Dear Diva Readers,
Nest by Tamara which was one of the first blogs I started following online back in the beginning of the blogosphere. She frequently writes about antiques and how they influence her interior design. I’ve had the privilege of taking Tamara on an Antiques Diva Tour in Milan in conjunction with Blog Tour Milan by Modenus and am always happy to paint the town red with her when in New York!s a woman entrepreneur and blogger, I am fully aware of what it takes to start a business and then keep the momentum up. You have to truly love what you do in order to maintain an energy level that allows you to grow and expand your business. That’s why I’m always excited when girlfriends of mine are able to succeed in business! My friend Tamara Matthews Stephenson has a fabulous blog,
Tamara and her friend Susan Young have recently launched Root Cellar Designs, a fabulous custom textile company, and I’m so proud of her and impressed by the Spring 2015 line that I want to feature it here on my blog! The pair of ladies have backgrounds in the fashion and interior design industries and have pulled from both of these arenas to create fabrics that are whimsical, stylish, and take cues from history, which I love of course!
The fabrics are digitally created and printed on cotton/linen fabric which means they are durable and easy to live with. I love the fact that they are using new technology along with historical influences to create an innovative product! The team says, “We like playing with history and traditional elements then tweaking them so they are fresh and new, and we are excited to note that you most likely will not see our designs anywhere else in the home marketplace.”
Their products have been featured in NY Social Diary, The Editor At Large, and New York Spaces, among others. They’ve used philanthropic causes to give back and promote the line this year including The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Black Tie Tabletop Gala, Housingwork’s 11th Annual Design on a Dime Charity Showhouse and Sale, and the Third Annual IFDA NY Chapter’s Take A Seat Auction to benefit Habitat For Humanity. Come summer, Root Cellar Designs will begin selling at various design and art shows throughout the NYC metropolitan area, and they hope to offer products online by fall 2015.
I’m so proud of Tamara and Susan for following their dreams and starting this business! I love when women can take their experiences and pair them with their dreams. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for these women and Root Cellar Designs—I’m sure we’ll be seeing some wonderful creations this year!!! Congratulations ladies!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
s we wrap up 2014 and I reflect on this year I’m reminded of words by Charles Dickens,“it was the best of times and…” well, the best of times! I cannot help but think “Wow!” It’s been a fabulous year of growth for us here at The Antiques Diva & Co. We’ve grown to being the largest antiques sourcing company in Europe, offering customized buying tours in 8 countries (and counting) and working with a team of 18 locally-based guides. If I could sum up the year in three words they would be Clients, Collaborations and Celebrations!
We kicked off 2014 in January with our first ever Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete coinciding with Maison et Object and Deco Off. With over 150 mega VIP guests in attendance the event received great media coverage and we were able to film a special tour of the Paris Flea Market with Editor at Large. Such was last years success we’re doing it again this January 25 2015 for our second annual fete at the Paris Flea Market in conjunction with special guests Michael Boodro, Editor in Chief of Elle Décor, one of my favorite “Frenchy” interior designers, Timothy Corrigan and the owner of the Paul Bert/Serpette, Jean-Cyrille Boutmy. (RSVP now for details email@example.com! You’re invited!!)
In February (and again in September) we were able to once again take VIP groups of American Interior Designers to Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy. Attending this large antiques fair is always a treat, but most especially when the clients are as fun as Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call and Mark Cutler! Later in the fall we were delighted to film Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk along with Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence for an upcoming episode on antiquing in Italy, Diva Style at Mercanteinfiera! Watch this space! Both trips were filled with antiques sourcing, photo shoots and copious quantities of food & wine. This month I was also delighted to add a new member to our team at Diva Headquarters – Andrew Skipper!
Then in March I hopped on a plane and headed to the USA to speak alongside Michael Bruno founder of 1stdibs at the Design Bloggers Conference. It was such an honor to meet so many talented design enthusiasts and to be able to share my story of turning a blog into a business. Again, many lasting relationships were forged at this fantastic conference!
