About Zelma Rose

Classic Style + Modern Design Handcrafted in America

Zelma Rose was established in 2010 by designer Lisa Anderson Shaffer and inspired by the age old Anderson Family tradition of skilled American hand craftsmanship.  All of our goods are handcrafted in our Northern California studio in limited editions using the highest quality new and vintage materials. Fabrics and designs are hand chosen and created to reflect the classic beauty and unique style of Northern California.  Where mountain meets the road and city meets the sea, that's where you will find Zelma Rose. 

 

 

The Designer

Lisa Anderson Shaffer

"I am intrigued by the inner workings of things.  I once spent an entire summer drawing broccoli." Lisa 

I moved to San Francisco 16 years ago from New York to pursue a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.  It is true what they say, I did indeed leave my heart in San Francisco.  It was love at first sight.  Now all these years later, with San Francisco stories to tell, a family and babe, and living north of the Golden Gate in the mountains of Marin County, I think it's safe to say I am officially a California girl.  The connection of the urban and natural landscape never ceases to take my breath away.  Inspiration comes from where my natural surroundings meet the city and the sea.

I come from a family of makers and craftsmen.  My grandfather Fa, was a Norwegian boat builder and could make wood sing in his hands. He could build anything.  His wife, Zelma, or as I knew her, Besta, was an incredible storyteller and taught me how to weave an interesting narrative and stitch together a spellbinding story.  Besta also taught me needlework and cross stitch.  My grandmother Rose and her sisters were all dressmakers.  They made their own clothes and wedding gowns and Rose's sister Ann was one of the first women to attend Pratt Institute for Fashion Design.  Rose taught me how to knit and introduced me to fashion.  My life has never been the same.

 

Five Facts About Me

1. I am obsessed with 90's hip hop music. (Yes, I used to wear the red & black lumberjack to match).

2. When I look at a piece of art or fashion that I absolutely LOVE I salivate.

3. I have only ever had awkward celebrity run-ins. Quite literally. Ethan Hawke ran into me at Washington Square Park and Dave Chapelle chatted me up at the gym while I was on the treadmill, sweaty and 8 months pregnant.  Glamorous indeed.

4. I am intrigued by the inner workings of things and once spent an entire summer drawing broccoli.

5. I have a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a MS in Clinical Psychology from SFSU, which means I can make something and then analyze the hell out of it. 

 

The Design Process

When I sit down in my studio to design for Zelma Rose, I reference a kaleidoscope of ideas and images. As an artist, I am a hunter and a gatherer. A visual editor, a collector, a cultivator, and a farmer of ideas and design.  Sometimes a design will come to fruition in a single afternoon, other times it is the careful cultivation of successes and failures over the span of a year. Some of my designs are a year in the making, when one day everything just clicks. Moments like that feel magical and remind me how much I love the mystery of the artistic process.  People always find this strange, but I do not sketch my designs.  I write everything down in words in a notebook and then go straight to prototype.  This is probably exactly what you are not supposed to do, but I love the changes that take place in the process.  By listening to the materials and responding to what they are doing I always end up going somewhere a little bit different then I had imagined.  It's exciting, challenging, and feels very genuine.                       

I hope you enjoy my shop & I look forward to hearing your questions and comments.

Sending Handmade Love From Northern California,

Lisa

Anderson Shaffer

 

Photos courtesy of  Portraits To The People