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No. 06 — At home with Xotchiltl Vasquez

No. 06 — At home with Xotchiltl Vasquez

To mark the launch of the Sommer X Siglo limited edition vintage collection, we interviewed Siglo's founder Xotchiltl Vasquez at her home in Oakland, CA. After moving from NYC to California during the pandemic, Xotchiltl launched her online curation of vintage wares while also transforming her early 20th century craftsman house into a vibrant and welcoming home. Still pregnant with her first son Hugo — who she welcomed into the world a month after this interview — Xotchiltl invited us in for a glass of fresh squeezed watermelon juice and to discuss the art of home and her affinity for vintage.  

WHERE ARE YOU FROM & WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO CALIFORNIA?

Originally hailing from Virginia, but I spent almost a decade in New York. We moved out here a couple years ago for a change of pace and to try out the California lifestyle.

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WE LOVE YOUR HOME BECAUSE IT REFLECTS AND EMBODIES YOUR SENSE OF STYLE –  CAN YOU SHARE THE PROCESS OF MAKING IT YOUR OWN? 

Thank you! After years of renting and moving apartments every couple years while in NYC, we really went ALL IN on making this place our own. Because we own it, we’ve been able to make so many changes to make it just right for us. If you could see the ‘before’ pictures it’s all painted this cold white paint, had an unwelcoming and impractical kitchen, blah bathroom… the list goes on. My biggest takeaway is that making a home your own is a really fluid and evolving process. For as much as I wanted things to feel ‘finished’ as fast as possible– there are many projects we still haven't gotten around to a year and a half later.  We’ve also changed our mind about SO many things. We’ve cycled through lots of furniture and re-painted whole rooms– and have even changed a number of things since you came for a tour! It's always changing.

IN 2020 YOU LAUNCHED YOUR ONLINE COLLECTION OF VINTAGE, KNOWN AS SIGLO SHOP. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THIS JOURNEY?

Like so many, I started during the pandemic. For me, the impetus was feeling like I needed an outlet that felt a bit more stimulating now that I was stuck at my computer without the travel and social interaction, which was a big part of what I liked about my job. And frankly it was a way to justify my existing habit of going to estate sales and doing some deep scrolling on auction sites to unwind! There’s such a plethora of unique and interesting objects to be found second-hand. And since I can't keep it all, I just want somebody else to be able to enjoy and give these objects new life! Since moving to the West Coast, Siglo has been on pause while I focused on settling into my new life – which now includes a baby. But I’m excited to be starting it back up again – beginning with our collaboration! 

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AS A SEASONED VINTAGE SHOPPER, DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS? 

Honestly, the best finds are often through going down a rabbit hole that takes you away from your initial search. I always start broad with a keyword, usually an adjective or material I have in mind. Then from there click on any and all items I like. For each, I also like to look at similar items or pieces by the same seller, etc. It’s a lot of legwork - but I’m a researcher by trade, so going deep comes naturally to me. It’s the same for me when shopping IRL: meandering down aisles and looking at textures, colors, shapes vs hunting for specific things.

IN THREE WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?

Colorful, figural, clean.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION? DOES IT HAVE A STORY?

My vaquita! It’s a handmade ceramic vessel in the shape of a cow! I love it! I got it a few years ago at the big flea market in Mexico City.  The vendor said it was meant to hold tequila. I just love that somebody dreamt it up and put their craft into making this. Like it could have just been functional but they decided to make it fun and whimsical! I brought it back in my carry-on and was so scared it wouldn’t make it through security or break in transit. Thankfully it made it through in one piece and now has a prime spot in our living room. 

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WHAT DOES AN IDEAL TIME OF DAY UNWINDING AT HOME LOOK LIKE?

I love mornings the most. If I have my way it looks like this… Staying in bed for morning cuddles with my dog and baby. Eventually going to the kitchen and turning on the local public radio or some music while fixing matcha and some breakfast. Then sitting in the living room playing or looking through an art book or magazine while enjoying my breakfast. After that I’d head to the hills for a meditative morning hike

ARE THERE ANY VINTAGE PIECES YOU'RE CURRENTLY EYEING? 

Nothing at the moment – but sometimes I get hung up on very specific items that I then spend hours going deep to find. Lately that includes: napkin rings, wine bottle stoppers, salt cellar, jewelry box, pepper mill. Don’t be surprised if you see the fruits of my obsessive searches in future Siglo drops. 

ANY FAVORITE SOURCES OF INSPIRATION THESE DAYS? 

I consume a lot of content – film, TV, social media, substack- it’s probably a problem. But honestly, I think the best inspiration is just doing or seeing something different from the routine. Whether that’s traveling to a new country, visiting a new spot closer to home, learning a new skill, whatever.

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IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PIECES IN THE SOMMER X SIGLO COLLECTION?

It’s tough, I want them all! But probably the Copper Candle Sconces or the Footed Shell Vessel.

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