Q&A: Cire’, Dune Gift and Home Founder
One of Dune’s most important commitments is our dedication to supporting makers and curators. Each piece that can be found in Dune was created by someone with big dreams, massive goals, and a nothing-can-stop-me attitude that we feel honored to share with our customers.
In addition to featuring the work of makers in our shop (both online and in-person), we’ll periodically spotlight one of these creators in a Q&A series, diving into their backstory, getting a peek into their process, and soliciting their advice for aspiring creatives everywhere.
To kick off this series, we thought we’d start out with a maker and curator that we know well, our very own founder, Cire’ Rosenbaum Cross. Let’s jump in!
How did you get to where you are now?
I have always just been a creative person, always making, always wanting to create beautiful things. When I was little, I told my dad I was going to be a “starving artist” when I grew up! Ha! I’ve learned everything I know about design and running a small business through experience, trial and error, long hours, hard work, and never giving up or settling when I was told “no” or when I failed at something. I am also very lucky to have the full support of my family and friends. It has been a huge source of strength for me.
When I was in high school, I worked at an Art and Antique shop in Stoughton and I just fell in love with old things- everything from furniture to costume jewelry. My passion for making jewelry sparked when my boss would give me the broken things that couldn’t be fixed and I just began to create my own things out of the old parts. It snowballed from there after a woman asked me if the necklace I was wearing was for sale!
How did Dune come into being?
Dune was the perfect storm of opportunity. The stars aligned and I knew it was now or never. I was looking to move my jewelry studio from Madison to Stoughton to be closer to my daughter; at the same time my mother and father-in-law were looking to purchase a historic building and mentioned that I could move my studio to the building! Then it morphed into having my studio AND a store! It took seven months to renovate the building and seven months for me to work through all the things you need to do to start a new business. It was intense with a newborn, all the prep work happened during naps and on weekends when Dad was home. But we did it!
How would you describe Dune to someone who has never heard of it?
I would tell them it is a gift and home decor store that focuses on mixing old and new handmade items. The style is minimalist bohemian, a beautiful juxtaposition of clean lines, minimalistic styling with warm hues and lots of texture.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up whenever Elsie gets up - usually around 6:30 a.m. First up, coffee! My Little Fire Ceramics mug is my go-to. Then, Elsie and I play around and Dad makes us breakfast (sometimes I do, but they are never as good as Dad’s!)
Then, off to the shower. My favorite products right now are The Sunday Standard Day Oil and Under Aurora coconut oil spray. Then, Elsie helps me pick out my clothes. I pack up a lunch and head for the shop. I put my jewelry on once I get there (Elsie is into pulling on earrings currently). I rock my own jewelry or any one of the seven other jewelry lines we carry- it’s like playing dress up every day.
What are you inspired by right now?
What am I not inspired by?! I am constantly filled with ideas and inspiration scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest, sourcing new makers, and finding vintage pieces for the shop.
What is your favorite scent?
I am currently loving fresh scents for spring. Citrus is my favorite now, it’s so uplifting and energetic!
What is your favorite item in your home?
It would have to be between a set of 4 thrifted bentwood chairs and my Mingled goods wooden wall hangings! I just love the mix of wood and rope, and you can hang them anywhere.
What is your personal motto?
“Fortune favors the brave” and “goonies never say die”. Basically, never give up, do things that are big and scary and overwhelming at times. You will be amazed at what can happen when you step out of your comfort zone.
What is a go-to item at Dune that anyone could buy for any occasion?
My go-to gifts are usually candles, bath salts, jewelry, or a small ceramic piece. I think all these things are luxurious, affordable and practical.
What are a few trends that you’re seeing that you think will blow up over the next few months?
I am already beginning to see that Pantone’s Color of the Year, “Living Coral”, is blowing up both in interiors, fashion and art! It such a warm feel-good color.
Why do you think starting a brick-and-mortar shop is a good idea right now?
I think it is less risky than it has been. I see this trend of specialty shops popping up because we are human - we like to experience the world with ALL of our senses. Small boutiques offer smell, touch, taste, and should evoke an emotion. It’s about so much more than selling things. You can get “things” on Amazon - but our generation wants more, a connection. I think you will be seeing small shops becoming a trend again. Yay for the mom and pops!
What is your advice for someone who wants to start their own business?
Research, prep, prep, prep, save, save, save, and know you will NEVER feel fully prepared or ready for such a huge step, but DO IT anyways. Just be smart about it. Set a budget, stick to it. Use your marketing dollars wisely. Do what you can with what you have.
Why do you believe it’s important to support makers?
It’s important to support makers because it’s a direct way to support another person’s dreams. I’m supporting the dreams of the makers in my shop, and they’re supporting mine. We keep each other’s lights on, food on the table. It’s a beautiful circle.
What are your hopes for Dune after the next year? The next 5 years?
I’m keeping a few secrets, but we have BIG plans… :)