No. 4 St. James


I found out about No. 4 St. James from my best friend. She sent me to their website and within minutes I was lost in it and found myself purchasing their Texas Works book that same day. A lifestyle brand that showcases Texas makers, writes engaging stories about life in Texas, and shares beautiful photographs from across the Great State? Be still, my beating, Texan heart.

Needless to say, I was extremely excited and honored when they reached out to me recently. I jumped at the chance to have their story told here, and to photograph a few of our favorite products currently for sale in their marketplace. A huge thanks to Vincent Friedewald, their President & CEO, for answering these questions!

stjames 001Original Texas Tactical Hat, $32

Raised in:
Houston, mostly, including some time in The Woodlands for high school. Others on our team are from West Texas and Dallas. And one from Pennsylvania, although we prefer not to talk about that.

Lives in:
Austin, Texas

Describe Texas in one word:

stjames 002Republic of Texas Passport, $28
Texas Edition Trapper Knife, $72
Wildsam Austin Field Guide, $18

Inspiration for the company:
Basically the pride that Texans have for Texas, and the curiosity that non-Texans have about Texas. In that, we saw a business opportunity: despite Texas being an international icon, there was no brand attempting to represent her. There are Texas-y brands, to be certain, but they mostly have western wear themes. We were inspired to create something broader, a brand that would reflect the entirety of the Texas experience. From life on the coast, to the Piney Woods, the big metro areas – everywhere in Texas.

Tell us about the name:
It refers to an address in London. When Texas was a Republic, it maintained a diplomatic office (a legation, like a small embassy) at No. 4 St. James’ Street. We were drawn to the name for a few reasons. First, just explaining it automatically tells a story about Texas, and we like telling stories about Texas. It also avoids clichés and imagery that might be expected of a Texas brand; we wanted a name that would be a little bit surprising. We also wanted to signal upscale quality and international reach, and somehow (to us, anyway) it just sounds upscale. And last, although this didn’t occur to us initially, it inspired the perfect tagline: The Address for Texas.

stjames 004Texas Tea Towels by Kimball Prints, $16

Favorite product currently in the shop:
It’s tough to choose just one. I’m particularly proud of our special leather edition of Elmer Kelton’s The Time It Never Rained. It’s such a great novel, and not just to Texans. We collaborated with Understated Leather to rebind the books in leather. The image on the cover is laser etched; it’s a photo of a dried up lake bed we took while on tour in West Texas, the setting for the novel. It has a great leathery-book smell, and it’s the kind of product that you can keep for a lifetime and then pass on. We have plans on doing similar special edition covers for other Texas classics, so The Time It Never Rained is hopefully just the first of what will be a large collection.

stjames 003Leather Edition: The Time it Never Rained, $78

What you want readers to know most about the company:
That we’re just getting started. In particular, we’ll be introducing more original products over the course of 2015. Some will be in collaboration with other great Texas makers, and some will be exclusively marketed under the No. 4 St. James label. We know people will be excited about what we’ve got in the pipeline.

stjames 005Standed Issue Margarita Glass,  2 for $20
Halo del Santo Margarita Salt, $14

Thanks again to Vincent and the entire team for sharing their story and products!

Southern Lights Electric

Designer Adam Gatchel is the man behind Southern Lights Electric. Originally from Chicago, he moved to Nashville in 2002 to pursue a career in music. In 2011, after 7 years on the road as a drummer, he transitioned into lighting design and began the company with his wife Jamie. If you check out his gallery, you’ll realize that if you’ve been anywhere that’s somewhere in Nashville, you’ve been under his lights (i.e. Pinewood Social, Rolf and Daughters, Two Ten Jack).


Huckberry introduced us to his work by way of the Original Bell Jar Table Lamp. The wood base is manufactured in their Nashville workshop and each name plate is silk screened by hand. And c’mon. Who doesn’t love an exposed Edison bulb?

Well, we have good news for you if you want this lamp. Huckberry wants you to have this one.

For your chance to have it in your home, go to this post on Instagram and double tap that baby. That’s it. Just ‘like it’ to enter. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on March 30th!


Get Cozy, Get Sexy


We’ve teamed up with the glorious Huckberry for a little Valentines Day inspiration and love for y’all. These are just a few of our favorite items currently for sale at our favorite online shop that we find essential for those cuddly moments.

We’re spreading the Valentines Day love with a giveaway – that warm Woolrich Calvary blanket. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us what you think the sexiest song of all time is. A winner will be announced on February 16th around cocktail hour.

And speaking of sexy music…
My Go Sexy playlist, currently at 140 songs and climbing, is just another Valentines Day gift to you.
You’re welcome, lovers.


Josh Charles

joshcharles 03bdsPhotographed in Atlanta, GA

Raised in:
Virginia Beach and Washington D.C.

Lives in:
Atlanta, Georgia

Tell everyone about your company, Flags of Origin:
Flags Of Origin is a small design firm that specializes in restaurants, commercial office spaces, custom furniture and lighting. We try our best to stick by the “made in the USA” tag and support the people around us that make things so each space has a sense of purpose and each space feels made by hand.

Current project:
We are currently in production on prototyping new lighting fixtures that we hope to sell as well as a new high end restaurant in Atlanta. The chef is a secret but it should be an exciting addition to the Bacchanalia crowd.

Now would ya look at that:
Meet Josh Charles, owner and designer at Flags of Origin. This was photographed in a recent remodel he worked on for the Atlanta HQ of Company 3Beast and Method Studios which specialize in Post Production editing. Deluxe Entertainment selected us to design the company’s East Coast office in Atlanta. Deluxe Entertainment is the US’s largest, and oldest, post-house. They’ve edited films such as Iron Man, Inception, Selma, and Skyfall. At a vast 20,000 square feet, divided between two floors in a Class A Building, this was our largest project to date.

Christmas Down South | Chubbies


Mele Kalikimaka! How about this for an epic finale? YOU’RE WELCOME, EARTH!

For our final giveaway, Chubbies is helping us say “Screw you, Winter!” with The Nutter (the best damn weekend shirt in the biz) + a pair of shorts of your choice. The real question here is how are you going to make these decisions? I’m worried about you…

  • Comment on this post and tell us your favorite beach you’ve partied on.
  • Got a photo to go along with that beach trip you’re thinking of? Tweet it to @backdownsouth and your entry will be counted three times! OR, if you’ve got something old on InstaGramGram we should see, go back and comment on it and mention @carolinefontenot.

A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Christmas Eve!


Christmas Down South | The Old Try


Here’s the thing – we Fontenots are really proud of our Christmas cards. I mean, real proud. We sort of think they’re the best. But if there was another best, it’s The Old Try. A limited – can’t buy it on their website – shows up in the mail Christmas LETTERPRESS PRINT?! Yup. We’ve felt incredibly honored to receive these. We frame those babies and keep them up year round.

The 2014 Christmas print – The Yeti – is our favorite so far.
So this year, I was extra excited when we received 2…one for us…and one for ?…

  • Comment on this post and tell us the last Christmas movie you watched.
  • The first 30 entries will be counted twice!

A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Christmas Eve!


Christmas Down South | Res Ipsa


Atlanta based Res Ipsa‘s products are freakin’ ridiculous. Their wool loafers, created from vintage kilim Turkish rugs, were our introduction to them, and we were head over heels. Well, head over loafers. And the bags – THE BAGS! Lust to the max.

This Turkish wool dopp kitt – or, if I was lucky enough to keep it, best make up bag ever – is ready and waiting. Get to it you lucky ducks…

  • Comment on this post and tell us the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received.
  • The first 25 entries will be counted twice!

A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Christmas Eve!