We Are Getting An Award!

Niya and I are excited and honoured to be one of the awardees for the first ever Business Innovators and Game Changers™ (B.I.G.) Awards, created by WhereItzAt magazine, a New York City leader in Caribbean entertainment and culture.
Source: www.goWhereItzAt.com
"The Business Innovators and Game-Changers™ (B.I.G.) Awards was created to honor the achievements of established women and minority owned small businesses and business leaders and also recognize the accomplishments of young entrepreneurs in the New York Metropolitan Area. Slated to be an annual event, the B.I.G. Awards is also focused on recognizing the pioneers or “Trailblazers” who paved the way for other generations to follow."  We are among a really amazing group of individuals receiving an award, including our favourite rug designer, Malene Barnett of Malene B Carpets.

The awards Gala event will be held next month, June 28 at the Adria Hotel & Conference Center, and all are invited to attend.  It promises to be a night of great fun and entertainment.  For details about WhereItzAt and this amazing Awards event, please visit here.  


Our Client Appreciation Event was a success!

Photo Credits: (L top and bottom) Kimneak Arnold; (Right) Niya Bascom Photography
Well what an evening it was!  We spent this past Tuesday with most of our clients celebrating their amazing support over the past 5.5 years of Ishka Designs.  The intimate group consisted of folks that had the belief in us before Ishka Designs was a reality, those that have entrusted us with their homes and businesses over the years, a few of the most recent additions to our client family and the small niche of friends and colleagues that have been our background supporters over the years.
Good times! Photo Credit: Kimneak Arnold
We owe the event's success to some stand out folks/businesses including:
* Dr. Saka Kazeem of ELK Medical for his incredible generosity, hosting our event at his space.  Though our project is an on-going affair at ELK, the place was sweetly transformed for the evening!  Click here to find out more about ELK.
* Terry Bethel and Kimneak Arnold of Uzuri Naturals, who provided us with their amazing beauty products for our IDI gift box.  Kim is also responsible for the photography for the evening.  To buy any of their amazing products go here.
* Karen Young of Hammocks and High Tea for her beautiful home decor additions to the gift box, as well as her tireless help on the days leading up to the event.  To purchase Karen's awesome textiles go here.
Our gift box sponsored by Uzuri Naturals and Hammocks & High Tea.  Sources: Uzurinaturals.com, hammocksandhightea.com
* Michael Campbell of 65 Fen for the lovely wines of the evening.  Your support was tremendous, the wines were delicious and we definitely need you all to visit his expertly curated selections in his shop in Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn.
Wines and wine tasting sponsored by 65 Fen.  Photo Credit: Kimneak Arnold
* Chef Jeremie Tomczak (pictured below) and Chef Kingsley John for the scrumptious gourmet appetizers and on-site prep.  Looking forward to future collaborations with you both.
Chef Jeremie Tomczak at center; Photo Credit: Kimneak Arnold
Finally, special mention to Wesley Daniels of 33 Woodwork, Stacy Burke and Tatiana Benton! For more images of our event, see our facebook page here!


Happy Sofa For Sale!

Refurbished antique settee for sale. 
We had fun putting this sofa together, hence our new name for it, the "Happy Sofa".  What was once a shell of something beautiful, has been transformed into a striking settee with a great sense of humor.  We used rich chenille Kravet fabrics to make a statement from any angle and the convenient double sided seat cushion gives it a new personality everytime it is flipped over.  The best part is that the sofa is for sale and we can't imagine why you or someone you know would not be happy to make this the statement in their home.  For further information contact us here.
Dimensions: 78"L x 36"D x 34"H

Seeking Marketing Intern for our Design Studio!

