Mother's Day with Rachel Robshaw
It’s my wife Rachel's first Mothers Day. It’s been a wild ride of a year, and my hardworking and eccentric wife did it with aplomb. In case you didn't know, Rachel is the photographer and creative vision behind our catalog, as well as many of our interior shots. She also has an incredible knack for designing our tabletop images. She is an artist and photographer in her own right - you can check out some of her work in the blog. For our first official Mother's Day, I thought it would be fun to put the spotlight on her (for a change), she deserves it.
Anything fun or surprising about being a mom?
The amount of songs / lyrics I have created concerning my daughters eating preferences, diaper discoveries, teething adventures and Turkey Bird. I have found you need a few for the sake of your child’s happiness as well as your own sanity.
Rachel and Regina at home. Rachel is wearing the Shrishti Pajama Set. Photo by Rachel Robshaw.
How did you and John meet?
At a party in Connecticut, over giant oatmeal cookies.
Do you have any funny stories about John?
This one time he discovered my very childlike fleece nightgown, complete with teddy bear appliques, and he somehow squeezed into it over his regular pajamas and surprised me as I came downstairs one morning – I laughed so hard, I hope he does it again someday.
And baby makes three.
Who makes the bed?
We both do our own versions - I like to pick a theme and combine old and new pieces. John does his signature messy, loose stack of pillows or quick coverlet toss.
Tell us about the first man in your life, Turkey Bird. How did you become a bird person?
When I was really little, my mom had a pet dove named Rudy who sang at the same time every morning---this really wonderful coo that I can still mimic. My aunt Catie also kept lots of birds. Turkey and I met in San Francisco back in 2009. My roommate brought him home and we instantly bonded. He doesn’t coo like Rudy did, but---fun story---once when there was a bear behind me he warned me with a bunch of loud crazy squawks.
Rachel with her parrot, Turkey Bird. Photo by Rachel Robshaw.
What are 5 Things you love?
Okay, so aside from my daughter, my husband, my family and my bird... haha… here are 5 in no particular order:
Rachel’s photography includes designer interiors, fashion, portraiture, and even insects (as pictured in the three works above). You can learn more and purchase her art at rachelrobshaw.com.
3 TV shows you recommend:
Right now I’m watching and loving Veneno, Waffles & Mochi (not just because of Regina) and waiting anxiously for the return of Killing Eve.
3 books you recommend:
Last year I finally finished (John is shaking his head and laughing) The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman. It was given to me by a good friend, Susan Champion, who told me she felt it was an important book for anyone in the medical field to read. I’m not in the medical field, but I think everyone could benefit from reading it. The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski is one of John’s favorite books. He gave me his first edition copy and I thought it was amazing. Oh - and The Stand by Stephen King! Ask John how many times I’ve read the 1200+ pager.
What inspires your tablescapes?
When doing tabletop, John and I usually start with a theme like ‘summer garden ladies brunch’ or ‘a night in Jaipur with an aging prince’ and let it go from there. Don’t be afraid to use non-tabletop items for your tablescapes at home. I’ll pull turbans off the wall or use a throw as a tablecloth. Anything is game. Layers are also key.
Rachel is the creative visionary for our tabletop shoots. Here are some of the beautiful tablescapes she's created.
Rachel hard at work behind the scenes of our Spring 2021 Location Shoot.
Even in high school, I’ve always loved Sally Mann, David Hockney polaroids & Robert Mapplethorpe. I discovered Joel Peter Witkin, Jerry Ulseman and Sarah Moon in college, and recently I’ve been into anything Kerry James Marshall paints, Louise Borgeois (I’ll take all the giant spider / alien sculptures!), and random archive photography.
Three photographs of coral by Rachel. You can learn more and purchase her art at rachelrobshaw.com.
Favorite places you've traveled?
I’ve always loved camping off Route 395 in California - so many amazing spots that hold a special place in my heart. Obviously visiting faraway places like India, Laos & Uzbekistan are fantastic; I wish I could fully explore them the way I’ve been able to explore California. I love to revisit places and dig deeper, but you need time.
Rachel on the road.
What are your favorite pieces in John's collection?
I love the new Jalal Voile Duvet & Sheets – which is on the bed now in CT, and I loved the Ravatti quilt - it makes me feel like I’m swimming in the Caribbean. Any of the kidney pillows with painted birds, and any of the thinner throws that I can turn into giant scarfs.
Regina on John & Rachel’s bed, made with Jalal Voile Duvet & Sheets. Photo by Rachel Robshaw.