To welcome Fall, I dressed up my home, (and myself!) with Dove and Donkey’s consciously crafted pieces.
I’m thrilled to be partnering with the delightful all-ladies team at Dove and Donkey, a small online business focused on thoughtfully designed home essentials. Dove and Donkey’s home décor accessories are infused with craftmanship, and inspired by creativity and culture.
To understand my love for this brand, I need to tell you the inspiring story behind Dove and Donkey and its clothing sister company, Tardy Donkey, and more specifically about their founders, Sheila Galligan and Jadine Greenaway.
Sheila grew up in a family of business owners. Not knowing where she wanted to land in the workforce, she studied economics in college and tried her hand in financial services, but never felt fully fulfilled in the discipline, so she went back to school to study interior design.
Sheila credits her teenage daughter for kickstarting Dove and Donkey and Tardy Donkey, focused on small batch clothing pieces and elevated basics: “Throughout the years, my teenage daughter had been listening to me talk about different business ideas I had wanted to pursue, from design to retail ventures. I had kept a book, journaling my many ideas and one day when I was adding to it, she so bluntly asked in her best teenage with an attitude voice, “when are you actually going to start one of these businesses you’re always talking about?”.
Shown above: Broomstick throw, color wine, Hand painted reversible placemats in spice/ sand color, 100% cotton, and Frayed napkins, in textured cotton.
Something ‘clicked’, and Sheila gathered her designs, did some soul searching, and approached Jadine Greenaway with “the book” she had gathered over the years.
Jadine was born in Montserrat, West Indies and migrated to the U.S at the age of 8. She calls Boston, Massachussetts, home, but she has kept a strongly-rooted island culture: “Montserrat remains my North Star even now. I am so proud to be Montserratian!” Jadine confides. With a great love for costume design and production, Jadine is also actively involved in international carnivals and the Caribbean music scene; A licensed bartender and a fairly well known Soca Artiste – yes, the lady can sing as well ! – Jadine loves designing and making carnival costumes for various Caribbean Carnivals: “Think brightly colored ostrich plumes, pheasant tail feathers, gems and glitter galore under the hot Caribbean sun!” declares Jadine.
Jadine admits she’s always had what she modestly calls “a knack” for fashion: “I look at an item and I begin to connect the dots in my mind and then I bring the look to life.” After attending Simmons University in Boston, Ma., she sharpened her skills for 14 years while working for former luxury retailer Barneys New York. It’s also where she met Sheila Galligan, one of her first clients! The rest is history!
“Jadine’s expertise with apparel was a perfect fit and we seemed to be on the same page about a lot of things”, says Sheila. “We work so well together. I love her energy and we make a great pair. There’s mutual respect and most importantly, neither of us is afraid to state an opinion. It just really works seamlessly!”
Naturally, when you put two ladies of this caliber together, only magic can happen! Born of a desire for unique colors (the Broomstick throw and its deep wine hue is a delight to the eye!) textures, and pieces that can be combined effortlessly, Dove and Donkey preaches a philosophy in design and décor that can be thoughtful and playful, fresh but never dated. It’s the epitome of the “less house more home” lifestyle and philosophy I constantly preach in this space and apply in my own everyday life!
Dove and Donkey believes that the relationship with the crafters and makers is as important as the end product and seeks to work with people who share a similar sustainable and work ethic vision: while the collection is designed in Boston, Sheila and Jadine collaborate with small factories and cooperatives that have a positive working environment, as well as equitable pay practices. Peruvian alpaca is favorited for its sustainability and hypoallergenic qualities and if you could feel their alpaca fleece, you’d know that it is softer than cashmere and a heaven to wrap yourself into in the cooler Fall nights… Dyes using natural materials such as plants, insects, or minerals such as roots, berries, cochineal, bark, leaves, and wood are privileged during the fabrication process, and Dove and Donkey’s cottons, from weaving to dying or painting are entirely processed manually in Argentina in small batches, with loving hands: “We love that you can see the human hand in every painted stripe. No two pieces are alike but they all are created with an abundance of love and energy!” declare Jadine and Sheila…
Tardy Donkey follows the same brand ethos and life philosophy as its parent company: a constant desire for sustainability and a love for details are essential elements of Tardy Donkey’s small batch of elevated basics – think exquisitely soft and comfy terry hoodies updated with vintage French laundry labels from the 1940s! I love to wrap myself in a bubble of terry heaven after my yoga class, and the repurposed vintage French laundry label detailing makes me go weak to the knees, wouldn’t you agree?
Late and lazy breakfast after a restful yoga session: I’m wearing a Tardy Donkey Laundry Hoodie, made with vintage French laundry labels from the 1940s and French Terry.
If you believe, as I do, in designing the space you love without following preset rules, in pieces infused with craftmanship and in small online businesses who focus their energy and soul into creating sustainable goods that are kind to both people and the planet, then I highly encourage you to pay Sheila and Jadine a visit and check the Dove and Donkey collection; it is filled with love, beauty, human kindness and a passion for craftmanship… Happy Fall season guys!
Top image: Si is wearing the Tardy Donkey French Laundry Tee in Vintage Black, and is preparing one of her favorite homemade easy going dishes: a Pissaladière, which is an onion-based pizza, typical of the Southeastern France region.
To make your own version at home for your loved ones, grab your complementary downloadable card recipe here, courtesy of the sweet ladies at Dove and Donkey! Bon appétit, and please, don’t forget to treat yourself these days… Xx, Si-
This post is in partnership with Dove and Donkey. Thank you for supporting brands that help keep French By Design’s doors open.