Our new studio look!
It's growth time again and we are looking for an amazing intern to round out the Ishka Designs team.  We have a very laid back spirit at IDI, but don't let that fool you.  We work hard and are results-oriented.  In addition, our newly revamped studio boasts of flexibility and efficiency, which means we have got to fill it with a hard working, creative minded and independent spirit.  Our major need right now is for an intern who will handle most of our day to day marketing and communication efforts with the potential for design assisting at all levels...yep, we may need you to lift a hammer or two.  We have several clearly defined goals that need tackling and we need just the right person to make this happen.  The position is perfect for the following:

1. A final year student or recent graduate with a concentration in marketing and/or communications and a strong interest in interior design.
2. A final year design student or recent graduate with great inter-personal skills, an outgoing nature and a "go get 'em" attitude.  Experience in sales, excellent writing skills and ability to communicate effectively through various media is a huge plus.
3. If you have a background in business development, marketing and sales and have a passion for interior design, we would love to hear from you.

Two days a week with flexible schedule to start.  Commuting costs and lunch provided.  This is an unpaid internship, however, if the fit is right we will consider employment beyond 6 months.

If you meet the above criteria, and would like to immerse yourself in a creative environment with two talented and driven designers with an exciting future ahead, we would love to hear from you.  Send your resume and cover letter "here".
We love green :) A close-up of the color section.
Ishka Designs is a 5 year old Brooklyn-based interior design firm that creates efficiently beautiful interiors for residential and commercial clients.  Our team consists of Anishka Clarke, lead designer and Niya Bascom, creative photographer.  We were recently put on the 2012 Top 20 African-American Interior Designers' list and our work has been published in various print and online magazines in the US.  Visit our website and blog for more details. 

5 Years + Diversity

We have exciting news today.  First off, it's our 5 year anniversary!!! 5 YEARS...kinda incredible.  If we were not travelling for work these days we would've invested some time and effort in a big celebration party.  It's possibly not too late, so stay tuned :)
Niya and Anishka at the opening of Elberta Restaurant, our latest restaurant project!
Secondly, we are excited that Ishka Designs will be one of 5 featured panelists on the prestigious American Society of Interior Designer's "Diversity in Design" symposium right here in NYC.  We are definitely advocates for diversity and are honoured to be a part of this panel with other amazing designers.  If you are in NYC and have the time, we would love your support at the event.  Feel free to share the invite with others too, it will be an engaging evening. See flyer for details:

Last but not least, we have a few exciting updates coming soon.  Be on the look out!

idi team

On being Patient.

Photo credit: Niya Bascom Photography | Food Styling: Ishka Designs | Delightful Flavor photoshoot

"Patience is a most necessary qualification for business; many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request." ~ Lord Chesterfield

If you've sat in front of us of late and had a discussion about business, or life for that matter, one word may likely have come up.  Patience.  Or more like the practice of it.  The "take deep breaths", "all will be well", "nothing before its time" kind of patience that every business owner must possess.  And that has been our month in general.  Uhmmmm, probably more like the past few months.  Though we were wrapped up in a flurry of execution towards the end of 2011, we hardly noticed until now just how much of that time was spent being patient.

"Patience is also a form of action" ~Auguste Rodin

And what else we've noticed Mr. Rodin, is that  STRATEGY goes hand in hand with PATIENCE.  This is not the "sit back and wait" kind of patience.  Nope.  It's more like "the goals have been set", "the strategy is evolving" and "the tireless bleed us til we dry execution is ongoing" that leads to the kind of patience we are exercising.  That said, this month has sounded a bit like this: proposal after proposal writing, conversation after conversation over drinks and/or brunch, scheduling this call and that meeting, and just a whole lot of extra efforts and new business tactics designed to get us closer to our long-term goals.  And all this while still working on existing projects...deep breath in and slowly exhale out...

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

And the mental exercise is paying off.  While it comes with even more sacrifice, the rewards continue to prove that the wait is SOOOOO worth it.  We are choosing not to divulge most of what's on our plate, being superstitious that way, but we can say that we see travel and more potential for exposure in our future.  As things become a foregone conclusion, we promise to keep you in the loop on the blog.  Your turn to be patient :)

Speaking of patien(ts), we were not without progress on all projects including the start of the transformation of the exterior of that medical facility.  Saying bye to that wonderful beer wholesale "art".  In the meantime, we had some fun with cupcakes this month (see first image above).  A nice reprieve from interior design.
Job site as it was at the beginning.  Photo credit: Niya Bascom Photography
B-side in progress.  Niya Bascom Photography.
Cafeteria Chairs - stackable, affordable and small.  Niya Bascom Photography.
An aside: we've decided that our blog posts are going to be monthly for now.  A commitment we feel we can handle.  So 'til next month!


