Showing posts with label the design dialogues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the design dialogues. Show all posts

The Design Dialogues {Meg Galligan}

Let me first thank you all for your support of this little interview series! I love that it's turned into such an inspiring feature and I can't wait to continue it in 2012. Today's guest is San Francisco jewelry designer Meg Galligan, whose company Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry is brimming with pretty baubles to complete your holiday look. Here's Meg to tell you all about it!

Five words to describe yourself:
Curious, creative, spirited, passionate, loyal.

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Classic with a twist. I love bold pieces and believe accessories make an outfit. Living in San Francisco and growing up in New England, I can't help but be a layering fanatic.  

Who are your style icons?
Christiane Celle, Grace Kelly, Jenna Lyons, the Clarins sisters, Kelly Wearstler.

My two favorite necklaces from Meg's collection. The lapis needs to come live with me!

How did you decide you wanted to design jewelry?
I started designing jewelry while a student at Boston College, making pieces for myself and friends. It started off as a hobby and then, after being approached by a few small boutiques, I realized it had the potential to be a business. 

What is the most glamorous aspect of your work?
Making my own schedule, and being able to travel to fun places in search of new materials & inspiration. 

What is one lesson you've had to learn the hard way?
I've learned that you have to be patient with the design process. Trying to create new pieces can't be forced!

How pretty are these shots from Margaret Elizabeth's lookbook?

What advice would you offer aspiring creatives?
Trust your instincts! If you're passionate about something and believe in it, great things will happen. 

Where would you like to see your business in five years?
I'd like to expand my line beyond jewelry into other accessories: leather goods, scarves, etc. I'm also working on a line of cufflinks that I hope will become a bigger part of the business in coming years. One day I'd love to open a shop.

Gorgeous two-tone earrings

Three items on your to do list.
1) Ship today's holiday orders.
2) Meet with a bride about the jewelry for her bridesmaids.
3) Pack for our holiday travels.

Three items on your wishlist.
1) A new pair of Varina ballet flats.
2) An Hermès scarf.
3) Trip to Buenos Aires.

Three items on your bucket list.
1) Travel to Africa.
2) Adopt a dog.
3) Plant a big vegetable garden.

- - -

Thank you so much, Meg! I love that her business started out in college and grew into a full-time venture. Inspiring, isn't it? Now go check out her shop and find something pretty for yourself!

The Design Dialogues {Maggie Morgan}

I first connected with this week's guest through her weekly column on the business blog Makeunder My Life. Maggie quit her desk job six months ago to pursue a career as an interior designer in Seattle and writes each week about the highs and lows of self-employment. Today her blog and her business are a testament to her passion and persistence and I'm delighted to have her here to tell you all about it!

What you do: 
I'm an interior decorator specializing in rooms that mix old and new and look gathered over time.

Five words to describe yourself: 
Thoughtful, feminine, traditional, determined, creative.

How would you describe your aesthetic? 
Mixed-era simplicity with a dash of glamour. My description of it changes all the time, but I love mixing pieces from different time periods, clean lines, gorgeous fabrics, and something sparkly (like a fantastic chandelier!).

Who are your style icons? 
For interiors, Windsor Smith and Billy Baldwin. For fashion, Rachel Bilson and the Duchess of Cambridge.

How did you decide you wanted to be an interior designer? 
Like many decorators, I can look back at my childhood of serious dollhouse decorating and constant bedroom redesign and know that it seemed to just come naturally. But I followed several other passions during high school and college. It wasn't until a year or two out of college that I reevaluated my career and realized that something was missing. I'd been blogging about interior design for a year and was helping friends and readers with their homes. I thought, "Hey, some people get paid to do this!" That was the beginning.

What are the best and worst aspects of your job? 
I love playing with fabric, but the best moments are hearing from my clients that they feel like I "got them" and that their house feels like a home. The worst aspect? Well, I'm still a very new business so it's wondering where my next client will come from! And dealing with back-orders or discontinued products.

What advice would you offer aspiring creatives? 
Save up money before leaving your job so that you can truly invest all your energy into your new business without worrying about bills for at least six months to a year. Creativity is cramped when you're trying to fit it into what will make money. And get beautiful professional photos of your work or product!

Three items on your to do list. 
Wrap up a mini-session for a giveaway winner, open a few trade accounts that I haven't gotten around to, and finish up my latest e-book.

Where would you like to see your business in five years? 
My overall vision changes daily... but I know that I want to be doing residential design for high-end clients in the Seattle area. In five years I'd love to have a talented and dedicated small team, possibly a product line, and be published in a magazine.

