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Introducing: Jessica Davis

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jdavis in marseille

I've been thinking a lot about how much I love working in this office where I'm constantly surrounded by creative minds, tireless workers, and truly accomplished individuals, and I decided it was high time that I shared a little of that with all of you. One of my favorite people with whom I get to collaborate is Jessica Davis, our Deputy Design Director of Textiles here at MSLO. She leads a team of eight textile designers, overseeing their work our bedding and bath lines for Macy's. Then she and I collaborate to make the final decisions on our products.

I love working with Jessica - she's an amazingly talented designer and creative director, and she loves what she does, so I asked her if she would share a little bit about her experience here on the blog. She was nice enough to oblige me, and I had a great time interviewing her about her work.

Can you tell me a little bit about your job as Deputy Design Director?

I lead the team of textile designers on creating the bedding and bath line for Macy’s, so I oversee what they do and help organize the overall look and feel of the collection. The great thing about it is that I get to go through every detail of the whole design process, from the concept to when they’re shipped to Macy’s stores. What I do is more about creative direction and guiding the ideas of the team. All the designers bring together ideas that they’re excited about, from blogs, Pinterest, magazines, and I try to cull those ideas down to what I think will work well for us and what looks good.

What is your background and how did you get here?

I studied fashion, but I fell into a job at an upholstery mill and got into home products that way. When I started working here, even though I didn’t have a background in bedding, I could take my experience in woven products from the upholstery mill and apply that to a bedding collection. Once I started there I gradually moved up.

What do you like about working for Martha Stewart?

I think one of the most unique things about Martha Stewart is all of the different things happening at once. Where else can you find a company with such incredible publications and such varied products? It’s amazing to be in a place where all those things are going on and where every person is the most talented in their field –– it’s so inspiring. My team is so talented and hardworking. I'm always blown away by the volume and quality of the work that we strive for as a company and as a team. I’ve been a fan of Martha Stewart Living since I can remember, and it’s always been a dream to work here.

How would you describe the office lifestyle here at Martha?

It’s extremely fast-paced, there’s always something going on, it’s never quiet.

I know you said you're inspired by the people with whom you collaborate, but how do you find inspiration elsewhere?

Any time there’s a textiles exhibit, we always try to go as a team. I love to go to art museums and browse galleries and clothing shops for inspiration. I recently took the whole team to Williamsburg to spend the day shopping, and we ended our afternoon at the Brooklyn Museum. It was a really nice way to get out of the office and get some fresh ideas. I also always look at Lonny, Elle Décor, World of Interiors, and we all love pinterest, it’s just such a great resource.

What are your favorite products to work on?

Our woven bedding is the nearest and dearest to my heart because it’s what I started with at MSLO, but I also love quilts –– we have a large and varied collection at Macy's that is so fun to work on.

What are a few things you're loving right now?

I’m really excited about our fall collection, especially our holiday line -– our flannel bedding comes in fun prints and makes a great statement combined with quilts, throws, and decorative pillows.

 

So there you have it - a peek into the life of one of our most talented designers. And I even learned something too. I had no idea how much Jessica loves the work her team produces, but she admitted that she uses a striped quilt from the Martha for Macy's collection as her top of bed at home!

Tea Time Comes to Brooklyn

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banner1Michael Shannon, a former colleague here at Martha Stewart, has joined creative forces with Heidi Johannsen Stewart, another former MSLO employee, and Scott Stewart to open Bellocq Tea Atelier in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Previously a store in King’s Road, London, Bellocq’s Brooklyn location is fairly recent, and they offer award-winning handcrafted tea blends that are sophisticated and inventive, not to mention delicious. They also sell a beautiful line of accessories, from porcelain tea pots and bowls to whisks, tea filters, and books.

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I love Bellocq Teas' delicious Kikuya tea - it's a mix of sencha and rose petals that's calming and fragrant.

The coolest thing about their operation is how much traveling and studying they do to get their blends perfect. Michael has traveled all over the world with his team to learn traditional techniques, and you can really tell in their products – they taste amazing and unique. My favorites are the Kikuya and the Hibiscus.

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Their hibiscus tea is delicious hot or iced, and it's naturally high in vitamin C. I always brew some when I'm feeling under the weather.

Check out their atelier in Greenpoint, or visit their website to see all their teas and stylish accessories.

The New Neoclassical?

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karel heinen

Restoration Hardware is always one of my go-to places for great stylish accesories and luxurious furnishings and décor, but this spring the home design purveyor launched a collection with a little more character and individuality than their regular lines, and I’m thrilled with it. The new line is called Objects of Curiosity, and it is meant as a celebration of unique and curious objects to accent and accessorize the home. Restoration Hardware has paired with a host of artisans and experts from around the world for the line, which is made up of more than 400 decorative objects, and I have loved browsing the website and seeing the different artists’ styles and additions.

One of the artists featured in the collection is Karel Heinen, a Netherlands-based historical revivalist. He has created a line of reproductions of ancient busts, architectural fragments, sculptures, and wall décor that echoes the classical styles of Greece and Rome.  Even if classical art and architecture doesn’t appeal to you, I promise you’ll find some inspiration in the artist’s furniture and accessories. There is something almost haunting about his busts, urns, vases, and bookends – they really retain something of the past and would add some fabulous character, even to a modern home or garden.

This bust of David ($195, restorationhardware.com), is lovely and intricately detailed. It would make an inspired addition to a bookshelf.

This bust of David ($195, restorationhardware.com), is lovely and intricately detailed. It would make an inspired addition to a bookshelf.

paw bookends

These lion's paw bookends ($95) were originally made in the 4th century BC.

stone urn

This weathered stone Greek urn is sculptural and decorative, and the way it was handcrafted lends an air of ancient carved stone.