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Dream Weaving with Erin Jennie Pollard

To step into Erin Jennie Pollard’s Clinton Hill home is to know her. Her world is wholly realized — her son’s artwork on the mantel, handmade baskets strewn through the living room, and Erin at the door, confident and warm. It’s this singular aura that infuses Underwater Weaving, her basket atelier-cum-community, founded for her innate love of handicraft. Enjoy a summer morning with Erin, spent sharing in her inspirations, origins, and personal style philosophies, self-styled in pieces from our summer collection.

On The Path From Vogue to Basket-Weaving

"Multiple times during the day, I pause and ask myself ‘how is this my job?!’ I’m really enjoying it and I am not taking it for granted. I will admit, I miss the people at Vogue and Conde Nast — being around creative people that strive for the best fuels my creativity.

"But this shift hasn't come with a slow in pace! If anything, I feel like I'd been putting ideas and opportunities on hold because I didn’t have bandwidth, and now I’m just excited to explore all the possibilities. Right now, my challenge is finding moments for inspiration and making work, while creating a business and community."

On The Importance Of Handicraft

"Jessie and I connected over our love for craft work and decided to gather friends to share some of the things we love to do. Jessie helped make the first gathering I did happen!

"I think growing up with mothers who were always sewing, cross-stitching and weaving at home really influenced us. As a child I observed my mother take her passion for craft and make it a business, and I guess I’m doing the same. There is something really empowering about that."

On Personal Style

"I love and appreciate fashion generally — so I wouldn’t say I have a style 'archetype' per se, (not 'preppy' or 'romantic' or 'cottage core,' for example). I’m drawn to dressing in ways that create interest or tension — maybe mixing masculine and feminine items, an oversized thing with something that shrunk in the wash, adding an unexpected feminist reference (bloomers!), interesting stitches or weird color pairings. Maybe something that reminds me of past decade or triggers a memory. I think this is why I’m drawn to Loeffler Randall — the designs create a language that I understand. It's nostalgic, wildly creative and playful. It's easy to wear and super fun to style."

On Aesthetic Philosophies

"I’m taking a few different approaches with this medium. First, baskets have been used since the beginning of mankind as tools for gathering food, items, and family. Baskets nurture people, and they feel good to hold. I want to preserve that, and many of the baskets we make are simply vessels to hold things. But I also have been influenced by my years working in fashion. Baskets as fashion is very interesting to me.

"And finally, there is the art, which is where it began for me. It ranges from organic and lyrical abstractions, to simple moments with nature. I love exploring different materials. If I could just wander around leaving little woven doodles everywhere, I would!"

On Inspiration

"Rarely am I inspired by actual baskets, but a trip to the grocery store or the flower market is quite exciting for me. Nature, fashion, my childhood, dance, food — I love making work inspired by these worlds. My son also inspires me. He has the most pure, incredible ideas. When we try them together, they often work!"

On Advice For Unplugging

"Perhaps busy hands quiet the mind. So I think my advice is counterintuitive — do MORE with your hands so that your brain works less."