Three items on your wishlist. 
I asked Santa this year for a watercolor set (just to dabble!), The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman, and my favorite candle, Voluspa's Huckleberry.

Three tasks on your bucket list. 
Have a book published about my work, visit Machu Picchu, and raise a happy family.

- - - 

Thanks, Maggie, for participating in The Design Dialogues! Don't you want to run out and start collecting globes? I know I do!

The Design Dialogues {Sue De Chiara}

She has a charming blog, a fabulous home, an adorable family, and a bustling e-commerce site. As far as I'm concerned, Sue from The Zhush is living the dream! Here she dishes advice for aspiring creatives and dreams for her budding business.

Five words to describe yourself:
Dreamer, curious, open-minded, loyal, lucky.

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Traditional with a glamorous twist. Though I should probably add "fickle" to the above five words because I also love a bit of boho, 70s vibe, preppy, trendy... I guess eclectic sort of covers it all, right?

Who are your style inspirations?
Kelly Wearstler, Tory Burch, Jonathan Adler, Mary McDonald, Rachel Zoe, vintage Ali Macgraw, and Mary Tyler Moore. I also love to pop into New York City and soak it up — the people watching, the window gazing... now that is some serious style inspiration right there!

A coffee table vignette in Sue's ski house.

 How did you decide to launch an e-commerce site?  
My affinity for "zhushing" with both home decor and fashion accessories had me looking for another outlet outside of the blog. After briefly researching leases for nearby store space and getting a dose of reality over the cost, I decided getting my feet wet online with less overhead would be a good way to start up a shop and see how it went.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Getting great feedback from customers in emails, tweets, and photos or seeing the shop mentioned on blogs and in magazines seriously makes my day, sometimes my whole week! I also love to source great new products to add to the store.  

The pool house at Sue's suburban home.

What advice would you offer aspiring entrepreneurs? 
Don't spend too much time worrying about all the "what ifs" because those can stifle you.  Make like the Nike slogan and "just do it!" The "what ifs" may or may not pan out, but you'll never know if don't just jump on in. In other words, don't over think it. Starting something new can seem so daunting and intimidating; ask yourself simply, "What do I need to get started?" Later you can break everything down into smaller tasks. Once you actually get started you can always ask yourself, "What's next?" and grow things from there.

Where would you like your business to be in five years?
Ideally, I would love to have my own line of accessories and carry some of my own items — maybe even some of my own artwork — and possibly in a brick and mortar store as well.
   Oh heck, why not dream big...several brick and mortar stores! 

Have you ever seen a mudroom more fabulous? Note the compass painted on the floor!

Three items on your to do list:
1. Get the site ready for the holidays.
2. End-of-year inventory (dread).
3. Book dentist appointment for my kids.

Three items on your wishlist.
1. The new iPhone.
2. Python Miu Miu sandals.
3. A Canon G-12.

Three tasks on your bucket list.
1. Travel to Europe with my family.
2. Finally learn to play tennis.
3. Start painting again.

- - -

Thanks so much for participating in the series, Sue! I can't wait to see where the future takes her: designing her own line, opening a brick and mortar store (or several!), and selling her own artwork! Now hop over to her shop and start making that holiday wishlist!

The Design Dialogues {Alexandra Berlin}

I'm so excited to introduce you all to my friend Alex of the blog Things That Sparkle. Somehow between blogging, designing, and planning her wedding, Alex has been an incredible support to me as I venture into the uncertain territory of self-employment. Alex recently went back to school to study interior design before launching her own business! Here she is to tell you all about it.

Who you are:

Where you are:

Five words to describe yourself:
Creative, loving, honest, emotional, passionate.

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Classic. Glamorous. Warm. Eclectic.

Who are your style inspirations?
Oh, this is a tough one! There are so many. Bloggers are so incredibly inspiring because you're able to follow their process — it's so real and there's so much talent! I've also been finding inspiration among my favorite artists. You can create an entire room around a special piece of art! Pieces from Sally King BenedictLana Gomez and Amanda Talley inspire me all the time!

How did you decide you wanted to be an interior designer?
I was always one of those little kids who loved to rearrange my room and help my mom choose fabrics but it never occurred to me to make it a career. I graduated from college and went straight into advertising. After two years, I began to see it wasn't for me. I had just started my blog and realized so much of what I loved to blog about was interior design. All of a sudden, it clicked! I haven't looked back since.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Seeing clients happy with a home or a space they love and feel good in. That really is the best feeling — it sounds clichéd but it's the end goal of everything I do!

