Decorating with Dolly Pearl
Happy Tuesday! I wanted to share today with you my second love after designing clothing—decorating. I am obsessed with beautiful environments, and my tiny Greenwich Village apartment in New York City has been my side project since I moved here in April. My apartment is my place of work, where I enjoy cooking, and where I sleep, so it was super important to create an atmosphere that not only captured the Dolly Pearl essence, but was also calming, chic, and efficient. For me, decorating is always a work in progress—a slow process that is accumulation of the constant desire to be inspired through the search of finding the perfect pieces to decorate my life. I will never be “done” decorating. I get bored way too easily to ever be “done”.
My history in various areas of design and art have been hugely influential on my eye for design, but it was later in life that I really found my style. I love the now defunct Domino Magazine, Elle Decor, and I am a huge fan of Kelly Wearstler—a true artist, whose work has evolved tremendously.
Here are my tips for decorating a ‘Domino Mag-worthy’ space (Elle Decor—not quite there yet!):
-With decorating, you have to extremely resourceful. Furnishing can get very expensive. Spend your money on the important pieces (sofa, dining table, chairs, desk), and search for bargains in other areas (accessories, lamps, rugs, etc).
-My favorite go-to websites are West Elm, Z-Gallerie, CB2, Crate & Barrel, Gilt, 1 King’s Lane, Ballard Designs, and World Market. JC Penney has a great selection of inexpensive lamps, and Etsy is perfection for vintage mid-century and Hollywood regency style pieces (also, pillowcases, coffee tables, and vintage books and records). Overstock.com is a great way to find a good bargain on just about everything, but its always by chance with me!
-Start off with a color theme and work around that. Neutrals are always easy if you can’t decide, and you can add pops of colors later.
-The most important elements of design for me are color, texture, and scale. I would never put a small mirror or frame on a huge wall. That is one lonely mirror/frame! It gets lost in a sea of nothingness. The mirror would have to be enormous to complement the wall, or I would layer with a variety of sized frames, art, mirrors, or objects. Mixing over-sized, small, medium, and large pieces create interest in a space. For me, scale is the most important aspect of decorating and design. If you have a huge space, that space needs to be FILLED.
-Stay away from making your home look “crafty”. Making your home look like a DIY Pinterest project can end up just looking cheap or unsophisticated. A little goes a long way…
-Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone. You might surprise yourself! My Louis Ghost chairs with my farm style dining table turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me. I currently have simple wool felt chair pads on these chairs, but am thinking of adding some sheepskin pillow cases for that extra texture. Mixing styles also adds interest and whimsy. Don’t get stuck in one style (sigh, like a Jonathan Adler store). Mix, mix, mix!
-Have fun! Decorating shouldn’t be so serious! Never rush and buy a whole bunch of pieces from one place and make it look like a Pottery Barn or West Elm showroom. Decorating is a result of who you are at this point in life. Embrace who you are and let the creative juices flow.
How to Survive as a Small Business in a Big Business World
Greetings! I hope you have been having a beautiful and romantic summer. New York has had a very hot and humid summer, but I’ve been making the most of it! I recently read a post from a friend on Facebook about consumers being difficult on businesses via Yelp reviews, and I felt compelled to write a post that I hope inspires all small business owners who are trying to stay afloat among big dominating businesses.
I absolutely believe in everyone’s right to voice their opinion. It’s what is so great about living in this country—our right to free speech. I can, as a citizen of the United States of America, say whatever is on my mind without being punished for it. It is a right that I do not take for granted.
I come from a world of customer service—retail particularly. I have lived and breathed in this industry since I was a teenager. In this industry (as with most), the customer is always right. There are no if’s, and’s or butt’s about it. It is the business’ responsibility to assure that each and everyone of their customers are satisfied. This is how a company grows and thrives. As a consumer however, we have a responsibility as well. That responsibility is to be fair. When I see scathing reviews on businesses on Yelp, I cringe. Consumers are often aware of the fact that behind every negative experience lies multiple reasons that have lead up to that unfortunate circumstance. For example, you walk into a highly reviewed restaurant on a bad night. You receive extremely poor service, and this has ruined your dining experience. You go home, and you write a furious review, hoping to turn every potential customer away from this establishment. Think about this though: perhaps the server waiting on you was having a bad night. Maybe they are going through personal problems, which affects their ability to properly serve you. You have just written a review that has potentially turned away hundreds, or even thousands of potential customers from this business. If this was a chain restaurant, that review wouldn’t really affect the business. However, as a small business owner, I see the struggles and difficulties of running a small business. It is not easy. That review you’ve just written has not only affected that business, it could even shut down that business in the long run. It doesn’t make sense to be that vengeful that you would want to ruin someone’s life over a negative experience. Think about this before you write your next scathing review. My recommendation? Go straight to the source. Report to the highest form of management, or even the owner yourself. Express your displeasure. I am sure that the business would be understanding enough to rectify the situation so that it doesn’t affect their business. Understand how difficult it is to be a small business in a big business world. I implore you to be fair.
