Two friends + fabulously fashionable taste + an amazing knack for breathing life into furnishings = The Lovely Ladies at Le Cart! Mary Creagh Graf and Jenny Mudter Moore grew up here in Nashville, but for the last several years have adopted San Francisco, CA as their home. With multiple years of marketing and interior design between the two of them, a joint venture was inevitable. Combining Southern charm with California style, Le Cart's look brings fresh energy to its pieces while blending beautifully with its surroundings. We had a chat with these city girls to hear more about this successful venture, their new summer collection, and everything in between.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves, your background and how you came up with the idea for Le Cart!
We were both born and raised in Nashville and have been best friends since childhood and as luck would have it, we ended up in San Francisco living four blocks from each other. Jenny has a strong background in interior design and Mary has always had a passion for it. We both loved going to the Alameda Point Antiques Faire together (probably the most popular in the Bay Area) to search for items to decorate our homes, and in no time our apartments were filled to the brim with our great finds. Friends always complimented us on our unique décor, and we didn't really want to stop shopping so we came up with the idea of bringing our flea market carts to everyone else, hence Le Cart!
What would you define as your signature style and is that reflected in your pieces you sell?California casual with Southern sensibility, which to us translates to comfortable, eye-catching, and approachable pieces that can be used anywhere in a home with a little Southern charm. Whether that means a fabric with a fun pattern or a pop of a bright color in a piping, we want to stay true to our traditional roots! Many of the pieces we buy are nostalgic for us, as they are reminiscent of something our mothers or grandmothers had in their homes. It is not about the provenance of the item, but about how it will make a statement in your home.
Where and how do you find your pieces you restore/reinvent?We scour pretty much every antique show or flea market in the Bay area and will pull over if we stumble upon an estate sale, an interesting looking antique shop or even a consignment store. We ideally like to go together to the shows because it is a true team effort hauling our cart while also searching for good finds. We have a very similar eye so it is fun when we see a treasure across the way and one of us will dart for it and start negotiating. We want to one day be searching the Paris flea markets, and we have plans to hit the famous Rose Bowl market this summer, so we are excited to debut our new finds this Fall.
Do you ship out-of-state (since readers may be wanting to know!)?Yes, we would be happy to ship out-of-state. Right now we have priced our items for delivery only in the Bay area, but we can individually quote shipping on each piece if you call or email us. We just shipped some of our accessories for wedding gifts in Nashville!
What are some summer "must-haves" from your collection?We have a very fun artichoke and pineapple summer collection that we just debuted including finials, bookends, a pair of chic white lamps and some great side tables. Every house needs an artichoke lamp!
Any fun/interesting stories involving any of the pieces you have found?Pretty much every piece we buy has a story because we absolutely love everything we purchase and usually have a hard time letting it go. Speaking of artichoke lamps, a few months ago we found a fabulous white one at an antique store in San Anselmo that we were planning to sell, and Mary loved it so much she just couldn’t let it go and it now sits proudly in her living room. The exact same lamp ended up on the cover of House Beautiful in June and was quoted as being found at an estate sale. We just love that each of our pieces may have matches far away, that they have had lives in many different places, and that when they are reinvented by Le Cart, they will make the new owners as happy to have them in their home as it did when we purchased the piece.
Thank you Mary and Jenny! Your finds and transformations are amazing. We are looking forward to your success!