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Meet the Maker: Joanna Morgan Design

We continue our Meet the Maker series with a feature on one of our favorite jewelry artists in the city. Joanna Morgan creates timeless and beautiful pieces in her studio in Pioneer Square. We sat down with her to learn more about her craft and what it takes to make her wearable art.

When did you start making jewelry and why?

I feel I have always been creative, but I started making jewelry about 10 years ago. At the time I was living in New York and still had a full-time job. I would see things in stores that I liked but that I wanted to make changes to - since I was in New York I could go to the fashion district, pick up materials, and make what I wanted myself. It was a bit crazy. I would work my job all day, then create the jewelry pieces at night and bring them back into work the next morning to sell to my friends.

Then about nine years ago my husband and I moved to Seattle; six years ago I decided to work on my jewelry full time, and three years later I opened this studio. Since then I've started to become more interested in metal work and have become entrenched now in working with it. 

What is your favorite thing to create? 

Silver is my favorite metal to work in right now. It’s so versatile.

When creating jewelry I rarely make anything that is meant solely for special occasions. My jewelry won’t just sit in your jewelry box. It is meant to be worn every day, from work to drinks. You can dress it up or dress it down. It doesn't fit a certain season or age. It becomes a part of your life. It has longevity. 

When my clients reach for their jewelry every morning they can feel comfort they have this piece. It might remind them of a special moment or a period of time. I feel privileged my jewelry can be that for people.

What inspires you and your creations?

I love museums. Any time I’m feeling depleted I go to museums or look at art books or beautiful websites. I am inspired by modern art, but I also love Roman and Greek history. I think whatever we create now is in some way a repetition of that time period. 

My husband also jokes I make jewelry for myself. Everything I create needs to be something I would add to my own wardrobe. 

Bridget rings

Bridget rings

What is your favorite (current) piece that you’ve created?

I have stages where I create a certain piece and then wear it ad nauseum. Right now my favorite pieces are my Bridget rings in silver and gold. I also wear this silver Kali cuff every day. 

How long does creating a piece take?

If I’m being honest I would have to say 50 years, which is about how old I am. When you create something you pour your life experiences into it. I may create something in one day, but it really took more than the actual hours I spent on it. 

When I work on a new design, in addition to making it aesthetically pleasing, I also make sure that it is functional. It is extremely important to me that my designs are easy to wear. I try the pieces on, walk around in them, make adjustments – to the length of necklaces, weight of earrings, thickness of rings. I have to love it and want it first, and I want to make sure that a person who chooses to purchase my jewelry is not only satisfied with how pleasing to the eye it is, but also feels good wearing it.  As you see, making a new design is a process.

What is your process?

I fill countless Moleskine notebooks with sketches. The inspiration can come anytime and anywhere so I doodle a lot. I try to do something creative every day. I think it brings ideas to fiddle about in the studio, even when I’m not working on anything particular.

Largely I am self-taught, but I also took some classes to learn the foundations of jewelry making. I think you need to learn the rules first, so you can break them.  

How can people find you?

The best way to find me is my website, It also shows you all the events I take part in (like the Pioneer Square Art Walk and Second Saturdays open studio events at the Tashiro Kaplan Building), where to find my studio, and how to contact me for special requests. 

Who inspires you?

My idols in the design world are probably Michelle Oka DonarPatricia Von Musulin, and the Scandinavian designer, Torun

I'm also surrounded by creative and talented people in my studio building. It's hard not to let them inspire you.  

Joanna and her dog, Mandy!

Joanna and her dog, Mandy!

Thanks, Joanna! Know an amazing maker who should be featured? Email us at

Places We Love: Cone & Steiner

Story time. There once was a child who used to go to summer camp in Iowa at a wondrous place called Living History Farms, an interactive camp to show kids what life was like back in the 18th and 19th century. This was the coolest summer camp for a number of reasons, but mostly because of the general store. The general store had all sorts of old-timey items you could buy with quarters. 

Obviously, lemon drops were king. Lemon drops were the currency of summer camp. Like cigarettes in prison. Or Bitcoin in Silicon Valley. If you wanted to get picked on the good Capture the Flag team, cough up some lemon drops. Sorry, the lemon drop thing is kind of irrelevant (but cute right?). The point is, the general store was amazing and full of weird and wonderful things.

And now, thanks to Cone and Steiner, we get to relive the happiness of walking into a store with glass jars of candy and bottles of root beer. 

They have two locations in Seattle, one in Pioneer Square and one in Capitol Hill. When you visit you will get to shop their well curated selection of food, beverages, and provisions. Not to mention local beers on tap and goodies like candles, soups, and cards made by local artists/creators. It is a great place to support and it never fails to introduce us to a new product that we end up loving. 

Pop in next time you're in the neighborhood and we promise, whether you have general store summer camp memories or not, you'll become a fan. 

Fresh flowers are available when they are in season. 

Fresh flowers are available when they are in season. 

They offer a little bit of everything

They offer a little bit of everything

Local goods

Local goods

The bar

The bar

Candy. In jars! Hallelujah! 

Candy. In jars! Hallelujah! 

Throwback fonts 

Throwback fonts 

Meet the Maker: Seattle Granola Company

Welcome to our first edition of Meet the Maker! We are excited to launch this series where we sit down with local creators to learn about their craft.

First up, Seattle Granola Company!

A little about the company.

Emily Dean used to gift her granola to tons of people prior to it becoming a business. Everyone she gave it to raved about the flavors and texture. Her brother-in-law, Chris Field, was the first to encourage her to take it to market. Being a chef, Chris was constantly surrounded by food and knew the good stuff when he tasted it. No surprise that almost three years later Seattle Granola Company is going strong and making plans for future expansions. 

