“Owning less and owning well” is the ethos behind Farrah Sit’s eponymous home furnishings line. It fits right into the hummingbird mindset. Be light on your feet and be deliberate. This bird spent several years designing the tabletop line for Calvin Klein Home, in addition to creating collections for Vera Wang, Kim Seybert and Teroforma. For her own line, she focuses on using natural materials, and the designs reflect an exacting attention to detail coupled with a kind of a quiet minimalism. “Attention to detail, honesty to material, craft and form is what drives me,” says Farrah. Word.
What’s in your bag? When you pack for a trip, in your handbag, in the pockets of your jeans…?
I somehow always end up covered with clay when I’m working at the studio, so I always carry a Clark Kent back-up kit of makeup and a change of clothes. Also in my bag: random ceramics, hardware store goodies, multiple sketchbooks and an arsenal of pens that I’m neurotic about.
You have 5 minutes to pack up – for a trip of which the duration you’re not sure. What do you take?
- 6″ Alexander Wangs and Keds
- hoodie, blazer, black jeans, silk dress, slinky tanks
- laptop, wacom, sketchbook
- and, of course, my oversized LL Bean tote – there’s nothing you can’t fit in there.
What is your most essential article of clothing?
My 15lb Oak winter coat, but I could be saying that because it’s the middle of January.
What are the top 5 songs you need to have access to hearing at all times?
I have a morning routine that gets me calm and focused but ready to attack everything:
3 albums in the exact order:
- Bebel Gilberto
- Jill Scott
I also can’t live with out:
- Beck – ‘Missing’
- Craig Mack- ‘Flava in Ya Ear’
What is your preferred hummingbird beat/cities you like to frequent?
I love San Francisco; it’s like my second home. When I’m there, you’ll often find me eating endless fresh harvested oysters in Tomales Bay or on my laptop at Philz Coffee in the Mission.
What’s something crazy that you did to follow your passion? (Like, did you live out of your car for a month? Drive 10 hours to pick up a certain, weird material you needed?)
Years ago, I would save up every single vacation day to do a 2 week program at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. It’s basically art camp for adults, hidden on an island off of Northern Maine where there’s no cell phone service or internet. I’d pack up my little car and drive 10 hrs straight (mind you, this is pre-iPhone, no GPS… just you and the local radio because your iPod died). It’s a fantastic and magical experience studying under masters and focusing on your craft 24/7. I’d pull the same kind of all-nighters I did back in school and it was totally worth it. There, there is nothing in between me and my creativity. I still go just about every year or so. Last summer, I had an amazing time hand-forging flatware from silver ingots.
What is one tip you have for traveling – a beauty tip, a survival tip, a culinary tip… ?
Pack light – it’s not worth the weight. For long trips, I used to draw out each article of clothing and then connecting lines between to illustrate outfit combinations. I tried to eliminate pieces that only worked with one outfit in order to pare down.
I try to always fit everything into a carry-on. Not always foolproof, as once I had to drag rolling luggage through sand in remote India. Note to self: wheels sink in sand.
What makes you a good house guest?
I never show up empty-handed and I love to gift the culinary indulgences I rarely even get myself.
What’s a recent or favorite meal you had while bouncing around the globe?
Garlic Goan Lobster. Walking along the Goan coast, we stopped and picked out a crazy, spiny, rainbow colored lobster. We watched the fisherman drag large nets by hand across the ocean floor, slowly bringing the catch to shore. The sauce was incredible and from what I could tell of the smoky depth and light green cream, it must have been cooked with the tomalley (the underrated lobster liver).
Cherubino restaurant in Krakow, Poland. -11°F, we trudged into town at night by foot looking for a place to eat on a night so cold that tiny icicles were literally forming on our eyelashes. After what seemed like eternity in the tundra, we stumbled into a dark, gothic, candlelit Italian/Polish restaurant with a woodfire oven. By the time I got there, I didn’t care what I ate but the experience and ambiance was incredible! I had what felt like the best meal on earth. Sometimes the food is only as good as the journey it takes to get to it.
Where have you had your best night’s sleep?
All I need is a super poofy white duvet and I’m out. But nothing compares to sleeping after onsen in Japan.
Who would you like to travel with – three people (you guys can caravan together or on separate trips)?
I’d love to hike through jungles with a Chinese medicine doctor to learn about herbs, and then traverse forests with an expert forager to indulge in truffles.