Studio Tour: Smock

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Name: Amy Graham Stigler
Location: Wisconsin
Company: Smock

What is your aesthetic? Classic with a modern edge. With a good amount of vintage quirkiness thrown in.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? Its a true mix – modern, vintage, classic, playful, formal, organic, stylized…which is what I hope to convey in the Smock collection. I just can’t commit to one look…it must be the art historian in me.

Favorite part of your studio? My showroom…because its filled with great windows and light. And Smock products. And there is a tiny balcony, which I adore.

Where do you go for inspiration? My “library”  which is a walk-in closet at my studio filled with books and miscellaneous ephemera. I also frequent flea markets and thrift stores (in order to replenish my library) and any and all museums. And my morning runs always leave me feeling inspired. Especially if I am in the woods.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? My Mac and my ultra fine black sharpies.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? A full time assistant would be nice.

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[images from Smock]

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Studio tour: Bella Fiori

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Name: Alicia Schwede
Location: Denver, Colorado
Company: Bella Fiori – Floral & Event Design

What is your aesthetic? Colorful, eclectic, cozy

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? When we first moved into the new studio I was going for a clean lined, modern feel. During the past year I’ve fallen in love with antiquing (yes, just in the past year) and am really enjoying the vintage romance look we are seeing in weddings & everyday designs. Slowly this vintage romance look is making its way into my studio – first the chandelier appeared then the softer linens and milk glass, well, milk glass seems to be taking over!

Favorite part of your studio? Every little inch of it. We were in a much smaller space until August 2008, that’s when we doubled the size of the studio. I walk around here and just feel happy. I now have my own office & a designated meeting space. We have comfy chairs in the second office, perfect for kicking back and reading magazines or chatting on the phone. I also love the design room, it’s large and has shelves full of containers & props.

Where do you go for inspiration? Ohhh.. I find inspiration in lots of places. In Denver I like to visit the antique stores. In Denver we have a street lined with antique shops, on a sunny day there is nothing better than walking from store to store to see what trinkets they have. Also, walking through the neighborhoods and seeing the gardens in full bloom – love those! My family and friends live in California so I spend a lot of time out there. I always feel inspired when I’m home, the gardens are in bloom year round. Plus,
each time I’m in SF I visit the SF Flower Market where I can find new and unique containers.
I travel as much as I can, being in London or Buenos Aires or Shanghai – all these places provide major inspiration – I visit as many flower shops as possible and the flower markets ~ amazing! I had the opportunity to study with Paula Pryke the last time I was in London, she’s an amazing floral designer.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? iPhone – for tweeting while in line at stores. Garmin – for deliveries of flowers though-out Denver. My shiny new Mac computer.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I’d love a larger walk in floral cooler & perhaps another Mac computer.

Anything else we should know? I really and truly adore flowers and the art of floral design. I can’t imagine a life with out flowers.

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[images from Bella Fiori]

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Studio tour: Nice Owl Design Studio

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Name: Helena Hong
Location: San Jose, California
Company: nice owl design studio

What is your aesthetic? I’d have to say my aesthetic is drawn from nature, simple pleasures, vintage and kitschy color mixes (usually inspired by fashion and home goods) and things that just make me feel happy.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? My studio space reflects my style in the details. Let’s take my mismatch furniture, for example, that somehow all works together but doesn’t match one bit. Though my walls are a bare white, I welcome color that comes in all shapes and forms that dresses things up. I meet with a variety of clients, so I kinda like how I’m in a space that starts off bare and gets added to and layered on.

Favorite part of your studio? It’s just a blessing to have so much space to be creative. But I’d have to say my favorite part of my studio is my storage shelf. I love that it houses all my papers, materials, boxes i collect, samples and more. I love how organized it makes me (well, as organized as I can be!). Oh, and I love that I have a window to stare out of…  :)

Where do you go for inspiration? In the virtual world, I have loads of blogs and web sites i visit to keep me inspired through photography, typography and even quotes. But in the real world, it can take a walk through a thrift store, a drive through a small town I’ve never seen before or a walk by a bakery. I seem to take with me something artistically pleasing and enjoyable that later gets put into my work, journal or a sketch.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? This is a hard one, because there are so many tools and gadgets that help me create…but here’s the short list:

  • my ruler, bone folder, pantone swatch books, iPhone, tape gun
  • Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I’d love to give my hands and fingers a rest with machines to score and cut my papers, but that’s an upgrade way down the road. I’m happy to be a human paper cutter for now.

    Anything else we should know? I’m a pretty nice gal, so let’s connect!
    To learn a little more about my business, please click here.

    A special thanks to Mark J. Sebastian for my photos.

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    Studio tour: d. Sharp

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    Name: Denise Sharp
    Location: Portland, Oregon
    Company: d. Sharp

    What is your aesthetic?
    My work is vintage inspired –  little paper luxuries to mark an occasion. I am a collector and fascinated by old ephemera, and like a mix of vintage charm and modern polish.

    How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic?
    A lot of the functional elements I use for storage or to organize are vintage finds – a tin honeycomb from a winery, an old wooden screen stand to hold ribbon, vintage film canisters and baking pans {anything tin!} to hold stuff, old medical cabinets.

    Favorite part of your studio?
    The heat!  We built the two story studio and it’s insulated – our old house isn’t.

    Where do you go for inspiration?
    My drawers of ephemera  and stacks of old books, fun stuff with husband and kids, Powell’s Books, the flea market, a few favorite shops, coffee {meet friends or people watch}, sketchbook. Time at the gym helps me mentally sort through and clarify things.

    What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without?
    I never thought I would say this, but my computer.

    Is there anything you’d upgrade to?
    There are some things I would love to have in the studio, but am pretty happy with what I have.

    Anything else we should know?
    Having scaled back the wholesale side of the business after my second child, I would love to license a paper/gift line. Designing new pieces is the best part  and I would be thrilled to have an opportunity to spend more time doing it.

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    [images from Where Women Create]

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    Studio tour: Sugar Couture

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    Name: Penny Stankiewicz
    Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, by appointment only
    Company: Sugar Couture

    What is your aesthetic? While I can work with almost any design aesthetic to please my clients, when left to my own devices, I’ll always lean towards a modern/vintage feel with Moroccan inspiration and bold color combinations.

    How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? Like my cakes, my studio embraces bold contrasting color and lots of texture.

    Favorite part of your studio? I just love my large desk, to be able to spread everything out in front of me for inspiration.  It has cubbyhole shelves on either side that hold reference cooking and baking books, cameras, and things creative, all at arms length. On top is my beautiful iMac, the hub of Sugar Couture.

    Where do you go for inspiration? Color is inspirational to me  So many kitchens are built for functionality, but I’ve been able to create a space that makes me want to work.  I also look to Moroccan design, antique markets and interior design.  I find the mix of color, pattern and texture a brilliant starting point for cake design.

    What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? I could definitely not be without my 20-quart Hobart mixer.  I purchased it on Ebay a couple of years ago.  It’s so old, there is no record of the serial number, but it continues to work like a charm.

    Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I will forever need more refrigeration space.  I dream of a walk in refrigerator.

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    [images from Roberto Ricci]

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