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Mother Essentials: Susan Work

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by portrait by Maria Del Rio

Today’s Mother Essentials list is simply giving us life! But, honestly, we would expect nothing less from Susan Work, one-half of design biz Homework and mama to a (nearly) 3-year-old son, Cy. The San Francisco-based creative is constantly on the hunt for the best, brightest, and most unique products (and makers!) on the market. Below, she’s pulled together over 20 inspiring must-haves, all made by small-batch creators, many whom are folx of color—something that the California native is especially passionate about. You can support them all by clicking through below while simultaneously bringing a new bit of delight into your own home.

Abstract Bathmat. “I love these abstract mats that instantly jazz up our bathroom, which is now getting a ton of use everyday.” Talking Rocks Bathmat, $60, Cold Picnic.

Moodbeli Tonics. “I love a shot of adaptogens in my morning coffee each day to chill me out and help regulate stress levels.” Moodbeli Mushroom Adaptogen, $38, Moodbeli.

Hansel from Basel Socks. “Fun socks make the SAH outfit!” Socks, $14 and up, Hansel From Basel.

Moglea Cards. “There are still birthdays, babies on the way, and thank you’s to be had. I love saying it with these artfully ebullient cards. And who doesn’t love snail mail?” Geode Card Set, $20, Moglea.

Virginia Sin Lamps. “These sculptural handmade ceramics add fun to our home and bring to life a couple dull corners. I love utilitarian objects that double as art.” Rolling Hills Table Lamp, $425, Sin.

Yuko Nishikawa Art Prints. “I’ve been blown away by the brilliant artists staying creative during the quarantine, and I especially love Yuko’s daily paintings. I’ve snagged a few and can’t wait to frame them.” Art Prints, $200, Yuko Nishikawa.

Saint Jane CBD Oil. “I love a wholesome CBD product. I’ve started a new bath ritual of adding a few drops of this oil along with herbs, flowers, and citrus for the ultimate relaxation treatment at home.” Saint Jane Luxury CBD Body Serum, $58, Sephora.

Black Crane Dresses. “Comfortable, well made, and stylish, this label can do no wrong. The epitome of ‘can be dressed up or down,’ Black Crane dresses are perfect for staying in, going out, and basically for living in 24/7.” Mont Blanc Dress in Lavender, $249, Black Crane.

Tinted Glassware. “We recently upgraded our glassware to this weighty and elegantly handcrafted set, and every beverage is that much more enjoyable.” Mazama Cocktail Glass, $44, Tanner Goods.

Butter& Cake. “I’ve been gifting these clever PSA goodies to friends during this wild time because who doesn’t love getting a cake at their doorstep? They lift spirits and taste delicious, and it makes me so happy to support this worthy, small local biz.” Butter& PSA Cake, $50, Butter&.

Queen of Cups Tie Dye. “Everyone’s doing it. If it’s not sourdough, people are ‘tied’ up in a tie-dying craze. While we wait for our kits to arrive I got matching shirts for the whole family.” Unisex T-Shirt, $38, Queen of Cups.

Binu Binu Soap. “I love this Korean company that honors the pure ritual of cleansing. Her soaps are monolithic sculptural blocks that add a nice pop of color to our bathroom vanity.” Binu Box Set, $85, Binu Binu.

Blockitecture. “Our kid is obsessed with buildings, the skyline, infrastructure, and towers. He loves playing with these blocks and dreaming up his own building creations. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!” Areaware Blockitecture Set, $75, Burke Decor.

Stonemill Matcha. “I am a big matcha lover and miss meeting up with friends regularly at this stellar local joint. Luckily they are selling their ceremonial grade matcha tins to be enjoyed at home. I love it purely straight up and hot—no sweeteners or milk.” Stonemill Matcha Tins, $30, Stonemill Matcha.

How to Be An Artist. “My favorite art critic, Jerry Saltz, has recently released a very timely book that is loaded with inspiration to help put nervous energy to good use—reminding us that ‘creativity is a survival strategy’ and that art has always been born out of isolation.” How To Be An Artist, $19.89, Target.

Rami Kim Vases. “Like many who’ve turned to gardening while quarantined, we’ve been spending a lot of time tending to our plants. These face planters are giggle-inducing for kids and make our home more fun and vibrant.” Mini Face Planter, $120, Rami Kim.

Artifact Uprising Photo Prints. “Now is a good time to go through my photos and free up some phone space. I love printing out sets of photos and placing them throughout the house.” Everyday Print Set, from $9, Artifact Uprising.

Funky Candles. “Family dinners have become more ambient thanks to an assortment of these candles that we’ve been burning every night, which also makes for a fun centerpiece when not in use.” Pillar Candle, $45, Hay.

Architecture Puzzle. “My favorite building in Spain—La Muralla Roja, designed by Ricardo Bofill—has been turned into a puzzle. Perfect for these long days at home, wanderlusting our blues away. A big plus is the exquisite color palette of this architectural gem.” La Muralla Roja Puzzle, $35, Slow Down Studio.

Eugenia Kim Facemask. “Safety first, but make it fashion. I love this bedazzled number. My kiddo does, too!” Sculpted Mask in Silver Hologram Sequin, $20, Eugenia Kim.

Maison du Soir Robe. “My daily routine is throwing on this floral robe over my out-of-bed situation, and staying in it through breakfast and beyond. I feel dressed without actually having to put in any effort.” Audrey Robe, $265, Maison du Soir.

Multi-Use Makeup. “Even if I’m going nowhere, just a dab of this all-in-one on lips, cheeks, and even eyelids gives me a glow that makes me feel good and peppy.” Hue Stick in Found, $24, Live Tinted.

For more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with editor Angela Tafoya, Wiley Body founder Vanessa Wade, DockATot’s Roma Patel, designers Anna Wallack, Cynthia RowleyRebecca Atwood, and Dana Haim, Olympian Alysia Montano,  cookbook author Hetal Vasavada, model and muse Slick Woods, children’s author Serena Minott, clean living expert Kristian Henderson, Oakland retail queen Sherri McMullen, wellness influencer Joanne Encarnacion, author LaTonya Yvetteand many, many more!

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  1. Especially love her selects. Lots of whimsy, color, joy. Nice range of prices and new to me discoveries. #bookmarking

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