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2020 PVD Design Catalyst: Savannah Barkley of Sir Milky Quartz

July 15, 2020 /// Featuring: Savannah Barkley of Sir Milky Quartz


Photo by Rue Sakayama Photography.

Photo by Rue Sakayama Photography.

1. Tell us about your company! 

Sir Milky Quartz is a curated boutique inspired by a sweet as can be, peachy-nosed rabbit named Sir Milky Quartz. Our vintage finds and handmade sentiments feel like watching clouds in a field brimming with new blooms, sunshine, and romance. We are focused on creative reuse of materials, quirky vintage looks, and handmade goods to transport you into a world that is one of a kind, just like you.  

2. Where did the name of your company come from?

Sir Milky Quartz is named after a bunny rabbit, more precisely our bunny rabbit! He is the absolute best little guy and the most wonderful companion - he was adopted when I was in school at RISD and has come with me to studio ever since. I named him Milky Quartz for love of minerals and later we added on the “Sir”  as an obvious title for a bun with his personality — and Sir Milky Quartz was born!

Photo by Melissa Nyquist.

Photo by Melissa Nyquist.

3. How would you describe your style?

I would describe our style as whimsical, dreamy, and also with a substantial amount of quirk. I always imagine Sir Milky Quartz (the bunny and the business)  living in a victorian era greenhouse filled with sunshine and botanicals - a space that feels enchanting and romantic, filled with sunbeams and joyousness.

4. How has the Catalyst program impacted your business?

The Catalyst program gave us the opportunity to take chances and make big changes that set our business up for continued success.  During the program, we moved our business operations out of our apartment and into our first dedicated making space — all for Sir Milky Quartz. Having this new space allowed us to streamline our practice and business operations as well as purchasing needed equipment and materials.

In addition, our mentor and peers were wonderful in guiding us through this journey which is both exciting and nerve-wracking especially during times of such uncertainty.

5. What tips would you give to those who are looking to start their own business?

I would say to never stop taking steps and opportunities, even if they are very small! The moment that you get too caught up in your mind and stop putting ideas into practice is where I tend to get the most stuck and any kind of momentum is good. You won't build the most successful business overnight, and it is never going to be easy (even if others make it look like it is) - so keep setting your sights on those small goals and they will take you to the right place in due time. (Also believe in yourself!)

Photo by Rue Sakayama Photography.

Photo by Rue Sakayama Photography.

6. Finish this sentence! When I’m not designing I’m…

Foraging, enjoying the sunshine, tending to my houseplants & spending time with my boyfriend and our bunny children.

7.   Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am most creative when I am collecting - vintage or florals. I am so inspired by nature and the world I interact with every day and love the little surprises, like a flower peeking through the cracks on the sidewalk or an amazing find someone put out for the taking. Once I have collected and assembled objects that feel like me (and Sir Milky of course) I get to work finding the connections and moments of interest between seemingly disparate things. 

8. How has living in Rhode Island influenced Sir Milky Quartz?

Living in Rhode Island has heavily influenced our work by means of the creative community and the resources here. Since we do so much of our sourcing locally it has become very important to be in touch with our local environment and community to do our best work. We think there is no other place quite like it!

9. How has the current global health pandemic impacted your business?

The current global health pandemic has greatly changed the way our business was operating and has challenged us to take the next steps much quicker than originally intended (such as conducting a majority of our business online). We are adapting slowly but surely - but very much miss interacting with our customers in person!

Photo by Rue Sakayama Photography.

Photo by Rue Sakayama Photography.

Catherine Chung