out on a school night with christiane lemieux

graham & brown 'frames' wallpaper in the wayfair headquarters I never told you about that one time, when my friend kate and I crashed a wayfair event with christiane lemieux of dwell studio (and newly named creative director for wayfair.) technically, we did rsvp for the event but we didn't read the fine print or maybe there was no fine print. either way this event was for interior designers looking to learn how to get their work published. (maybe that should've been our first clue?)

we bluffed our way thru the cocktail dinner setup ("we're very inspired by interiors...") but none of that mattered once christiane's talk began. she was gracious and open about all aspects of her career - how she started, her biggest challenges and what she loves most about her job. kate and I listened intently as most of the attendees asked their questions but what I found interesting is that the questions, and the answers, were applicable to any creative small business. it's also hard to believe that most of these interior designers didn't blog and weren't sure how to go about self-promoting themselves but that's a topic for another time.

key takeaways:

  • a brand requires core values and a solid mission statement
  • spell out each value, every idea behind your brand ("we believe....")
  • story telling is key and a point of view is essential
  • "spend your sheckles on photography" - Jonathan Adler
  • put your thumbprint on your work - it should be recognizable
  • (to get press) hound blogs/brands - send them things constantly
  • my favorite and new mantra: get rid of your fear - it hinders you

"take the fear and throw it away. being scared causes decisions that you wouldn't make otherwise." christiane lemieux / elizabethcraneswartz.comI've been studying her instagram feed and the dwell studio blog which are loaded with inspiration posts, behind the scenes with a little personal life mixed in. if christiane can create her own empire, then so can I. oh, and she flat out said that you can't have it all and that work/life balance is a lie. which is so true and I wish more people were honest about that. it's about choices and flexible priorities and a lot of work spilling into personal life and vice versa.

thank you, wayfair, for hosting and thank you, christiane, for sharing your story.