Pushing the envelope, 2012

Ok. We've been a tad delinquent these past few months. What started out as an excuse to get from behind the computer everyday all day, fast became a great habit forming ritual - nights out with the girls, the guys and then some.  It then got pretty busy for a while and blogging just didn't seem to be a priority anymore.  But alas we could not close out 2011 without reconnecting with all of you who have helped us get to where we are now: confident in 2012.

So just because we've been silent doesn't mean things haven't been happening.  We commenced this Park Slope, Brooklyn project in 2009 with a bathroom gut renovation (see story here).  This very long-term project has finally been completed. Finally! Hooray *doing a happy dance*.  Our client was a very patient one, choosing to execute phases over time all the while growing to understand her space and how she functions in it before making any firm commitments.  We are just as happy that it is completed as we are with the final result, so much so that we went about the photo shoot slightly differently.  One of those differences included producing a coffee table book to show off to all and sundry willing to give us their eyes and ears.  Here's a sneak peak:
Sneak Peak 1. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography; Styling assistance: Sana Keefer
Sneak Peak 2. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography; Styling assistance: Sana Keefer
As most of you blog readers are aware, we finished a year long home renovation in Gerritsen beach, Brooklyn for an amazing 5 member family.  Read all about it here.  They were great to work with and we so look forward to working on that vacation property they promise to get and have us design for them!
Gerritsen Beach kitchen renovated. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography
We successfully completed a cellar renovation for a couple in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn and promptly began work on their entire parlor level including overseeing the refurbishing of the brownstone's front door.  We started to show you in progress images (read here) but pulled back for no real reason really.  While the cellar is now complete, we will only show an in-progress image of the newly reformed space as we plan to do a grand reveal when all accessories are in place and more of the house is complete.
Cellar Before. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography
Cellar in-progress. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography
To round out the year of comprehensive projects, we began work in May on a medical/health and wellness facility build-out. The project was already underway with permits, plumbing and walls in place. We were brought in just in time to conceive of a concept that tied into their holistic/wellness approach and to work on all fixtures and finishes, furnishing selection and placement, bathroom designs and custom millwork in all the common and staff areas.  We also played a hand in branding development for the client which we are quite excited about.  Frankly we are amazed at the project and are so happy to be involved in something that will hopefully be a major contributor to the neighbourhood long-term.  Part of the facility is currently open functioning at just above the basic level while waiting for finishing touches to be put in place.  Phases 2 and 3 are still ongoing (including the façade, which we are working on).  It is the expectation that the official launch will happen by the beginning of the 2nd quarter of 2012.
In Progress.
Of note this year was the fact that we got to do some interesting collaborations while strengthening up relationships new and old.  Special mention goes out to 33 Woodwork, Sana Keefer of Pip & Estella, Malene Barnett, Snug Furniture, The Sweeten, The Blue Griffin, D. Bryant Archie, Jhamal Ince, Sankofa Law firm and Karen Young.  We also met some amazing local artisans that we are dying to work with in the near future, including Hugo McCloud Designs and Kat Flower.

It's been a good year for us with respect to press coverage.  We ended the year with a print feature in Panache Jamaica magazine, but who can forget our 12-page spread in Rue magazine, our write up in Munaluchi Bride and feature in Prominence magazine.  We got lots of blog love too for which we are eternally grateful (special mention to From Me To You who captured our mugs below) and we look forward to more features in the printed and virtual presses in the coming year!
Our portrait by Jamie Beck, From Me To You
We started out 2011 contemplating production possibilities and where that road can lead us.  We kept the eye on the prize and we are that much closer to realizing our design-build dreams.  We've continued to research opportunities for production while producing one-off custom designed furnishings for our projects.  We are steadily building our stock pile and look forward to that day when we can say "Why yes! We do have our own line."

