Shop Small Saturday: Minted Spaces

     That's right! This week I'm featuring my own company. The reasoning is two-fold. First off, it's wedding week for us. I simply lost track of time and didn't line anyone else up. Hint hint wink wink, if you want to be featured, please contact me! Secondly, something pretty cool happened last week and it was a testament to why you should be hiring local small companies when trying to sell your house. 

 

 

      We staged a home in North Raleigh a couple of weeks ago. It had been vacant while on the market for 55 days before the realtor and home owner decided to invest in home staging. It is a seller's market here in the Triangle! At least that's what all the realtors are shouting from the rooftops. And it is true! So then why should a house sit on the market for 55 days? 

 

 

     The answer? Without furnishings, it can be difficult for a viewer to tell which room is what. Even I as a home stager had the blue prints of this particular home sent to me because I could not tell from the listing which was the living room and which was the dining room. That's a problem! Most potential buyers are not going to go through that much trouble. Especially if the next home they look at online is beautifully laid out and furnished.

 

 

     Ok, so it's day 55 and we come in and stage it. Keep in mind that I typically do minimal staging as I largely work with those on a budget. It really is a sellers market and homes don't need too much. Mostly viewers just need to be able to tell what a room is used for and how their furniture may fit in a space.

 

 

   On day 60 I get an email stating that they are under contract! I'm sure the homeowner is glad they decided to invest in staging for a couple of weeks rather than a price cut! Moral of the story? Home staging works and can still be necessary even in a sellers market. I absolutely love stories like these, almost as much as I love saving my clients from a price cut!  

 

    We have more projects on the docks! I'm excited to see some more great results! 

What's Up Wednesdays: Watts & Ward

     Welcome to my newest blogging series, "What's Up Wednesdays!" This will largely be bi-weekly musings either about local RDU happenings or design trends. It should be no secret by now that I love both my city and home decor! 

 

     I'm kicking off this series with a new speakeasy in downtown Raleigh. Alvin and I spent much of our first year's dates in an underground speakeasy so I'm sure you can understand our excitement when a new one opened up! This entire space has a warm den feel to it. It's laid back while maintaining excellent service and delicious drinks served directly to your table. 

 

 

     Of course, I loved the furnishings and decor! There are tufted couches, leather club chairs, and a library room. Oh! And tin tiles on the walls and ceilings! It was beautiful. Unfortunately it was dark when we went, so you'll largely just need to trust me on this one. Check out their website here to see for yourself.

 

 

     I enjoyed the Carolina Lily, a bubbly based cocktail. It was superb! Alvin had a whiskey based drink that I can't remember the name of. I don't normally like whiskey but his drink was quite tasty as well. I won't be hungry when we leave the house, but it never fails that by the time we sit down for drinks I'll be ravenous. Luckily, Watts & Ward has small plates to enjoy. I'm vegetarian so I had the caprese skewers, which were SO good. Alvin wasn't hungry, so he didn't order any of the other options but I'm sure they would have been equally as good. 

     Don't worry, we'll be back soon to test this out for you ; ). Seriously though, this speakeasy quickly landed a spot on our "regularly visit" list! Y'all should check it out! 

 

Shop Small Saturday: Raleigh Calligraphy

"My creative hobby unexpectedly turned into a little business, and Raleigh Calligraphy & Design was born."

     I never really saw myself featuring a calligrapher on this series because I wanted to keep it in line with home goods and products. When I think of calligraphy, I think of envelopes and maybe really well written letters. Boy did Tiffany's account prove me wrong! Her framed prints stopped me in my tracks! I immediately reached out to learn more about her and her business, Raleigh Calligraphy. 

 

     Tiffany and I had actually worked together on the lemon brunch styled shoot. Her work was impeccable, so I was surprised to learn that this was a relatively new venture for her. She says, "Trying my hand at calligraphy had always been on my creative bucket list, and three years ago I pick up a nib pen." Love it! Anyone else have a creative bucket list? She and her husband welcomed their first baby in 2014. When Tiffany decided to leave her job and stay home with the little one, she found some spare time during naps.

 

Photo by  Kelsey Nelson

Photo by Kelsey Nelson

     Tiffany used her free time wisely when she decided to use her newfound calligraphy skills to help out with a wedding. Then she did another wedding and slowly the referrals started to roll in. As she puts it, "My creative hobby unexpectedly turned into a little business and Raleigh Calligraphy & Design was born." I adore hearing about such serendipitous events! Since then, she has expanded her business to include invitation design, stationary, art prints, and a small selection of home goods. On top of all that, she does a lot of custom work for weddings, businesses, and even state agencies lettering certificates! Seriously, she's mompreneur goals! 

 

      Raleigh Calligraphy stands out from the crowd as it features original designs and includes various mediums such as calligraphy, photography and watercolors. Tiffany loves beautiful, simple designs and strive to create a balance between typography and design. Gorgeous blooms and lush greenery are a repeating pattern in her work. I'm a big fan of travel and our connections to others so I especially love how Tiffany keeps up with her connection to her clients. She says, "It’s so inspiring to think of all the places and people around the world that encounter my designs. I actually keep a map of the world in my studio and mark off a new section each time I get an order from a new place. I love getting an order from an obscure place on the globe- that will never get old!" 