And the least glamorous aspect?
Missed deadlines by vendors and billing. Nothing glamorous about frustrated clients and spreadsheets.

What advice would you offer aspiring creatives?
Just do it! Seriously. If this is your passion, then follow it. There is nothing more fulfilling that doing what you love every day.

Where would you like your business to be in five years?
I'd like to have my own office space, expand my list of clients, and try some new types of projects, to name just a few!

Three items on your to do list:
If I'm really being honest... Pay the dog walker. Buy bedside lamps for client. Vacuum — So. Much. Dog. Fur. Isn't my life glamorous?

Three items on your wishlist:
Is this a dream wishlist or a realistic wishlist? I'll include both! My birthday is in a month... This perfect blush and chevron iPad cover. This perfect spin on monogramming. This Céline bag.

Three tasks on your bucket list.
Travel, travel, travel — Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, Prague, Istanbul, I could go on forever! Get another puppy — I've been dreaming of this ever since my dog turned one but sadly living in an apartment in the city is not conducive to two big dogs. Have my work published — it would be totally surreal to see my work on the pages of a magazine! Such a dream.

- - - 

Isn't she wonderful? I love her advice, "There is nothing more fulfilling that doing what you love every day." Now go check out her blog and say hello!

The Design Dialogues {Amber Lewis}

She has a thriving design business, a so-good-you'll-laugh-out-loud blog, the cutest little girl you've ever seen, and, oh yeah, a rockstar husband (no, seriously). Is there anything Amber Lewis can't do? I'm so excited to have her as our latest guest for the Design Dialogues!
- - -
I mean, seriously. Don't you already want to be her best friend?

Who you are:
Hi there! I'm Amber of Amber Interiors, the design firm and the blog.

What you do:
First and foremost, I am a mommy! I am also an interior designer and now I guess I am a blogger.

Where you do it:
I have the fortune of working from an office located in my house! Most days you can find me there or in the car... I spend a lot of time in the car.

Five words to describe yourself.
Driven, like a mo'fo. Passionate. Funny. Sarcastic. Misunderstood. Fortunate.

Her insanely gorgeous kitchen. How good is that light fixture?

How do you define your aesthetic?
I am a lover of layers and colors. I don't consider myself a one-trick pony — however I do favor a little bohemian and eclectic flair. So if you had to define my aesthetic, I would say boho glam?

Who are your style icons?
For interior design, I'd have to say good ole Kelly Wearstler. She has yet to let me down. I don't always love some of her furniture choices or color palettes but I always love her way of thinking. She's attracted to shapes and colors and that's where I find inspiration for my own work. In terms of fashion icons, I'd go with Anita Pallenberg. She had that whole 6os rocker thing which I obsess over. Plus I wish I had her hair...

How did you decide you wanted to be an interior designer?
I had always wanted to do something with houses — since I was like 6 or 7. My dad is a builder so he was always taking my brother and I to his job sites and it fascinated me. As I got older, I knew I wanted to do something creative, I just didn't know what. I got a job at this very high-end retail store renowned for its displays.  I kind of adopted  "displays" as my job there and would run around making beds and setting tables. It was so much fun! One thing led to another and I started going to people's homes and helping them decorate their own beds and tables. I got a side job designing and I guess the rest is history!

Amber's dining room. Would you not kill for that fluffy chair and tribal rug?

What advice would you offer aspiring creatives?
Immerse yourself in whatever it is that you're doing. When I was working for interior designer Kirsten Marie, I became a sponge; I listened to everything she said taking mental notes and applying them. I started reading blogs and reading books. I would collect images on my computer (before Pinterest) and study them, paying attention to every detail... literally. It really pays to dive head first into what you love, because if you love what you're doing you'll never think of it as work. 

Recycled lampshades breathe new life into this dreamy vignette in Amber's home.

Three items on your to do list.
Work. Spend time with my wee one. Work!

Where would you like your business to be in five years?
I dream big so I will project big. Gracing the covers of some of my favorite design mags is where my head and heart goes. Hey, House Beautiful, let's talk, shall we? No, but seriously, I feel so lucky to do what I love so I hope in five years I'm still able to make a living doing this fabulous job!

Amber and baby G in her home office. Fabric sample heaven!

Three items on your wishlist.
A vacation with my fam. A new coffee table. A new car!

Three tasks on your bucket list.
Do a 60 day juice fast. Haha! Live in another country for a while so my little monkey gets some culture. Retire at 40 and travel the rest of my days!

