Mother's Day with UNIQUE LA

Come celebrate moms with us this weekend in downtown LA. We'll be popped up at UNIQUE LA on both Saturday and Sunday from 11-6 at the California Market Center (110 East Ninth St., Los Angeles, CA 90079). I'll be at booth T17. Show your momma some love!

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Taking some time to travel...

Thanks for stopping by!  From January - Mid February I will be traveling to southeast Asia. I will be exploring new places and gathering inspiration for a new collection.

All orders placed during my absence will be fulfilled at the end of February. Orders will also include either a gift with purchase or a discount code.

Thank you so much for understanding and for the continuous support! Feel free to follow along my travels on instagram at: @year901 and @benhyboo

Wishing you all a happy & healthy 2017!

- xo, btp

BIG HUGS

And that's a wrap for all pop-ups for 2016! It was great meeting & chatting with so many people (in the thousands!!). Your kind words kept me going when I thought I was on empty ⛽️. Thanks for taking a piece of me home with you (sounds weird but you get me 😉). Also, thanks to all my friends that have helped along the way. Esp @steph_funny & @melzabala who come out to support and help me with nearly every show. Oh, and also all the bad ass vendors turned friends that feel the struggle (you know, the working nights/weekends/holidays/every freakin' day struggle). All of these things make me feel less of an one woman show and more a part of a grander team. I'm just a girl with a dream, tired hands and a full heart.

THANK YOU!!!

benh_year901

New Series: Maker's Mark

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Today's post will be kicking off a new series on my blog called Maker's Mark and I couldn't be more excited!

Being a maker doesn't always mean creating physical products like jewelry and furniture. Sometimes it's digitally and sometimes it's an idea. We are all makers of our lives and here I'll be highlighting some of the people around me that are truly crafting their lives on their own terms. They are all people that have inspired me in my own efforts to live life my way and I am honored to share parts of their story with you.

xo, btp

Happy Place

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People are always surprised when I tell them how much I love downtown LA. For the most part I am trying to convince everyone I talk to about the magic of downtown -- that it's more than just traffic, drifters and crowds of drunk people. You'll have to live here to fully understand. The beauty is in the synergy of the empty streets, the sun reflecting off the skyscrapers, and all of the wildly interesting people you meet along the way.

This weekend has reminded me of the unexpected magic this city has to offer and it's been the jolt of energy I didn't know I needed.

I'll start with my new friend Pat. She lives on the same floor as me and I've chatted with her briefly in the elevator and coming in and out of the building but nothing significant. As luck (or fate) would have it, I had an extended conversation with her due to technical difficulties of the building. Long story short, she's just amazing. She's 74 and has been a bad ass activist for most of her life (and still is in a different way). Having lived through (and protested with) the Civil Rights Movement, I was interested to hear her take on today's current events. I wanted to hear all her stories. She explained everything in the most graceful and soothing way, which makes you feel like your view is being widened. As we parted ways, she gave me her apt number and told me to come by any time to chat. So whenever I'm home early or need to slow down a bit, I stop by to see Pat and hit the 'refresh' button.

Unique Space

Saturday started off at the Unique Space for a 9am vendors meeting for their upcoming Fall show. Now, my respect for Unique LA and its founder Sonja Rasula runs deep, real deep. I attended my first Unique Show and met Sonja about 3 years ago and I owe a lot of creative drive from this environment Sonja has cultivated in LA. This part of the story can run a tad long and I think it deserves its own post but really all I can say is that this is a big deal for me. It is something that I've always wanted to do. And check me out, I'm fucking doing it.

Later that night, I went into The Last Bookstore like I do on most nights where I know I will be working late. I usually pick out a book and read until I get that kick of motivation to get the night started. That night was different. I walked into a crowded bookstore which usually means a book reading/open mic night is underway. It was a reading from the book After Grrl: Small Stories from Big Lives. I knew I would like it from the title alone. I decided to grab a good seat without any expectations on what was to come. I listened to 7 women tell their stories on love, pain, death, abuse, self- inflicted harm and most importantly, triumph. I cried listening to stories from women I didn't know and cried harder hearing how they turned their broken pieces into bravery. I was moved and inspired to say the least. I couldn't help but feel grateful for whatever led me to this event that night. Needless to say, it was the kick I needed to get my butt in gear.

