Behind The Design: Laveer + Lacquer

I am SO excited to share the story Behind The Design of my good friend Shannon’s up and coming business, Laveer + Lacquer! With a passion for trays and pom-poms, and all things interior design, Shannon decided to launch LV + LQ in 2014, and she hasn’t missed a beat since! With careful attention to detail, LV + LQ’s trays come in a variety of vinyl colors, ranging from matte to gloss. Read on to learn how it all started!

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TheBelleMelon: Why did you decide to start your own business?

LV + LQ: I have always been an entrepreneur at heart, ever since I was a little girl selling lemonade and hand painted rocks (yes ROCKS) in my parent’s driveway. I think it is just the rush of adrenaline I get when I am brainstorming ideas and using my creativity to design products I can share with others. I had a lot of people asking me how much my trays were and how they could order one and it just clicked. I suppose that is when I really knew this was going to have to happen whether I was ready or not, and I cannot be more thrilled!

TheBelleMelon: How did you define what LV + LQ would be?

LV + LQ: I knew I wanted to showcase my trays. That was number one in the business plan. I wanted to design one of kind trays that could be multi-functional for all kinds of people. My love of interior design came next and it only seemed natural to incorporate that into LV + LQ. I have often had friends and family reach out to ask me for help with their design needs and advice when it comes to decorating their homes. If I could combine my love of interior design and art with my passion for creating trays, why not? It is my very own niche and I am so happy to be bringing it to fruition.

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TheBelleMelon: What is the best piece of advise you were given when starting LV + LQ?

LV + LQ: To be true to myself and my creativity. My father has always told me that my creativity is a unique and special gift and I need to remember that no one can take that away from me.

TheBelleMelon: What has been the most challenging part of your business so far?

LV + LQ: I am a perfectionist. As you can imagine, this can be a problem when you are commissioned to create something for profit. I don’t want to disappoint and I have to remind myself that this is now more than a hobby, it is a carefully articulated craft that my customers are counting on me to execute. Fortunately, I have fabulous customers who know this is a creative process that takes time.

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TheBelleMelon: Who is your key customer?

LV + LQ: Our motto is “Exquisite trays for exquisite people”. There is no single key customer, rather the customer who appreciates the finer things in life. The attention to detail that goes into one of my trays, the thoughtfulness behind choosing what design the tray is going to flaunt, those are the type of customers I love working with.

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TheBelleMelon: Are all of your designs original, custom, or both?

LV + LQ: Probably one of my favorite things about my business is that I encourage my customers to partake in the creative process. I am here to help convey an idea but I love when customers participate and make suggestions. My designs range from custom to original ideas that have popped into my head. I think that is part of the fun, allowing myself and my customers to have literally a blank canvas and go with it. Anything is possible!

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TheBelleMelon: What time of day do you get your best ideas?

LV + LQ: I am definitely a night owl. There are some evenings I am up later than I should be because the ideas are flooding my mind. I always jump at the opportunity to jot down designs for the next day.

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TheBelleMelon: What has been your greatest success so far in starting LV + LQ?

LV + LQ: Without a doubt, the unbelievable amount of support and positivity from friends and family near and far. There is such a sense of pride and accomplishment that you get when you are doing what you love while so many people are backing you from the very beginning. It is very humbling.

TheBelleMelon: What have you learned NOT to do with your business?

LV + LQ: I have learned to not take things personally when receiving feedback. While it is my nature to automatically take everything I hear to heart, this has been such a wonderful learning process. It is no secret that once I get an idea in my head, there is no holding me back (which I largely credit for the conception of LV+LQ)! I have learned to not shut down to advice and suggestions I receive from others.

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TheBelleMelon: What is your favorite LV + LQ design?

LV + LQ: I am in love with our Warrenton tray design but as the saying goes, the best is yet to come. I am so excited to announce in a few weeks some new fun designs I have up my sleeve!

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Thank you so much Shannon! Now for a GIVEAWAY!!! Like this post via Instagram or Facebook, and ONE lucky winner will receive their very own Warrenton tray!! The winner will be picked at 10PM tonight, so hurry and let us know how much you love LV + LQ!

XOXO,
Ellen

Anatomy of a Store Window & How To Incorporate it In Your Home

As you all know, I am fortunate to work at a successful small business where I can utilize my creativity almost every single day. One of my favorite things about working at the store is when it’s time to change our window displays. I admit, sometimes the thought of it stresses me out when I don’t have enough time to brainstorm what we will feature in the store-front, but most of the time, it’s so much fun!

From the time I started working at Janet Brown Interiors, I have learned a lot about display and merchandising. Some key things I try to remember when creating a display are: repetition, grouping like with like, and scale. These three rules are so important to the customer’s eye and will peak their curiosity.

This is our current window, and I think it’s one of my favorites to date!

Easter Window 2015
This window was centered around the silk Forsythia flowers and all things Easter. Since the Forsythia was so tall, we wanted a substantial vase to showcase them in. We decided on that epic “barnacle” vase as I like to call it. For store windows, we try to pull out all the stops; feature our “couture” pieces on the runway if you will, and I think the acid green vase is the epitome of fashion.

The barnacle vase is also available in white and turquoise and could be a beautiful centerpiece on a dining room table or in a larger foyer.

Another one of my favorite windows was last year’s Holiday snow village window.

Winter Snow Scene

Customers and passer-byes went nuts over this window! Padded with a fresh layer of “snow”, the little houses dazzled and sparkled. Many customers bought the houses for their mantels, and some added a house or two to their own table-top snow village.

This window I believe was a transitional one from Spring into Summer. Most of our customers love bright colors, especially teal and coral. The pillows on the couch were made specifically for it, so it was easy to bring out the colors in the pillows through other accessories in the window.

Spring Window

The piece that got the most attention in this window was the little “cozy up” table with that spring green mug on it. I love it’s name, “cozy up” because it can literally be tucked in and around most chairs or sofas. The perfect place to enjoy your coffee or tea!

So there you have it! I hope this popped some ideas into all of your seasonal decorating heads 🙂 Questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you!

XOXO,
Ellen

The Friday 4

Hi there! I know it’s been a while, but honestly, the inspiration for me has just not sparked – but this afternoon I wanted to share a few things that I think you’ll want to go out and get this weekend, or stock up on thermal shirts for your toddler, you’ll see where I’m going with this below!

1. I was browsing around in one of my favorite local shops, The Shops at 5807, when I discovered this Ella B. hand-pured soy candle. Each candle’s scent is paired with a neighborhood or area in Richmond. I chose Monument Ave. With strong notes of pear and redwood, this definitely satisfied my craving for a new candle!

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2. I’ve been lusting over everything from Anthropologie’s Spring collection, especially how they portray it in this month’s catalog. They’ve got me day-dreaming of India…

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3. I love this little thermo camo shirt I picked up for my nephew!! He turns 1 today! His first year was like a blink of an eye.

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4. These bangles I also snatched up at 5807 at $1.00 each!! Makes me think of Summer concerts…

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Have a lovely weekend!

XOXO,
Ellen