- - -

Thank you so much for joining us, Amber! I love this quote in particular: "It really pays to dive head first into what you love, because if you love what you're doing you'll never think of it as work." Solid inspiration for my recent announcement, don't you think? Now go peep Amber's blog and tell her you love her as much as I do.

{all photos are Jessie Webster for Glitter Guide}

The Design Dialogues {Emily Maynard}

If you're anything like me, you're utterly infatuated with Elva Fields' darling jewelry. The designer, Emily Maynard, incorporates vintage baubles into each new design and the results are nothing short of extraordinary. I'm excited to have Emily here today to answer the Design Dialogues questionnaire about how she got her start in design, how she'd advise aspiring creatives, and what's next for her budding business!

Emily wearing one of her beautiful designs!

Who you are:
Emily Wheat Maynard

What you do:
Unofficially: a million things at once. Officially: founder and designer, Elva Fields.

Where you do it:
Taylorsville, Kentucky.

Five words to describe yourself...
Interested, busy, happy, driven, particular.

How do you define your aesthetic?
Colorful, whimsical, vintage.

Who are your style icons?
My grandmother, Tory Burch, Lauren Hutton, and Grace Kelly.

A peek into Emily's vintage collection from her feature in Matchbook Magazine.

Favorite quote:
"Count it all joy."

Favorite site:
Weather.com. Kentucky is infamous for 70 degrees and snow all in the same week so I always like to know what's in the forecast!

Favorite store:
Any and every flea market, antique mall, or vintage shop.

How did you decide that you wanted to design jewelry?
After spending years in the library during graduate school researching the history of jewelry, I realized how much I missed making things. So I combined a love of research with a love for creating — et voilà, Elva Fields was born! 

What is the best advice you've ever received?
"If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting" — in support of change and innovation from my business advisor Jerry.

And the advice you'd offer aspiring creatives?
Cultivate your creative skills every single day. It takes both talent and discipline to make it a business.

Where the magic happens!

Three items on your to do list... 
Finish writing long-overdue thank-you notes, frame that artwork, be a better person each day.

Three items on your wishlist...  
A fireplace, more time, a French easel.

Three items on your bucket list...
Taking my daughters on a girls trip each year, a two-week trek in Peru, surf camp.

- - - 

I love her style icons and her favorite quote, "If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting." Thank you so much for joining us, Emily!

The Design Dialogues {Elizabeth Caan}

I stumbled upon the work of interior decorator Elizabeth Caan last week on Made By Girl and fell in love with her colorful, preppy aesthetic. I was delighted when she agreed to participate in The Design Dialogues and share a few more of her interiors with all of you! Without further ado, Elizabeth Caan!

Who you are: Elizabeth Caan
What you do: Interior decoration and styling
Where you do it: Newton, Massachusetts

Five words to describe yourself... Impatient, energetic, petite, down-to-earth, congenial.

How do you define your aesthetic? Graphic glam.

Who are your style icons? Miles Redd, Mrs. Lilien, Diana Vreeland.

Destination: New York, New York

Quote: "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." —Benjamin Franklin

Site: Etsy. I've scored some amazing things: vintage scarves I've had made into pillows, great art, and photographer that I have smattered about my studio and my home.

Store: Net-a-Porter. Who has time to go into a store?

Thing to read: Financial Times Where to Spend It Weekend Magazine.

Thing to Watch: Breaking Bad on AMC — such a great show!

Thing to wear: A fabulous coat makes anything look très chic.

How did you decide to become an interior designer? 
When I could afford to! It's an expensive sport. No, I actually have a degree in art. I spent ten years in sales and marketing for new media companies and have always had a passion for interior design. When I could afford to take a pay cut and learn this business the way I wanted to, I went for it!

What is the most glamorous aspect of your work?
Creating glamorous things with beautiful materials and top-notch tradespeople. 

What is the least glamorous aspect of your work?
Schlepping things around town!

What is the best advice you've ever received?
This is a creative business. To make it, you need to be not only creative but a businessperson as well.

Three tasks on your to do list...
Take my daughter to Paris, finish my home office, learn to relax.

Three items on your wishlist...
A pair of Joe Cariati glass lamps in lavender berry, a larger closet, a laundress.

Three tasks on your bucket list...
A trip to the Greek islands, go on an African safari, learn how to upholster — couture style!

- - - 

Thank you so much for joining us, Elizabeth! I love her quote about being a creative businessperson and I think I'll be adding a laundress to my wishlist as well. Aren't you smitten with her style?