#WanderableGypset: Rachel and Carly of The Citizenry

Make your home something to talk about with these extraordinary products from The Citizenry 

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We love it when we find like-minded people who believe in the importance of travel and experiences. We caught up with #WanderableGypset, Rachel and Carly, the two travel gurus of The Citizenry, who revealed to us their passions and the concept behind their incredibly unique philosophy and website. These two wanderers have a strong belief that our homes should be a reflection of the journeys that we take, so they travel the world and find the best of the best to sell on their awesome website. They collaborate with local artisans in various countries to combine their modern style with their time-tested techniques to bring you an exclusive collection of home goods. Here is an inside look at our latest #WanderableGypset: Rachel and Carly of The Citizenry.

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Wanderable: Walk me through an average day in your un-average life.

CARLY: Our days in the studio always start with a French press and some time to love on the office dogs. Then we jump into lots of emails and calls with our artisan partners, web team, and graphic designer. It’s a lot of unglamorous hard work, but we have a talented team that makes the day-to-day exciting. The really un-average days are when we’re traveling to visit our artisan partners…

RACHEL: Whether it’s a 20-hour bus ride to visit a rural village in Peru or trekking across Africa, we’ve already accumulated so many great stories. When we’re traveling to visit artisan partners, we constantly have these pinch-yourself moments when we can’t believe we’re lucky enough that this is our job.

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What inspired you to develop this type of business? Was it something you always dreamed of doing or something you just fell into?

RACHEL: The idea came from our own frustrations trying to find beautifully crafted items for our own homes. We were looking for high quality, handcrafted pieces, from a company we could feel good about, at a price that didn’t break the bank. That’s a tough combination to find.

CARLY: We started thinking about the things in our homes that we treasured, and all those items had a story behind them – either the story of the maker or the place where it was from. We wanted to build a brand that celebrates those people and stories behind the products.

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How do you decide where you want to travel?

RACHEL: We choose places for our collections based on their natural resources and product expertise in a certain category.

CARLY: For example, we went to Argentina for the country’s incredible leather, and we targeted Peru for their native alpaca and weaving expertise. Both cultures also have rich histories of craftsmanship, and we were so excited to shine a light on those stories.

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If you could choose one of our Wanderable Experiences (we have over 2,500!) which one would it be and why? (www.wanderable.com)

CARLY: The site is a rabbit hole of experiences I die over, but I’d pick this Cambodia package. It’s a country I haven’t explored,  Angkor Wat is on my bucket list.

RACHEL: I’ll never turn down a chance to go to France. This tour of Champagne has my name written all over it!

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What is your favorite item on the website and why?

CARLY: I’m head over heels in love with our Copper Butterfly Chairs. They are handcrafted in Buenos Aires and are the perfect mix of modern design and old world craftsmanship.

RACHEL: The Estrellas Rug is another one of our favorites. We worked with a small group of weavers outside of Lima to hand dye every color and weave these beauties start to finish. Each one takes six weeks to complete, so they’re true works of art.

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What are you loving right now?

CARLY:  Public Supply Notebooks are my new favorites for scribbling notes and ideas.

RACHEL:  Red velvet macarons and maman coffee cups.

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What are your travel essentials? OR What’s always in your carry-on?

CARLY: Cuyana travel cases and drybar detox dry shampoo.

RACHEL: It may sound like a shameless plug, but I always travel with one of our San Pedro blankets. I’m always cold on flights, and these are the perfect weight for travel.

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What destinations are on your bucket- list?

CARLY: Morocco and Turkey. We’re already dreaming up possibilities in all those places.

RACHEL: Japan would be an incredible collection as well.

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Now you can easily see why we are gushing over The Citizenry. Just wait til you see the other products that are sold on the website–they definitely give Anthro and Urban a run for their money. We cannot wait to see what else Rachel and Carly have in store!

