You can't possibly imagine how beautiful a pom-pom can be until you've seen the work of Dana Haim. Her colorful, playful, yet intricate pom-poms are truly mesmerizing, whether they're dripping from an installation at the corporate offices of a super-chic brand, or hanging from a hand-made mobile in the most stylish nursery you've ever seen. Dana recently upped the ante with a socially conscious home goods collection, which includes rugs, blankets, pillows and even kitchen accessories. The collection is made in collaboration with local artisans in Mexico and Guatemala, who use natural dyes and local traditional weaving techniques such as tapestry and backstrap weaving. “I love the idea of creating hand-made heirloom pieces that could be passed down from generation to generation and used for various stages in a family's life," she says. These days, Dana's particularly focused on heirloom pieces for her very own, as she gets ready to welcome her first baby into her San Francisco home. Dana recently let us in for a nursery tour, and shared a little more about pregnancy, motherhood and the baby/biz balance. Want to make your own Nursery Pom-Pom DIY? Dana shares 10 easy steps here!
How has pregnancy changed or inspired your work? When I found out I was pregnant, I had just finished two trade shows where I officially launched my new home goods collection and felt really proud and excited about this direction. In the first trimester, I felt very sick and lacked energy, so it was really hard to keep that momentum going. That really scared me since I have always been a really hard worker with lots of energy. Sure enough, I came out of it and I have realized that if I just stay on course and continue to just stay true to my mission and vision, eventually I will be able to get back into that groove that I was really feeling strongly before I got pregnant. Now, I can honestly say that I am excited about the challenges that motherhood brings while running a small business. I anticipate that it will force me to be more efficient and wiser with my time and choices. I still feel the burn and inspiration to continue to cultivate relationships with artisans, travel the world, and have a new team member to join us on the ride.
How has your work with mamas helped you prep for having a baby? I see how much thought, love, and dedication goes into even the smallest little detail for many new moms, and I think that is really beautiful. I look forward to being so wholeheartedly devoted to this baby as I see many of my clients are to theirs. Tell us about your nursery inspiration. Our intention was to keep it simple. I loved the idea of using neutral colors and for the space to have an organic feel and then to allow some of the special items we have collected as a couple to serve as the moments of color. I aimed for it to feel like a sweet extension of us and our home. We have travelled a lot as a couple and are constantly collecting special items in those travels, and ultimately it felt as though lots of those objects found their home in this room. For example, the Guatemalan animal masks (Kanu and Kame) represent our Mayan spirit animals according to the Mayan calendar. We strived for a relaxed, laid back feeling, inspired by nature, which is very important to us. We were thrilled to find an apartment with lots of light and beautiful views to welcome this baby into. I added some of my own work into the space by tweaking my favorite rug from my collection, the Teoti rug, and just adapted it a bit to match the space. Of course there needed to be pom-poms, so I made a wall installation in a neutral palette to go above the change table. Jaron definitely had some input. I really wanted the space to feel serene and cozy for him to enjoy as well.
How have you gone about putting it together? Honestly, most of the stuff in there we had for ages, I had a hard time with the larger items of furniture as this was a totally new space for me and there is just so much out there, I didn't know where to begin. The details were definitely more fun for me. What pieces make up the foundation for the nursery? We chose the Stokke Sleepi crib because it seemed light and we liked that it has extender options. I also liked that it was on wheels and could easily be moved from room to room. The rocker was actually the first piece of furniture we got for our new SF apartment after our move from Brooklyn. One of our first stops when we got here was the Alameda Flea Market, which is where we found this rocker. Its an authentic Kofod Larsen piece with its original upholstery in great shape and incredibly comfortable. For the change table, we wanted something simple that would serve as a clean piece of furniture for storage that could also easily be used as baby grows. We like the idea of just buying things once and hopefully they will be long-lasting. It's from Oeuf NYC. I added the changing basket as a warm component and because I am kind of obsessed with baskets.
And the details? This was by far my favorite part of the process since I had been saving so many of these items for so long and finally felt there had been a reason that I'd held on to these objects. For example, the silhouette of the boy, is actually Jaron's silhouette from kindergarten that his mom gave me when we moved in together. The globe lamp is also a relic from his childhood. The dreamcatcher was something we picked up on our first trip as a newly pregnant couple to New Mexico. We bought it from a noble and beautiful elderly artist who is part of the Taos pueblo. We also got the handmade drum in that same village. The textiles ladder was a meaningful wedding gift that seemed perfect for this space. The books are collected from both of our childhoods. The little cashmere teddy bear is something my sister gave me when I was a teenager. Pretty much every detail in the room has some sort of special meaning, and I could probably go on forever telling stories about where they came from. We got our changing basket and Moses basket from Design Dua, another business that fosters social awareness and empowers women. I really love the stuff we got from my friend's new online toy shop called Merci Milo. it has a great selection of objects, toys, and activities for little ones. I also love my friend Eric Trine's plant pedestal that doubles as a side table for the rocker and will also be great as a breastfeeding station when that time comes.
What's the most sentimental piece in the room? Our copy of Alice in Wonderland is actually a gift that Jaron's late grandmother Ruth gave to him as a little boy and is complete with a loving inscription from her. How does it feel to be able to bring your own personal work into your baby's space? The rug and pom-poms are very special to me since they are my handiwork and I really wanted the space to have my personal touch. I have made so many pieces for other people and have yet to make anything for our home, so this felt like the perfect moment to actually take some time to do that. I knew I wanted to make something gender neutral. We didn't find out the sex of the baby and I probably would have taken the same approach even if we had. I really love a simple natural and earthy palette so I knew that would be my jumping off point. What's the best piece of advice you'd give to a mom-to-be that's planning her own nursery? For me what really worked was keeping things simple and not overdoing it or over thinking it. We only invested in the crib and change table/dresser which is probably what we put the most thought into since those were the bigger expenses and we wanted them to be long-lasting. I would advise not to spend too much on things that won't last long. If you are going to spend money on stuff, do it on the items that can be versatile and usable throughout many stages. Everything else is just filler. The process should be fun and don't feel pressured to make things pink or blue!
Photography by Lauren Crew for Well Rounded.