Having had time to reflect on our accomplishiments in 2011 we eagerly look towards 2012 for what we feel is our "buss-weh" year.  For the non-Jamaicans, that just means 2012 will be our year for super successes.  Of course, we know we have a lot of work left to do.  So we continue to push on, following our guts and taking more and more risk daily.  All this so that in 5 years time (thus making it 10 total) we can finally become that "overnight success" story.  Or perhaps in 2 (for a total of 7).  Can't hurt to push the envelope.

All the best in 2012!

idi team

More Pillow Talk

If you saw our previous post "my pretties", you would realize that we are currently in accessory mode.  We have been amassing ideas for on-going projects these past few weeks while simultaneously prepping for an upcoming photoshoot.  I tend to default to the tear sheets and cards hanging around on my desk, and I remember these beautiful pillows by Brooklyn based textile company, Aviva Stanoff, on our walk-through of the Architectural Digest Show last month.  I am really drawn to the technique and the beauty of these textured textiles.  The company employs an interesting process by pressing real materials (feathers, leaves, etc.) into the fabrics, each done individually by hand using beautiful silks as the base.  I remember running my hand over the impressions on the pillows and was sold.  Click here for more images from the wonderful Aviva Stanoff.

All images from avivastanoff.com
Thought the styling of the pillows to be quite beautiful too.  Can't wait to see these in person again.  I love Brooklyn!

Tell Your Story

Anishka & mom. Photo by Niya Bascom Photography
Yesterday was a long day, less about work for a change and more focused on family.  I spent most of it in Long Island, half the day killing time at the immigration office and the other half trying not to get lost amongst the gorgeous homes in the suburbs.  Eventually made it back to Brooklyn in time for drinks in Tribeca at the stylishly simplistic bar, Weather Up, joined by mom, NB and our new friend, colleague and excellent personal stylist, Kalyn Johnson.  Check out her site when you have a chance, we have a lot in common!
Weather Up. Not pictured here but had me very intrigued was the ram's head taxidermy juxtaposed against the clean white walls of the restaurant. Photo source: nybarfly.com; Credit: The Gothamist
Starved, we eventually wandered past the beautiful court houses of downtown Manhattan to grab a late night meal at our favourite Chinatown restaurant nestled comfortably between several bail bond offices.  Yes, with all the excursions around NY and the glaring differences of our destinations, the irony of ending up at our guilty indulgence in gritty Chinatown was quite interesting.
Chinatown. Niya Bascom Photography
Even more interesting was happening upon this pop-up booth sitting quietly in the middle of Foley Square, opposite the Supreme Court building.  Besides my ongoing fascination with pop-up shops and booths, the words sprawled across its glass walls really spoke to me...

love this.
write our own history.
So powerful!  The booth belongs to the Story Corps organization, and was originally located at the WTC path station in 2005.  Ok...so why am I only now seeing this???  Anyhow, the organization is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives.  Such a great idea to have the actual people record their own history as opposed to someone else's interpretation of it.  Even more interesting is that our day began and ended with the same context in mind...from the journey to the Long Island immigration office and ending up in one of the largest ethnic neighbourhoods in New York City.  Beyond that my journey really began in India and Africa, through the Caribbean and ending up here.  We all have a story to tell about who we are and where we came from...
Photo: Niya Bascom Photography
anishka for idi

Orley & Shabahang: AD Home Show 2011

Images sourced from: shabahangcarpets.com 
I turned the corner and fell in love.  Some of the persian rugs hanging from the walls were unlike anything I'd seen before.  The designs were graphic, bold and the colorways so harmonious.  Half of the Orley & Shabahang team was on hand to give us a historical perspective on the company and their process.  And if that was not enough to convince you that these were indeed exquisite works of art, then the coffee table bound look book would've done it.

