When Brizo invited me to attend Jason Wu’s runway show during New York Fashion Week and to learn about the company’s avant-garde products, I jumped at the chance. I knew that Wu’s event would be an incredible experience but I didn’t expect my interactions with a group of talented and dynamic bloggers would be so rewarding. Many of us had known each other only through our avatars, tweets, Facebook posts and blog comment boxes, so having the opportunity to meet in person was highly stimulating. When I saw the breadth of talent represented by the group, now coalesced into #Blogger19 on Twitter and here on Facebook, I decided the best way to communicate the experience to you—the small slice of the design community following me—would be to present them in a blog post. Turns out, there’s so much to say I’m it splitting into two posts—one today and one tomorrow. Hello everyone, meet Blogger19!
I guess you could call Paul Anater our fearless leader, as he served as our six-degrees-of-separation swami. With his dynamic presence on the internet, he had identified each of us at one time or another as someone worth following. We, of course, realized he was worth following back! Paul’s a freelance writer, and kitchen and bath designer based in St. Petersburg, Florida, who is committed to creating beautiful, efficient spaces and to publicizing creative genius wherever he finds it.
I asked Paul how social media has changed his world as a K&B designer. He answered, “Having a network of peers allows me to see other peoples’ work, especially how other designers tackle the obstacles that come with any project. At the same time, I have nearly instant feedback from a group of people who are scattered all over—people I’d never have met under other circumstances.” Self-expression is also uppermost on Anater’s mind, “Being a designer and a blogger allows me to expose my voice and my ideas to an audience that is several orders in magnitude larger that it would be in the absence of the blogosphere. Five years ago, the only people who heard me prattle on about authenticity or efficiency or the human scale were the clients I worked with. Now anybody armed with a Google search can hear me and that’s pretty cool.” Paul’s daily prattling (though we fans don’t call it that) can be found here.
Kelly Morisseau is a second-generation kitchen/bath designer, a certified master kitchen and bath designer (CMKBD), and a certified interior designer (CID) in northern California. Her parents set the tone for her strong worth ethic, insisting that if she didn’t know how one of her designs could be installed, she wasn’t allowed to design it. That said, she remarks, “I firmly believe there should be an element of fun to the whole process: life’s too short to have it any other way. If my clients and I can’t have fun, I’m taking my toys and going home. It’s been over 25 years, and I haven’t done so yet!” Kelly’s blog posts reside here.
Cheryl Kees Clendenon owns a boutique firm—In Detail: Kitchens, Baths, Interiors—in Pensacola, Florida. The self-described poster child for bossy divorced women who have found they needed to find gainful employment while being both Mom and Dad to rambunctious children is passionate about, well, just about everything. “My clients love me because I never take the easy route and just agree with them, even though my life would be simpler and I might get to go home earlier if I did,” says the NKBA design competition finalist. Follow Cheryl’s posts here.
Pamela Rodriguez’s education was in interior architecture. She has also had a life-long interest in art, sociology and psychology because she believes the subjects relate to the appreciation of the built environment as art, particularly in the spaces people call home. “I am fascinated with technology as well,” she says, “which is why my focus has been geared toward kitchens and baths this past decade.” Roaming by Design has a scoop for you: the talented designer has recently chosen a fairy name—Faylinn Hogglewat—which I’m sure will stand her in good stead as she works her magic to transform kitchens and baths into the very hearts of her clients’ homes. Find her posts here.
For many of our team, one of the highlights of the trip was the opportunity to meet British kitchen designer Johnny Grey. He handled his status as the resident rock star pretty well—not a surprise considering what a highly honed wit he has. Having a conversation with him about turning expectation on its ear was one of my favorite memories of my time in New York.
But it is Grey’s talent, along with that of the company’s U.S. Design Director’s Chuck Wheelock, which had everyone so excited to meet them. The firm’s belief that design is a journey that leads every client to important discoveries along the way is a philosophy I truly admire. Follow their blog posts here.
Look for the other segment of the uber-talented Blooger19 tomorrow.