Name: Lanie List
Location: 313 West 4th Street, Garden Level Entrance, West Village, NYC!
What is your aesthetic? It’s a total girl-fest here. Venetian mirrors, robin’s egg blue walls, pink bicycle, papel picados. When getting married, brides have to start melding their interior design styles with their new husbands, so we like the idea of Lovely being a place the bride can totally girl out before she takes that next step. We also have a touch of vintage rustic in there, to take some of the sweetness off the top. As for our dress aesthetic…we cater to so many looks: romantic, classic, glam. No two brides are alike so it’s important to have a curated mix of dresses and accessories to personalize each bride’s look.
How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? Finding a dress should be a blast, so the whimsy in our store carries over to our sales approach. Relax, have a good time, giggle lots, and find the most amazing dress!
Favorite part of your studio? By far our ‘trying on salons’. Each brides gets a private room with a ginormous mirror and ample seating. It makes for such a lovely experience. Our favorite part will probably be our garden once we are finished with the landscaping and can have back yard parties!
Where do you go for inspiration? BLOGS! A lot of our décor elements were adopted from someone’s wedding or design décor. We are going to change them up with the seasons, which makes for fun projects for our employees, and down the road, fun workshops in our space for brides and industry folks.
What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Our iPad is pretty amazing. We had it with us at the Cynthia Rowley bridesmaid launch event, which took place in Cynthia’s store, and we took appointments remotely.
Is there anything you’d upgrade to? We could use another floor! We need more space to accommodate our wait list.
Anything else we should know? Well we have one little secret…we are helping a good friend from the bridal industry launch a new line so we are super excited about that. Make sure you check out our blog before October market and we’ll be revealing all of the Juicy details!
[images from Sweet Little Photographs]
Name: Elizabeth Dye
Location: Portland, Oregon
Company: The English Dept.
What do you do? I am a dress designer specializing in non-traditional wedding gowns. I’ve been working as a clothing designer for about 10 years, and bridal has become more and more my specialty. It really chose me—my first wedding gowns were for friends who despaired that there was nothing out there for them in traditional gown-land. Since then I’ve discovered that it’s a niche that really suits my sensibilities. I love to get a bit fancy, and that dash of drama seems just right for a special garment like a wedding dress.
What is your aesthetic? Modern simplicity inset with antique details. I like classic dress silhouettes that are universally flattering, re-invented using unusual fabrics and mixed-media details. Whenever possible, I incorporate fabrics and trims that have that soft-focus charm I associate with heirloom garments from the late 19th and early 20th century. The most incredible dresses were being made in those decades—it’s really the last era of handmade, before the Industrial Revolution and mechanized garment manufacture changed everything. Although I’m past the point where I’m able to make everything myself, by hand, I want all my dresses to have that feeling. I want my dresses to feel personal, intentional, and loved.
How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? Since this is my work space, it really needs to be spare and uncluttered. That said, the limited palette of whites and pale neutrals is very much my style! I keep cuts of antique lace, buttons and trims in bins within easy reach, since these pieces always inspire me. I am a visual person and am known to tape a piece of lace or ribbon to the wall to keep myself thinking about how to use it.
Favorite part of your studio? I fell in love with the light immediately—the north-facing windows deliver soft, steady sunlight all day long. In our often rainy Northwest, good light is crucial to helping me stay productive and in a sunny mood!
Where do you go for inspiration? Historical garments, period films and set pieces. I love the Regency Period, as well as the silver screen glamour of the 1930s. I believe that many of the most beautiful dresses in the world have already been made, and I enjoy rediscovering and reimagining those ideas from my own point of view.
What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? She’s not really a tool, but Sarah (my studio assistant) helps make it all possible! Not only does she contribute to the very real work of cutting and assembling the dresses, she is a wonderful sounding board for new ideas and design challenges. I am by nature a collaborative creator, and I love having her in the mix—it makes me a better designer.
Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I wish I could clone her and have a roomful of helpers. Baby steps.
Anything else we should know? There’s a lot of emphasis on “the dress” when it comes to planning a wedding, and it’s my mission to make that dress an enjoyable and meaningful part of the journey. Marriage is a momentous time in people’s lives, and I think it’s wonderful that more and more brides are choosing alternatives to the soulless ritual of buying a big poofy princess gown off the rack. I have been fortunate to meet many incredible women who have honored me with their trust by wearing one of my dresses. I think I have a pretty great job.
