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Boheme Atelier

October 30, 2014

Boheme Atelier 1

Located on Cherokee Street, Boheme Atelier is a shop full of intoxicating scents and painted furniture. Sitting on top of the refinished dressers you will find a mix of vintage handbags, antique mirrors, and the latest line of Rifle Paper Co. notebooks. An eclectic mix of old, new, and restored items fill every inch of the shop. Candle holders, clocks, wrapping paper, necklaces, and the most wonderful smelling honeycomb soap are just a few of the treasures you’ll find if you peek around. A sweet spot to pick up a gift, or treat yourself to a that horse painting you never knew you needed.

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[All photos by Abby Gillardi.]

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a good laugh (+ a Dave Chappelle ticket giveaway)

October 28, 2014

dad jokes

I’ve always favored my fathers dry, sarcastic, distinctly british sense of humor. But sometimes i fear he’s lost all that and just given into dad jokes (see above image for proof). I’m a terrible joke teller. Absolutely awful. I can never remember the punchlines, i get the order jumbled, and sometimes i just lose my train of thought mid joke. Lucky for me, i’ve got a lot of funny people in my life to keep me laughing. Like the force behind Comedy in the Lou, who wants one lucky City in a Jar reader to be laughing Thursday night at Dave Chappelle at the Pageant. Win two tickets to the Dave Chappelle late show (10:00pm) on Thursday, October 30th at the Pageant thanks to Comedy in the Lou.

Here’s how to win…

First, follow @comedyinthelou on twitter.

Then, leave a comment below telling me your favorite joke (of the good, bad, or dad variety).

One winner will be chosen on Wednesday, October 29th at 6pm CST. Good luck – can’t wait to read all your jokes. The giveaway will be open until Wednesday, October 29th at 5pm. You must be 21+ to win tickets. UPDATE: Congrats to Aaron Speropoulos, who thanks to random.org and Comedy in the Lou will be enjoying the Dave Chappelle show tomorrow evening! Email hello@cityinajar.com to claim the tickets. 

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delivering your shit, one bike ride at a time.

October 27, 2014

Spoked Couriers 2

The dudes behind Spoked Couriers chat about life (and work) on a bike. 

Seven days a week, rain or shine, Chris Vela and Matt Hartman (the brains behind Spoked Couriers) spend their time delivering everything from breakfast burritos to flowers. And they do it all on a bike. With a list of rad clients in the STL area, these guys are offering a greener way to order dinner (or flowers, or diapers, or anything really). The idea that if they can strap it to their backs or bike racks, they can deliver it, leaves the options pretty open. You guys know what this means? BREAKFAST DELIVERY IS A THING IN ST. LOUIS.

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How did Spoked Couriers come to be?

Chris: There was only one other company doing bicycle delivery – that was Griffin Delivery at the time – and it was kind of like a startup that the owner sold. It became a different company called Bike Waiter. I think all the riders didn’t really jive with the idea of an out-of-state owner, especially an out of state owner that didn’t really ride or have an interest in personal interaction with the riders or the businesses. There was a lot of ribble-rabble about what to do about it. Matt was like “why don’t we just do it ourselves?” That’s where the ball started rolling.

What’s your favorite part about Spoked Couriers?

Matt: Making your living on a bicycle. Being your own boss, working when you want to, and making your own schedule. Personally, I would say my favorite part is working with local businesses, local restaurants, local start ups, and being part of the community.

Chris: Taking anything, whether it be food or dry packages, whatever it is, to people when the weather is complete crap. I love it when people are like “Man, you rule. I did not want to leave the house, because its stormy or hailing or snowing.” And every time that happens, it seems to be like a challenge for us.

What are some of your favorite partnerships?

Chris: Melt gives us free coffee. And they are just super rad anyway. Handlebar is pretty rad because we are all friends with them.

Matt: Wei Hong is the busiest.

