Julia B. Handmade Linens.
Over the past year or so, there has definitely been a change in content on Just Simple Joys (and even a name change, too!). From initially focusing on shoes and fashion, I've transitioned to topics that interest me more as I've become a mother, such as family and interiors.
We moved last February, Lillian has gotten older, we're getting ready to welcome our second daughter in just a few weeks, Jesse is busy at work, and I work from home-- all of these things have inspired me to create a beautiful and welcoming home for our family.
While decorating our home, I have definitely had to balance the pretty and practical- I mean, Lillian is a total mess! Mixing high and low has always been a favorite of mine but having high-end bedding with a toddler crawling into bed doesn't make sense. I know I will be sad when the day comes that our kids no longer climb in bed (but I think we have another couple of years!!) and I know I will cope by making our bed a sanctuary. And I know the best way to do that is making it luxurious with my favorite linens from Julia B.
Julia B. was conceived and launched in 2002 by founder and CEO Julia Berger. Julia was raised in both Tokyo and San Francisco by a Japanese mother and an American father. Julia’s extensive travels in Asia, the Americas as well as Europe continue to fuel her passion for fine, hand-made products which are the foundation of today’s extensive Julia B. Collections. The combination of Asian simplicity mixed with a European tradition of extraordinary craftsmanship have been brought to life by Julia with inventiveness, freshness and style.
In a world increasingly dominated by mass, machine-made products, Julia is committed to her mission to re-introduce the quality, craftsmanship and joy of truly hand designed and handmade artistry into her customers’ homes and daily lives.
I have been a longtime Julia B. fan and am so delighted that I was able to interview her for Just Simple Joys. She is truly inspiring and a gifted designer. I can't wait to have my home full of her tableware, linens, and towels....one day! In the meantime, I will just daydream about all of the designs and add things to my cart!!
When and where did you learn your craft?
Becoming a designer has been a lengthy evolution in my studies and career. It all started with my learning to recognize and appreciate beauty through art, design and architecture. To this I give much credit to having lived and studied in Florence at an early age. We all know and love the Uffizi Gallery and the sculpture’s in the Accademia, yet what always captures my heart when visiting that Florence is the ubiquitous presence of art in every form. From each street corner, shop window, hidden alleyway and hillside there is beauty everywhere and it clearly sparked a powerful force within me, first to learn to appreciate beauty, art and design and subsequently to wish to pursue design as my profession.
From there I began a career that started in fashion and which took me from New York, to Paris, to Italy to Hong Kong and back to New York and which thankfully exposed me to endless visual stimuli, countless suppliers and which also lead to my growing fascination with and appreciation for Vintage. At a certain point in that journey I stopped just looking and admiring the beautiful creations of others and I started drawing and conceiving many of the designs that ultimately gave birth to the Julia B. collections of today.
What is your favorite piece?
To properly answer this question would require me to freeze time in place. Yesterday’s or last month’s favorite is inevitably supplanted by today’s new prototype and tomorrow’s iteration.
This week I would say that I absolutely love our Quattro Mani - Firenze tabletop collection, the crystal is stunning and I love the bold and vibrant colors across the line. When it comes to bedding I adore how the Martinique Collection looks on my summer bed. The way the handmade embroidery brings the design to life is wonderful and this year I am loving white on white yet with over forty colors to choose from, there is a look for everyone. When it comes to gift items, I have always been in love with our children’s baby pillow collection and for brides I am crazy about our Peacock guest towels.
How would you describe your personality? How does your personality help in your line or work?
Those who know me well would probably say that on the one hand I am quiet, reflective, and thoughtful while on the other hand I can also be rambunctious, tireless and euphoric. It’s an interesting contrast that I believe suits me quite well to be an excellent listener when working with my clients and at the same time an enthusiastic, energetic leader of the Julia B. business. Nothing gets me more excited than being surrounded by beauty whether manmade (handmade) or natural and my love for places like Tuscany and Provence stems from my deep appreciation for those few places and moments where the intersection between the two has created remarkable harmony.
How do you part with your beautiful pieces once they are completed?
With both tears and smiles. I love what we create at Julia B. and I never cease to be amazed at the skills and dedication of our artisans so that when a new piece returns to us from our workrooms I am always excited to see it first hand and then quickly saddened to pack it all up and send it on to its rightful owner. Yet the joy returns with the countless thank you notes and repeat purchases from our customers who thanks to the internet, now purchase from every imaginable corner of the world.
Shop some of my favorite pieces here: