#GathreGood with Jess and Mare: FW19 Edition
Pictured: Rust Micro and Camel Mini
G: The idea of “home” might seem ordinary to some. Why is it important enough to be the theme of our fall campaign?
JESS: I think home takes us all back to our roots - good or bad. I don’t think of home as merely a physical destination but more so a space to grow, to give life to dreams, a space to receive and give love, and maybe at its core, a space to become. I think that’s what makes it so special -- you’re essentially creating or designing or manifesting a future outcome for yourself and your family. And that makes it a really important work. So yes, this fall campaign means a lot to us. We are taking things back to Gathre’s roots, making space for the worthwhile. And to us, the most worthwhile endeavor we’ll ever have is creating home with our families.
MARE: I recently heard this quote by Michael Kovak that I really believe: “If things go well with the family, life is worth living. But when family falters, life falls apart.” I hope Gathre can always be a champion of the family and I think most of the ‘things going well in the family’ happen inside our homes. So the home is everything.
G: What’s one way you were shaped by the home you grew up in?
MARE: My home was the safest place. My dad made it comfortable and taught good principles, and my mom made it a home. The greatest gift I had in my home was seeing my parents try their absolute hardest to be good and do good.
JESS: Home was a place of constant learning for me. My mother lovingly taught me to have hope. To believe in the good. To chase after the stars. My father was much more of a realist. He taught me how to make plans, set goals and be accountable. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to really appreciate how their consistent (and patient!) teaching has really shaped who I’ve become.
Pictured: FW19 collection
G: What do you hope your kids remember most about growing up in your home?
JESS: I hope my kids remember our home as a place with a lot of love and faith, with room for mistakes, a place to work hard and have fun. And I hope it reminds them of who they really are and can become.
MARE: I have a long way to go but I hope Home is a feeling where they know they are a child of God, where they feel they are loved, where they feel they belong here at home however they are. And in the grander perspective of things, that we’re all just walking each other Home.
G: People often think of Gathre mats as an outdoor product (i.e. for the beach or the park) Do you remember the first time you used a mat indoors? What did you use it for?
MARE: Yes, my sister had given me a changing pad that was not the prettiest thing but she was so generous! I remember thinking we could make one prettier. I had a one year old when Gathre was born so we made a very rough prototype for inside that we used for diaper changes. Also used it inside for under the high chair for messy meals.
JESS: Honestly one of the very first times I used the mat indoors was to decorate Easter eggs at the table. It was long before we made official tablecloths, but my mat always seemed to find its way to the table in those early days -- for crafts, montessori type activities with my toddler or meal time messes.
Pictured: 8' Tablecloth in Camel
G: What is your favorite way to use Gathre at home?
Mare: Currently I have a one year old again (funny how that goes) so I use my mats for the exact same reasons as my last answer! We also love and use our bibs all day everyday. I also use the mat for playdough and coloring.
Jess: I grew up making A LOT of messes. My mom always tells a story that whenever she cleaned the house it was like I finally had my blank canvas. I would gather all of my glitters, paints, sewing supplies - whatever I needed to make the creation I was dreaming up - and I would go plant myself in a newly cleaned room. Obviously a mess would follow but before my mom could clean it up, I was already on to the next thing. My daughter has a very similar aptitude for making things (and messes!) so we often pull out a mat and just let the creative juices flow. It’s actually one of my favorite things to do together and the mat makes a much better blank canvas in my opinion. Portable, wipeable and can contain alllllll the glitter your heart desires.
The mat has become a symbol of presence and creativity in our home and I think I’ll always be grateful for that physical representation of cherished time with my kids.
G: Both of you have had unusual years when it comes to home. Can you tell us what “home” has looked like in 2019?
MARE: In 2019 we took home in our hearts to Seattle. We lived in a hospital for about 50 days and at the local Ronald McDonald House while my son underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. For the majority of 6 months, my husband stayed in Utah with the kids and I stayed up here with my son receiving treatment. As I type, there’s about 877 miles between our two homes. Home has never been so fluid nor so tender. We’ll be back under the same roof of our home in just a week. I’ll treasure it harder than ever before.
JESS: Oh this is a hard one to put into words. This year started with a pretty heavy bout of depression and anxiety for me. Home became quite a literal respite from the weight of emotion I was carrying. It centered me and helped me fight for my life. Simple moments like rocking my little boy to sleep or coming home from a long day at work to the fullest love and hugs from my children to long hours in prayer on my knees at the foot of my bed. Home was a safe place for me to work through my struggles with mental illness, a place where it didn’t have to all make sense and where I didn’t feel judged or lonely. I just felt loved. Even while surrounded by 1970’s wallpaper and stain covered carpets, my home became much more about the people in it than the things that adorn it.
Pictured: Midi in Rust
G: How has your idea of what makes a home changed?
JESS: I’ve spent the last few years kind of wishing home to be more this or more that because of its many physical imperfections. But now I feel to view it with more compassion, like how I want to view myself with my rough edges. Our home is and will continue to be a place where we live. Which means there’s going to be a lot of imperfect things about it for many years to come. But it will be filled with many of our most treasured experiences in this life. So I guess my idea of home comes with a lot more reverence than before.
MARE: Oh that’s a loaded question. After living in a hospital and almost hotel-like apartment for the past 6 months I have learned that home is what happens inside. Our home was a sterile (be it nice) hospital room but because my little son was fighting to live there it was his home and my home wouldn’t be a home without him, so it was my home too. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have anything on the walls, or that we couldn’t do the normal things we did in our home before -- we were together. Because we had nothing, we better realized we had everything. Those walls became one of the most sacred homes i’ll ever live in.
Pictured: Mini in Jade
G: Can you share a favorite quote about home?
MARE: “If we are to create peace in the world, we must first create peace in the home.” – Richard O’Keef
JESS: “Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, a dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.” - Robert Montgomery
G: Any last thoughts about Gathre and/or home?
JESS: Just that I really feel there is no better place to give our best than at home, however it looks and wherever it is. What a privilege it is to write our own story of Home.
MARE: After this past year I have been deeply changed and felt a deep motivation to worry less about what life looks like and more about how it feels. To bring home with you as you lift hearts and relieve suffering in every circumstance you’re in.
From left to right: Jade, Camel, Rust, and Birch