#WanderOn

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Our Favorite Travel Instagrams

Documenting a Movement: Up your style game when you’re on the road with inspo from these Instagram icons.

Whether you lean towards the chic and polished or the rugged and bohemian, these buzzworthy whippersnappers provide endless aesthetic inspiration. We’ve poked and prodded through the inner-workings of the internet to find you Instagram’s hottest wanderers. Here’s who we adore, and why we adore them. Here are our favorite Travel Instagrams!

Diddy’s Back

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What even is Teresa Oman’s life? This Australian supermodel is the ultimate PYT, and she makes every doorstep look like a new hotspot. We ache from the cool.

Our Wild Abandon

Our Wild Abandon

Jill & Kyla are the hippest couple ever…and they travel across the country with effortless cool. We think we now understand the meaning of the word “Americana,” thanks to these two modern-day James Deans.

Murad Osmann

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 Take the hand of this music industry badass as he globetrots with his haute hippie girlfriend. I guess our invitation got lost in the mail…

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This collection of photos makes us feel like we just played in the snow and then took a hot shower. Good, clean fun.

Paris in Four Months

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Carin Olsson moved to Paris to follow her dreams. After five minutes on her page, we challenge you NOT to move there.

View From The Topp

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Photographer Kate Brien challenges our perception of the world in a silly, subversive way…by taking masterful photos of her cool shoes, on cool sidewalks, all over the globe. Oh to be a shoe on that foot… (#WanderingFeet, anyone?)

Stone Fox Bride

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This coquettish NYC bridal boutique has taken their Instagram to the next level. It is now a mecca for all things unshamefully girly, from rings to dresses to nineties photos of SJP. It is a mini-vacation for the eyes.

Othello Nine

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Scott Rankin takes on anyone who might consider Instagram a girls-only-party. His majestic, masculine photographs of Vancouver nature make the air we breathe feel a bit fresher and cleaner.

Foster Huntington

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Foster takes us through America and beyond via surfboard, skateboard, and RV. We feel more athletic already! *Swoon*

Sorella Muse

Sorella Muse

Our first #WanderableGypset, Nikki Anderson, never disappoints. After moving to Singapore with her dreamy fiancee, her posts have only gotten more whimsical, literary, and glistening. She is one of our loveliest Wanderable wunderkinds.

So, folks, is it time to up your Instagram game? Or perhaps you have already cultivated a follow-worthy aesthetic? Leave your Insta handle in the comments section so we can find you! (Also, be sure to follow us on our travels on Instagram!)

#WanderOn

Interview with Wedding Extraordinaire Darren Allen Dunn

#Wanderable Tastemaker: Interview with wedding extraordinaire, Darren Allen Dunn

Staying Home is Overrated.

 

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It’s near-impossible not to envy the carefully curated life of wedding extraordinaire, Darren Allen Dunn. This event, wedding & production designer flutters between homes in Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, and Paris, leaving his Midas touch for design, and delighting his clients, wherever the universe leads him. We can’t get enough of his uplifting Instagram because his attention to detail is unlike any we’ve ever seen. In the worlds of Roald Dahl, “Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you…those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Here we caught up with Darren so he could share some of his secrets for living wildly & freely.

Wanderable: What inspired you to become an wedding/event planner? Was it something you always dreamed of doing or something you just fell into?

Dunn: I’ve always been inspired by sounds, fabrics, found objects, spaces, and environments, but I sort of stumbled into the event business. While freelancing as a graphic designer, I was hired by a bridal boutique to re-brand them and lead their design. It was the beginning of the shift to digital, so there was a lot of hand-holding on my part to familiarize the owner with communicating his desired brand energy to a new and growing audience. We became friends, and meetings led to conceptualizing, designing and planning a sixty-model fashion show. From there, I became hooked. The natural progression blended all of my skills for a special, experiential purpose.

White wedding Banquet Table With Milk & Doughnuts

Where did your signature hashtag #LifeYourBestLifestyle come from?