[images from Lisa Warninger]
Name: David Beahm
Location: 529 West 20th St. Suite 11W, NYC
Company: David Beahm Design
What do you do? Custom Event Styling: social, corporate, not-for-profit and destinations
What is your aesthetic? We try desperately to remember for whom we are designing, so I guess we hope that our aesthetic is that of our client – with some occasional gentle judicious guidance, of course…
How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? I like it because it is all over the place, just like our clients. I have decorated it, hopefully, so that there is an element that every person who comes in can find something visually that makes them comfortable. There are clean, hard lines, no color areas, colorful areas, modern touches and oriental rugs to soften.
Favorite part of your studio? Number one – we have wide open space! But I do love the way the sunlight plays on Vivian’s (our studio cat) fur through the glass bricks. We didn’t have full sun in our last studio.
Where do you go for inspiration? We live in New York – I walk down the street and always see something new and wonderful every time.
What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Wide open communication.
Is there anything you’d upgrade to? If I could find a way to plug my imagination into an imaging device so that clients could see the way I envision their events, our sales would be through the roof. But when it comes to gadgets, bring on the newest and the best – they make me very happy.
Anything else we should know? I have the great fortune of being blessed with a garden on my rooftop in Hell’s Kitchen. I have trees, about twenty five different herbs, decorative plants and, this year, nine different varieties of heirloom tomatoes that I grow in Earth Boxes. Until we get a formal link, you can visit them on my New York City Tomato Cam. View it at http://beahm.viewnetcam.com:50000/CgiStart Click “Single” to bring up the cam.
[images from Joanna Wilson Photography]
Location: Portsmouth NH
What do you do? Womens Apparel and accessories
What is your aesthetic? Timeless classics mixed with statement pieces
How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? Our studio is in a old brick mill along side a river. Our professional aesthetic is very organized but also I think the company headquarters should be a really inspiring, visually exciting place. You want something that can tell a story and capture your interest and imagination.
Favorite part of your studio? Thick solid brick walls and deep windows. The building is inspiring and the walls with their chipping concrete, unevenness, and character just make you want to create things
Where do you go for inspiration? Research is probably the biggest thing. I spend lots of time researching, collecting, analyzing, and editing. Second to that would be nature and traveling. Both make you step back and appreciate life and all that exists. For instance Fireflies exist. Can you believe that! how is this possible.
What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Input from my best friend and better half Ryan. I constantly bounce ideas off of him and he tells me exactly what he thinks- good or bad- which is an indispensible. He’s half of emersonmade and I’m unbelievably lucky to have him as my mate. Also my computer especially when we’re commuting from nyc to nh weekly working on the clothing line.
Is there anything you’d upgrade to? Anything that creates more time in the day. So many things I want to do, accomplish, and see. But no, surprisingly can’t think of anything to upgrade to unless there are inexpensive robots out there I can buy who do chores and housework.
Anything else we should know? We are always trying to find ways to make our products better. I think having a workspace that reflects the character of your products and creates happy employees is key in the long term of being successful.
[images from Emersonmade]
Name: Courtney Spencer
Location: Richmond, Virginia
What do you do? Event planning & design
What is your aesthetic? funky elegant/tradition with a twist
How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? I love mixing old + new. My desk is a antique piece I found for a bargain at West End Antiques (hello heaven). The paint is chipping and its edges are worn…I LOVE that. It means it’s had a life before me…it’s full of history and story. There’s something too easy about just going out and buying a room full of new pieces. That so totally isn’t me. I like the thrill of the hunt…finding that one piece that’s just so interesting you can’t leave it behind. And, I abhor officey looking spaces, so instead of leaving my new filing cabinet office park black, I spray painted it ivory and used ribbon as drawer pulls. Pretty + functional. I hope the events I design are full of details that convey story & meaning, just like the pieces in my office.
Where do you go for inspiration? I usually go to antique stores & fabric shops. If I’m really needing to get out of the way, I drive out to the country…Virginia is so beautiful.
What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? My hands.
Is there anything you’d upgrade to? More hands.
[images from Katie Stoops Photography]