The Last Bookstore

CicLAvia was this Sunday and it's one of my favorite events. It's mostly biking but you can skate, run, walk as well. Many streets are closed off and it's just a fun way to get outside, bike and immerse yourself in the city. CicLAvia has become a fun tradition with my older brother and something I always look forward to. Unfortunately this year he was unable to make it and I planned on spending the day making jewelry.

When the morning rolled around, I took a quick trip to the farmer's market downstairs and saw so many people with their bikes headed to the start of the route. How could I not partake? It was so nice out and it was calling my name. I quickly ran up to my apt and grabbed my things and bike and headed out.

My tires were flat and my pump wasn't working so I figured I'd find someone with a pump along the way or I'd stop by the bike repair station that's located at the start of the route. As I walked my bike up Grand, I stopped a girl in a baseball cap and her bike in tow. She didn't have a pump with her but said I could walk with her to find someone. I told her I'd stop the group coming up the hill and if they didn't have one I'd walk with her. The group of 5 or 6 coming up the hill looked promising and most importantly they were walking their bikes up which made it less of a hassle for them to stop and help me. Sure enough, one of them was prepared with a pump. As my tires were inflating, one of the girls asked about my shirt. I was wearing a tshirt that said 'Huế Vietnam' with a graphic. I took it from my mom about 10 years ago and it is the city in Vietnam that my parents are from. Her parents are also from Huế and during the course of the day, another 2 people stopped to tell me their families are from there too. I said many 'thank you's to the group before jumping on my bike and riding down the streets of downtown.

The route was on Wilshire Blvd through MacArthur Park and into Koreatown. Along the way, I stopped at different set ups, food carts and groups of people playing music. I rode past the Line hotel where they had a DJ and barbecue set up outside playing 90's hip hop, I quickly made a U-turn and decided to stop for a drink and listen to tunes. As I checked in my bike, I recognized a girl that was walking towards the hotel. It was the same girl from earlier. The one that that I stopped to ask for a tire pump but didn't one. We said hello and exchanged pleasantries. Her and her friend were headed up to the pool and invited me to have a drink with them. We chatted, realize we had a friend in common, and talked about all the random ways things fall into place. I hung out with them for the rest of the ride and grabbed another drink along the way. It was great to meet people that were welcoming and inviting right off the bat. Like I was traveling in my own city. They were a breath of fresh air in what can sometimes be a very draining and superficial environment.

This wraps up my unexpected summer weekend in the city of Angels. File this weekend under 'serendipitous'. This is what living in the moment feels like and that's where I'm the happiest.  I'm reminding myself that if I keep an open mind and heart and put good things into the world that it will come right back to me. Be open to the magic.

xo, btp

CicLAvia

rhythm

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I spend way too much time staring at an empty screen without knowing how to jot my thoughts down. So many thoughts and emotions just disappearing into thin air.

Writing is not one of my favorite hobbies and typing, I haaate typing. But I'm going to give this a go because damn it, I have a story to tell and don't we all?

My current story consists of finding the tricky rhythm of balance and trying to keep it. I'm learning this shit as I go. I'm learning to see the beauty in these crazy late nights, these lonely nights...these nights that feel like I'm not moving things fast enough no matter how fast I go. Finding the balance between pushing myself and being way too hard on myself. If anyone is reading this, I'm sure you've felt the same way.

This is a one-woman show and I am so proud to say that. It is the craziest, scariest and most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life and I hope my attempts at writing gives some honest insight into what this journey is like for me. I'm hoping you'll come along for the ride. :)

xo, btp

Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain in Niland, CA has been on my 'To See' list for quite some time now. How could it not be? It is so unique -- an art gallery in the middle of the desert. This brightly colored display is located about 4 hours from Los Angeles and 1.5 hours from Palm Springs. It is definitely a trek to get to, but absolutely worth the effort. Go see it at least once in your life!

Although I am not a religious person, it is beautiful that such a place exists. Love is truly universal. Read more about Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain here.

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Cambria, CA

Cambria is a beautiful beach town in San Luis Obispo County and halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. This quaint city is known for its boardwalk along Moonstone Beach, rocky cliffs, and cute downtown shops. It is quite charming and definitely should be on your list of weekend getaways.

Here are a few photos from my recent roadtrip with my old college roommates/two of my most favorite people ever. We had the best time wandering antique shops, eating delicious seafood, and laughing until we cried.

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All photos by Stephanie Fenter.