By nature I am curious, and I am a romantic and an adventurer. I always hold and see the beauty in fleeting moments, and my goal is to translate that feeling into a tangible journey for my clients. I want every experience DADL creates to be an extension of oneself, only elevated. For me that means spending time discovering who they are aesthetically, socially, psychologically, and spiritually, and illuminating their most natural traits to create a cohesive whole. While some designers and design industries are smoke and mirrors, I try to keep the purity of intention alive throughout the experience. My hope is that even after an invite date has passed, an elevated energy will carry on throughout their lives.

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Tell me a little bit about the process of planning an event (i.e. getting to know the couple, figuring out exactly what they want, budget, etc.)

One of the first questions I ask is, “How much do you want to spend?” Once that’s established, getting to the lifestyle core of clients really informs how I’ll work with them. I want to know what you feel, how you feel it and how that manifests itself. Why do you enjoy that particular shade of green? Where was your last vacation and why? Do you consider your friends family or vice versa? Why this wine over that? The questions can go on and on, and usually do, but the goal is to make sure the details are intrinsic to the client’s spirit. Love is in the details and this is why people hire event designers.

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Have you ever dealt with a bridezilla? How did you handle it?

Luckily, knock on wood, I haven’t had any clients I wouldn’t work with all over again. Know of any? I’m always up for a challenge.

What are a few things that all brides should know before they start planning their wedding?

I can’t say that I have a list of things all brides should know beforehand. I will say, however, that a wedding isn’t only the day printed on an invitation. Brides (and grooms) should remember that the festivities are simply the culmination of time spent putting into form the acknowledgement and celebration of a milestone. Lean in during every meeting, tasting, fitting, rehearsal and embrace the moments. Love is in the details, so don’t entertain negative energy or hints of stress because that really defeats the purpose of the entire happening and will only take away from a moment where you otherwise would have been fully present to learn even more about you and your partner.

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What are the biggest challenges that you face in working with clients to create their dream event?

Carte blanche is a dream come true, but that’s not always a reality. As an event designer, you’re usually chosen for your distinct point of view which is guided by a usually outrageous imagination. Bringing those ideas to fruition in a way that fulfills a client’s desires and stretches your ability all while remaining obtainable and true to vision is probably our biggest challenge.

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If you could choose one of our Wanderable Experiences (we have over 2,500!) which one would it be and why? 

I’m sort of living my Wanderable Experience at the moment in that this spring, we’ll be relocating flagship to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s an incredible time and an opportunity to be inspired by, experience and work in a part of the world where you’ll still find large areas of untouched geography blended so seamlessly with internationally influenced architecture, cuisine and entertainment.

What I find incredibly magical about Puerto Vallarta is that while it’s a major tourist and expat draw, its energy has remained largely unaffected by rapid growth and the authenticity of its people and history is still on full display. It hasn’t turned into a G10 rest stop, in part, because there’s a level of respect among many expats for the people and history that unfortunately I find lacking in some other destinations.

I would highly recommend renting a house or villa in the hills just north or south of Old Town because you’ll not only have full city and ocean views, but it’s easier to get around hotspots while simultaneously having neighbors who live and work right in the area. Also, I don’t want to give away too many secrets, but if you journey along the coast, just south of the city, there are tons of opportunities for relatively inexpensive boat rentals and snorkeling and some incredible restaurants that you otherwise wouldn’t know about if you only spend time in the city itself.

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What’s on your bucket list?

I was thinking about this a few days ago and have actually checked quite a few things off in the last year. However, of the remaining items I can actually share (laughter), I would say that my top three would be to spend about a month motor biking and camping through the Tanzanian mountains, participating in Carnival and seeing Rio de Janeiro from atop Christ the Redeemer, and discovering someone just as curious to do the first two with.

