoon or squeel with delight. And, please, if none of these do, I don't really want to know about it.

I am on a deadline here.

Thanks in advance. I thank you ....the world thanks you... (well, the world of the gift industry anyway.)


By Leigh 10.27.2010 – 1:22 pm


Photos © 2010Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

Autumn in a Pot

The Dish

This time of year I start hankering for warm soupy foods. Oatmeal, chilli, any kind of soup...gravy. (er...) I do make an effort to keep them relatively healthy and honestly, I think the healthiest thing you can do is eat with the seasons. There is a reason we crave broths and warm beverages and root vegetables this time of year. We are putting kindling in our hearth.

It's also SUPER easy. Which, admittedly is why I made this last night. Dark at 5:30 is just no fair.

This is a recipe I found in this month's Good Homes Magazine (UK) and adapted slightly to my more carniverous ways. It can certainly be made vegetarian by omitting the obvious offenders ans switching stock. I would use olive oil to sauté and add parsnips or other root vegetables or squashes at your whim.

Autumn in a Pot , serves 4(ish)

You will need:

• 8oz. (or one package) of high-quality bacon (preferably organic/un-cured), finely chopped

• 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed

• 3 shallots, peeled and halved

• Chicken or vegetable stock, enough to simmer the vegetables, (about 2.5 Cups)

• 1 bunch of kale or just shy of that. It is really to taste. I say the more the better! Wahsed, finely chopped or torn and stalks removed

• about 8oz of cooked chicken, cubed. This is a great way to use left-over chicken, or what's left of a rotisserie after you have picked off all the choice bits.

• one large pot with lid. I used a 5qt Dutch Oven.

• loaf of crusty bread or sourdough baguette


Fry the bacon in your pot until crisp, stirring occasionally. Then add the squash and shallots and cook until the edges start to brown and the onions look a little faint. Add the stock to cover the vegetables and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once until the squash is tender.

Then stir in kale and chicken and cook for 5 minutes until well-incorporated.

Spoon into dishes and serve with a hunk of crusty bread. Accept applause.


By Leigh 10.27.2010 – 7:15 am


Morocco My Way

Style File

During our week in Marrakesh, we learned alot about Moroccan interior design, color ways, symbols and the way people live there. Holly Becker of Decor8 led us through inspiring creative sessions to help us identify and use some of what we learned in our own creative endeavors. Now interiors are not my career (just a mild, ahem, obsession) but I so love these elements and looking for them in modern ways that I decided to do up a little styleboard. There are so many lovely modern finds that incorportate Moroccan style elements that it can be a fun way to add a little piece of a far away place to your life!I think Holly would be proud!

1.) Tile Jaipuri Rug ~ Calypso

2.) Haymarket Check Tassel Key Charm ~ Burberry

3.) Punched Tin Lantern ~ Wunderley

4.) Silver Pouf ~ John Derian

5.) Nashelle Found Bracelet ~ Max & Chloe

6.) Cordon Collection ~ Z.Gallerie

7.) Party Lantern ~ World Buyers

8.)Twinkle Living ZigZag Pillow ~ All Modern

9.) Honeycomb Mirror ~ Pier 1 Imports

10.) Leather Slippers ~ Spotty Button

11.) Jack Rogers Lawn Party Clutch ~ Endless

By Leigh 10.26.2010 – 3:27 pm


beautiful turquoise bib necklace and grey bouncy scarf. Available at Marmalade: 617.484.0093 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

‘Shop Girl Says’ coming this week!

The Biz and Brick & Mortar and Shop Girl Says

This week I will introduce you to my little retail shop called: Marmalade. It began as a retail showroom for all things Curly Girl but soon my shopping problem turned into another career. In it's (almost) three years and (almost) 600 square feet this little shop has grown to be a neighborhood jewel box. Chalk-full of fancy and functional treasures that are "truth and beauty for the heart and home". Our tagline was admittedly inspired by Moulin Rouge's bohemian mantra but I will have you know that "Marmalade" is NOT courtesy of it's most famous sountrack title.

Marmalade is both a utilitarian condiment and a special treat. That is what I hope our collection of goodies is like. Useful, beautiful things that are also special treats!

Later this week Lauren, our shop manager will bring you the first installment of "Shop Girl Says" , a periodic update on products, events and all the fun stuff going on in our little shop.

Stay tuned!


By Leigh 10.26.2010 – 7:22 am



By Leigh 10.26.2010 – 7:11 am


Photos © 2010Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

Magic Marrakesh

Photos and Gypsy Soul

I know I have been going on and on about this Morocco adventure, but I have to say that something about the place has put a spell on me. Maryam taught us alot about the local culture and the strong belief in magic and symbolism that resides there. Even a very real belief in genies. Yep. Like in a lantern...or a bottle (go ahead, sing it.)  Having spent even just seven days there I am going to go ahead and take their word for it.

I have come half way back across the planet and I can't shake the smells and colors even the music. The beautiful smell of orange blossom, amber and smoky spices. The dust and the fumes from all of the motorbikes and the smell of the hay to feed the donkeys and horses. Leather and jasmine. Dark alleys in the winding souks, mirrors and silver sparkling everywhere. Hundreds of cats! The long robes, yellow slippers, veils and friendly smiles. The loud speaker song for daily prayers and the rush then quiet that follows. Shapes and symbols to bring good luck and fortune and ward off evil built into every structure...and the African sunlight. OH.

Here are a few more photos that show the more mysterious side of Marrakesh.

I have also uploaded many more photos from the journey here.

enjoy! xoxo

By Leigh 10.25.2010 – 5:45 pm


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