What's New What's Next at The New York Design Center

Last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend What’s New What’s Next at The New York Design Center. A little background: The New York Design Center (NYDC) is a place where lighting, fabric, furniture, and other design companies have their showrooms. Their showroom is their space to display their products for interior designers to peruse, be inspired by, and purchase for projects. What’s New What’s Next is an annual gathering at NYDC that brings together designers and industry professionals for talks, Q and A sessions, book signings, and other events, while companies and designers are able to present their new items and collaborations. I was so excited to be invited to attend a presentation given by DwellStudio’s Christiane Lemieux in the Global Views showroom, where she talked about branding and growing your business. I’m a HUGE fan of DwellStudio so this was such a pleasure for me! Christiane’s talk was geared towards small business owners and designers, and as a blogger I found that her ideas and thoughts really resonated. More photos and Christiane’s branding advice after the jump!

Christiane talked a lot about telling a story through your brand, and telling that story often, effectively, and consistently. When it comes to social media, she mentioned picking one or two avenues to focus on, such as Facebook or Instagram, and putting all of your effort into doing that really well (rather than trying to disperse your efforts across all social media platforms). The DwellStudio brand is all about interiors for people who love fashion – which makes sense, since Christiane started out working in the fashion industry. She recommended writing a list of ten things that describe your brand, and then ranking them. Then, she suggested, make the top 3 your brand story. She shared with us Dwell’s story: it’s about uptown meets downtown, travel, un-decorating, and not overthinking your design. It’s about the art of the mix, and design that feels effortless and unstudied. Her biggest priority for DwellStudio is in the details, which I think is apparent when you see all of the gorgeous decor items that they offer. 

Christiane also talked a lot about storytelling. She said that you need to know your audience, and you have to “woo” your audience. In the old days, companies used to put out ads saying “come shop here!” But nowadays, brands have to draw their customers (or readers) in – which is where social media comes into play. Christiane does all of the Instagramming for DwellStudio herself – there’s no social media team, so it’s all authentic. When DwellStudio Instagrams a picture of textiles in India, it’s because Christiane is in India. I think that kind of authenticity means a lot when it comes to getting your audience to buy into your brand and your story.

Christiane talked about communicating effectively with your audience. At DwellStudio, she does this through books, (like her coffee table book Undecorate), through social media, and through blogging. I was excited to hear that she’s currently working on a new book!

 Remember when I blogged about this gorgeous sculpture? Yup, even better in person. 
A chain link mirrored tray…yes please!

Overall, I thought Christiane’s presentation was really great. DwellStudio has a very identifiable and consistent brand voice, and it was really interesting to hear about how that is thoughtfully and authentically cultivated, maintained, and disseminated. The Global Views showroom was full of shiny, gorgeous items and provided a perfect setting for the presentation, so overall it was an unforgettable experience and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it.

I attended a few more events and showrooms so more to come in later posts! And FYI, What’s New What’s Next is open to the public, in case you’re interested in attending next year. 
photos by me

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