Matt Dick

INSPIRED BY
For creative director and designer Matt Dick, inspiration and influence have no filter — his work in textile and clothing design, fashion branding, and product development have allowed him to create work that spans mediums, platforms, and locations. Based in San Francisco after apprenticing in indigo dyeing in Japan, spending eight years at Tamotsu Yagi Design, and operating his own project Matocreative, today he develops work as Small Trade Company, an ever-evolving platform for his ideas to unfold. Small Trade Company is headquartered in an open industrial space above the Heath Ceramics building, and is centered around “making things by hand of primary worth,” inspired by the community, relationships, and his wide-reaching breadth of influences. In the spirit of Matt’s expansive creative process, we asked him to share the sources of some of his most recent — and most significant — sources of inspiration.

What’s an object that has been particularly meaningful to you?
I have used the same pair of steel scissors from Japan with a brass handle for several years and they really stand as a symbol to st/Co.
 
What’s a recent project you’ve worked on that you’re proud of and/or excited about?
Right now we are designing the aprons and uniform for The Durham Hotel in North Carolina and the new Tartine uniform. They’re both very different but on the table at the same time.
 
What’s the last great thing that you read?
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Sara Thomas

Where do you go to “reset” — to check out of daily responsibilities and clear your head?
I have an uncanny ability to check out anywhere: my doctor even recommended a Bach Remedy, Clematis, to keep me grounded.
 
Collaboration and community are at the heart of your work. What’s a dream project combining the two?
Being able to spend more time working on the collection and cultivating relationships with collaborators to be and have someone else to project manage the business.
 
What was something you were grateful for this month?
The health of the people I love.
 

What is your favorite quotation?
“Life is not happening to you life is happening from you” — Orkie, by way of my friend Susan Cianciolo, who hand-stitched it into a vintage T-shirt that I have from her collection The Woman of the Crowd.
 
What is a new idea you’re interested in?
Better management of my time (Isn’t that novel…).
 
Who are your favorite artists, photographers, or designers (working in any medium)?
There is not enough room to share: the list is long because I really feed from these endeavors of human expression and communication.  
 
What are your favorite textures or working materials?
These are always changing for me as well: I kind of see it as part of the adventure and exploration of the vocation I chose.
 
What locations are most meaningful to you and why?
My apartment at the edge of the Tenderloin here in SF is my sanctuary for me to rest and be quiet.
 
Photography by LESLIE WILLIAMSON | Words by LEIGH PATTERSON