(L) image source: shabahangcarpets.com (center and right) images on display at AD Show: Niya Bascom Photography
Even more breathtaking were a few of the pieces that looked richly coloured but were actually combinations of the natural colours of the sheep's wool.  Given the incredibly soft hand from 100% sheep's wool and the palatable price point, I look forward to working with this manufacturer in the near future.
No dye carpets. (L) image: shabahangcarpets.com (R) on display at AD Show 2011, photo by Niya Bascom Photography

Functional Art Part 2: AD Home Show 2011

Nick Davis exhibit at ADShow2011; photo: NiyaBascom Photography
Once upon a time I was fascinated with feet.  A dancer thing?  I don't know.  Odd or not, I found them to be quite intriguing.  All shapes and sizes.  Of course, my favourite were those of my nephew, but then again all of him is still my favourite.  NB has borne witness to my obsession and even once suggested I exhibit the photographs that I had amassed over several months.  We even came up with how I would exhibit them...I just needed to do it.  I've since grown out of this odd fetish, sort of...so when I turned the corner at the trade show and saw this amazing spectacle it brought a huge smile to my face and an incredulous one to NB's.
photo: NiyaBascom Photography
Nick Davis, the amazing artist behind The Foundry, told us in our mini discussion about his own fascination with feet and hands.  As an artist he constantly draws them, which I guess evolved into sculpting these awesome pieces.  Fascinating.  As I glimpsed one of the hands holding up a coat, I couldn't help wonder about their functional purpose in the interior environment.  For me, these bronze sculptures would be ideal in a retail space...and then again, just as at home in someone's flat.  What do you think?
photo: NiyaBascom Photography
BTW, my idea for the exhibit of my feet photos?  Let's just say Nick's presentation comes awfully close to it.  Different medium, same premise :)

Functional Art Part 1: AD Home Show 2011

That's it.  I am definitely a glutton for punishment.  I am the one who always falls in love when there is no hope of reciprocation.  I mean, how can a piece of furniture or a finely worked sculpture love you back?  While I silently ponder my own selfish needs for reciprocity, let me simultaneously introduce you to the work of Palo Samko displayed at the Architectural Digest Show here in NYC this past weekend.
left: Palo Samko Display at ADShow2011, photo by NiyaBascom Photography | nightstand; source: palosamko.com
Definitely not new to the scene, Brooklyn-based "woodworker", as Palo Samko calls himself (we call him artist) works out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard creating furniture that have an extra-ordinary attention to detail not always present in contemporary pieces.  The beauty of Palo Samko's work is really in the finishing touches.  From an interestingly modern take on a turned leg to the metal or leather pulls on his cabinets and lamps, his designs are well considered and appropriately stunning.  Whymsical too - take the "time machine" scene sunk into the massive dining table on display at the show or the juxtaposition of a teeny tiny sculpted chair beside his beautiful wood desk with a metal encased leg.  Needless to say his work is inspiring to me and definitely worthy of being called art.  I would love to own (oops, there's that word again) and/or specify Mr. Samko's pieces for a project and I look forward to either day.
Shepherd Table; source: palosamko.com
Compass Table; source: palosamko.com
left: Palo Samko sculpture, palosamko.com | right: Palo Samko clocks on display at AD Show, photo: NiyaBascom Photography
Breakfast table; source: palosamko.com | Rosewood Credenza; source: palosamko.com
Check out more of his work here.  So am I right to be in love?