Coming from an industry of customer service, I understand how important it is as a small business owner for all of my customers to be happy. I do my absolute best to ensure this, but naturally there are hiccups along the way. With every business, I deal with difficult clients who have high big business expectations for a small business company. Not only am I in an industry that is demanding, but I work in an industry dominated by large companies that can afford to take a hit, whereas I am not. Dolly Pearl is a work in progress, and I am aware that it is a learning process. My advice to small business owners? Fall, and get back up again. Do your best to ensure that your clients are happy, and don’t allow one scathing review to bring you down. Work harder. You’ve worked this hard to get to where you are, and you know it’s not easy. Keep chasing the dream and keep climbing. I have my rainy days too, but I choose not to let the rain & clouds ruin my sunny disposition.
X & O
If you're planning your dream wedding, and are looking for creative and gorgeous dresses, accessories, details, and ideas, please check out my favorite e-glossy, Smitten Mag! LIKE Smitten on Facebook here!
Thank you again to everyone who voted for Dolly Pearl to qualify/be considered for a small business grant sponsored by Chase and Living Social. It’s so rewarding to see your family, friends, fans, clients, and even strangers go out of their way to support you and offer words of encouragement and kindness. I think that was the best part about the campaigning process. You work really hard, and it’s just so great to get that extra push from people who truly believe in you and believe in your work. I have to admit that I’m not entirely confident about my essay portion of the application process, but I can’t re-do it, so I’ll leave it up to luck and hope that my work will speak for the part of my essay that was not included. Everyone who wins this important grant deserves it, and one must realize that if you don’t win, then you just have to keep working harder and continue to carve your path to success. If it wasn’t meant to be, then you are meant for something greater—or something better is waiting for you down the road—you just have to be courageous enough to work and fight for it. Entering this contest made me realize how lucky I am to even have a small start up business loved by so many, and continuing to grow. It really re-energized me! (See? Always thinking positively and looking on the bright side). I love Dolly Pearl so much, and I foresee really great things in the near future.
To everyone who is chasing your dream: the opportunities are there—don’t wait around for them to find you. They don’t call it “chasing” your dream for nothing! Continue to perfect your craft, educate your self continuously, and most importantly, do not give up!
Dolly Pearl is trying to qualify for a small business grant in order to grow! In order to qualify, we must get 250 votes, so please help! It takes less than a minute, and is a 4 step process:
1. Click on this link - http://www.missionsmallbusiness.com
2. Log in and Support (via FB)
3. Type in Dolly Pearl and search (it should be in New York)
4. Click VOTE!
(Sponsored by Chase & Living Social)
When I was younger, I remember how important it was for me to be this social butterfly—meet as many new people as I could, make as many new friends as possible, be “popular”. Today, I’d rather stay at home and spend quality time with the ones who love me and know me best, rather than be out in a room full of strangers, “friends”, and phonies. Your priorities shift as you grow into the person you’re meant to be, but this is something I wish I had been taught earlier in life. The time you spend with your loved ones are the cherished memories you will be able to look back on if you are lucky enough to grow old. Don’t make the mistake of missing out on that and taking them for granted. Those memories are invaluable and those loved ones can’t be replaced. Don’t realize it when it’s too late.
Good or bad, the universe is always sending you little signs and messages. There is a reason for everything. Gather your strength, be brave, and keep going. Happy Monday!
Happy Monday! I know some of you are in need of inspiration, so I thought I’d share! I haven’t been on here in quite awhile—Dolly Pearl has been keeping me so busy, but I think about everyone who comes to my blog for inspiration everyday, and I wanted to wait until I thought of something really good to share.
One of my favorite things to do before going to bed (if I’m not entirely exhausted), is read Paulo Coelho’s blog. He has easily become my favorite author since The Alchemist, and I feel like his posts have the ability to truly transform the mind and heart. When I find something good, I’ll bookmark it on my Ipad, so that I can read it again when I am in need of inspiration, or so I can share with others.
This post is called ‘Inner Struggles’.
“I am always struggling with myself, but I am very optimistic in this sense. People are realizing more and more that happiness is freedom, and freedom is to be able to ‘travel light’, not possessing a lot of things, because at the end of the day, the things start to possess you…The less you have to keep, the more you have in freedom.”
Paulo ends the post with “…I believe that life tends to be very generous to those that are brave enough to take these risks.”
The amazing power of words, right?
I’m always envious of my friends who are able to drop everything and travel, even if they can’t afford it! Some of us are blessed, some of us, not so lucky—but traveling doesn’t mean you have to leave the country. You can hop onto another city nearby, take a roadtrip, go to a beach. It really is about the experience and the memories that we collect when we choose these adventures. Those are the “things” that have the ability to bring us pure joy. Of course having the perfect dress to travel in—icing on the cake :)
Have a fabulous week!
Hope you’re having an inspirational Monday! Here’s our Monday inspiration: fuchsia Ranunculas and vibrant Craspedias! Love this gorgeous color combo. Beautiful for a special event or wedding at any time of the year!
Short bridal dresses are in demand for modern day weddings, rehearsal dinners, and bridal showers. Introducing the Dolly Pearl ‘Elyse’ bridal dress, available soon in white, ivory, blush, and eggshell (shown). www.dollypearl.com.
A classic Dolly Pearl silhouette with our classic ruffle accent, and a lovely bow trim. Introducing the Dolly Pearl ‘Elisabeth’ dress. Available at www.dollypearl.com ❤
Loving this vintage inspired Dolly Pearl ‘Claire’ dress. Perfect in it’s simplicity and femininity. Available at www.dollypearl.com
You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try. — Dolly Parton