Just days later I was back on a plane headed for the UK. Our lovely Diva Agent Gail and I met up with Antiques Expert Judith Miller who gave our group of clients a private tour of The Bath Decorative Fair, which happened to be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Champagne fete. Yes, Champagne does tend to follow me around. At the end of the month, I headed back to NYC to speak at the IFDA New York Design Center. What a jam-packed month!
Criss-crossing the USA, I then flew to Atlanta to speak at ADAC and then spoke in both Los Angeles and San Francisco (special thanks to Kneedler Fauchere for hosting a fete in my honor). I was also delighted to attend the launch party of San Francisco Cottage & Gardens where I befriended fashion icon Joy Venturini who moments before this photo was taken officially told me I was the “best dressed” for the event! What a treat it was to see so many clients and make new friends!
Then it was time for High Point Market which is THE MEETING PLACE for all my clients and colleagues. Here I hosted – what else? – a Champagne tour of the Antique & Design Center after leading a Style Guide lecture on the Louis (lest you think antiques are boring… this talk involved plenty of sex and scandal to spice up the antiques and history!!!!).
But I couldn’t stay long at High Point – I had to jet back to Milan, Italy for Salone to meet my Italian Diva Guide, Susan, to lead a VIP tour for Blog Tour Milan! Our lovely clients enjoyed this gorgeous city with us culminating in our party at the famous Campari Bar. After all that jet-setting, it was time to meet my husband in Tuscany for some much needed down days of relaxation at the Villa Bordoni. I’ve been fortunate my husband has been able to travel with me on some business trips as I criss-cross the globe and we met in exotic destinations.
May brought along plenty of client tours, including taking The Antiques Roadshow Magazine on tour throughout Belgium. But then in May it was back to the States for Spring Market at the D&D in New York where I spoke on a panel about Antiques in the 21st Century. Then in June a life-long dream of mine came true! We kicked off our first Antiques Diva Venice Tours with our new Diva Guides Orseola and Chiara! Exploring this enchanted city on the arms of two locals has given me access to a world I never thought I’d know as an insider.
July took me to The Windy City of Chicago for a speaking engagement at the Randolph Street Antique Market where I did a promo spot on ABC in Chicago! Then it was off to Las Vegas Market where I spoke on Antique Trends and was delighted to be named one of their Design Tastemakers!!
August brought some much needed down time in Thailand as my husband and I traveled to Thailand together to spend time at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok followed by shopping in Chiang Mai (Watch this space for upcoming Diva News! Will the Diva Do Asia?) followed by an amazing week at the Anantara Elephant Camp in the Golden Triangle learning to drive my own elephants. Taking in this magical place was truly what we needed after all the hustle and bustle of this whirlwind year!
In September I was back in London, leading a VIP tour alongside industry sage and icon Stephen Nobel. Taking in exciting inspiration and sourcing unique antiques was the name of the game—along with lots of bubbly, bien sur! By the end of the month I was back again in London, taking a lovely journalist from Traditional Home on a special tour which coincided with The Decorative Fair at Battersea.
Then in October after spending time in Italy for Mercanteinfiera I flew back to the Big Apple to speak at the D&D Building for Fall Market. But I couldn’t stay long because up next was High Point Market where I spoke yet again about my Antiques Diva Style Guide. High Point is always like a reunion! Such a pleasure to see so many familiar faces. Before I knew it, I was back to Italy for another VIP event – attending the opening night gala at the Gotha Biennale with special VIP guests Darcy Fulton of John Rosselli and Jackson McCard of Bunny Williams’ Treillage!
In November we capped off the year with our last Antiques Diva event as I returned to NYC, speaking alongside the grande dame of antiques Judith Miller, Traditional Home magazine antiques editor Doris Athineos and Olga Granda-Scott of The Highboy at Jonathan Burden, Antiques and Works of Art. I was also able to go to the opening night gala of Holiday House New York with my dear friend and client Justin Shaulis whose room “Gallery Hopping in Miami” was simply a show stopper! I was also particularly partial to client Louis Navarrete’s Bohemian Rapsody!