Chris: They are all great. I don’t think we’d want to work with anyone that we just didn’t get along with.

Matt: We dialogue a lot about working with people who have a great product, who we like. All our partners are a good representation of that.

You obviously both biked before Spoked Couriers, but why did you decide to become a courier?

Chris: I thought we could do it better than anyone else. I delivered pizzas when I was 17, and I enjoyed that. I pretty much took that, took all the negatives out of it, and it’s worked out so far.

Matt: I like it because you don’t have a place you have to go to clock in and sit in a room for eight hours, you are outside, moving around, having fun, seeing shit.

What’s the most challenging thing about Spoked Couriers?  

Chris: The weather. And getting to people who are not familiar with bicycle delivery. Getting people used to the fact that we can do it. It’s hard to get people on board with bike delivery – it’s better, more green, just a better service and definitely more personal.

Matt: I think the other piece of that is that people don’t want to order in when it’s shitty out. People feel really bad because you’re out riding in the bad weather to deliver them things.

Chris: The best and worst part about it is the weather. It changes fast, but when you know what it is, you can dress for it.

What is the best thing you’ve ever delivered?

Chris: On Valentines Day we all got to take flowers and chocolates to peoples sweethearts. That was probably one of the most fun days. It was fulfilling too.

Whats the hardest thing you’ve ever had to deliver?

Chris: Probably Deweys Pizza – 12 extra larges with a salad on top. Made it from Clayton to University City and it all got there.

Matt: A large catering order from Fozzies. I had to go to Half and Half and pick up another catering order mid Fozzies delivery. That was a lot of food.

What do you deliver most?

Chris: Food.

What do you wish people knew you could deliver?

Chris: Beer. Legally. We can totally legally deliver booze.

Matt: You just have to order it through one of our clients. It’s not like we can go get you a bottle from the liquor store. But you can order from Handlebar, Fortune Teller, Sashas and Yakis. You call ‘em up and place an order and we will deliver it.

Who would you love to deliver for?

Chris: I’m going to have to fall back on what I love to eat in St. Louis, John Donut and Blues City Deli. Any and every locally owned and operated small restaurant bar in our South City zone would be great too.

Matt: I’d like to get more into the packages and parcels, the traditional bike courier stuff.

Who are some people in other cities doing this that you guys think are pretty rad?

Chris: TCB, our friendly San Fransisco based courier friends. TCB just celebrated their 5th year of doing this.

Matt: When we started out, we reached out to TCB because they knew what they were doing and asked for help. They’ve been doing it for years and years and are really successful. They coached us through the whole thing, and basically got us going.

What’s the Spoked Couriers motto?

Chris: We don’t have one. It’s one of those things that if you asked us when we first started, we would’ve tried to come up with something clever. Looking back, we’ve never had anything that we’ve repeated. Anything we have to say that would be a slogan, we just draw little pictures like children. Like the logo. That’s our slogan right there. A cow (midwest), brass knuckles (grimy St. Louis), a lightning bolt (fast), 3 rivers (the 3 rivers).

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[All photos by Adrian O. Walker.]

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the most covetable handwriting (+ a giveaway)

October 7, 2014

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When gorgeously whimsical handwriting and your favorite quotes get together, the result is Love Leesie. (You might remember the lovely penmanship from this post.) Browsing the shop stocked with everything from Charles Bukowski quotes to rap lyrics, it’s hard not do drop a small fortune on a very wordy gallery wall – all written out in that covetable Elise handwriting. I’d try to pick a favorite, but there’s no use. They are kind of like Pokemon in that I’m on a mission to collect them all.

Playing stylist to this set of prints was a real good time. In fact, it was such a good time, i’m sharing the fun. Keep scrolling for a chance to win your own Love Leesie print.

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Here’s how to win…

First, follow @loveleesie on instagram.

Then, leave a comment below letting me know which print you’d love to have!

