january 12 2016
goat-milkfedprofile [THE SMOOTS]
With a new year comes new dreams. A fresh perspective. Renewed motivation. We’ve already seen one our dreams come to fruition: cashmere and organic socks and tights are now available. Another goal is to expand LIFE, filling this space to the brim with profiles of some of our favorite creatives, projects, places and events that excite, motivate and inspire us. It truly is as much for us as it is for you.
Kicking things off is a profile of a wildly talented couple we’re privileged to call friends: Kendra and Seth Smoot. A food and prop stylist (Kendra) and photographer (Seth) by trade, they’re also parents of three little ones, Stella, Imogen, and Truman. Recently relocated to the West Coast from NYC, they’re sharing a little slice of their life with us. Creativity abounds. Enjoy!
view from backyard deck
kendra and truman
clockwise: dining room; kitchen; truman; living room
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
It's a bit of cabin meets the city. We love old things, items that are already a little dinged up and tell a story. It's an aesthetic and practical choice- our new dings just add to the patina!
It's a total mashup of new and old. We look for individual pieces that work together as a whole, regardless of style, era or maker, which sounds more like a yard sale than it really is. I think we both do a good job of keeping each other in check and not getting too carried away. Simple is a word we both use a lot, keep it simple. I've always loved the “is it new or old?” question when I look at something, so I love finding new pieces that look old or old pieces that still hold up, both in quality and design-wise.
Did one of you take the lead on styling your home or was it a collaborative effort?
I'd say styling our home is definitely a collaboration. Seth has better taste than I do, but as a stylist I tend to be out and about seeing things and shopping at stores or at flea markets so I do a lot of the buying. When one of us goes out of town the other one usually rearranges a little bit and most of the time those little makeovers stick around. I definitely like the more masculine vibe our home has...sometimes I see such romantic interiors and I'm so curious if a guy lives there and what he thinks about it. We also veto each other frequently. One time I bought this lacquered pink table…I was like, “it's the same desk that Jenna Lyons has,” but Seth was like, “Oh Hell no…”
Do you have a favorite room in your new home? What do you love about it?
When we renovated our home last year, we tore down a wall which opened the main living space up into a big loft-like room that connects the kitchen and two living rooms, with the bedrooms tucked away in back. We have two fireplaces on either end of this space and I love it when one of them is burning- that immediately becomes my favorite area. I also love our bedroom...it's really simple. Soft bed linens, muted colors, only a few things. It's very basic and easy to keep clean so that makes it zen and peaceful.
We have a small guesthouse that's disconnected from the main house, it's a little room with an insane view. There's a steep hill that drops below, so looking out the window gives a floating sensation, with unobstructed views of Mt. Tam. But my favorite room is below the guest room, it's a concrete utility room where we do laundry but it's also a space where we create and do projects. It’s rough around the edges and perfectly unfinished.
L-R: stella and imogen's bunk beds; stella
How does your work influence how you dress (& how you dress your children)?
As a prop stylist, you can't get too fancy. I am usually schlepping stuff, buying things at the flower market or grocery store and needing to stand or bend down all day. We are all in sneakers or boots most of the time, jeans and hopefully kind of an interesting top. I'm into hats. I think the way my job affects how I dress my children is that I'm exposed to a lot of really sweet kid clothing. I love finding brands like Goat-Milk that are simple yet really well made; I have a few pieces that our middle daughter Mo wore that our youngest Truman is wearing now. It brings back such yummy memories of when she was smaller.
NY vs CA. What do you love most about your new home? Is there anything you miss about living in NYC?
I'd say the most interesting thing about moving has been less comparing NY to CA, and more about turning inward and spending so much more time with our family. We had a really amazing network of friends and coworkers in NY, and we haven't really built that up yet here, so we've been spending so much more time together. I've fallen in love with my kids in a really deep, sweet way. I miss the museums of NY, and how much time we'd spend there during winter. The gem collection at the AMNH and the Islamic Art Galleries specifically.
The outdoor element in our new place is key. After 11 years of apartment living in NYC, I was ready to get back outside. We now live in a hilly area with a lot of trails, one of which goes down to our daughters’ school. My favorite new morning ritual is to hike with her down the hills through fog, spotting deer and collecting the occasional fallen antler along the way. It feels like we're immersed in the country, while only 15 miles from downtown SF.
Your ideal day. Describe it.
My ideal day would be to cook together a big family breakfast, hike, and then afternoon at the beach, preferably with some swimming or surfing. And then getting a babysitter and going out with Seth.
Snooze till noon, surf beach day, evening grill at home, late night by the fireplace netflix and chilling with K and the kiddos.
With busy schedules & a growing family, how do you make time for each other?
That is kind of the joy of when we get to work together- if we are on a job when we have a babysitter and it’s just the two of us, it feels like a date. Sometimes we butt heads when we work, but the majority of the time it's just really fun to be creating something together.
I think the beauty of a freelance career is that you get these concentrated pieces of time together as a family between projects, and that feels pretty unique. The downside is that when one or the other of us is working it's pretty involved, or away for weeks at a time, but when we do have down time, especially at the same time, we do our best to take advantage and fill it with some kind of adventure. Kendra is such a joy to work with, she makes every project easy and fun. I think Kendra's undying optimism is a huge asset and strength when we work together.
seth and imogen
Favorite go-to recipe for an easy dinner the whole family enjoys?
A favorite go-to recipe is roasted broccoli. We make it several times every week. We all love this-the broccoli gets so nutty and delicious. It's not really a meal but I'll make a big pan of it when we are eating something like pizza or pasta that I feel less good about. Here’s the recipe: Cover a baking sheet with foil (no dishes/ high five!), cut up 2-3 heads of broccoli, I like to keep long stems on. Drizzle with olive oil and toss, then use a little flaky sea salt. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Anything on the grill is perfect these days.
Any upcoming projects that you're particularly excited about?
We are shooting the family for a magazine- sometimes it takes an assignment like that to break out the real cameras and shoot the kids (um that sounds terrible, "shoot the kids"!). Especially for the third kid- we have a zillion phone photos but maybe one high quality picture.
stella, imogen and friends enjoy the pool
© all photos courtesy of Seth and Kendra Smoot
november 11 2015
organic cotton and cashmere socks for babies and kids coming soon
July 6 2015
striped union suit
our most poular onesie is back in stock
august 11 2014
equal rights 2014
we advocate equal rigths for everyone.
may 16 2014
behind the scenes, fall 2013
a behind the scenes look at our last shoot which was shot in our store in the east village, nyc
may 10 2014
goat-milk lookbook 2014
video, edit, and sound effects by chris stone. direction and concept by roland bello. sound by audiokin. music by foxgluv.
december 13 2013
goat-milk store, nyc
523 East 12 street, between avenue A and B
december 13 2013
1. GOAT-MILK striped tank on Beau (with Theo).
2. GOAT-MILK striped thermal pant on Beau (with Theo).