When Noah DeFilippis left Maine for San Francisco at the age of 17, he sought a sense of the urbane. In his return to Portland a few years ago, DeFilippis found that cosmopolitanism nestled improbably amongst Maine’s famous Pick-and-Paws and flea markets. DeFilippis and his wife, Amy Teh, started “Pinecone + Chickadee,” a business named for Maine’s state tree and bird in a tip-of-the-cap to Vacationland. Pinecone + Chickadee reflects a modern interpretation of old-school nostalgia, and DeFilippis and Teh have allied themselves with other local artisans to breathe life into events like Portland’s Picnic Music + Arts Festival.
Pinecone + Chickadee started when DeFilippis and Teh lived in Brooklyn and attended juried craft fairs like the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair, silkscreening cards and clothes with their unique, colorful prints. Upon moving to Portland after the birth of their first son, they noticed that vendor admission to regional craft fairs was granted on a first-come, first-serve basis. While punctuality may be a virtue, it doesn’t always correlate with creation. So DeFilippis and Teh, along with Ron Harrity of Peapod Recordings, Diane Toepfer of Ferdinand, and Sean Wilkinson, co-founder of Might & Main, set about creating the Picnic Music + Arts Festival.
Now in its fourth year, Picnic Music + Arts Festival brings over 120 local creators (with varying records of punctuality, but proven aesthetic juices) to Lincoln Park on Saturday, August 27th from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.. Attendees at the free event can peruse vendors’ jewelry, clothes, vintage materials, fine art, photography and more. Bryan Buchman, curator of music blog Hilly Town, culled music from bands with both local and NYC mettle, including Butcher Boy, Weird Children, Toughcats, Sunset Hearts, Bandana Splits, The Outfits, Mouth Washington, Clouder and the always-wonderful Mango Floss. Picnic will also serve up local foods to nosh on while shopping and listening to music.
DeFilippis says that the success of previous years has culminated in the biggest picnic yet. The small town aspect of the city also helps with the process. “Portland is an easy place to organize events,” he notes. “The councilors are pretty approachable, and you can just walk into City Hall to explain what you want.”
In addition to wrangling together Picnic, DeFilippis and Teh have busied themselves opening up Pinecone + Chickadee’s storefront on 6 Free Street. The store boasts the couple’s silkscreen design line as well as vintage finds and the work of local artists, like employee Kris Johnsen. When the two saw the potential storefront, Teh was nine-months pregnant with the couple’s second child. “It was the best and worst timing,” says DeFilippis. “You know what they always say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.” With a medley of their creations and others’, and a mind towards refurbishing old treasures in new contexts, DeFilippis and Teh of Pinecone + Chickadee upend notions of Maine while gleaning it for inspiration.
Above photo: Noah DeFilippis, co-owner/designer of Pinecone + Chickadee, poses with nesting dolls from the new storefront on 6 Free Street. DeFilippis and wife Amy Teh, his creative partner, have also been collaborating with other local movers and shakers to bring Picnic Music + Art Festival to Portland.