What's the size of the operation? 

Every week they make almost 1,000 pounds of granola. Emily's kitchen is one of the most delicious-smelling places we have ever set foot in. Like Christmas year round. 

What are some secret or favorite granola uses/recipes people should know about? 

The obvious, yogurt or almond milk are great. People also use it for sweets, crumbling it over ice cream, or on top of donuts. Emily even used it as a topping on her Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole. You can add it to a salad for some crunch or to your popcorn for more flavors. Or just snack on it, which Chris points out is one of the reasons their granola is the best, you can eat it plain, and it's just as delicious. 

What about the ingredients? 

The granola is all vegan and gluten free. The oats are from a special farm in Colorado where they don't rotate the crops, which means the only thing that touches the soil are the oats, keeping them free from any traces of gluten. 

They also create their granola with a shelf life of 8 weeks, which is unique to their company. Most are much longer, but after extensive testing they realized that keeping it much longer decreases the crunch and sweet and salty flavor, and they only want their customers eating the best they can make. 

Where can you buy Seattle Granola Company granola? 

Lucky for us, they listed every location out on their website. They are in Central Markets and Town and Country markets around town, and you can also purchase it directly from their website. The first company to buy their granola? New Roots Organics, a Seattle delivery service. You can still find their granola in the bins of fresh produce and goodies being delivered around Seattle. 

When interviewing food people we always have to ask, what are you favorite spots in Seattle to eat?

Chris landed on 2C Thai, which apparently has the best green curry with avocado and Palace Kitchen for the best burger in Seattle.

Emily, being a vegetarian, is not chowing down on the burgers at Palace Kitchen, but she does love Seattle Deli's Tofu Bahn Mi and is a regular at Pho 99. She even knows the veggie pho's number on the menu (#14B). 

What is coming up next for SGC?

Currently SGC has two flavors of granola, regular and coffee, but Emily and Chris are about to launch their new No BS line of granola. It is made without the brown sugar, so if you want ultra-healthy granola this is the way to go. 

Us? We walked out of the interview with 6 bags of the WITH sugar granola goodness, but if you want no sugar, we won't think less of you.

A PNW Guide to Sustainable Shopping

We are not preachy people here at Rain or Shine Guides. We know when it comes to sustainability it takes some discipline, and we are all human. We have been known to eat crappy processed food (Read: we break down and eat goldfish crackers all the time), and to drive when riding the bus or walking would be better for the environment (Read: Only when it rains...). 

Lately though, like the rest of the world, we have been trying to take notice and support businesses who think about the health of the planet when producing their goods. Since there is only one known planet we can live on in this universe, and it's the one we are on, we should probably take care of it. That is unless Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk figure out how to move to another planet, which in that case we can all take hour long showers and burn our trash in the backyard.

Since successful billionaire space projects are still a bit doubtful at this point we have put together a list of places you can shop locally (support small business!) that are also sustainable (save the planet!). 

Home and Office

Good and Well Supply Co. creates small batch, soy candles with 100% natural ingredients. Plus they smell like you are sitting in a forest filled with lavender and rainbows.

Coco Beza makes natural and organic skin care products. We particularly enjoy the Rain City soaps. 

Tirto Furniture uses mostly salvaged materials to construct their uniquely stunning furniture. If it isn't recycled materials, then they use sustainable wood.

Pike Street Press is an awesome shop beneath Pike Place Market that creates stellar prints with environmentally friendly methods. And it smells cool.

Food and Drink 

Theo Chocolate is one of the world leaders in promoting organic cocoa beans and Fair Trade practices for the bean farmers. In addition they also do a lot to give back to developing communities that are involved in their growing process.

Pike Place Fish Market is the only fish market in Pike Place Market that is 100% sustainable. Head down and get the guys to throw your fish over the counter and know it is the highest quality.

Ballard Bee Company places beehives around the urban and rural Seattle area and then farms fresh honey from them. You could be eating honey that was from a hive in your neighborhood!

Wei Kitchen specializes in Vietnamese cooking and all their products are 100% homemade, all natural, and use organic and local ingredients whenever possible. Add some serious awesome to your dinner.

Clothing and Beauty

NUBE Green boasts they make "going green a little easier." All products sold in their store are repurposed and organic materials. 

El Sage Designs follows quality and ethical manufacturing practices and also donates 1% of all their profits to various non-profits working to better the planet.

Prairie Underground has comfortable collections with cool lines and unique cuts. Best part? Everything is made from organic materials. Hi-ya!

Proper Northwest wants quality, not quantity when compiling their goods, so they use ethical, local, and sustainable products. 

Specks and Keepings lets you wear your art, with every garment hand sewn and beautifully designed. All textiles are ethically sourced.

Handmade La Conner is a small beauty and skincare shop in the PNW that uses all natural ingredients to make their heavenly-smelling goodies! 

Make It Good is a Portland shop that uses only high quality materials from the good ole U-S-of-A. Bonus? Their stuff is super cute.

For The Family

Adventure Day Treats makes all natural treats as well as toys made from recycled goods. Maggie is a big fan.

Snooterdoots is this strange and amazing company that has made up an entire species to entertain your kids to no end (imagination not included). The felt toys are made in a way that is easy on the environment.

Bootyland Kids says it the best themselves, they are a kids toy and clothing company giving consumers a "space to access products created in a variety of sustainable ways. Including organics, hemp, fair trade, PVC free, locally made, reconstructed, and vintage all with an urban appeal." Nice. 

The Pacific Northwest is FULL of amazing producers who work in a way to minimize their impact on the planet and bring us sustainable products. We know we couldn't name them all in a single post and there are probably a million we don't even know about, so share your favorites with us in the comments!