We’re Obsessed with The Citizenry and You Should Be Too

Have you ever traveled abroad and discovered a beautiful, locally made furniture, accessories or art, but had no way to get it back home? The founders of The Citizenry,  Carly Nance and Rachel Bentley, decided to combine their love of far away places and beautiful things, all while supporting small artisans at the same time. Their vision was to focus on a new part of the world each season by bringing handcrafted items that represent cultural history and keep ancient techniques alive to us! The Citiznery’s pieces have combined beautiful craftsmanship and elegant design. But most importantly, they also support The Citizenry’s goal to make a greater impact on the communities they work with. I love stumbling upon beautiful pieces that have an equally lovely story behind them!

We were lucky enough to chat with Carly and Rachel as they took us on a narrative journey to Argentina where their super chic leather butterfly chair is designed and handcrafted. To say we are obsessed is an understatement. Here’s their story…

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How The Citizenry Was Born

Rachel: The idea really came from our own frustrations trying to find beautifully crafted items for our own homes. We were looking for high quality, handcrafted pieces, from a company serious about social impact and sustainability, at a price that didn’t break the bank.

Carly: We started thinking about the things in our homes that we treasured, and all those items had a story behind them – either the story of the maker or the place where it was from. We wanted to build a brand that celebrates those people and the stories behind the products. We know everyone can’t hop on a plane to Peru or Argentina to go shopping, so we decided to create the next best thing online: the experience of traveling abroad, shopping back alley markets, and accessing the highest quality materials and makers from around the world, at home.

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What Influences Design

Carly: Each season we create a new collection inspired by a different corner of the world. We love taking a technique that’s been around for centuries and juxtaposing it with our more modern, minimal style.

Rachel: Working with beautiful, natural materials is also really influential. We pick geographies based on the quality of a particular natural resource. For instance, in Argentina, we work exclusively with the most premium leathers sourced from the rich grasslands of the “pampas” and use vegetable-based tannins to soften and enrich its natural beauty.

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The Story Behind the Butterfly Chair

Carly: We went to Argentina to create a statement piece in leather. After spending time in Buenos Aires, we knew we wanted to create our own interpretation of the iconic butterfly chair. Since the design was originally created by two Argentina architects, it seemed only fitting. So we set out to find the best leather workers & chair makers in Buenos Aires. When we met Santiago, the Lead Designer behind the Palermo Leather Workshop, we knew we’d found the perfect partner.

It really is a collaborative design process with our artisan partners. We both bring ideas, pattern and colors to the table to work together to make something we’re all really proud of. It took a year to perfect the copper finish of our butterfly chair – impossible without Santiago’s expertise and commitment – but it’s become one of our absolute favorite pieces in the collection.

Rachel: It’s a small workshop on a quiet, residential street. You enter through this unassuming door to find a workshop with leather working talent like you’ve never seen. The men who craft these chairs are smart, so entertaining, and of course, were models in a previous life. It is Argentina after all! And like all of our partners, they really so become our friends. Any time we go to Argentina we make sure to set aside time for these epic steak dinners, accompanied by more than a few bottles of malbec, at Don Julio’s or La Brigada… just to catch up!

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A Favorite Travel Memory

Carly: One of my favorite travel experiences was finding and visiting the Lurin Artisan Cooperative, our weaving partners that create some of my favorite rugs (the Estrellas & Cielo Azul) in the collection. They’re a tiny, incredibly talented group that does everything from start to finish – from picking berries to make the dyes, to hand-spinning the wool and hand-looming these, huge beautiful pieces.

Each rug takes about six weeks to complete. Watching this group execute every detail, you really start to understand why. After spending a day with them, talking about how important it was for them to keep their culture alive through this craft, we knew we had to shine a light on their story and talent.

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We could listen to countless hours of storytelling from these two. The people behind these beautifully crafted pieces The Citizenry have collected just makes them that much more special. If you have yet to check out their gorgeous store, head to The Citizenry now. Read more about the quality and details behind each throw, rug and chair, watch videos from their artisan partners and while you’re there, enjoy an exclusive 20% Apartment 34 discount on everything in the shop. Click HERE for exclusive offer!

