I am so glad to feature Sophia Wood today! She is the owner and designer of the beautiful shop named Muse based in San Anselmo.
She has an impeccable taste and her shop is all about beachy and fresh vibes with a minimalist aesthetic. It's beautiful and I encourage you to visit the shop!
Can you give us an introduction on who you are and which path brought you to open your own shop?
I grew up in West Marin - my dad is a landscape painter and my mom is a children's art teacher. I studied art & design in school. When my kids were little, I was a stay at home mom yearning for something more, something challenging and creative that I could balance with being a mom. I have experience in the museum and design world and in 2015 I finally decided to fulfill my dream of becoming an entrepreneur, opening my own business and designing my own shop. I had always imagined it would be enjoyable, and I was right, I love it.
I am always finding aesthetic inspiration over and over. It gives me a thrill each time I find a new local designer to feature in my store, each time I create a new look. Even though my store looks the way it does right now, I know that I will change it and it will constantly evolve and that is the fun part for me.
What inspired you for Muse?
I was inspired by lots of things. Visually, I was inspired by a desaturated desert color palette, Scandinavian design, Hitchcock-Madrona (a Seattle jewelry store), Minimalism, the West Coast craft fair. I thought of opening an art gallery but I thought it would be more rewarding and dynamic for me to open a boutique. I tried to create a store & brand that fills a gap in our area.
What defines good design for you?
To me, good design is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and doesn't contain anything extraneous or unnecessary. Often I find myself visually "editing" what I see in the world, and most of the time I am removing design elements in my mind until I am left with something more simple. I generally agree with a high- quality "less is more" concept.
I like design that feels fresh. There are cycles in the design world and good design even if it's classic it should relate to what is current. I appreciate many styles and aesthetics but for my own personal taste I appreciate simplicity, natural luxury, elegant shapes. Right now I love nude leather, suede, blush tones, pale furs, washed velvet, pale crystals, light woods. I also am loving the bright colors and jewel tones associated with Mexico and Morocco. I also love Danish shapes, dark edges, raw ceramics. I am working on developing some product ideas for Muse.
How will you describe the vibe in your shop?
My shop is light & airy with a clean color palette. For now it's all about Scandinavian lines, modern boho elements, lots of white, light wood tones, blush pink, grey, some blue accents. Muse has global influences and modern influences but has a refined palette. This lightness lends itself to the iconic California lifestyle. When I think of the coastal lifestyle I think of sunshine, sand, water, and open windows. I am trying to bring that feeling into my shop as best I can.
HFG fits in perfectly because the overall aesthetic has a beachy, oceanic look. The unique watercolor-like effect of the hand dying process is a more subtle version of tie-dyed colors. The contrasting stitched edging adds a modern twist. With tie-dyeing you can easily take it too far, and end up with a rainbow. I appreciate the understated, grown up, sun washed, subtle look of HFG.
You live in San Anselmo, California, please describe in 3 words. and tell us what are your favorite things to do in that city!
I actually live in Fairfax CA but my shop is located in San Anselmo CA.
San Anselmo is:
In San Anselmo right now there are quite a lot of stylish, chic modern-boho babes living here, settling down and having families! It's a beautiful town that is reinventing itself into a cool town with great design. I love walking through the historic Robson-Harrington Park and then downtown San Anselmo, eating at M & H Bread and Butter, Neve & Hawk, Siren Salon, coffee at Flour Craft Bakery, visit the Star Wars fountain, Madcap for dinner, Marinitas for a spicy margarita!
Happy French Gang's item featured above: