B by Brandie – Interview with Brandie Gehan

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I met and discovered Brandie Gehan recently at the Dallas Market – Sneak Peek. During market a favorite spot of mine is the Temporaries; the two mile trek usually pays off.  And, this time didn’t disappoint.

As I came around the corner, there was B by Brandie a young spirited tabletop line that matched the creative behind it. I immediately knew I wanted to visit with Brandie to learn more about the story behind her tabletop collection.

On the day of the interview we met in her home, it was vibrant and welcoming – certainly a home where interesting and lively discussions take place. Her young, fresh and modern tabletop line certainly matches Brandie’s aesthetic in fashion and home decor.  Although her style is modern; her values are traditional; from the beginning with the influence from her mother’s love for entertaining at an early age to her daily business dealings with her company today – family is front and center.

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So, dear reader, without further due have a cup of coffee and visit with us for awhile….

Who and what is B by Brandie?

Founded in 2012, B by Brandie, presents high-quality home accessories that add a dash of fashion to the table. The brand’s fusion of distinctive design and modern styling with durability and practicality lends itself to a variety of settings, from traditional dinner parties, modern cocktail gatherings or every day use. With pieces from the brand, consumers can update everyday family dinners with sleek porcelain combinations or take out the bone china for more intimate gatherings. B by Brandie evokes the world of grand entertaining to everyday tableware. Each piece bears the name of renowned party mavens, such as Jackie O., Zelda Fitzgerald, Brooke Astor and more. The brand’s color options and varying patterns can inspire adventurous consumers to showcase their own take on entertaining by creating their own customized place setting while pre-styled suggestions provide an effortless option. “B by Brandie was highly influenced by my mother’s love of entertaining and her well known dinner parties.” With the new collection, I wanted to share my family’s love of gathering an eclectic mix of people for delicious food, lively conversation and a bit of bubbly paired with accessories that add another memorable element.” Each dinnerware piece will be sold individually, enhancing the mix-and-match component.

What were you doing prior to designing a tabletop collection?

I was working in E-Commerce for AT & T. I have always loved to entertain and saw the need for a tabletop line where you didn’t have to buy in sets.

What inspired you to design a collection where you can mix patterns?

The younger demographic uses paper plates for everyday dinnerware without knowing there are options besides how their parents or grandparents purchased tabletop. The model of buying a 10 place setting is not in the vernacular of modern living for the younger demographic; which is expensive to purchase and replace if one piece breaks. I created this line to provide everyday use, flexibility to purchase individual dinnerware, and allow the consumer to use their creativity to mix and match place settings.

What is your favorite tabletop setting that you designed?

The black and white collection; it was my first creation.

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What are three things that update your dinnerware?

1. Personalization (monogramming) 2. New pattern or color 3. Layering your place settings (dinner plate, salad plate and bowl).

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What should he/she splurge on in your collection? Where can they save?

Splurge on the charger; it makes a great impact but you can use it as a dinner plate as well. To save; the salad plate or glassware they are great small additions that are reasonable but make a statement.

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When you were dreaming up your collection, what were your resources of inspiration?

Travel, tearing out pages of shelter magazines, patterns and especially color – I love color. But, I looked for inspiration everywhere I went.

Since you love to travel; What is the place that inspires you most?

Charleston, South Carolina – its easy and beautiful living…especially love the Rainbow Row Houses

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Because you travel to NYC for business, what is one of your favorite neighborhood haunts in the city?

There is a great restaurant on the Upper East Side that changes its name as the seasons change – Park Avenue Summer becomes Park Avenue Autumn becomes Park Avenue Winter

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A key distinction of B by Brandie is practicality. What are a few things that help you balance family and business life?

Time management is key and the support of my family.

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What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?

Spending time with my family, shopping and going to the movies – I love movies; as a child it was one my favorite things to do with my mother.

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What is your guilty pleasure?

Cookies – my favorite are Animal Crackers

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What makes you laugh?

My family, but I always try to find the humor in things I can’t control.

What are you most proud of in your life?

My family – I can go anywhere and be okay; they keep me grounded.

So, what’s next for B by Brandie?

Right now, we are trying out other color palettes to introduce into the line. For the future; We are looking to expand into flatware and eventually small home accessories.

Well, I am certain we will see more fantastic things from B by Brandie and I will be sure to post it here.  Dear reader, I hope you’ve enjoyed our visit and as a special gift to you –  B by Brandie is offering all my readers 20% off purchases until 3/7.  Purchase B by Brandie pieces here and use Discount Code: ELLEBBB at checkout.

Please comment and let me know what collections you love…my favorite is Navy and White. And, for July 4th; I will be snatching up her red, white and blue collection, which will arrive in pretty packaging (see below).

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(Just had to throw this one in….)

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Enjoy!

On This Day In History…

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1912:

Jackson Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming youngest of five sons.

1943:

Signed a gallery contract with Marguerite “Peggy” Guggenheim

Jackson created Mural for Peggy Guggenheim’s new townhouse

Pollock Mural

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Cathedral, 1947

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Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.

– Jackson Pollock

Modern, Classic & Couture

In the midst of pulling together the soft finishes for a kitchen project; I thought I’d share a ‘go-to’ source with you.  Although a classicist at heart; its always in my nature to throw in a mix of modern to edge things up a bit.

A line that consistently puts a modern twist on tradition is Quadrille.  Certain you have seen their work published in every known shelter magazine; they never go unnoticed and always a classic. I hope this inspires you to put a little Quadrille in your go-to book too:

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Carlo II – Designer: Brian McCarthy – Veranda

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Meloire Reverse Designer: Carolyne Roehm -House Beautiful

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Paradise Garden Designer: David Kleinberg – Architectural Digest

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Wallcovering: San Marco  – House Beautiful

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Draperies: Paradise Background Pillow: Montecito

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Wallcovering: Trellis Background Designer: Tom Scheerer – House Beautiful

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Wallcovering: Ikat – Veranda

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Wallcovering: Climbing Hydrangea – Vogue

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Sofa: Cap Ferrat Designer: Andrew Raquet – Veranda

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 Sofa/Chair Pillows/Wallcovering: Volpi and Persopolis Home: Tory Burch -Vogue

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 Sultan II Designer: Miles Redd – Architectural Digest

(Photo Credit: quadrillefabrics.com)

Let There Be Light!

Please allow me to introduce my friend and colleague, who is just as smart as she is beautiful – Johnna Dobbs, Mastercraft Distribution.  (Photo Credits: Rett Peek and Courtesy of Mastercraft Distribution)

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Johnna and her family make great lamps that are a go-to for major retailers like Target, Walmart, Hobby Lobby and T.J. Maxx.  Dear readers, designers and homeowners if want high-end lighting at an affordable price point look to Jonesboro’s Mastercraft Distribution. They are a company that take their lighting very seriously, never compromising on design and quality. If you purchase their lighting I am certain you too will see why they have become a solid go-to source nationwide. Please visit AtHomeArkansas.com to learn more about Johnna and her family’s tradition of lighting that began with her grandfather.

Here are a few of her lamps that would make a great statement piece in your home:

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coral

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2013: A Look Back

When I was young, I loved to play with my grandmother’s fabrics in her sewing room. Some of my fondest memories involve my grandmother; pretty golden blonde hair, perfect shade of pink lipstick and pearls. She was a stylish woman, always wore pearls and constantly reminding me to be a proper young lady. Her name, fittingly, was Georgianne (so southern). You have to go back dear reader a generation or two to see the influence of a parent and for me that was my grandmother.

A little over a year and half ago, while reading about design, snuggled up on my down sofa on a clear and warm June morning; a wave of happiness filled me. Memories were stirred up and with them came an awareness that I had been ignoring – my awareness that my heart has always belonged to all things beautiful. Even as a child playing in my grandmother’s fabrics I would only choose the ones I thought were the prettiest. On that June morning; I let myself for the first time imagine the possibility of being a designer. I have always been a creative but deciding to start my own interior design business off of a feeling felt impractical considering my Economics background, logic was always my safe route.  But, with my family and faith supporting me along the way I leapt at the opportunity, abandoning all logic and fear of failure. Although I can’t see the whole picture; I thought I should reflect upon my 2013 journey and share my thanksgivings along the way.

Thank you to all of you that have subscribed to my blog; sincerely appreciate you walking along side me in this journey. I especially love the comments, reading each one with appreciation. To know that you see value in what you read here means more than you know.

To begin; there is nothing more important than the most beautiful gifts in my life…God and my family, everything I do is centered around my faith and family.

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Initially; I have taken baby steps to help me in my business starting with attending Tobi Fairley’s Designer MBA program, with at the time an acquaintance but now a dear friend and fellow designer Kim Armstrong.

Thank you, Tobi Fairley for helping me develop my understanding of running a design business and the tools to attract my ideal client.

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Tobi’s program and the intelligent women I met while at Designer MBA inspired me to reach for more and so here are the few highlights of taking baby steps,

1. Completed 12 design projects, 1 of which was a complete home renovation down to the studs. The photography has been scheduled for the first part of this year, can hardly wait to show you the before and after images.

2. Being interviewed by Horchow and asked to create a Pinterest board in honor of Interior Decorating Month; highlighting me as one of their “Designers We Love.”  Horchow has beautiful furnishings and accessories for the home, carrying brands like John Richard and Arteriors.  Readers, I highly encourage you to browse their website; I am certain you will find something you can’t live without for your home.  Also, please feel free to check out my Pinterest page you may find something inspiring in the collection.

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3. Being asked, twice, to be a host of the Dallas Market Center’s SNEAK PEEK blogger’s events in January and July. Thank you Meredith Hite for the honor of asking me to host again in January, which I’ve accepted. It was exciting to win a chair during the July SNEAK PEEK event, of which now sits in my office. Thank you to Aidan Gray Home  showroom for hosting us and for the opportunity to win one of your pretty chairs. I hope designers who haven’t been to the Dallas Market, will attend the January 15 – 21 Total Home & Gift Market if possible…learn more here.

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(below is the chair that I won)

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4. Being asked to be a part of the prestigious Institute of Classical Architecture & Art committee, this was especially exciting for me. Joining hands with an organization that preserves and dedicates their mission to advancing education of classical tradition in architecture, urbanism and their allied arts is an expression and extension of who I am as a designer. So, naturally it was a perfect opportunity to say yes to.  If you are a classicist and even if you aren’t, please take a moment and learn about ICAA; it is a wonderful community of highly evolved architects and designers who are skillfully brilliant in their craft.  There are also a wide array of programs that include travel, conferences, continuing education, etc. for those who want to advanced their studies in the classical tradition. I am looking forward to sharing with all of you the wonderful events we will be planning for 2014. ICAA

5. Attending the 2013 Design Bloggers Conference and meeting Barbara Barry, as you may know reader, she is one of my favorite designers. Her tailored but highly sophisticated approach to design is what I appreciate most about her.  You can read my post here about my experience of meeting her. I met many great bloggers and learned more than expected about social media. Thank you Adam Japko for making it possible for us to meet Barbara Barry and many other amazing designers, all whom inspire us to be better designers.  If you are interested in attending the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta from March 2 – 4, click here to register.

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6. Winning a $500 gift card from Gabby Home for my blog post about their company and their line of beautiful furnishings.  I did not even expect my blog post to win and couldn’t have been more excited to have won!  Click here to read my post. So, thank you Gabby Home for making it possible; can’t wait for my Ingrid chests to arrive.

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Today, as I continue to embark on this journey of building my business I can see how the influence of my grandmother’s classic style, her barking etiquette dos and don’ts and letting me play with her beautiful fabrics as a child has found a home in me; aware that my creativity was born years ago. When you have someone supporting you, for me it was my grandmother as a child and now my family, you have the confidence and courage to do things you might not have done on your own. Although I am ending 2013; I want to thank you, my readers, for subscribing to my blog https://alexishunterblog.wordpress.com/. I am looking forward to sharing more with you as we enter 2014.

I hope each of you find the inspiration in the fabrics of your lives to launch your dreams. Wishing you and your families a healthy, happy and prosperous 2014.

Warmly,

Elle