Frequent readers of my blog will know that I'm a HUGE fan of domestic diva Brini Maxwell. Her show on the Style network (now off the air, unfortunately) was a godsend for vintage and mid-century devotees such as myself. Each episode was full of interesting info and helpful tips, presented in Brini's incomparable style. I love, love, LOVE her!
Brini recently launched a line of home furnishing products under the Felix Populi brand, and she was nice enough to answer a few questions for my readers and me. So without further ado, here's Brini:
Jenn Ski: How did you get started in your career?
Brini Maxwell: I found a delightful set of Pyrex mixing bowls at a thrift shop at the time I was remodeling my apartment to resemble a 1960’s movie set. I was enchanted by them, but it also occurred to me that, because they were for food preparation, nobody would ever get to see them, so I decided to do a television show with a cooking segment so I could show off the bowls.
JS: What inspired you to start collecting vintage items from the 50's-70's?
BM: I’ve always been fascinated with the design and style of the mid-century. The optimistic outlook, the confidence and jubilant use of color I find really compelling.
At the time I started collecting, it was easy to come by and relatively inexpensive. I took advantage of that and started amassing vintage clothing and household items. It’s become much more desirable in the subsequent years and prices have risen, however there are still bargains to be found. I find that items like household appliances and things like telephones can still be found for good prices. I like buying them and using them. It brings a touch of the past into daily activities.
JS: Where do you find your vintage clothing and items for your home?
BM: I find a lot at thrift shops, and frequently buy on eBay. I used to be a big garage sailor, but that source seems to have largely dried up for the type of items I covet.
JS: What is your favorite vintage item in your home?
BM: Hmm, I go through phases. Right now it would probably be my vintage 60’s Hollywood Regency sheave of wheat occasional table. It was given to me by the producer of the television show I did for the Style network. It had been a part of her childhood home. It looks just perfect in my living room.
JS: You now have a online shop, what kind of items do you carry?
BM: Yes, indeed I do. My shop has accessories for the home, mostly soft goods. We have pillows, tabletop items like napkins and tablecloths, dishtowels and aprons. Much like your work, Jenn, our products are created through the lens of style and design, taking the best of the past, the timeless aspects of the period and presenting them for a modern customer. You can see our full collection at www.felixpopuli.com.
JS: Where can my readers find out more about you?
BM: You can find me at my own personal website: www.brinimaxwell.com. I also do a video podcast that can be found here and on YouTube by searching for "Brini Maxwell".
Thanks, Brini! Isn't she wonderful, you guys? If you haven't already, do yourself a favor and get the Brini Maxwell Show DVD. You should also check out her fabulous book, Brini Maxwell's Guide to Gracious Living. They're both available on Amazon.com.