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Inside Steven Alan

Holiday Q&A: Julie Pointer

  • We recently chatted with our friend Julie Pointer about juggling her many duties as Community Director at Kinfolk, Portland winters, and her holiday gift picks.

    A little self portrait

    What are some of your favorite things to do during a Portland winter?
    Portland can be pretty magical in the wintertime, particularly when it’s cold, crisp, and clear — as opposed to the usual wet and drear. On blue-sky days I love to go cross-country skiing on Mount Hood or venture outside the city for morning walks along the Columbia River. For nasty weather, there’s nothing better than inviting friends over for a big pot of soup, a fire and conversation.

    Sauvie Island — my favorite place to go walk along the Columbia River

    How do you plan to celebrate the holidays this year?
    I am heading to my hometown of Santa Barbara for the holidays, where I’ll be spending a couple weeks with my family soaking up some much needed sun and vitamin D. 70-degree weather on Christmas always means a walk on the beach after we’ve exhausted ourselves with gift-opening and eating. I’ll catch up on reading, visit with old friends and do excessive amounts of baking with my mom and sisters.

    A snap of my little stoop with my mini Christmas tree

    Your role as Community Director for Kinfolk has involved everything from location scouting, orchestrating events and workshops all over the world, styling, writing features, and even photography. How do you stay inspired and energized, especially in the colder months?
    During the colder, darker months, I try to make use of the long nights by working on personal projects that keep me energized for the rest of my work. This usually means making fun holiday décor for around the house, working on handmade gifts for friends and family, maybe even taking out my watercolors or carving knife for whittling some new wooden spoons.

    A shot of my studio apartment

    Do you have any advice or tips for hosting a holiday gathering?
    Simplicity is key. Forget the stress this season and focus on having smaller, more meaningful gatherings. Instead of spending time, energy and money on a lavish party with lots of food and décor, make it a potluck and channel your creativity into telling your friends why they’ve been important to you this year. Ultimately way more memorable than an elaborate centerpiece or fancy cake.

    One of the first-ever Kinfolk dinners in Brooklyn, at the Green Building

    We tend to appreciate our homes more in winter, when we spend more time indoors. What sensory elements do you like to incorporate into your home and/or work environment during this time of year?
    Bringing the outdoors in is important to me at any time of year, but particularly during winter when days are shorter and my chances of getting outside during the week are nil. My home is filled with wild evergreen branches, simple wreaths and dried bits and bobs from earlier in the season. I constantly burn pinon incense for a cozy smell, and keep photos on the wall of Oregon spring and summertime so I don’t forget that someday there will be warmth again.

    Another photo from around the house

    What are some of your gift picks this year?

    For my sister: She’s a teacher and always has lots to haul back and forth from school. I know this tote would quickly become a staple for everyday use. Clare Vivier La Tropezienne Tote.

    For my dad: I love helping keep my dad’s wardrobe updated, and this lightweight jacket would be the perfect thing for chillier Santa Barbara evenings. Filson Cover Cloth Weekender Coat.

    For my mom: She’s a sucker for blue and white, and I know this blankie would get some good use during breakfasts eaten on the porch in the morning cold. Brahms Mount Personal Day Blanket.

    For my brother-in-law: I’d love to get these super cool sunnies for my brother-in-law — especially to match his ginger beard. Steven Alan Optical Monroe Sunglasses in Burnt Sienna.

    For my friend/neighbor:  My sweet friend is taking me to Palm Springs for a post-Christmas getaway, and this fun little number would be the perfect thing for our quick California trip. A.P.C. Leopard Sweater Dress.

    For me: I can never have enough stripes or sweaters in my closet, and this looks like the coziest way to get me through the Portland winter. Demylee Striped Alexa Cashmere Sweater.

    Many thanks to Julie! You can read more about her here, and if you’re looking for some ideas for meals for your next gathering, check out The Kinfolk Table for great recipes.

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 2:00 pm and is filed under Friends of Steven Alan, Photos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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