Bonnie Powers Curator
WHAT IS GOOD DESIGN?
It’s that magical quality of aesthetics + understanding me (personal relevancy), the influences in the world around me (cultural relevancy), the recommendations I respond to (social relevancy) and how it will benefit my life (functional relevancy).
When good design works, it creates both obvious and not so obvious connections and experiences. It is the inextricable combination of beauty and emotion that stimulates desire. That “how it makes us feel” can be instant—its worth may be immediately recognizable and becomes part of our story. Or it seeps into our value system over time.
AN EXAMINED WAY OF CONSUMING
Poet and/the Bench is a rare find of a lifestyle shop with a highly edited selection of small batch and one of a kind home goods, art, jewelry and apothecary supporting more than 50 emerging and independent artists. A majority of our artists are from the San Francisco Bay Area, most are women, and a good selection of our artists are BIPOC.
Jeffrey and I believe in giving voice and visibility to artists and providing an intimate shopping experience, connecting you to the artist narrative in order to develop an examined way of buying and creating appreciation for craft and inspiration.
When you come into our shop, we do love to engage in conversations and tell the stories behind the artists and objects. It creates a more intimate relationship between us and our customers and also between the customers and the objects they buy. We have interviews with each of our artists and designers and share that through content on our website and social so you can learn more about their inspirations and experience. We also embody the narrative in the intimacy of the physical space of Poet and/the Bench in our shop in Mill Valley—this is an essential part of good design for me: storytelling connects us to the human experience.
Design isn’t just what we do, it’s who we are. I have more than 20 years as a cultural creative with advertising and design agency management, branding, consumer insights and campaign development experience across food, beverage, better-for-you and wellness/nutrition, spirits, beauty and fashion brands. I started my career working in advertising and have been managing director of three creative agencies, Hatch Design, Redscout and Cahan & Associates.