present joys

Yi-Mei Truxes

Yi-Mei Truxes film photograph of her sitting in a chair in her studio


Words by:

Yi-Mei Truxes, Michelle Jolliffe-Saper, and Joyce Chai

Yi-Mei Truxes is the New-York based founder of Bembien, a beautiful line of accessories crafted by artisans around the world. Yi-Mei imbues her life and work with a kindness and trust that is at once refreshing and heartwarming. Lucky enough to count her as a client and friend, we’re thrilled to share her present joys with you here.

Summer dinners outside in New York City
Summer dinners outside

To me, there is nothing better than sitting around a table with loved ones on a warm summer night. The dinners tend to consist of non-serious seasonal dishes made up of seafood, tomatoes, herbs, fruits (basically anything fresh from the garden) and a conversation that floats off into the summer night. It’s a night that’s filled with true communal joy. Hours can go by in the snap of a finger, and the next thing you know it’s far past midnight (the sign of a truly wonderful evening in my opinion).

Bembien store with a bag, plant, and clothes rack
Seeing Bembien pieces out in the world

I get a little jolt in my heart every time I spot a Bembien piece worn by a stranger on the street, or sitting on the shelf of a shop. It helps bring the experience of designing full circle for me… to finally see it out of my head and hands, realized in the world. And for whatever reason I tend to never say anything to the person or the shop owner! I love experiencing the moment privately, like a proud Mom on the sidelines.

The Dia Beacon museum exhibit with wooden sculptural pieces
Dia Beacon

A trip to Dia Beacon Art Foundation does for my brain what a massage does for the body. It is both stimulating and deeply relaxing at the same time. I went recently with my husband and kids and felt such a wonderful sense of peace. In that moment I made a pact with myself that “what the doctor ordered” is a trip to this incredible space at least once every 4-6 months.

Snowcapped mountains with the wing of an airplane in the foreground
Not buying WiFi on airplanes

Am I allowed to say that? Hear me out - we are all very easy to get in touch with all the time. Accessible and always connected. Flying is one of the few times left where you are forced to disconnect, and then have to make the conscious choice to plug back in. So…I don’t! I find overwhelming happiness in taking those few hours to myself (usually having an arguably bad glass of wine, looking out the window and letting my thoughts run away from me). Am I wasting my time? Maybe? Maybe not? I really don’t know, but I love it. Next time you’re on a plane - try it, you might surprise yourself.

A peach that's been bitten in someone's hand
The first bite of a good peach

It happens to currently be a very good year for peaches! And it’s that first bite of a good peach that brings on a wave of happiness for me that embodies all the emotions of long summer days and nostalgia, tied up in one simple moment. What’s better than having the first bite myself? Watching my two girls, Finn and June, experience it as well (Finn nods emphatically saying ‘I love that’ and June’s eyes get bigger and bigger with each bite). Such a pure little moment that brings such joy.

A few more joys from Joyce and Michelle...

Enjoying the way lighting and art is (and was) hung in Hampton Court Palace. I see you William.

This recipe is currently on repeat. Wondering how it’s taken me over 30 years to realize it only takes 5 minutes to make couscous.

How clever is this entrance?

Itching to get back to LA so I can take part in some of these.

Melbourne set up a way for people email their trees to report any issues or concerns. People have taken to writing nice notes to the trees as well.

I take giddy delight in anything that feels disproportionally too big or too small, and this jumbo sized micellar water I picked up from Costco fits the bill.

This Talk between Ocean Vuong and Mike Mills.

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