Name: Thea Zagata
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Company: Gumdrop Cookie Shop
What is your aesthetic? I love COLOR – and lots of it. While my studio is more functional than decorative, the color is evident in all of the cookies that line my baking racks every day.
How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? I keep the area very organized and CLEAN (we’re talking about cookies here!). I wear so many different hats with my business that I need to have everything exactly where I need it when I need it.
Favorite part of your studio? My desk! I bought it on Craigslist and replaced the knobs with these little gems that I picked up at Anthropologie.
Where do you go for inspiration? Blogs, home décor magazines, and my husband (for a guy who sells computer software, he actually has some good ideas)
What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Hmm. There are three things.
1. My special ink tanks that are filled with edible ink (food coloring). Without the tanks, I wouldn’t be able to print all of the beautiful designs.
2. The talented graphic designers that I work with to create the cookie designs
3. My baker!
Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I’ve wanted to include a blog on my web site for a long time and I finally added it last week.
[images from Gumdrop Cookie Shop]
I had the pleasure of visiting Gabriella at her salon a few months ago, and knew her space would be perfect for a studio tour…its hard not to be inspired when you’re surrounded by beautiful dresses like she is!
Name: Gabriella Risatti
Location: 400 W. 14th st. Ste. 2A New York, NY 10014
Company: Gabriella New York Bridal Salon
What is your aesthetic? We are a loft in the Meatpacking District in an old building and our studio has the original hardwood floors. We have chosen fixtures and furniture that join the industrial feel of the space with the elegance of the gowns.
How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? One of my main objectives for the salon is to provide red carpet service without the attitude or uptight feeling that some salons have. My studio is set up like someone’s home to create that welcoming and friendly environment. For example, I chose the most comfortable chairs and couches for guests to sit on and displayed the jewelry in an armoire like you would have in your own bedroom.
Favorite part of your studio? I love the windows! We are on a corner and the walls are lined with big windows that let in tons of light and give a great city view.
Where do you go for inspiration? Recently, I have been spending a lot of time on the Highline. It’s such an amazing escape from the city and allows me to slow down and relax. The gelato truck in Chelsea Market also inspires me on a very regular basis!
What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Our on-line appointment scheduling system! It allows brides to book their appointments on-line, which saves them a phone call. Very often, girls end up doing their wedding planning late at night when the stores aren’t open, so this solves that problem!
Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I would give anything for a second elevator in our building, but somehow my landlord doesn’t seem to agree!!!
Anything else we should know? All of our dresses are exclusive to us in New York and we love to showcase emerging designers! We offer a selection of gowns that most people have never seen before and we always hear women saying they like our dresses because they are so different. We are also a flagship for Sara Gabriel headpieces and veils, which are really beautiful and fashion forward.
Name: Melody Brandon
Location: 6400 Stearns Street Long Beach, CA 90815
Company: Sweet & Saucy Shop
Aesthetic: Simplistic, modern, vintage, shabby chic
My studio style conveys my professional aesthetic pretty closely since I like to keep my designs clean and modern looking, but add pops of color and precise details. I don’t like to overwhelm my work space with too much clutter and business and that is definitely the same with my dessert designs and flavor combos.
My favorite part might have to be my office! I worked out of a rented kitchen for about 2 years or so before I got my own studio, so I really appreciate having a space of my own where I can bring my clients that shows them who I am as a designer and where we are casually chat while they taste my desserts.
I probably find most of my inspiration from wedding magazines, blogs, fashion, and nature. I love using elements of fashion or design and creating an edible piece of art that really has meaning to the person who orders it. We also do a lot of handmade sugar flowers, so nature definitely inspires us all the time.
I could not live with my laptop or iphone! I use them to get design ideas, chat with clients, and look at gorgeous photos!
Well besides desserts, photography is a huge passion of mine, so just last week for my birthday I bought a professional camera and fabulous new lenses! I am madly in love with them and can’t wait to get more and more lenses!
Name: Victoria Heifner
Location: Oakland, CA
Company: Milkfed Press
What is your aesthetic: “Ye Olde Chic” [ha ha].
How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic?: For starters, I think that the equipment I use is so beautiful. I consider myself to be more of a craftsperson than an artist, and I try and utilize all of the things in my studio. All of the vintage cuts, the wood type, my linoleum cuts—it’s all part of my working process.
The studio itself was a grocery store long ago, and I still have some of the original pieces from then. The Wonderbread counter, the baskets where I keep my cards are all recycled. Sort of like my (once obsolete) equipment; I like to give things new purpose, new life.
I like to think that this is conveyed in my design and working process, too.
Favorite part of your studio?: First choice is on-press. Another little detail that I love, is my transom window. Sounds silly, but I have a long stick with a hook on it (what is the official word for this?) that I use to open it. It’s the same way we used to open the windows in elementary school, and it makes me smile every single time. I am a bit of a princess in this space–it’s quite large and I am the only one who works here. I love that.
Where do you go for inspiration? : The grocery store and the library. I am a nut for interesting or foreign packaging. Funny that I work in a reclaimed grocery store and yes, I used to work at a library.
What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? : My printing presses!
Is there anything you’d upgrade to?: For a few years I was considering the larger, more production-oriented Windmill press. I’ve decided that the slower, hand-fed methods that I use, while more time-consuming, suit me just fine. I like the quality I can produce and each piece really becomes a work of art.
Anything else we should know?: Thanks for letting me share my space with you! The funny thing is that a majority of my of my clients live out of the Bay area, so never come in to my space itself. While I am in love with all-things old, I am grateful for the technology which lets me create and work with people all over the country. xo Victoria
This beautiful press is dated 1871. It originally came with a treadle (like the treadle sewing machines) for the power, but at some point, someone put a motor on it. It’s a beautiful piece of equipment and I love just it!
Name: Rebecca Kutys
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Company: Moontree Letterpress
What is your aesthetic? Simple graphics, muted colors, lots of white space.
How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? I believe that keeping the studio clean and organized makes me much more productive. As soon as I get messy or cluttered I slow down. I think my design reflects this too, less is more.
Favorite part of your studio? My favorite thing about the studio are my studiomates: Breck (of Sesame Letterpress) and her full-time employee Amanda. We get along so well, with the perfect mix of hard work, NPR and laughter. I’d go crazy if I had to work alone…
Where do you go for inspiration? I go outside.
What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? My ruler, guillotine cutter, my press (of course), Quickbooks, iphone, Pandora, Adobe Illustrator, UPS, Pantone Book of Colors
Is there anything you’d upgrade to? Anything computer-related, probably nothing press-related.
Anything else we should know? I can’t believe how lucky I am to be doing what I’m doing. Owning a business is so challenging, but it’s also the adventure of a lifetime. Thanks for checking out my studio!