P.S. We’ve been working with The Citizenry first hand on a very exciting collaboration. Announcement coming very soon!

images c/o The Citizenry

This post is in partnership with The Citizenry. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open. 

Happy {Day-Dreamin’} Weekend

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Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could go to bed…and wake up in Paris?? I’d glady spend a lazy day in bed just staring at that view!! I actually love cities in their off-seasons. It’s when they really reveal their true selves. I once visited in Paris in November and it was gray and rained nearly the entire time…and it was just lovely. I spent my my visit wiling away hours in cafes {I felt so Parisian!}, going to the ballet, enjoying extraordinarily long dinners. It was one of the shortest trips I’ve ever taken {only four days} and one I remember so fondly – a full 10 years later! Even though we’re heading into the time of year when we’re supposed to be cozying up at home, I suddenly feel the urge to get back out in the world! While home may have my heart, travel is what always reinvigorates my soul.

Sadly, no trips are on the horizon at present, so for now I’ll just revel in the wanderlust. Luckily, we found a number of fabulous things that I know will keep me wonderfully distracted this weekend. I hope they do the same for you!

> Holy prop closets- this is what stylist’s dreams are made of.

> With the change in weather in San Francisco {finally!}, this classic fall recipe is looking extra scrumptious!

> We can’t get over this house tour and the fact that it’s for sale!

> Starting a dinner conversation is made easy with this.

> It’s sweater time and we’re loving these!

> Everything. In. This. House…we want everything in this house.

This Alexander Wang lookbook just brought working out to a whole ‘nother level.

> You’ll never believe this delicious spaghetti recipe is vegan!

Till Monday!

image via

How to Shoot With Film 101

This summer during a trip to New York, our editorial intern and Instagram guru, June, traded her phone for a film camera in an effort to capture simple moments in the bustling city. Before we had to sadly bid her adieu for the new school year, we picked her brain on all things old school photography and New York! We think you’ll love her observations – and photography tips – as much as we do!

Manhattan looks different on film. Sure, the lure of provocative new exhibits, ever-changing eateries and the buzz of a sleepless city never fades. But in contrast to the speedy snapshots we’re surrounded by everyday, there is a revisited sense of stillness that comes from capturing New York City on film. When I found out my family was traveling to Manhattan for a week this summer, two things immediately came to mind. First, that I would melt in August’s humidity. Second, this same heat would not hinder my efforts to explore and document as much of the city as I could!

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All of you film enthusiasts know that there is nothing more satisfying than pulling the camera’s metal lever, hearing the film strip move forward, followed by the ringing ‘click’ of the manual button. We’re so used to pristinely edited photos, taken quickly and by the masses. Seeing the grain of film photos is such a rare pleasure. Having bought a film camera earlier this year, the best advice I can give to new shooters is to simply pick up the camera and start experimenting, like I did!

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Top 3 Tips for Shooting with Film:

> Lighting and Balance: Although professional classes aren’t necessary, a little technical knowledge will go a long way. Light balance and exposure are the most important factors for a film camera, and especially after using a digital camera, you’ll want even more natural light than you typically need.

> New perspectives are everything. Try things from different vantage points. If you’re taking a shot from above, try cropping certain objects in the frame in interesting ways. Disproportionate details can help an image look far less staged!

> Price- or lack of service shouldn’t stop you! Film is expensive and finding stores that develop film can be a challenge. But the result? Completely worth it. Just be sure to understand the correct loading and unloading method- this will save you from an accidentally overexposed strip!

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Now that I’ve shared a few tisp for getting behind the film camera, I can’t leave without sharing a few of my fave New York stops!

> Cafes: Grand Cafe Lafayette: order croissant with apricot jam + mocha, Toby’s Estate in Flatiron or Brooklyn: order cortado and avocado toast

> Bookstores: Dashwood Book, McNally Jackson, and Creatures of Comfort

> Restaurant: Saxon+ Parole

>Leisure: Washington Square Park at night, Egyption Room at the Met Museum

Whether you love photography or simply wish to see things from a new {or should I say older!} perspective, picking up a film camera and exploring a new city is so incredibly rewarding. There is nothing instant about it and that’s what makes it so worthwhile! — June

photography by June Rustigan