What is your favorite AK item and why?
The black Liberty clutch. When I'm dressed up, I don't like to have a strap over my shoulder. I love tiny clutches, but they're too small for me to take out because I need my glasses, phone, subway reading materials and keys to fit. The Liberty is a great in-between size.
What can you not live without and what are your latest obsessions?
My bike, Aviva.
I can't explain why I feel so attached to her; maybe it's because she goes everywhere with me. She's hands down the most efficient, speedy and fun way to get around the city.
My helmet, White Lightnin'.
This is hands down the most sought-after accessory I have ever owned. People stop me on the street and compliment it, scream out a taxi window to ask where I bought it. Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I even carry it around with me when I'm not riding Aviva because I get so much attention. It's metallic, shiny, and beyond awesome.
Products from The Organic Pharmacy.
I discovered this store on my last visit to London. All of their products are 100% organic and smell so wonderful. It's such a luxury to put them on after I bathe and climb into bed surrounded by the scents.
Black waxed jeans by AG.
I love these because they look like leather, but you can throw them in the washer and dryer just like jeans.
Diffuser from Muji with essential oils from Aromatherapy Associates.
Everyone who comes to my apartment comments on how wonderful it smells. Even the UPS guy.
Reading before I fall asleep is a treat every night.
Even if I can't keep my eyes open, I still read at least a page. Something about it helps me unwind and has just become a bedtime ritual.
Mariage Frères Earl Grey French Blue and Harney & Sons Winter White Earl Grey teas.
As soon as I wake up I put my kettle on the stove. I love a quiet morning with my cup of tea.
Society linen sheets.
What I love most about them is that they don't look prissy and expensive, they just look comfy and worn - the messier the better. I actually don't make my bed, because the sheets look better when they are tussled around.
These are the lovely ladies of Petite Alma. They are all wonderful, talented, charming and brilliant, and I don't know what I'd do without them!
Never want to stop learning, growing, exploring.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Be vulnerable with those you trust. Your relationships will be significantly deeper and more meaningful.
Can you tell us about Petite Alma and how it came about?
Well, when I was working in Paris, I started making stationery on the side. People loved it, so I stared creating more and more to give as gifts. I decided to make it a proper side business and named it after an adorable four-year-old model, Alma, who came to the office every Thursday. One thing led to another, and a decade later here we are designing paper products and stationery for all ages, as well as working on a variety of other projects in our design studio. Our goal is to help others express themselves visually and confidently. We also want to help people communicate, celebrate, and have fun doing it!
Who or what inspires you and why?
I'm very inspired by visual blogging. While sipping my tea in the morning, I sift through my favorite blogs and pin images. For designers, I think Pinterest is one of the most useful social media platforms out there. I'm also inspired by others who exemplify conscious and healthy living - physical, mental, and emotional. I'm inspired by those who are always seeking, striving to be better people every day.
How do you decide what to create?
A lot of what we create is for Shutterfly, which owns Tiny Prints and Wedding Paper Divas. They keep us incredibly busy! We analyze what the market needs and put our "Petite Alma" spin on it.
What is your favorite part about your job?
Gathering inspiration. The Petite Alma team has taken trips to Paris and to L.A. to shop around and be inspired. We don't come home with loads of physical products, but we do come back with our heads full of new ideas - color combinations, styles, typography...We're actually heading over to Brooklyn this afternoon to do a little shopping there.
Where can one buy your products and do you do commissions?
Custom letterpress stationery here, see some examples and contact us for more details.
Our baby, kids, family and personal stationery lines through Tiny Prints.
Our adult and wedding stationery lines through Wedding Paper Divas.
Logo, illustration and typography design, as well as brand consulting.
Beyond the products and services listed here, we're happy to help with other forms of creative expression. Please drop us a note, we'd love to hear from you!
As for commissions, yes, we very much enjoy doing individual projects whether it's custom stationery or branding for a new company. It's so rewarding to work closely with clients, helping them express themselves and make their vision come alive. I love seeing the excitement and confidence that blossoms when the job is done.
What cause or charity are you involved with as of late?
Over the past couple of years I've become involved with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Their dancers are some of the finest in the world. With such talent and dedication, they're so inspirational to watch! The more I get involved, the stronger advocate I become for keeping the art of classical dance alive. It seems like younger generations have lost interest in attending and supporting ballet, and I wish I could change their minds. I sponsor some of the dancers and can't tell you how exciting it's been getting to know them all, watch rehearsals at the studio, and view performances from the wings of the Met.
You are a super chic dresser - Is there a uniform you subscribe to or any fall fashion staples you see?
Leather seems to have replaced denim in NYC. I'm not talking about leather with high heels for a night out, I'm talking about leather leggings you throw on with your Converse sneakers and hair in a messy ponytail for a trip to the coffee shop. Faux, real, waxed denim that looks like leather...you name it. I have a feeling I'll be wearing my waxed jeans and leather leggings a lot this season, dressed down with my le coq sportif sneakers and James Perse vest or dressed up with heels and my favorite The Row silk blouse. I'm also into hats: so great when you don't have time to wash your hair, which seems to be kind of often!
What is your guilty pleasure?
That's tough...I don't think I really have one. I believe treating yourself to pleasurable things is essential, so I don't really feel guilty about doing them.
What are your top five places in NYC?
A gem of a bar in Tribeca that no one really knows about. It's all locals and has a great, casual vibe. It's not a place to see and be seen, it's just a comfortable place to hang out and listen to live piano music. Not to mention, they make a killer cocktail.
My favorite women's clothing boutique. Love her style.
A terrific design store (mainly jewelry) in the East Village. Urte, the owner, has impeccable taste and I love everything she carries.
NY is loaded with fabulous, healthy juice bars. There's Juice Generation, Organic Avenue, Blue Print, Liquiteria, Juice Press - just to name a few.
The Met during ABT's spring season, of course!
Sorry, I have one extra: ABC Carpet & Home.
Buy me anything from this store; nothing will disappoint.
Who is Kirby Woodson and why do we love her?
Kirby and I first met when we had pigtails and played tee ball at Post Oak YMCA. Growing up in Houston and in the same grade, Kirby was a legend. Smart, beautiful, creative, talented and SUPER NICE to boot. I had the great fortune of sharing office space with her when we both returned back from NYC to Houston and being around her fun spirit and creativity was inspiring and a treat!
Since childhood, Kirby's been drawn to small things-a miniatures collection, petit fours-and her professional life has also focused on simple design that makes a big impact.
Born and raised in Texas, Kirby left home for New York City to design for babyGap, then moved to Paris to design for the French children's company Bonpoint. It was there, inspired by Parisian style, that she began designing stationery as a hobby. In 2002 she returned to New York to design a line of clothing for Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, and also launched a layette line for Madeleine Wolcott Imports. As her stationery hobby grew full time and fostered new partnerships in logo design and branding, Petite Alma developed into the studio it is today.
Petite Alma believes in the little things, in small gestures that make a big impact. They strive for simplicity and clarity without clutter, flash, or fuss. Through understated, elegant design, they aim to inspire creative expression and help others spread joy. I am so proud of Kirby and what she has created! Check out her line to get some Petite Alma in your life and subscribe to her blog for weekly inspiration and a peek into her fabulous life!