One winner will be chosen on Tuesday, October 14th at 10am CST. Good luck – can’t wait to hear about which prints you like best. UPDATE! The winner (thanks to random.org picking the number 11) is Emily Salshutz. Congrats – you can email hello@cityinajar.com to claim your print.

[All photos by Abby Gillardi.]

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a desktop wallpaper fit for fall.

October 7, 2014

October Desktop Background

It’s fall! Your desktop could probably use a sweater or at the very least, a change of scenery. The super talented Mercedes Armstrong thinks so too. Mercedes is an illustrator based in St. Louis, whose work was recommended to me by this rad dude. Her patterns are fun, bold, and bursting with color. And for you lucky City in a Jar readers, Mercedes has turned one of her patterns into a desktop wallpaper. Keep scrolling for the download.

Mercedes Armstrong October 2014 Desktop

Click to download the OCTOBER WALLPAPER by Mercedes Armstrong.

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say it with a box, on a box, in a box.

October 3, 2014

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A conversation with Zoë Scharf about her role at greetabl, gift giving, and her love of St. Louis.

Stemming from the idea to deliver a message in a more meaningful way, greetabl was thought up by Joe Fischer. In the early stages of greetabl, Joe was creating prototypes out of cereal boxes and attempting to send them through the mail. Zoë jumped on board at greetabl as a contract designer at first. Now, Zoë boasts the title of co-founder and creative director with a background in graphic design and an education from the Sam Fox School at Washington University.

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What’s your favorite part about greetabl?

I love seeing other people interact with greetabl. Usually people are really excited by it because it’s new and different and interesting. That’s really cool. Seeing other people actually get genuine happiness from something you’ve been working on so hard, there’s nothing more rewarding.

Also, I’m learning a thousand things every single day. I’m 24 – there’s a lot of expereince yet to be had in my life and working on something like this, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new or meet somone new. Especially here in St. Louis. Everyone is willing to help you out, everyone is willing to connect you and give you the name of someone else who can really help you.

What have been some of your favorite partnerships or collaborations?

Working with Strange Donuts was a blast. No one belived that it was going to be possible to ship donuts in the mail, and it totally was. We had no idea what to expect. Corey and Jason from Strange Donuts were not sure if we were ordering too many by getting 400, and we were pretty sure that we were going to sell 200 max. Halfway through the day we had to order more, and ended up selling out of 1000! It was cool because we really only did local promotion, but St. Louis took it so far. We sent donuts to 39 states, plus Peurto Rico and D.C. We hand wrote 1,000 messages and loved reading the excuses people used to send a donut to friends.

You’re not from St. Louis…

No, I am from upstate New York. Not the cool part of New York. It’s like Albany and total suburbia.

I came out to St. Louis on a whim. I’d never heard of Washington University, but applied to the Sam Fox School of Design anyway. Even when I got in, I didn’t really expect to go. I feel like I’ve created my own family in St. Louis. It wasn’t really ever a place I wanted to live, but here I am. I’ve become the biggest cheerleader for the Midwest, and St. Louis specifically. Everyone back home is so confused by it.

Which is your favorite greetabl design?

Maybe not for design reasons, but I really like the St. Louis greetabl. Partly because our product is made in St. Louis. Also, it’s the one we’ve sold out of the most consistently. I also really like Retro Luggage.

What has been the most challanging thing about bringing greetabl to life?

I guess… I get really emotional about things. I just care so much about this product. When we were manifacturing it, we had a problem initially with the tape on the boxes not being strong enough to hold the greetabl together. It was so incredibly frustrating to me, because this is my baby and it’s not doing what I want it to do. I didn’t feel comfortable telling people to buy it. If you don’t have the perfect product, you don’t want to put it out there. It was really hard feeling out of control. It was also a learning experience, especially in sourcing stronger tape.

There are things we’ve improved upon, like the template or the messaging, and i’ll feel uncomfortable having an old one. That’s just me being a perfectionist.

