The Made In America Project

published Jul 30, 2014
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Name: Micha Thomas and Jaime Lawson of The Made In America Project
Location: Laurel Canyon- Los Angeles, California
Size: Converted sunroom into a home office 400 Square Feet
Years lived in: barely a year, rented

Merging their backgrounds in public relations and the fashion industry, Micha and Jaime have created The Made In America Project, which offers a badge of certification to 100% American-made products. Their interest in supporting our domestic independent brands was just the beginning, as they also offer select e-commerce, community events, and creative services. In addition to being impressed with their community-minded thinking, I was in awe of their grass roots workspace, which is actually a converted sunroom in Micha’s Laurel Canyon home.

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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Their office is small, but offers plenty of inspiration for day to day creativity. Surrounded by trees and dreamy sunlight, this office is all windows. Every inch of their 400 square-foot space has significance: “[There’s] all of the beautiful MiA goods we house here. Seeing them every day creates a “pinch me” feeling, knowing that we’re doing something we care deeply about and is hopefully reaching others in a meaningful way.”

They believe that comfort and inspiration are the most essential parts in designing an office, but lend much of their design aesthetic to the city of Los Angeles itself. “It’s undeniable how much living in LA, especially both living in Southern California for over a decade, affects décor and design choices. Starting with the architecture of the space—a very indigenous canyon design—to the airy, almost beachy feel of the office, we are very much So Cal girls. A laidback and almost ethereal work setting is also a very native element of where we live.”

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Hate to use the word, but eclectic. The sweeping styles we are drawn to can be glimpsed in our website and The MiA Shop, and that is truly an extension of our individual existences. We love vintage and bohemian styles, street art, mystical imagery, Bauhaus, mid century modern and so much more. This office possesses more of a beach bungalow meets Santa Fe style dwelling, but we mix a lot in.

Inspiration: The artists and designers we work with first and foremost. We pull inspiration from so many sources – magazines, design movements, music, TV shows, it’s just too much to name!

Favorite Element: The almost 360 windows and near constant breeze coming in. The room is so peaceful and so inviting – it’s hardly ever a challenge to get people to take meetings with us here! It’s a great respite from the city and traffic, and we can really just focus. Hours fly by around here, but the space lends itself to much productivity without any frenetic background.

Biggest Challenge: Lots of storage space for our inventory and office supplies but no wall space to hang photos and inspiration boards. So we use the pull down white shades to tack images and papers to for planning boards and use lots of wipe boards.

What Friends Say: Do you have an artist in residence work program? The truth is, we love for people to come work out of the space, so they really don’t have to ask!

Biggest Embarrassment: None so far, except for those inevitable days of workspace messiness.

Proudest DIY: That’s a tough one. Almost everything about our work and our space is DIY!

Biggest Indulgence: Recently, it was a small Tanya Aguiniga white cotton rope basket to hold some of our favorite MiA items.

Best Advice: So many hours—stressful and exhilarating—are spent in an office, so be authentic and true to yourself in how you want to decorate. As tempting as it may be to aim for tidy, minimal and almost clinical to avoid clutter or distractions, be sure that’s what will create an inspiring work environment for you and your co-workers or collaborators.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Resources of Note:

  • The MiA Project sign made by Johnny Franck of downtown LA-based Casual Letterpress.
  • Arrows & Eskers olive wood bowl, Shannon Reed Home candle, The Pairabirds Emerald and Graphite Prints
  • Gypsy Stardust velvet caftan, Arrows and Eskers olive wood bowl
  • A Question of Eagles ceramic planter, Marble & Milkweed Rose and Chamomile Butter, Jenny Pennywood navy triangle print napkins, Gather magazine, Marble & Milkweed Fleurs & Cacao Tea, Iacoli & McAllister Copper and Brass Tube Necklaces
  • on Jaime: vintage top and jewelry, C&C California drawstring pants. Moon Juice, Summer Bummer tank, Shannon Reed Home candle, The Pairabirds prints, Iacoli &McAllister Hex weights
  • Jenny Pennywood napkins and tea towels, Morning Glory Confections nut brittles
  • Arrows & Eskers wood bowls in olive, carob, and walnut
  • Bleu Garters Victoria Headband
  • The Pairabirds Emerald print
  • The Pairabirds Graphite print
  • the palatines shoes new fall collection
  • vintage denim jacket, Summer Bummer tie dyed tank, Sumer Bummer purse
  • Summer Bummer tanks
  • watercolor by Jaime’s mother, artist Nancy Lawson
  • Arrows & Eskers want bowls, Bleu Garters headbands hanging on The MiA Project sign, Shannon Reed candle

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Thanks, Micha + Jaime!

(Photographs: Bethany Nauert)

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