And we are confident that they will be the coolest couple ever. Stay tuned for more forays into Dunn’s exciting life on his social media and be sure to stay tuned on his website coming soon, which will feature posts and news for other aspiring adventurers. Thank you, Darren! We are never going to look at a table setting the same way again!

#WanderOn

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#WanderingEyes featuring Andy Card

#WanderingEyes…An Artful New Series from Wanderable

We hope you wanderers have been enjoying our series #WanderableGypset, in which we glean highlights from the lives of some of our favorite professional haute-bohemian travelers. In this new series, we will shine a light on artists who travel the world documenting its beauty, and our first feature is the incomparable food & travel photographer Andy Card.

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Who is this Andy Card, you ask?

He is a well-respected food photographer turned travel blogger & photographer extraordinaire. We are obsessed with his sunny, minimalist aesthetic. He and his gorgeous girlfriend trot the globe hand in hand to exotic locales like Amalfi, Croatia, Serbia, and Paris…and Andy captures their brightest moments with rare precision. His photos imbue the world with a surreal, otherworldly dreaminess.

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Here are some of our absolute favorite snaps…and a quick exclusive one-on-one with the wunderkind himself.

Q: Why food?

A: Food is multi-faceted: It’s political, life-giving, and complex. It brings people together. It’s art. I appreciate Rembrandt, Picasso, or Monet, but I’d rather spend my time participating in works of art from gastronomic geniuses such as Adría, Achatz, or Redzepi. Besides, who doesn’t love food?

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Q: What is the best part about traveling with your GF?

A: The short answer is…everything. We like to skip the tourist attractions and find out where the best food markets are and explore, talk with the local food and wine producers in the region. She is high-energy like me, so we typically see a lot of what each city has to offer. The best part is being able to look back on all the places we have traveled and start sentences like: “Remember that sunset in Maui?” or “Remember that dinner in Florence?” I feel so lucky to share those moments with someone I treasure.

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Q: Most magical place you’ve ever been (and why)?

A: Hmm…this is a difficult question. I’ve been to a lot of magical places that are steeped in history, but if I have to choose, I would say India. I just went for my first time during Christmas, and it’s a complete culture shock. The colors and smells are plentiful. India is exotic. But what makes India so magical is the people. They are very caring and resourceful. They never stop feeding you! Oh, and don’t get me started on the food. The food there is beyond amazing.

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Q: Most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten (or the prettiest)?

A: Another difficult question, but I would say my dinner at Vendome in Germany. At the time, Vendome was ranked 10th best in the world and with three Michelin stars to its name, I knew it was going to be good. And it was better than what I expected. In total, the meal came out to around 20 courses. Everything you could imagine. The desserts were by far the prettiest I’ve seen, too. The best part always comes at the end of the dinner. Once you’ve pushed passed your limits, the waiter always comes by with something extra and you can’t turn it down. In this case, I was presented with a tray full of chocolate truffles. All different flavors and I could choose however many I desired. It was like a dream.

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Q: What do you hate about taking photos?

A: There are days when the conditions are not what you hoped for, your gear is not cooperating, or you’re just void of creativity for a particular shot. It’s not all fun. In fact, a lot of work is involved if you want a great shot, let alone a series of great shots. Food photography is especially fickle at times.

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Q: Why do you do it anyway?

A: It always comes back to that one shot that turned out surprisingly magnificent or that one compliment from someone whom you admire. That’s all it takes. The affirmation reminds me that all the hours spent preparing, photographing, and then post processing are worth it. Also, we all need to express ourselves. Photography gives me purpose when I travel, and it has fostered in me an encouragement & bravery to explore places I might not have otherwise ventured.

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Now you can see why we are so obsessed with Andy Card and his ah-mazing photography. He makes us want to wander the world and stop at every single restaurant along the way. Be sure to check out the rest of his incredible photography!

#WanderOn

The Art of Travel: Wanderable Chooses the Winning Twenty20 Photo

Drumroll please… The winner of the Wanderable/Twenty20 Photo Contest is: Steven Potter!