Do you fancy yourself a good gift giver?

I think so. I’ve always prided myself on gifts, actually. I’m super crafty. If I really want to impress a friend, I spend a lot of time on it. For my roommates birthday, I made her a paper version of of a necklace featured in a book we both just read. It took me way to long to do, but was totally worth it. Making things personalized is great. For a while, I was book binding and giving those to people.

Getting creative with what I put into greetabls has been really fun too. I send my mom a giant scarf, and managed to fit it in a greetabl. I probably give greetabls the most of anyone in the world.

What are some of your dream collaborations?

I have so many. I really like the idea of putting a Lego set into a greetabl! I’d love it if there was some custom Lego/greetabl collaboration and you open it up and create something giant out of it.

I’d like to collaborate with….everyone. I get so excited when I talk to anyone who is excited about what they are doing. Anyone who is creative or doing cool things (that are 2.58 inches by 2.58 inches).

I also like to think greetabls make gift cards more sexy.

Who are some of the people in the biz that you look up to/draw inspiration from?

I have a small background in letterpress printing with Paper Boat Studios. The idea of going out of your way to give a better gift – that’s totally what letterpress is all about. That’s what I want greetabl to be all about.

A Mama’s Sauce collaboration would be amazing. I’ve always looked up to them. We actually connected through our mutual friend, Archie, and are working on a collaboration of making a letterpress greetabl. It’s just going to be so cool – the creativity and the aesthetic.

Rifle Paper Co. is always just so beautiful. Knock Knock is really interesting in that they are succesfully integrating something new into the market. They were like “we’re going to make check lists and sell them for money” and they’ve done it! Those lists are in every gift shop. I’m impressed by them.

Brad Woods! I met him at the Cherokee Print League sale. He’s an illustrator who created maginating. Just the way he talks about what he does is inspiring. He put his characters on greetabl and we went to the National Stationery Show with him. I respect him so much for how creative he is, and how he’s doing so well with his business. Fan girl, number one.

If you had a motto, it would be…

We help people make people smile. We just always want to be a resource for people when they want to go the extra mile. I just want to make people happy.

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[All photos by Abby Gillardi.]

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it starts with HELLO.

October 1, 2014

Lindt HELLO Chocolate

Making friends as an adult is hard. In our younger days we were given a built in network of people to be friends with. Sure, you maybe didn’t get along with all your school mates, but there were some lucky ones that became your best friends. It was as simple as finding out you both liked to play on the monkey bars or ate homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch everyday. As an adult, the idea of making friends can be super daunting. There are so many more factors than monkey bars to consider.

But sometimes, you meet a girl in a fish fry line, and a year later she is one of your closest friends. At least, that’s what happened with Elise. Food is the ultimate people connector. Especially the fried kind. But sometimes a sweeter taste is needed, and for that, there is Lindt HELLO chocolate. Because nothing says “hi, be my friend” more than a bar of chocolate that literally says HELLO! I didn’t need the chocolate to spark our friendship, but in the spirit of sharing we sat on the couch and devoured a couple Cookies + Cream bars.

Lindt HELLO Chocolate

Spark a few conversations of your own using Lindt HELLO. Need a little push to be outgoing? Check out the series, “It Started with HELLO”. And if that doesn’t do it for you, maybe an incentive to win will?  Enter to win the Lindt HELLO Sweet Connections Sweepstakes!  You can enter the sweepstakes every day for the sweet experiences from Lindt Chocolate below.

In the mood to be pampered? ENTER HERE for a Sweet Staycation (contest runs 10/1 – 10/7).
Spend a day at the spa! ENTER HERE for the Bestie Reunion (contest runs 10/8 – 10/14).

Lindt HELLO Chocolate

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Do you have a good meet-cute story? Tell me about it! 

Thank you to Lindt for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to try Lindt HELLO!

[All photos by Abby Gillardi.]

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