Do you ever get back from vacation, with a suitcase full of brightly-colored purchases, and think, Wait, why the heck did I buy all this stuff again? We do, but Joanna Williams doesn’t. Joanna is so good at vacay shopping that she’s made an entire business out of it. To house all of her finds, in 2010 she created the site Kneeland Co. Mercado and store space in Silverlake, LA, which also doubles as her textiles studio (Joanna also sources textiles for clients like Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren Home and Aerin Lauder, NBD). Filled with everything from a Louise Bourgeois monograph to a gold cuff encrusted with pearls, Joanna’s e-comm and real-life mercado feels like a very international bazaar—minus the the flies. We got a personal tour of the space and asked her to point out some of her fave pieces, where she found them, and of course, what she likes to eat while in that country.
La Mano by Loteria, $45
What’s the story behind this piece? Lotería is game of chance that is similar to bingo except the images are on a deck of cards. It was hand-painted by a family of artists in Mexico. I loved that this was hand-painted on wood and enlarged and that it’s used for decorative purposes rather than for playing a game. I like them in sets of 3!
Favorite place to eat in Mexico City? The chilaquiles verdes con huevos (tortillas cut into fours then fried, topped with tomatillo sauce, scrambled eggs, Mexican cream and cotija cheese) made at the local food markets.
Weaved Serving Basket, $165
Where did you find it? I found this in Mexico City while wandering around a weekend market. I met a man who works with prison inmates who make these baskets in various styles outside of the city. All of the money that is generated through the prisoners sales goes to support their families and to give them access to activities and entertainment within the prison. They are made of a very sturdy wire which makes them durable and long-lasting. I love the color combinations!
OK, second favorite meal in Mexico City: The tuna sashimi tostadas from Contramar
What’s the story behind this? I found this in Mexico City. One of my suppliers in Mexico works with various ceramic artists and sells their wares at one of the markets. I always find something new on each visit, like this cute little dish that’s perfect for sauces, olives or nuts. It can also be used for jewelry.
Moroccan Throw, $210
Where did you find this? This was designed by Artisan Project in Fez, Morocco which is my friend Nina’s brand. She started designing these throws a while back and on a recent visit to LA she brought one and I had it have it for the store. I love that it reminds me of summer with the neons and waffle weave cotton. The long, twisted fringe gives it a cozy feel.
Favorite meal in Morocco? Fish tagine with fresh vegetables
Lucky Milagros Bag, $375
It’s super unique! Where did you find it? Lima, Peru. It was designed by Meché Correa who is like a second mother to me. Meché has been making these bags for a few years now, and lately I’ve been seeing similar versions pop up on the runways—which makes me happy! It’s kitschy but also has a Latin chicness to it.
And your favorite meal in Peru? There is no better ceviche in the world than in Peru!
Macrame Palapa Lounge Chair by Pacific Wonderland, Inc., $650
How did you came across it? My good friends Charlotte and Steve invited me over to their place one day and in a very casual way said, “Oh, check out this chair we made in our bedroom.” I, not so casually, replied, “Holy wow.” It was right before I launched my online store and I was the first retailer to carry them in four colorways. The chairs are all made in LA, right in Steve’s backyard studio. He crafts the chairs and Charlotte macramés them. Recently, they made an exclusive color way for Kneeland Mercado that’s in a beautiful shade of bougainvillea, rust, and peach.
Cuff with Pearls, $150
And this piece? I also found this on my last trip to Mexico City! There’s a guy in Mexico who makes these really cool Brutalist-inspired pieces with glass and various stones that I can’t get enough of. This is one of his newest creations and it’s made of brass, copper, and pearls.
Vintage Still Life Oil Painting
Where’s this little gem from? I found it at a Paris at a flea market. I love a good still life, and when it’s centered on food and has a color palette like this I really can’t be strayed.
Favorite meal in Paris: Dinner at my friend’s restaurant, Le Dauphin. The atmosphere, the food, and the wine list can’t be beat!
Studio photography by Jeana Sohn