We had the good fortune of connecting with Mellow Dawn Lund and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mellow Dawn, what matters most to you?
I do think it’s hard to choose only one, but respect would have to be number one. In my belief nearly all other values of importance can fall under this category. Integrity is also important to me, but if you are operating within the bounds of respect, then by default you will operate with integrity. I began teaching my son very, very early, that for me as a parent to him, I would be repeating the mantra of respect to him for as long as he was within earshot. Respect for others, respect for himself, respect for his surroundings, including the earth. If you apply this question to your path, “Am I being respectful?” This will always steer you in the right direction. This applies to your own well-being, as much as anything else, in my opinion.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am excited to be excited. Duh, I know. But to continue anything, creative or otherwise, you need to find ways to be excited…not constantly, but regularly. This is what pushes you to do something new, something fresh or something with someone else. Of course, finding your way to manifesting these things are always their own challenge. At this point, I often contemplate the “freedom” of having production off of my plate. Would I then have more time to design new pieces to chase my many new ideas to fruition with a faster pace?? Maybe. Of course, this process would come with it’s own burden and responsibility. However, one of the main things that distinguishes me is that I still am making the pieces myself. If you have one of my bags, I made it. I still am challenged to make pieces that are refined, but still made within the limitations of my small studio in Tucson. In this way, I feel like I am carrying on the tradition of a small collection of leather workers in Tucson and that feels distinguished in a timeless way to me. And, when I am doing things myself, I can do whatever I feel like, whenever, I feel like it. That has a certain liberty and a lot of space for fun.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
What we would do in Tucson…well, all things depend on the who and when.. But, here’s a basic if-we-tried-to-pack-it-in version..there are sooo many lovely other options..but you have to come back for the other spots! Saturday -The Tohono O’Odham Swapmeet. You have to really dig through, but when you find that treasure, it’s worth it!! Take a break and order a whole fried fish and they’ll bring you all the sides to make incredible little fish tacos. On the way back you can stop by Buffalo trading Post. Vintage and used clothes and homewares. Drop by a friends yard for a afternoon libation..then home for a siesta Evening, pick up some dinner at El Torero and maybe a nightcap at St. Charles Tavern outside. Sunday- Mercado Flea Market (every second Sunday during season) Brunch at Augustin on the patio Check out MAST & other shops in the Mercado District Home for siesta The Coronet for early dinner with music on the patio Monday – Stop at the Co-Op and grab some groceries. Order ahead for some fresh hand-made pasta from Ceres, to go to make for dinner later and head to Mt Lemmon. Make a little lunch at family cabin and head to Marshall Gulch for a little hike. Back for dinner and some backgammon. Tuesday – Head down just before lunch and hit 22nd St. Antique Mall on the way down. Head to Coctereria La Palma Mariscos Y Mas food cart at 22nd & S 6th Ave for some fish tacos..or soup or quesadilla..best fish in tucson – awesome sonoran dogs across the street at Ruiz Hot Dogs if your group is split. Check out the Tucson Museum of Art and the shops across the street. Grab something to eat at La Cocina. Wednesday – Breakfast at Five Points Market & Restaurant Visit St. Vincent Thrift Store. Pop into Bon boutique for a spin Over to MOCA to check out the current installation. Grab some dinner from Kukai at the Annex. **Good by bike or even walkable if you’re downtown. Bikes are available to rent just outside Five Points. Thursday – Head out to David Yetman trail for an early morning walk. Stop by La Chaiteria for yummy golden latte or one of many incredible hot drinks and a vegan bite to eat. Good by bike…. Midday head to the Center for Creative Photography for a spin and the UA Museum. Afterwards,make your way to Desert Vintage and explore the beauty. Grab a coffee or tea from EXO Roast Co. Drop in to grab some nature wine from Tap & Bottle for later. Loop over to How Sweet it Was vintage to round it out and order some pick up from Annello’s to grab for dinner at home with that wine. Friday – Make a run to any number of thrift stores…Casa De Los Ni˜ños, Goodwill, Treasures and More, the options are endless… Grab food from a food cart…fish or rajas tacos if you’re lucky, depending on where you go. Drop off your goodies. Take a rest. Head up to Gate’s Pass for a little hike and to catch the sunset. Depending on your mood..Drive on to Tiny’s Family restaurant for a cheap beer and some greasy food if you can take it. Or head back to town and check out the new Locale Neighborhood Italian restaurant (gluten free pasta options!) A huge outdoor patio!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have mentioned many mentors before in my life, but one that I think often goes with less recognition is my husband. He’s my silent partner. I can imagine any independent creative or business owner knows the value of spousal or partner support. We put enough pressure on ourselves. We are our own stress storm. So, when our partners can calm that storm and remind us we are okay. That what we are doing is worth it, that we are on the right path, that has real impact. It is a precarious reality to be the place where all things begin and end. Regarding your inspiration, your manifesting, your success and failure. What makes my reality far more manageable and successful is knowing that I am surrounded by someone on a daily basis that wants what’s best for me. That celebrates my successes and soothes my failures. That takes the risks with me. And this fellow risk-taker built me a beautiful studio on our property and thus, supported my growth in all the ways. So, thanks babe.
Personal portrait by Thøger Lund Lion pic by Lesli Wood