We’re kicking off something new. Through a series of videos and stories, our team would like to invite you into the world of St. Frank. Today, we’ll start at the beginning with Christina’s story. From there, we welcome you behind the scenes of our process. For the next two weeks, we will share our experiences traveling around the world and working with skilled artisans to bring you beautiful & meaningful objects for your home.

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Hello! I’m honored and grateful to have so many friends – old and new – as supporters in creating St. Frank. For those of you I don’t know, I’m the founder. I’m excited to share a little bit of my experience with you to provide the context in which St. Frank was born. Many of you share my story, or parts of it. I hope that this is an opportunity for you to connect with our work and take part in our mission – spreading the word about St. Frank, collecting our pieces, or paying us a visit in San Francisco.

St. Frank began with an Indian textile I bought abroad and later framed. As a storied and unusual item, it became a conversation piece in my home. I realized that, beyond the collected treasures I picked up on my travels, it was difficult for me to find beautiful pieces that spoke to my values as a ‘global citizen.’ And I wanted my home to tell the story of who I am. That desire is the foundation on which I began to build St. Frank.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in art and design. In college I studied art history and fell in love with the architectural magic of my campus at the University of Virginia. I discovered the power that art has to tell deep cultural stories. After school, I moved to New York to join the Museum of Modern Art. During my time at MoMA, I took a trip to Rwanda that changed my course – my heart and my career. I discovered that, in addition to art, I was also passionate about international development. I wanted to have an impact on improving economic opportunity for people living around the world in under-resourced settings. So, I moved from Manhattan to rural Rwanda to work for a healthcare NGO, Partners In Health.

Living in East Africa, I saw beautiful art coming out of isolated communities. The handwork and motifs in these crafts carried histories and traditions passed down through generations. I often purchased these items and added my own finishing later, once I returned home to the States. One of these pieces was the textile I framed – the inspiration for St. Frank.

From Rwanda, I moved to Palo Alto, California, for business school at Stanford. During my time in school, my mind was turning with the possibility of starting my own venture and at the same time, lingering on the artisans I met in Rwanda.

I started St. Frank to offer what I consider to be true luxury for the home. Built into St. Frank’s DNA is, first and foremost, offering pieces that our collectors want for their beauty, quality, and authenticity alone; and second, to offer this by sourcing ethically, providing quality jobs to artisans, and preserving traditional artisanal craft. We opened our online doors in October of 2013, selling framed handmade textiles.

Over the next two weeks, I invite you to experience a bit of my journey close up. Join me and the St. Frank team as we venture to Rajasthan, India. You’ll meet our artisan partners, be introduced to new St. Frank products handmade in Jaipur, and learn our travel tips should you be inspired to book your ticket to the magical Pink City.

Thank you! And I hope you will take part in the conversation with me either online or in person at our San Francisco Summer Mini Shop.

Making friends on my visit to Rwanda, 2006.

My colleagues at MoMA and me taking a final walk through the galleries before I move to Rwanda, 2007.

The village of Rwinkwavu, where I lived and worked, 2008.

Visiting a Maasai Boma in Tanzani, 2008.

Chatting with patients in the pediatric ward, 2009.

Visiting a women’s cooperative in Guatemala, 2014.

Christina's home is filled with St. Frank treasures. Shop her personal collection.

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