Wandering Williamsburg, Brooklyn in Summer.... Awwww yeah. Where all the achingly hip young things come to play, shop and dine, with a view across the East River to Manhattan that is so blindingly beautiful, it will make your eyes water. There is more to this buzzing borough than just great street art, rooftop bars and hipsters. There are green spaces and playgrounds for the kids and baseball and soccer fields for the locals. Children's museums and organic markets. Treelined streets and brownstones juxtapose with industrial eyesores. Oh, and the best part, everywhere you go, there is food that will knock your socks off!
It's a treat for the senses, and Brooklyn quickly became our second home away from home during our American adventure.
Here's our list of must do's if your in the area... Eat at the Glasserie in Greenpoint, try the street food at Smorgasburg, and take the East River Ferry downtown to Dumbo for ice cream and a play in the water park, and then keep going down to Governors Island - New York's best kept secret for kids.
Time, please, slow down for just a minute!
I truly can't believe we've reached July already. That means we are heading in to our 5th month since our family set sail from Australia on this journey to America... Impossible! So much has happened in that space of time. When I take a second to reflect on it, the journey in reverse looks like a giddy, wonderful whirlwind of inspiration, of culture, of soaking up the new, and forming relationships. It's been mostly marvellous, with a handful of challenges thrown in for good measure :)
So. NYC. You might wonder why we chose New York as our destination. What's the big deal about New York, one might say. Hmmmm. Where do I begin?
My love affair with the Big Apple began when I first travelled to New York City with girlfriends from high school at the age of 18. Just babes we were! We instantly fell under the spell of this intoxicating, heady city. There is so much to love about it - growing up on a steady stream of American books, tv shows and films set in New York, everything feels and looks so familiar and exciting! It was clear we were in the most exciting place in the world. We had a ball, and of course burnt through our spending money, meant to last us 3 months, in the space of 10 days!
Ryan and I have always dreamt of a good reason to come back and within 2 years of launching our business, we engineered the perfect opportunity. Being here has allowed us to work alongside our makers to launch our new collection, and forge new relationships with partners who will play an integral role in the day to day running of Such Great Heights in the USA.
We are so grateful to be here with our girls, celebrating the vibrance of the city, and its fascinating history and architecture with them. When the relentlessness of the city and its pace wears us out, we take to upstate NY, where the rolling hills and forests are welcoming and the air is pure.
Here's a little photo montage to look back at our time in New York City and New York state in Spring. Let's see what summer has in store for us next...
Pictures from top:
- The incredible pool in the YMCA on the Upper East Side, adorned with tiles donated by the King of Spain in the 1920s.
-Finding a children's utopia in Central Park... mega playground.
- A day trip to the gorgeous town of Cold Spring, upstate New York. If anyone is looking for a great spot to stay 1 hour from the big smoke that is beautiful, quaint, community oriented, with just a sprinkling of hip, this is the place for you.
- Exploring the lakes of upstate New York, and soaking up the Spring sun.
- Appreciating the vista of the Hudson Valley, NY.
- The green spaces in NYC are marvellous in the Spring. First, Union Square.
- Then Spring in Central Park. Beeeeeeeyond beautiful blossoms and tulips as far as the eyes can see. Celebrating a little lady's 7th birthday at the Central Park Zoo, and taking our new Carnevale girl's dress for a spin.
With much excitement, we introduce our new home decor, women's and girl's apparel & accessories to our much loved Such Great Heights collection. If you've been following along for some time, you'll know that 3 months ago, we travelled by ship from Australia to America with our daughters to explore new opportunities for our brand. Now we are here and so thrilled to launch this new range from the epicentre of style, New York City.
We're incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with some exceptionally talented artists to develop the new textile print range. In particular we celebrate three different illustrations created uniquely for Such Great Heights by Melbourne based artists, Gemma Patford Legge and Laura Blythman, and Belgium based illustrator Mathilde Van Gheluwe.Laura Blythman is renowned for her use of colour and collage. Her recognisable aesthetic has garnered her a legion of fans and an impressive portfolio of work with clients ranging from start up businesses to high profile Australian and International brands. We asked Laura to create a 'great big abstract canvas of neons and watercolours'. And the result? Nothing short of spectacular! We adore the kaleidoscope of colour, the visual feast that is entitled, 'Carnevale'.
Gemma Patford Legge, also from Melbourne, is a creative dynamo with a background in fashion and textile art. She has attracted many accolades and seriously loyal fans for her beautiful range of handmade rope vessels and DIY workshops. Sophisticated, textural and oh so desirable, her vessels have been featured in all the very best Australian press, stores and events. Gemma also happens to be a true blue Aussie legend! Major cutie. When we saw that Gemma had begun painting beautiful celestial galaxy scenes on her woven rope pieces, we knew we had found our next collab artist! With a brief to create something twinkly and engaging that creates a sense of wonderment, Gemma set to work. She painstakingly hand painted a 2 metre square canvas to create this epic night sky, entitled 'Cosmos'.
We came across Mathilde's work after she won first prize at the Fumetto International Comix Festival in Switzerland. Instantly, we fell in love with her quirky line work and off beat, lovable characters and promptly got in touch to ask that she draw for Such Great Heights. The brief: Happy / Sad. We adore the little adventurer Mathilde has created for us, with her volatile mood and dirt stained cheeks. Applying her two different expressions to our cushions allows one to illustrate their current mood. It's a new take on the mood ring! Which side of the bed you wake up on today...Happy or sad?
We also revisit the Wildflowers print designed for us by our favourite Brooklyn based illustrator and friend, Rawaan Alkhatib. We also feature another illustration from the incredible and ever inspiring Spanish fashion house, La Casita de Wendy.
We have applied these designs to our new range of Wonder Tents, as well as our new cushions & clutch bags, and finally to our debut apparel range for women and girls! Classic, traditional shapes in a kaleidoscope of colour for women, girls and toddlers made in the USA from 100% cotton. These pieces are guaranteed to become a favourite trans-seasonal staple in your wardrobe.
This limited edition run is available to pre-order now! See individual listings for delivery estimates (between 2-4 weeks). Free international shipping on pre-order goods 31st May & 1st June only.
This capsule launch marks the beginning of a new direction for our Australian label. A pretty exciting leap to make for this 3 year old brand of ours. We hope you love it!
Always, for the dreamers.
WE HAVE ARRIVEDWords can't express how exciting this is. We've flown in planes, sailed the seas, hailed cabs, rode buses and walked many miles along the path to this new chapter in the story of Such Great Heights.As a family, each of us have had moments of feeling nervous, apprehensive, overwhelmed, hopeful, exicted, and elated!!For the most part, the girls have managed these big emotions with such grace and resilience - we are incredibly proud of them. Now it's time for Such Great Heights to shine, and we can't wait to release our new range in the coming weeks.Thanks to you all for following along xx
Well, what an amazing adventure we've had. This city is remarkable, it's positively teeming with excitement, beauty & possibility.Conversely, there is a good dose of chaos & desperation which can be very overwhelming. Oh & we made a casual enquiry about the real estate prices. Apparently a lazy $20 million will buy you a townhouse in the beautiful West Village. Insane!The last part of our trip saw us explore Brooklyn and Park Slope, Soho and the Financial District, and the beautiful West Village. We visited some of our fabulous existing stockists and introduced ourselves to potential new ones. We explored MOMA and the soberingly beautiful 9/11 memorial site. We ate amazing food, some from 99 cent pizza bars, and some from fabulous pubs and restaurants. And, we shopped. Of course!!Thank you New York, for showing us your many faces.