G.I.N. Designs inspires

Forgive me, I'm still in a fashion week state of mind.  But I'll get to that in a minute.  When we recently got an invitation to a colleague's exhibit at the Design Within Reach Brooklyn showroom, we were inspired to post about his work.  We first met artist Orlando Dominguez at last year's Architectural Digest Home Show, where he was primarily showcasing his sculptures under the G-I-N Designs label.  Amongst the pieces on display was a stand out neon yellow re-finished armchair that we could only describe as punk!  A few months later we visited a pop-up shop in the LES where yet another re-upholstered beauty was on display.  This one, funky!  So we were more than eager to check out the collaboration at DWR.  The few chairs on display looked fantastic in the showroom juxtaposed against the store's typical clean modern lines.  The exhibit got us thinking about a few of those fall runways.  So to round up my fashion meets furniture series, I did a bit of juxtaposition myself taking inspiration from the colour blocking and fabric selection of Mr. Dominguez.
Our favourite piece in the exhibit, www.ginartdesign.com
The stand out selection on our favourite G-I-N chair is the mustard animal hide fabric.  The textured nature brings the piece to life and reminds me of the gorgeous fabrics of Suno and Doru Olowu this season.  And of course the blues, aquas and icy tones of the chair definitely mimic the hues found in Gucci, Diane von Furstenberg and Prada.  Love it!
From top left: 1. G-I-N chair, www.ginartdesign.com 2. Suno fall 2011, nytimes.com 3. Gucci, nytimes.com 4. Doru Olowu, nytimes.com 5. & 6. Diane von Furstenberg, nytimes.com 7. Prada, nytimes.com and 8. Suno again, nytimes.com
Fuschia meets green and animal hide in the most interesting way in the more feminine complement to our blue favourite.
The pink, www.ginartdesign.com
The pink chair definitely had a more electric feel, which found me pulling on Bibhu Mohapatra's funky evening wear and Prada's sleek animal skin coat.  The eclectic nature of the colour combo took me back to the on target pattern mixes of Doru Olowu and Suno.  It's interesting what can happen when you tone down fuschia, as is the case of the more earthy palettes of Dior, Gucci and Peter Pilotto.  It made me wonder what would happen if we just threw a deep purple throw on this funky chair.
From top left: 1. Pink chair, www.ginartdesign.com 2. Prada, nytimes.com 3. Bibhu Mohapatra, nytimes.com 4. Gucci, nytimes.com 5. Doru Olowu, nytimes.com 6. & 7. Dior, nytimes.com 8. Peter Pilotto, nytimes.com 9. Suno, nytimes.com
It really is interesting how items, whether furniture, textiles or fittings can lead us down different paths of artistic expression.  We are truly motivated by the fabrics, textures, and colours of the fall 2011 season and will be keeping a lot of this on the inspiration board for upcoming projects.  Hope you were able to find inspiration from ours...


be s"TEAL" my heart

Last week we were crushing on red, today our hearts have been stolen by TEAL.  And so what if it was soooo 2010, I really can't get enough thanks to Gucci's fall collection below:
Teal never looked so good as in the Fall 2011 collection for Gucci. Combined with olive green, sky blue, and navy, teal is to-die-for. These colors would make one hot-to-death interior palette.
Source: Catwalking photography for NY Times
and some other really beautiful inspired finds in all ranges of teal...
From top left 1. Gucci Fall 2011 2. we adore this teal chinoiserie wallpaper, as seen on designsponge.com 3. glass tile, glasstilehome.com 4. deer damask wallpaper, wallpapercollective.com 5. jade drum stool, mecoxgardens.com 6. english glass lamps, 1stdibs.com 7. olive green ottoman, jonathanadler.com 8. david flower 2 wallpaper, anna-hill.co.uk 9. bugs and butterflies wallpaper, wallpapercollective.com
The Gucci collection wasn't all about teal, there were some other fab colour combos too including plums, rusts, and mustards, all of which have got our juices flowing.  This collection is on our inspiration board, in our heads, and hopefully in our next designs...has it inspired you?


Crushing on Red from Fall and elsewhere

I don't usually go for red but I've been struck by the fabulousness of the color of late.  I am currently itching to specify these GORGEOUS pieces from twitter friend Kathe Fraga and 1st Dibs...
Kalena by Kathe Fraga (source: www.kathefraga.com)
Joyful Garden by Kathe Fraga
Red end tables from 1st Dibs (if only they could work in my space!!!)
Source: www.1stdibs.com
red lacquered table found on 1st dibs
and to wear these numbers from Marchesa, Prabal Gurung, BCBG Max Azria, and Y-3...
So in love! Marchesa F2011
source: catwalking photography NY Times
Marchesa just beautiful! And the shoes...
More Marchesa gorgeousness
Prabal Gurung Fall2011
Source: catwalking photography for NY Times
Same dress back view top right.
A great transition piece from BCBG Max Azria: summer (minus the turtleneck and paired with some rugged sandals) to this look for fall
Source: catwalking photography for NY Times 
Structured but loose - BCBG Max Azria Fall 2011
Y-3 Fall 2011
Source: catwalking photography for NY Times
So red and it's accents of pink, black, and turquoise are definitely inspiring me.  Can you say the same?


How Cute!