First of all may we say how in awe we are of everyone who submitted photos to our Wanderable/Twenty20 contest. The photos we saw truly moved us and made us want to crawl in your suitcase and go everywhere with you! The winner (who gets to enjoy a Wanderable trip to Napa, California) was ultimately Seattle-based Steven Potter, with this photo of a seaside Seattle cove at dusk:

romance photo by @steven_potter  The winning Twenty20/Wanderable Photo by Steven Potter

The reason why we fell in love with this photo? It has an original point of view: Steven took the photo through a piece of driftwood. He’s on the outside looking in on a moment between two people. Wanderable is all about helping couples share memorable experiences together, and Steven’s point of view is a great allegory for helping couples craft & capture moments. It tells a story: This couple is exploring an unknown location, and their appearance and body language tells us they’re adventuring.  One is in the stereotypical explorer stance with one hand above the brow. We feel like this really captures everything we’re about: people, traveling, exploring, etc., and for his a reward he’ll travel to Napa and indulge in a vacation, on us.

Moss

To learn more about this emerging artist…be sure to check out his galleries of photos HERE, and here’s Steven in his own words: “Since I was very young I can remember being fascinated with photography.  My father had a 35 MM camera that was strictly off limits to us kids.  In 1987,when I was about 18, he went on a business trip and had left his camera on the kitchen table.  My creative side got the better of me and I used his camera to take some photos of a squirrel playing outside our window.  I put the camera back and forgot all about it until he had the photos developed.  I remember him saying that they were great photos but he didn’t remember taking them.  It wasn’t until I had my first photography show that I finally fessed up to my dad that I was the one to take those photos.  I figured by then, I was 30 years old and so much time had passed that he wouldn’t get angry!  He took it very well and said that he was very proud of my work.”

Bridge

For more Whimsical, Wanderable-esque moments, be sure to also check out Steven’s Instagram and Twitter. And read on for some more background on this fascinating photographer, and how he found himself unwittingly immersed in art.

Wanderable: When did you fall in love with photography?

Steven Potter: I first truly got into photography when I bought my first digital camera for a trip to New York City in 2001.  Soon after I returned, I decided to do a coffee table book as a Christmas gift for my housemate of his beautiful home that I was sharing with him that was built in 1902.  My goal was to make even simple features seem beautiful, unique & artistic.  My housemate, at that time, owned a wine bar here in Seattle and would feature a local artist each month.  He loved my coffee table book gift and asked me to show my work at his wine bar. It took some convincing, but I accepted his invitation and had my first exhibit. It was at that show that I told my father about those squirrel photos.

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W: What is your favorite thing to shoot?

S: Although I truly enjoy all types of photography, I have to say my favorite subject is nature photography.  It’s not a clear favorite, however, as I love taking still life, portrait, travel & architecture photos to name a few.

W: Where did you get the idea for your winning photo?

S: Regarding my winning photograph.  It happened organically.  I had hiked to a secluded beach on the Washington coast to take some photos during a foggy morning.  I loved the unique piece of driftwood that had the hole in it.  I was checking it out to see if I could get any unique shots when I noticed the couple walking along the beach.  I composed the shot I wanted and waited for the right timing to snap the photo as they passed by.

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W: What is your favorite place to photograph?

S: Honestly, that’s a tough one.  I love anywhere that has natural beauty, unique architecture, historical value, etc and find something special and unique about everywhere I go.

W: Selfishly we must know…if you could have any Wanderable experience, what would it be?

S: If I could take pictures on any of your Wanderable Experiences it would be the Imagine Asia: Bankok, Koh Samui package. My brother and his wife recently were in Thailand and tell me often that I would love going there to do photography.  It would be amazing to experience some of the scenic coast, tropical forests, ancient temples and modern cities.  Not to mention the food.

Well done, and well deserved, sir.

#WanderOn