It all started with hand-crocheted hats. Before they knew it, designers Don Carney and John Ross founded Patch NYC, which soon developed into an alluring curiosity boutique in New York City. Lucky for us, in 2010 New England called to them and they moved lock, stock, and fabulous design portfolio to the courtyard at 46 Waltham Street in Boston’s South End. All was going well, when last year “the best thing ever” happened, says Ross. They were invited by national retail chain Target to participate in its second round of The Shops at Target. The program asks selected brands to design a collection to sell in Target’s brick-and-mortar and online stores — for a limited time at affordable prices. Ross and Carney had no problem dreaming up playful, edgy pieces, most of which are inspired by nature and animated with drawings of owls, deer, foxes, feathers, and leaves. At a preview party held by Target and the blog Design Milk on August 29, the collection, one of four available at Target from September 9 to October 20, spilled out of their store and into the courtyard for invited guests to ogle (but, alas, not buy).
Nearly anything might spark inspiration for their designs, say Ross and Carney. It could be an intriguing flea market find or an antiquarian book. An old inkwell is the muse behind the owl shaped bookends and candles in the 50-piece Target collection, which also includes pillows, rugs, tableware, barware, lamps, and serving pieces. In the case of the sheets in the bedding line (something Patch NYC has always wanted to do, says Ross), the deal with Target propelled the design — the obsessive repetition of the phrase “the best thing ever.”
Though they mostly design as a team, each is an accomplished artist: Carney has had exhibitions of his prints and ink drawings, and Ross works in collage and calligraphy in a studio steps from their boutique.
Target is not Patch’s first collaboration. It has teamed up with Barnes & Noble, Anthropologie, and West Elm on past projects. The milky white dinnerware and serving pieces in the front of the boutique are made by the French ceramic house Astier de Villatte, for which Carney created original art for the packaging of a line of their candles.
Our prediction: The Patch NYC Target collection will sell out fast. So if you want some of these great designs at great prices, shop early and often. How fortunate for us, when the liaison ends, we still have the little shop in the courtyard to fall back on.
An insider's look at must-have products, fresh trends, and inspired spaces from the team at Design New England magazine.
Gail Ravgiala is editor of Design New England and a fan of both the region's historic architecture and its growing inventory of modern houses and public buildings.
Courtney Kasianowicz is associate editor of Design New England who scouts the area for new design, charming products, and local artisans both innovative and daring.
Jill Connors, Design New England's editor-at-large, is an antiques maven and design scout and will post about trends and discoveries in the field.
Bruce Irving, Design New England's contributing editor for architecture & building, is a renovation specialist who will share his insights on design and construction.
Estelle Bond Guralnick, Design New England's style & interiors editor, will post about interior design and interior designers and her favorite finds.