DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING.
I own a dance studio in Greenwich, CT. We have 350 students, and emphasize versatile training in various dance styles. Like most small business owners I wear lots of different hats – some days I’m a designer (or try to be!), some days I’m an advisor for my students, some days I’m directing my fantastic team of 12 teachers and managers…First and foremost though, I’m a dance teacher.
GIVE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR CAREER PATH.
When I graduated from college I had only ever had two jobs – I’d been a dance teacher and a cocktail waitress, so it was time to amp up my business skills before doing my own thing! I moved to Manhattan and took a job in the corporate world. While I lived in NYC (the world’s official Dance Capital), I went to every dance performance I could afford, took technique classes and kept an inspiration journal of what I hoped my studio would be like.
some of the greenwich Dance Studio dancers around town
WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
I’ve always loved interior design, and went through a phase where I would take books out of the library on architecture and décor. Someone told me once that being a designer involved a lot of math (which I’ve always been terrible at!), so that dream didn’t last long.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE DOING IN 10 YEARS?
I can honestly say that I would like to be doing the same thing, only I hope to have found a better balance between my work life and my family life. My husband and I have three young children, two boys and a baby girl, so if I can somehow master the balancing act, I’ll be living the dream!
NAME THREE PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS THAT HELPED YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY.
I’m determined, I’m empathetic and I’m an extrovert. My Dad used to call me a “social butterfly”, especially compared to my older sister who graduated at the top of her class from Princeton. My ability to build relationships with people is probably my greatest asset.
a variety of greenwich Dance Studio performances
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
I think success probably means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me, I feel most successful when I feel that the work I’m doing makes a direct and positive impact on other people’s lives.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE FAILURE?
Failure is when you stop trying. Admittedly, I read that on someone’s Instagram feed the other day, but it makes sense!
HAVE YOU EVER MADE A MISTAKE IN YOUR CAREER?
How long can this answer be? Yes, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and used to really beat myself up about them. Now, I find that if I realize my mistakes and acknowledge the fault, it helps me to take note and move on.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
Outside of my family, I’m most proud of the community that has been built at Greenwich Dance Studio, between the students, the teachers and the role that studio plays in my beloved hometown of Greenwich.
the greenwich Dance Studio space
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 21 YEAR-OLD SELF?
Take risks, be curious, now’s the time to explore! Whether that is through travel or work experience, realize that you have a relatively small amount of responsibility at this stage in life. Strive for simple needs, and even if on a very small scale, make philanthropic giving a part of your life.
WHAT TRICKS HAVE YOU LEARNED TO BALANCE LIFE AND WORK?
With the incredible invention (and curse!) of the iPhone, I have to allow myself to be disconnected from work, and thus keep my phone out of my sight when I’m with my family. I try to tell myself that no matter how urgent the e-mails/texts/voice-mails may seem, that they can wait.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK AND WHY?
Right now it is a book my sister gave my kids for Christmas, called The Invisible String. It is a beautiful story of a mother telling her kids about how we are always connected to the people we love, even when we can’t see them.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT VACATION.
Lazy days on a quiet beach, where going to dinner is the biggest event on the Itinerary.
kate ushering her dancers out for an encore • kate receiving a special treat from her son after the performance
Summer break is here and we’re ready to plan our next getaway! Belize, Hawaii, Europe, SoCal? Here are a few of the fun maps we’ve designed for invitations past…
We are embarking on some new fireplace surrounds and hearths at my house and I’m thinking of going with a herringbone tile pattern. Check out my recent inspiration boards…
There are so many gorgeous china patterns to choose from these days that narrowing down the options can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some of our favorite designs on the market right now – from the beautifully rustic to the classically ornate to the simple and modern. We hope this helps inspire your registry!
photo credit: canvas home, hermes, michael c fina, vera wang, heath ceramics, west elm
Before gluten free went mainstream, Deya Warren started mixing her own flour blends at home in search of the perfect gluten free cake, bread, and sauce flours. We had the privilege of working with her to design her very first flour package as well as some promotional pieces, business cards, and a website to support it. We wanted a rustic look – but one that still felt bold – so we combined a pencil sketch treatment with a simple red and black palette. And, trust us, these gluten free pancakes will not disappoint.
I’m going crazy over these wooden tiles from Charleston-based, Mirth Studio. Inspired by cement Moroccan tiles, they lend color and pattern to any room. I’m imagining the “Poppy” floor tile in my daughter’s room, the “Café” riser decal for my stairs, and the “Harmony” wall tile for a powder bathroom backsplash.
One of my fondest childhood memories is choosing which fun towel I get to use for a day at the beach. Beach towels have always been colorfully designed, but lately we’ve noticed a heightened interest in them by high-end brands and designers who have reimagined the bright and bold possibilities. Here are some of our favorites on the market now – just in time for Summer!
photo credit: jonathan adler, mara hoffman, lilly pulitzer, jon robshaw, the beach people, missoni, pendleton
We were honored to be featured last month on Brides.com for the gorgeously understated wedding of Lauren and Alexander. The couple’s wedding day was rustic yet romantic with a clean, neutral color palette that blended in perfectly with their wine country surroundings at Beaulieu Garden. Subtle pops of classic navy blue appeared throughout the invitation suite as well as in the wedding party with their matching navy dresses and blue suits and ties. And to help guide their east coast visitors, we designed a fun envelope liner map to show them the way North.
Event planner: Melissa Panico
Catering: Paula LeDuc
Florist: Cherries Flowers
Photographer: Gia Canali
Invitations: A Day in May
Venue: Beaulieu Garden
My husband and I are always in search of the perfect after-dinner chocolate. Our newest discovery is Dandelion Chocolate (don’t you love that name?) made right in the Mission District of San Francisco. For all you health enthusiasts, who eat chocolate, the bars are dairy and gluten free. The packaging is wonderful, too. They have all the design touches we love at A Day in May: gold foil stamping, beautiful patterns, and lastly, a hand-made touch. They print the “batch” of chocolate right on each bar, and also on the back you will find the chocolatier’s handwritten initials marking their work.