April 25, 2023
FRIEND CRUSH: BEN LEWELLYN
[IB Brand Friend Ben Lewellyn in IB Tie Dye Catskill, NY]
When I first moved to the Hudson Valley just before the pandemic, I knew one person. I moved with a suitcase to an apartment I rented on FaceTime and was greeted by a box of supplies sitting on the stoop of said apartment that included a single towel, an air mattress, one set of sheets and my mandatory five pillows of different density. I never imagined that covid was coming and that this time and relocation would unearth a sea of new friends, special relationships, a new store and valued collaborators. That is when I met Ben! I recently commissioned Ben to create a series of collages (he is famous for the collage/craft nights he and his beau Jack host at their beautiful home) to highlight some of my favorite shoes from the Spring/Summer collection. I let Ben run wild, and develop his own inspiration....the results are super fun! I sat with Ben to dig in a little deeper and give you a glimpse into the friend, artist, and inspiring human I have come to adore since meeting them in 2019.
[DREAM WORLD COLLAGE SERIES: BEN LEWELLYN]
NAME: Benjamin Lewellyn
SIGN: AQUARIUS - tried (tired) and true. I live on my own planet, but you’re always welcome to come aboard!
FAVORITE MIDNIGHT SNACK: Honestly, a bowl of cereal because I am a little kid
DREAM HOLIDAY DESTINATION: The most remotest of remote Greek Island, with a daily delivery of feta and Ouzo (by donkey of courser).
1. It seems like you do a lot of things! have a lot of job! Have a lot of interests! What is your official title!
Artist, Founder, Owner, Operator, Creative Director, Production lead, Fulfillment Director, customer service… the hats go on and on. I've been running my businesses full-time now for nearly a decade and the job titles are endless! On top of all that Village Common is, I also have an Interior Design business with a focus on Hospitality design as well as my numerous forms of self expression in my personal art practice.
2. How do you get inspired as a creative?
I’m never not inspired to create. Making and bringing things to life with my hands is one of my biggest joys and one of the things that makes me most feel like me! I often find myself being most inspired by the materials themselves and figuring out what I can make with them. I Love dreaming up fun, inventive ways to manipulate materials into something new!
3. Tell us about your process in making the collages for us! We love the end results!
OMG I’m obsessed with how these collages came out! Mostly, I wanted to tell a story. One full of whimsy, fantasy, tiny details and Stupidity - a cornerstone of my personal brand. I saw a story board unfold with a darling lil IB dollie frolicking though their garden to their DARLING little shoe house! Old lady who lives in a shoe, WHO!? Which lead me to the “INTENTIONALLY DOLL DREAM WORLD.” and all of the fantastical accessories this doll could enjoy. The first thing I made was the hand pained, hand stoned, earring wearing mushroom and it was all down a glittery, rhinestoned hill from there. But look closely, they’re a bit of an I Spy.
4. We are coming to the Hudson Valley where you live for two days...what are your top three must do's for us!
Well Duh, First visit Initially Blank in Hudson and randomly get invited over to Ty's house for an impromptu dinner that night!
You simply must visit the Farmers market Saturday am, put on a look and tote around your fresh cut flowers, herbs and goodies.
Then, stop at Tablot, MX and Grapefruit to pick up essentials and meander over to one of the many beyond magical spots to relax and eat the afternoon away! Take a dip in one of the HV watering holes or catch the best sunset in town at Olana. Don’t forget the corkscrew!
5. Current celeb crush?
Honestly Truly, Stanley Tucci and Sam Elliot…
And mix in some Roisin Murphy, Always and forever.
You can also visit the Village Common website and Instagram to shop his brand, and explore the world that Ben has created.