SPOTlight: Meet Franca's Jazmin, Sierra, Bowie, & Uma

SPOTlight: Meet Franca's Jazmin, Sierra, Bowie, & Uma

Why we love Franca.
Franca first popped on our radar when we came across their Finca Dog Bowl while looking for a ceramic upgrade from our stainless-steel set. When we also spotted the Uma doodle designs on their range of ceramic home goods along with the featured profile of their studio dogs, Bowie & Uma on the 'About Us' page - we knew we had found our kind of people.
Franca is a ceramic studio in Brooklyn that pairs minimalist silhouettes with contemporary patterns and designs. Every single piece is created to elevate a daily ritual as well as each room of your home. I am personally convinced my apartment will jump 10 cool points with one (or three) of their stacked planters. And it would appear that I’m not alone with this line of thought - retailers, Anthropologie, West Elm, and Food 52 are among their growing list of stockists who have added Franca’s ceramics to their assortment.
Nothing makes us happier than seeing a badass team of creatives (and their fluffy AF studio pups) be recognized for their talent and hard work.
We also had the pleasure of meeting both Sierra and her studio pups, Bowie & Uma at the Pup Crawl this past weekend and they were just as a lovely (and floofy) as we imagined. 

Q: What are your dogs’ names and nicknames

A: Bowie: Bobo, Boford, Bo-Monster, BoBro & Uma: Umi, Umami

Q: How would you describe Uma & Bowie’s respective personalities? 

A: Bowie’s personality is mischievous, he is very lazy most of the day and then right around 5 oclock he goes into mischief mode. He is extremely food motivated and will sniff out any snacks, from what is on your plate to what’s in your coat pocket. 

Uma is a lady, she can be more timid than Bowie is, but she just likes her space and plenty of pets.

Q: Do they have any funny quirks or habits?

A: Bowie likes to open doors, pull, push, any door, he can open it! He also loves to nap in inconvenient places, typically in the splash zone at the studio. Uma loves leg scratches, but it’s scary because she lifts her leg as though she is going to pee on you, but she just wants scratches under her leg.

Q: What are their roles and responsibilities as studio dogs? 

A: If we are talking about official titles, Bowie is the Chief Nap Officer and Uma is the Demander of Pets. But what they do varies day to day, from being a mischief maker, to a lunchtime cuddle buddy, these pups do it all.

Q: Tell us about yourselves - How you two met and how you started your business?

A: Jazmin and I met and became friends while going to school together at Pratt Institute. A few years later we decided that we wanted to start our own practice together! We started with just a loose idea of what Franca was going to be, and ultimately decided upon ceramics as our medium. There is nothing more therapeutic than working with clay all day, and it is a medium which has allowed us to grow and evolve as quickly as we’ve needed to.

Q: Tell us about Franca- why you started it?  Include a sentence describing your mission.

A: Franca was born from an idea: there are common threads that bind us. No matter where you come from or where you are going, there is a commonality to be discovered. This common language, or lingua franca, is what we strive to achieve.  Craftsmanship, design, and artistry make up the foundation of our work, and we continue to seek out ways to bring the soul of lingua franca to each piece.

Q: What is your favorite part of the process with each project?

A: The underglazing process is one of the most exciting parts of the process for us because it really feels like the piece is coming together. Each product is hand painted in studio, which takes a lot of time but it also makes each piece unique. No piece is exactly identical to another, which some people might think is an imperfection but we think adds character to the brand.

Q: What exciting things do you have coming up at Franca? Anything new you can share with us?

A: We are currently in a transitional period in which we are growing our team and our space. However once all the changes we have in mind are finished we are going to revisit some projects that were put on hold due to the pandemic. Lighting design is something that both Jazmin and I are really interested in and we are hoping that Franca start making some ceramic lights.


Follow Bowie & Uma's adventures @uma_gram and give Franca a follow @franca_nyc - it is the perfect combination of gorgeous home goods and fluffy cloud dogs. 

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