All these events… and I’ve not mentioned the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS YEAR. As a company my 18 guides and I served more clients than ever before! Our busiest week of the year we had more than 25 clients spread across 6 of our tour countries!!!! Thank you for your support, your love and…baby, we quite simply could not do it without you.
And that brings us to December where I’ve fallen into a pile of exhaustion as we entered our slow season, as I spent my holiday in the Arctic Circle. You must add the ICEHOTEL to your bucket list. It’s amazing. I’ve spent the last week dog sledding in the tundra, reindeer sledding (and making one too many sightings as those buggers crisscross the roads in the Nordic) and stargazing while watching the Northern Lights. All in all I’d say it’s been a full, fun and fabulous year.
As we prepare for 2015, I can’t help but think that the BEST is still ahead! This past year has had many highs (and a few lows as well) and the lesson here has been on priorities. In January 2014 I told my husband my goal for the year was to jump off cliffs…. free falling to see where these risks I was taking would take me. The year has yielded more returns than I ever expected.
Thank you to all of my clients, friends, family and followers for everything and I look forward to seeing all of you in 2015!!! Let’s make it a great year!
Happy New Year,
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Modenus, asked me if we’d put together an Antiques Diva VIP experience for Blog Tour Milan I said “Si! Si! Si! Absolutely YES!” I’ve been fortunate enough to go on 2 blog tours in the past as a participant (in both NOLA and NYC) and so getting the opportunity to be a sponsor of the event gave me the chance to sit on the other side of the table to benefit from meeting a slew of fabulous bloggers and taking them on an Antiques Diva “experience”!hen Veronika Miller, proprietress of
I’ve called their “tour” an “experience” as it wasn’t a typical tour. We typically offer 1 on 1 private customized tours that last anywhere from a full day to a full week – but this group only had an afternoon to spare in their tightly packed scheduled and we wanted to make sure they saw some sites so we combined antiques with some diva lifestyle. In order to maximize their time we offered the lovely group of top design bloggers a bite sized taste of what The Antiques Diva® & Co does. We put together an afternoon walking tour of some of our favorite antiques and vintage vendors in the Brera district of Milan, once home to artists and bohemians and still full of color, character, and life. This is one of the most important arteries of the design district in the city, oozing style and creativity with beautiful stores and galleries that makes one feel like a child in a candy store. The narrow streets twist and turn, holding a surprise at every corner. We shared the creme de la creme of Milan’s antique and culture. One of our 1st stops was actually Cavalli and Nastri where vintage clothing reigns supreme, a tiny store bursting at the seams (excuse the pun) with stylish clothing and jewelry, a couple of seamstresses’ nimble fingers work diligently to hem and tuck. L’Oro dei Farlocchi just around the corner had a fascinating and eclectic collection of furniture and decorative arts. And Il Cirmolo tucked in Via Fiori Chiari was a labyrinth of repurposed, salvage and collections.
A tour of the Brera wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to Roberta Tagliavini and at least one of her famed stores (she has three…at last count) at Robertaebasta one really need look no further for mid-century, she is the queen!
After a whirlwind antiques tour we took a sneak peek inside the world famous Scala Opera House. After all, we couldn’t let these design bloggers come to Milan and not see any of the traditional sites. Popping in to La Scala theatre is the perfect way to really get a feel for the fabulous culture in Milan. Being able to peek in and catch a few moments of ballet rehearsal on the main stage is a once in a lifetime bonus! A tour through the reception rooms with the plethora of gorgeous portraits makes one feel as though Maria Callas herself may step into the room at any moment.
All this was followed by an aperitivo we hosted in a private floor room in the original Campari Bar just a stone’s throw away from the renowned Duomo in Milan.
With a view of the Duomo, a selection of drinks including prosecco, martinis, and campari spritzers of course, and an appetizing spread of Italian treats, the aperitivo is anything but average. Of course every diva needs an opera mask while in Milan, so our guests are all sporting them at our cocktail hour!
