Updated: Sep 12, 2020
As a designer, I jump at the chance to check out new and innovative products, spot new and exciting design trends, and glean knowledge and inspiration from my peers and other designers whom I admire. Every chance I get, I attend design panel discussions, and speaking events – especially when the designers are well known nationally and even globally. What these designers usually have in common is that they are a brand, with several projects and products in their portfolio. Branding has become the goal that most designers have set for themselves. Getting published in a shelter magazine is usually the first step, followed by product design (furniture, upholstery, lighting, textiles and accessories). Since this is my ultimate goal, I seek every opportunity to meet these designers in person, ask questions of them, or just a brief chat to pick their brains a bit.
As I looked through old photos, I realized just how many of these designers I have actually met and what kept ringing in my head is “TIME TO TAKE ACTION”.
Action for me will be one step at a time. After all, no one becomes a global brand overnight. My first action step is hiring a great photographer to take photos of my completed projects. You simply cannot get published without great photographs. Publishers and editors are looking for photos of rooms with the wow factor! I am so guilty of finishing a project, the room is gorgeous, the client is happy and I’m either too tired to take proper photos, or I forgot to take my camera along. It is alot more difficult to go back to take photos (sometimes I do), but it’s better done right at installation. So this is what I’ll be working on in the next few weeks and hopefully get some new projects that will give me the creative freedom I need to get world-class photos.
I thought I’d share some of these “celebrity encounter” photos, to show where some of my inspiration comes from. They are all taken with an iPhone, so again, not great photos, but you get the point 🙂
Here I am with Martyn Lawrence Bullard at the Houston Design Center. Martyn is a published author and is among the cast of Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorator. He has fabric lines with F. Schumacher and designs for a celebrity clientele such as Cher and Ellen Pompeo, to name a couple.
Here I am with Thom Filicia. He is a published author and hosted many TV shows including “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” and “Dress My Nest”. He has upholstery and casegoods collections with Vanguard Furniture and Kravet, as well as fabric lines with Kravet and a rug collection with Safavieh
Here I am with Suzanne Kasler at Decorative Center Houston. Suzanne is also a published author and has fabric collections with Lee Jofa, an upholstery and casegoods collection with Hickory Chair and a rug line with Safavieh. She also has a lifestyle collection with Ballard Designs.
Here I am with Bill Stubbs, Houston’s most famous designer and a guy with a big personality. He was honored as one of Architectural Digest’s top 100 and has published many books. He hosts a TV show on PBS called “A Moment of Luxury“. He has completed many great projects throughout his 30 year career including a large corporate jet.
Here I am with Charles Pavarini III; the grandson of Charles Pavarini Sr., who is known for creating historic landmarks including the Seagram Tower, the United Nations, the State Theater at Lincoln Center, and numerous other landmark buildings in New York City and throughout the world. Charles is a very accomplished designer who has been published several times and in the process of developing a lighting collection and writing a new book.
Here I am with John Robshaw who is very well known in the design world for his beautiful, globally inspired textiles. He is a very well published designer and author and has a fabulous fabric line with Duralee Fabrics…and he is very dreamy 🙂
So you can see that I have big shoes to fill. Being a successful designer in today’s market means that you have to market yourself as a brand. The best advice I got from these wonderful designers is to focus on the niche that I love and enjoy more than anything else, have a genuine desire to share it with the world, and the rest will follow. For me, that is textiles. I just love fabrics with a wonderful hand, beautiful patterns and have visual appeal. The goal is to design and develop a collection inspired by my Caribbean heritage, some Florida influences (lived there for many years) and of course Texas chic!
Other designers that I would love to meet are Candice Olsen, Alexa Hampton and Jonathan Adler. Soon I hope 🙂
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