 

 

    How great is it that our little creative businesses can connect us to so many different people and places! She's growing her business to reach even more people by recently launching a line of wedding invitations suites. Tiffany loves the process of designing packages tailored to fit different wedding themes.

 

    If you're now as in love with her work as I am, you can purchase products, book calligraphy services or order a custom piece on her website here. After you're finished with your order, you should enter our giveaway! Enter for your chance to win the "It was always you" print that you see in the first photo! Go to our giveaway page to enter! Giveaway runs through Wednesday. The winner will be announce Thursday, May 11th. Good luck! 

 

 

Shop Small Saturday: Shelby Dillon Studio

     Y'all! I have been anxiously awaiting this feature! I adore Shelby's work! It doesn't hurt that she's also super fun to work with. We met through our local Rising Tide chapter and began collaborating on a styled shoot to showcase some of her work. She recently moved here after a stint in Singapore, then Brazil and wanted to be seen more locally. Reaching out to local business groups is such a great way to connect with others. Both for collaborations but also for community and friendship. 

  

photo by  kelsey nelson

 

     Singapore is actually where she got started in her painting. They moved for her husband's job, so she started painting and selling commissions. Art is such a great outlet. This business is an evolution of that background as all of her art is rooted and inspired by their travels while they lived overseas. You can especially see this in some of her fabulous collections such as the Chiang Mai and Azulejo collections. I love seeing how broadening our horizons changes and inspires us in so many different ways. 

 

Photo by  kelsey nelson

Photo by kelsey nelson

 

     Much of her inspiration comes from warm weather and tropical climates. Looking through the Shelby Dillon Studio website gives me the travel bug! To quote Shelby, "We lived on the equator for almost a decade! Beaches and jungles feature prominently in my work.".  I absolutely adore how this inspiration shines in the collection she created for the styled shoot, titled Limoncello. This collection gave me all the summer vibes! 

 

photo by  kelsey nelson

photo by kelsey nelson

 

     Shelby loves exotic places and new experiences. Learning about other people and cultures is one of her passions. If you would like to be inspired by some new products, head over to the website! These works and home goods are only available through the site. That way they can give their clients the best possible experience and the highest quality at a reasonable price. You'll find some great things like art prints, make-up bags, bar cart trays, and pillows. All of these products feature art created by Shelby. 

     I also highly recommend checking out their Instagram page! They're hosting a giveaway in honor of an upcoming fine art launch

     

      What are your favorite Shelby Dillon products? We'd love to know! 

Shop Small Saturday: Daniel Laffey Art

     This feature is near and dear to me. Danny was one of the first people outside of my family, who believed in my staging. He offered a collaboration, my first, and it has worked out so well! You'll probably recognize some of his pieces from our stagings but I am happy to introduce you to the man behind the art! 

One of our favorites. What do you see? Alvin and i each see something different.

One of our favorites. What do you see? Alvin and i each see something different.

     Danny got started in art relatively late, having no formal training. It's one of those things he had become interested in and wanted to try himself. I think many of us can relate to this! How many of us have taken a craft class to learn a new skill? He says once he got started, he never stopped. It's this passion, that you can really feel in his works. To quote Danny himself, "It was really something that just came out of nowhere and certainly something that I never expected to be doing.". Raise your hand if you, too, could have said this about your life! So relatable!

 

     For Daniel, art is a way of expression. He doesn't worry about the competition or being a stand-out. His focus is staying true to himself and what inspires him. I love this! It can be so easy to get swept up in a competitive nature and lose sight of why you got started in the first place. He still hopes his works are unique in their own way of course, as we all hope we are unique. He also hopes others find inspiration in his paintings, and strives to create consistent bodies of work.

 

 

     He is trying very hard not to get caught up in the business of art.  Painting is something that brings him happiness and peace, and he hopes will always do so.  At the same time, he has a desire to get his work exposed and hopefully into the homes of people who enjoy it and appreciate it in some way. Ultimately, it is about staying inspired, even if it means making less work at times.  This year he has a goal to create some larger paintings in a small series. I personally can't wait to see it!

     His inspiration comes from the need to express himself.  Behind all of his work, there is emotion. I love how art expresses emotion but also how everyone interprets it differently. Alvin and I both love the first painting in this post, but we see different things in it. I love this quote from Daniel about his art, "It is a way to create a narrative about an event or a feeling or a place I had been.". 

 

 

     If you're interested in seeing more of this narrative and gaining some inspiration of your own, you can follow Danny on Instagram here. If you'd like some inspiration for your home, Danny is represented by Bluestone Fine Art in Philadelphia and Dolphin and Hawk Contemporary in Los Angeles.  You can purchase his work from the galleries or contact him directly for any commission inquiries.