Call me silly, but I am fascinated by this naїf portraiture rug from CB2 called Doce Caras (12 faces).  At first glance they kinda look angry, but they are really grinning.  Dying!  Anyhow, according to the website the rug is part of a collaboration between furniture retailer CB2 and San Francisco's Creativity Explored, a non-profit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art.  This rug was designed by Pablo Calderon from El Salvador.  Now isn't this the most adorable rug ever?
source: www.cb2.com

source: www.cb2.com

Work got in the way: NYIGF Part 2

So I completely missed out on the Pier 94 section of the New York International Gift Fair.  Totally bummed about it :(  But alas, the year is young and there are quite a few more trade shows to go.  I did manage to get a whole 20 minutes more in at the Javits center.  I recalled from the previous day spent that there were a couple of really cute nursery stuff I'd seen but had not explored.  And since I am expecting my first niece (got you there didn't I??? LOL) and was recently asked about the possibility of doing a nursery I thought I'd revisit that section again.  The stand out for me was the eco-friendly line of Merben International.  Beautiful eco-friendly materials such as felt are used to create beautiful rugs, blankets cushions and toys for the little ones.  My favorites were the super soft felt rug, the piglets made from left-over mama pig fabric and the toolbox  .
a soft and FUN experience for any little one!
piglets made from fabric of left over mama pig!
Tools and tool box made of felt! There was a saw, wrench...and the tool box can be used to carry other items too...so cute.
Another interesting find, more so for the metal craftsmanship, was These Creatures.  While I only captured this beautiful feeding station, there were other interesting things happening in the booth and on their website, including retail store fixtures and custom furniture capability.  Check them out.
great addition to the home of any decor sensitive pet owner
And that's it :(  I promise...more to come later this year when I visit Brooklyn Designs, AD Home Show and ICFF.


Fashion Fair Inspiration: Celebrating Eunice Johnson

source: www.ebonyjet.com
I had just caught the bus at Herald Square late yesterday afternoon.  I was in a mad rush to try and catch the last of the New York International Gift Fair at the Javits Center after a day of meetings, phone calls, emails, and site inspections.  As we took off down 34th Street, seating myself on the Macy's side of the bus, something caught my attention.  Well maybe I should re-phrase... something jolted me into a reaction akin to those "eureka!" moments best left for the likes of geniuses and such.  Ok, so I am not about to tell you that I discovered the cure for cancer or anything dramatic like that.  A lot simpler and a bit shallow, if I must really admit it, but if you are a visual person and fashion yourself an artist, you may understand what I am about to say.  What I saw in the Macy's display window so vividly grabbed my attention that for the next 10 minutes or so on the bus I was literally caught up in an amazing dream-like experience (I suppose you'd call it an inspirational wave of sorts).  So what caught my attention you ask?  Well, this little beauty I say:
mine...all mine!!!
Isn't she divine?!?  Well I sure thought so...so much so that I began to envision myself getting ready to walk down the aisle, the red carpet, you name it, with my hair piled high on my head, make-up done to a tee by Petra Alexander, and just well you know...having a moment.  A helluva one!
source: www.petraalexander.com
Anyhow, after catching about 20 minutes at the Javits, missing Pier 94 altogether (more on that), I decided I needed to head back over to Macy's to investigate the stunner.  I mean, this dress just had to be mine no matter what.  Dying with excitement and anticipation I walk up to the window, calculating how many projects I need to work on to pay off for the dress, and there in small print reads the words "archived collection".  Disappointed?  To say the least.  Feeling slighted?  Not at all.  As disappointment dissipated I realized I was discovering something wonderful: Eunice Johnson.  Co-founder of Ebony and Jet magazines, creater of Fashion Fair cosmetics (which I probably never used) and it's namesake, the Fashion Fair travelling show.  Read more about Eunice Johnson in the New York Times and at Ebony magazine.  A fashion and media-icon, trail blazer, and a definite inspiration to female entrepreneurs.  
exquisite detailing on the bodice and skirt 
my second favourite!  stunning orange applique with sheer inserts...can you say HOTTTTT!!!!!!!!
in love.
It's black history month here in the United States.  Who are you celebrating?