We were so pleased to host the Blog Tour Milan group for an afternoon and evening of antiques, culture, and cocktails Diva style!
If you’d like to book a custom Antiques Diva & Co tour in Italy or anyone of our 8 tour countries – France, England, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark and Italy, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about your custom made private antiques buying tour.
Ciao for now!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Blog Tour Milan. The tour will coincide with Salone del Mobile, Milan’s annual design week. So before I jet off to Italy, I wanted to introduce you to the bloggers I’ll be with there…Meet the bloggers who will be blogging!ne thing I love most about my job is getting to meet industry leaders and experts. That’s why I’m so excited to be leading a tour in Italy this week for
Award winning interior designer Pamela Copeman is noted for her posh panache and timeless designs that unite classic style with a modern, often colorful twist. With over 20 years of experience in the design world, her Posh Palettes Blog is definitely a valuable resource for information on the latest and greatest products and trends in interior design.
The nationally recognized interior design firm Kandrac Kole will be represented by none other than founding principal designers Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole! Voted one of Atlanta’s Top 20 Residential Interior Designers in 2013 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, their work has been featured on HGTV, The New York Times, House Beautiful.com, Southern Lady Magazine, Atlanta Home Improvement and Houzz.com. These ladies’ love and commitment to the power of interior design is exhibited in their charity work throughout the U.S. and Guatemala and through their blog which was established in 2009.
Carmen Maria Natschke is a new media entrepreneur, freelance writer, social media diva, speaker and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the internationally acclaimed design blog, The Decorating Diva. Carmen travels the world over as a lifestyle and design expert sharing her love of art, architecture, design, and trends with thousands of Decorating Diva fans from around the globe.
As the Founder of SketchThis.Net, Eric Schimelpfenig has taken pencil and paper operations and converted them to 3D, worked with Google on Sketchup’s development, created 3D content for companies large and small, and taught Sketchup to countless students all over the country. He is also an active columnist in Kitchen & Bath Design News, and often speaks on emerging technologies for the design field.
Holly Hollingsworth Phillips is a residential interior designer and owner of The English Room in Charlotte, North Carolina. With an elegant, eclectic and colorful style, she has completed homes all over the East coast that have ranged in style. Her love of color, pattern and layering of old and new can be seen in all her work, which has been published in many print and digital publications.
Tamara Matthews Stephenson was inspired to start her lifestyle blog, Nest by Tamara, by her busy life as a NYC interior designer. Tamara has written for Traditional Home Magazine, Venu Magazine, Today’s Equestrian and New York Spaces Magazine. She hopes to help her clients and readers create a stylish yet well-lived in home while putting it all into perspective.
Krista Nye Schwartz and Tami Ramsay are the duo behind the boutique interior design firm, Cloth & Kind with offices in Ann Arbor, MI and Athens, GA. They have a passion for textiles and cultured spaces, and like to tell a story through their interiors.
Robin Plaskoff Horton’s award-winning and Webby-nominated blog, Urban Gardens, is a lifestyle story told from the ground up. Encompassing urban style, design, and nature, Urban Gardens focusses on the whole picture. Robin has been a featured speaker at the Garden Bloggers Conference, Woman at Woodstock, and the Garden Writers Association Annual Meeting. She is a contributor to Houzz.com and has been a featured curator for social commerce sites Pickie and Luvocracy. Mashable named Urban Gardens “One of the Top 10 Must-Follow Home and Garden Twitter Accounts.”
Interior designer Lisa Smith is also author and publisher of DecorGirl.net. As owner and visionary behind Interior Design Factory, Ltd. , a boutique design firm where they devise everything from furniture to light fixtures, Lisa lives by her words, “do it once, do it right.”
Looking forward to taking all of these wonderful design enthusiasts on an abbreviated Antiques Diva tour in Milan! Until then…
The Antiques Diva®