Tina Frey Designs opens new store in Montecito
Tina Frey Designs, a San Francisco-based design company known for its simple and modern designs in resin, will open its new home store Tuesday in Montecito.
The new 810-square-foot store, which feels like a minimalist Scandinavian cabin, has high-beam ceilings, clean white walls and light woods.
Located in San Ysidro Village, TF Design Montecito features the first and only comprehensive collection of Tina Frey Designs, including colorways exclusive to this location, along with artwork and furniture personally curated by Ms. Frey.
The collections include everything from tableware and barware to candle holders and coffee tables in addition to furniture pieces by Danish female furniture designer Nanna Ditzel, including the iconic Hanging Egg Chair and Chill Lounge Chair, and the Ocean Series, which is artwork by photographer Kate Holstein.
The store will host additional pop-ups in the coming months.
“I am thrilled to debut our new Tina Frey Designs store in Montecito, a destination that captures the effortlessly cool and relaxed essence of coastal California,” said Ms. Frey. “As a surfer and designer, I am especially excited to become a part of this special ocean community and to expand our footprint in California. We look forward to connecting with designers and design-lovers alike and invite them to experience our pieces and explore works by other talented artists and designers in person.”
According to an online profile of Ms. Frey, she was born in Hong Kong, “a super creative child — always drawing, cutting up paper, knitting, sewing, creating anything. There wasn’t a day that went by when I wasn’t making something. But to me, I always thought of it as ‘fun’ and not a career necessarily. You don’t really know what’s out there when you’re growing up.”
While studying in Canada for degrees in biology and then in finance, Ms. Frey took art and art history classes.
“I loved them, but it seemed more of a hobby than a career path. Finance was a safe route, even though I knew in my gut that I loved designing and creating,” she said in the profile.
“After graduating, I worked as an accountant for Ernst and Young, then LVMH, Christian Dior, Gap, Levis and Timbuk2 — progressively smaller companies. During my last full-time job, I had already been thinking of starting my company quite a bit, so I slowly started doing that part-time until it became something I did full time. And here I am 12 years later working on Tina Frey Designs. A bit unexpected and a bit roundabout, but I think it was really about finding what I really loved to do and what truly excited me.”
In the new store, Ms. Frey is launching her Fall 2020 Collection, Paper Sized Platters, which are serving platters based on international paper size standard dimensions, and each successive size in the series is defined by halving the preceding size across the larger dimension. They are available in black, white and fog, and in a rainbow set that can be purchased individually or together.
The collection also includes the launch of a Meditation Seat inspired by the quiet time and meditation that has taken place during shelter in place. The bean-shaped seat is designed to cradle the sitz bones while allowing one’s posture to be alert in a lotus position, according to Ms. Frey, adding that her designs focus on “minimalist, timeless designs and functional craftsmanship. They are conceived and hand-sculpted by me and handmade by a team of craftspeople of food safe resin, which is shatter resistant and safe for outdoor, indoor and bath areas.
“Environmental and social responsibility are extremely important to Tina Frey Designs, which strives to create designs that will last and are not a disposable commodity,” she said.
“I enjoy creating things that I would like to use in my own home,” said Ms. Frey in the online profile. “It’s a very organic process. Part of the beauty of a small company is you can make something because you want to make it and are excited about it not because you have to. You have to stay true to your vision and what you like and also what’s a good fit for your aesthetic.”
Ms. Frey also has advice for anyone in a corporate job who wants to do something more creative.
“It’s never too late to start, so just go for it. Don’t wait. If you feel passionate or excited about something, don’t be scared to take the first leap. I know it’s scary, but if you do things right, always respect your customers and be conscious of quality, you’ll persevere. If you really want to make it work, then you’ll put in the time and effort.”