If one were to describe Annemarie Buckley’s work with one word, it would have to be “nostalgic.” From the title of her business, Scout’s Honor, to the simplicity and saturated color of her designs, the same rose-tinted reverence for the past is carried throughout all of her work, whether it be stationery design or brand identity. Objects and ephemera from the last century are a clear influence on Annemarie, something that is all the more apparent on a visit to her studio in the Finger Lakes town of Geneva, NY. Stepping into the Scout’s Honor studio is not unlike stepping into a modern day cabinet of curiosities. Surfaces and walls are used not just used for work, but as displays for all manner of mementoes, historic or otherwise. A collection of vintage signage letters spells out phrases in the foyer; a repurposed bank of mailboxes acts as open storage; antique office supplies are given a new life on Annemarie’s desk. The result is a space that one is hesitant to leave, as welcoming as it is inspiring. Take a further look at Annemarie’s studio below + shop her work at west elm Rochester, west elm Broadway, or scoutshonorpaper.com!
Please tell us a little about yourselves and your work.
My name is Annemarie Buckley. I am a designer with a product line (Scout’s Honor Paper) and a larger studio practice (Buckley Projects). I create personal work and client solutions through graphic design, illustration, hand-lettering, photography, and most recently, interior design.
What is it like being a maker in America right now?
It’s incredibly exciting, because it feels like you can do anything from anywhere. You’re able to live where you want, create the lifestyle you desire, yet still be part of the national (and even international) conversation. On the flip side, having limitless visibility to all that is happening in the maker world can feel daunting at times. We are all trying to create something unique in a very saturated marketplace. That’s why programs like west elm LOCAL are crucial to both makers and consumers. They help us navigate—connecting people and products in a thoughtful, handpicked way.
Tell us about your studio space.
After 15 years away, I moved back to my hometown in late 2014. I found this space almost immediately. It’s a storefront in a historic building in the heart of downtown Geneva. When I signed the lease, the space was completely raw, unoccupied for 20 years, and surrounded by other empty storefronts. It was on a charming street, however—one that had been coming alive in recent years due to the vision and hard work of several business and property owners. I am thrilled to report the street is not only at full capacity now, but has transformed into a pedestrian-only thoroughfare on weekend nights. I feel lucky to play a small role in what has become a full-blown renaissance of downtown Geneva. As they say, timing is everything!
The studio itself is a 500 sq ft space divided into two parts. I work in the back and keep the front area open for pop-up shops, gallery shows, etc. I wanted to preserve a space to engage with the community and allow my business to evolve naturally over time. I love being here every day. It’s where I feel most content.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
It’s a combination of admin tasks (emails, invoices, phone calls, meetings), packing/shipping orders, and working with clients to push their brands to the next level. Each day is a bit different, which means I am constantly re-prioritizing my to-do list. On good days, I am balancing my passion for the smallest details with longer-term planning and dreaming. On great days, I am tackling all of the above and getting in some outdoor/personal work/downtime as well.
Where do you seek inspiration?
Everywhere. My favorite thing in the world is taking a walk with my camera and challenging myself to make the familiar feel new. It’s an essential part of my process, especially since moving back to my hometown, where the views are entrenched in my memory. I love finding ordinary moments—a pipe on a wall, a shadow on a sidewalk—and making them feel extraordinary. It’s the same reason Scout’s Honor Paper eschews typical holidays and focuses on everyday adventures instead. I want to help people celebrate the in-between moments.
Why do you love Western New York?
Three reasons: natural beauty, community support, and entrepreneurial opportunity. I have never lived in a place where the growth and progress are so palpable. You can truly see Geneva, and the Finger Lakes as a whole, changing before your eyes. My hometown was a wonderful place to grow up. But like most teenagers, I couldn’t wait to get out. Now, I am so appreciative to be back.