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Our February Sefte Sister: Jessie Black

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We’d like to introduce Jessie Black, the force behind Jessie Black Interiors. Jessie creates amazing sanctuaries with serene palettes and an eclectic mix of treasures found aboard, local artwork and sumptuous materials. She also has the most gorgeous pair of carved Peruvian doors in her home that took our breath away - feels serendipitous we get to work with her given our deep connection to Peru!

 

We hope you enjoy our talk with Jessie covering everything from the journey that led her to San Francisco, life as an entrepreneur and new mama, and where she finds inspiration each day.

Tell us how you ended up in San Francisco?

I was born in Sydney but after finishing school I’ve been fortunate enough to live in London, Paris, New York and Monaco. Each place led to interesting work opportunities and each city has certainly inspired me in different ways.

I moved to San Francisco as I was keen to put down roots. I’d always loved the Californian lifestyle, aesthetic and sensibility.

I’ve houses in London and Provence so I still return to both as much as I can.

What motivated you to open your own business?

I wanted a space to share my ideas and inspiration. I’d spent years in Europe opening stores for someone else - I managed the interior design, the merchandising and all the nitty gritty logistics. I craved to do it for myself and bring my own vision and aesthetic to life.

This year I decided to focus purely on my Interior Design business and wrap up the brick and mortar retail aspect of my brand. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my years in retail but I was spreading myself far too thin trying to manage both businesses and be the kind of mother to my newborn daughter that I so wanted to be.

My passion has always been in creating serene spaces and ambiance and my design work will continue to allow me to do that. I am really excited about this new chapter! I’m especially motivated by a desire to work for myself and to create and share something special and unique.

Handmade 100% baby alpaca Kimsa throw blanket in Jessie Black's home.

 

Where do you find inspiration for your work and for your life?

Everywhere! I just keep open eyes and an open mind. Flea Markets, old coffee table books, stylish friends and of course travels. I always come home feeling especially refreshed, recharged and inspired after trips.

I’m also very inspired by my clients as often I’m working with existing furniture or a client’s specific visions. The design process is very much a collaboration with the client and being inspired by what they love and how they live, too.

What keeps you going everyday - either in your craft or the day to day?

I am so lucky to love what I do. I get really energized seeing a finished space or even about a sweet vignette on a bedside table.

I also love seeing my clients happy in their space. That’s so rewarding.

You are a new mother. Congratulations! Can you tell us how your daughter has changed your life? Any new perspectives?

My daughter has helped me see life in a whole new way. My perspectives have changed immensely. I am absolutely overwhelmed by a love I never knew existed. It’s been absolutely incredible!

It’s also helped me streamline my life priorities and business. I recently transitioned my business to focus solely on interior design and move away from the retail arm of the business. I am really excited for evolving this new chapter.

Handmade 100% baby alpaca Shayla scarf by Sefte Living in Jessie Black's home.

Where do you seek sanctuary - to dream, be creative or just find me time?

My bedroom. It is flooded with afternoon sunshine so I especially love luxuriating in there in the late afternoon.

I deliberately keep this space clear of clutter as it helps the space feel serene and calm. This has been infinitely harder since my daughter is rooming in for now but we’re trying. It’s always a work in progress, isn’t it?

Handmade 100% Baby Alpaca Maya Boucle Blanket Throw by Sefte Living

 

Do you have any special rituals for making time with family or friends?

Being a working mum means I am often multitasking. I find focusing on simple pleasures is the most rewarding way to spend time together.

I’ll often join a friend for pilates or we will meet to walk our dogs in the park after work or grab quick morning coffee at my local.

Late night dinner reservations and spa weekends away are lovely too but I’d much rather a stroll in the park with good coffee and conversation any day.

 

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed?

Squeeze my husband. My 2018 resolution is to read more so I’ve started reading each evening before bed, too. With a newborn it’s not always easy but I keep my goals very humble and gentle these days.

You have to tell us about the your Peruvian doors. There must be a story behind these.

The Peruvian doors were at the boutique for a while and then like so often happens I realized I couldn’t part with them so I bought them myself. I used them as a headboard in my old guest room some time back. At the moment they’re in one of our sitting rooms but I am thinking I’d like to use them as actual doors in our garden. They are so versatile. They’ve had three lives already since living with me!

 

You have incredible art in your home. Can you share a little about your favorite pieces and why they hold meaning for you?

I love mixing high-end investment pieces with local treasures and crafty finds.

I adore Trudy Elliot’s works as they remind me of beachy holiday in Australia. She is a San Francisco-based artist and I love supporting local talent. There is so much here.

I also love the oversize flowers by Tiffanie Turner. We had these back in the boutique about five years ago and like so many things at the boutique I couldn’t part with some of them! 

Your quote to live by if you have one.

‘I am going to make everything around me beautiful, that will be my life’  Elsie de Wolfe

Some of the furniture featured in Jessie’s home:

Large Sofa: DeSousa Hughes Malta Sofa

Coffee Table: Thayer Coggin Drum Coffee Table

Small Sofa: Custom made by Jessie Black Interiors

Petrified Stools: Jessie Black Interiors

Sisal Rug: Jaipur

And, a special thank you to Melissa McArdle for the amazing photography.

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