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July 09, 2021

#MINNAatHome with Dave & Jody

Join us for a home tour with two of our favorite MINNA customers: Dave & Jody (and their cat, Luke). They've been making a home together for 38 years, collecting artwork and ceramics, and a few special MINNA pieces along the way, too! Take a step into their harmonious space, that teaches us that neutral tones and repeated patterns are always in style, and that the true meaning of home is found in who you share it with.

Tell us about you:

Hmmmm………this may all sound a little cliché, but we're just two kids from the country who couldn’t wait to escape their small towns and through a network of friends met one another 38 years ago. From that first encounter in 1983, we knew we were destined to be together. Fast forward to 2013, after Minnesota ratified the Marriage Amendment, and we were legally married after a 30-year engagement. One benefit of a 30 year engagement is that you know you are compatible. Now after almost 38 years together and 8 years of marriage, we continue to be amazed at how fortunate and blessed we have been to have survived and thrived. In order to explain how far we’ve come, you should know that our first house was a walkout rambler in a suburban Minnesota neighborhood where we were so closeted that we installed a wall on the interior stairway to give the impression that we each lived in our own separate apartments. We’ve been retired for 10 years from our careers, but continue to manage a couple small family business ventures out of our home. We’ve collected local midwestern visual art and American art pottery for many years and though our collecting has slowed to a crawl, because seriously, how much stuff does anyone need, we continue to be blessed by those experiences. Through this process we met so many wonderful people, both artists and collectors, who impacted our lives in unexpected ways. We do our best to resist the aging process by striving to stay mindful, practicing a regular workout schedule along with yoga, meditation, and a hybrid dietary approach that we’ve concocted over the years. As our local Austin icon Willie Nelson says, “……you have to pay for the day.” Finally, we live with an exceedingly intelligent and spoiled male Siamese cat named Luke.  We remind ourselves on a regular basis that Luke has been our salvation during this year of lockdown.  On a daily basis, he makes us laugh, tests our limits, demands YouTube cat videos, and reminds us that humans are definitely not the only sentient beings on this planet.

How would you describe your home and your approach to making it feel like home?

That’s an interesting question, because during this past year we completely upended our concept of home. After living in a rural single family home with acreage and numerous gardens for 27 years, we decided to downsize and move closer to the city. We traded in one single family home with unending maintenance and gardening for two city condos, one in Richfield, MN and one in Austin, Texas. We didn’t anticipate this would be happening in the midst of a pandemic. Though neither of us have ever experienced homelessness, I think that in some sense during this past year we’ve both felt “homeless” throughout the relocation process. We’ve struggled with and continue to struggle with what a sense of home means and what it actually requires? In retrospect, maybe it requires a number of inter-related items: an infinite number of “comings and goings” over time, art, objects, or activities that provide joy, events, and experiences with friends or families that create memories, and finally, one or more non-human family members because as Temple Grandin says, “Animals Make Us Human.” In our homes we’ve always tried to create an environment for ourselves and our friends that provided a respite and retreat from the frantic pace of our work lives. Ideally, home is a place where you create respite and comfort for yourselves and others.

What are three words to describe your aesthetic?

Inspiring, inviting, harmonious.

At MINNA we believe in creating beautiful, ethically made products and using business to do good – how do these concepts relate to or inspire you? 

The Arts and Crafts esthetic has been influential throughout our collecting lives. Finding a company like MINNA and someone like Sara, who dedicates her company’s mission and vision to working with artisans who create beautiful quality objects, while simultaneously supporting a living wage for those artisans, is serendipitous! The quality and designs exhibited in MINNA’s textiles is exceptional. We’ve been so impressed with MINNA’s dedication to supporting their artisans, and staff through this very challenging past year. At the turn of the century, another New York resident named Elbert Hubbard and his artisans at the Roycrofter’s craft colony in East Aurora were leaders in this movement in America, and MINNA honors that tradition.

What is a favorite memory of yours in your home?

Let’s see, would it be when the Austin condo flooded, the day after all the furniture arrived, due to a broken fire sprinkler upstairs, or would it be surviving this past February’s Texas-sized winter storm and utility failure? Seriously, it’s simply living under the same roof as your best friend and partner for 38 years.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

We couldn’t settle on just one:

  • Don’t ever look down on anyone because you think you’re better than they are.  I think that really just boils down to “show everyone respect.”
  • Always count to 10 before you respond or react.
  • The only thing perfect is God, whatever form that takes for you.