You know that old “Little Red Hen” thing? The “Who will help me sew the seeds, to grow the wheat, to grind the flour, to bake the bread…” Well the first few years of running Biscuit were a lot like that. I came up with the themes and inspiration behind the seasons, worked on the actual designs with textile designers, oversaw production, managed warehouse & inventory, bought coordinating merchandise, worked the sales floor, shipped orders, all the etc’s…
Which is great to learn a business inside and out, fantastic if you want completely burn oneself out- but not such an effective way to grow- both for me personally and the business. Especially if I am your little red hen and am pretty good at a few of those tasks, and really really bad at others (ahem inventory management). However, in all of this baking of the bread, the one thing I didn’t have much time to do is showcase it the way I had imagined when I was first conceiving of the collection. Which is arguably the part of the whole operation I am the most qualified for.
Luckily in the past year or two I have been able to bring on some farmyard friends who more than share the load, and things are really cooking now. So! No more inventory management for me- we are all better off. And, since taking a break from traditional client work, I have been able to focus on designing spaces that highlight the bedding line that I have really put my heart and soul into over the past few years. We produced our first catalog and lookbook for our debut at NY Gift Market in August, and have been hard at work over the past few months designing and shooting beautiful rooms with beautiful bedding for our next edition out in January.
Some of the rooms are shot in our studio at Biscuit, some are actual clients homes, and some are carved out creatively from various spaces as they become available to us from time-to-time. I want to share more about my work at Biscuit, and while some parts of it are probably of zero interest to anyone but me, I think seeing some of the lookbook setups might at least be an occasional pretty treat.
Hopefully it will be worthwhile to see the difference in the approach to designing for our lookbook vs. clients- or in the case where we are using a client space for the lookbook how the styling differs. Or, seeing how the design of a room can be inspired by ones bedding. I have especially enjoyed the process of creating spaces that bring out the best in our bedding, and show the prints how I always imagined they should be seen.
I thought I would kick things off with the first two rooms we shot for our previous catalog.
We shot both spaces when Leslee Mitchell was mentoring Molly for a week. The Boone, which was a print we had debuted a month earlier, was shot in our studio. The other shot was of a client space I had recently completed featuring our Katie dot in taupe.
The Boone as a print is one of my favorites, and a bit of a departure for Biscuit. We have another abstract painterly print, one of our bestsellers the “Austin“, but the Boone is a little edgier and I imagined a different client than our usual base. I wanted to come up with a space that felt more masculine, laid back, thrown together and cool. We had fun with the styling, bringing in props and even some art from my house. I love how strong a statement the bedding makes here, keeping everything else more simple and eclectic. So many times people want their bedding to blend, but I figure you have to have bedding on your bed, and especially when you are just starting out on your own, having to buy most things from scratch, why not make the things you have to have pack a punch instead of having to rely on superfluous decorative accents.
This is exactly the sort of space I imagined for the Boone when I was designing it. But the beauty of this print- and hopefully our whole line- is that it can work in so many different spaces, and I am currently working on a client bedroom that is completely different than this also using the Boone that we will be shooting for the next lookbook.
Katie was a print from our first season which we offered in a black and multi. She’s a good-ol-reliable crowd pleaser and since then we have rolled out quite a few color ways to go with other prints in our collection. This room is so fancy shmancy. It’s one of my favorite spaces I have ever done. It is difficult to capture how magical it is in photographs. That wallpaper almost sparkles- yet is dark and calming and cozy. It’s like floating through space, but not terrifying.
I had originally sourced some plain white bedding with an embroidered blue border for the room- I love using Biscuit in my designs but I don’t ever want to force it on a client and ultimately am there to source what is best for the room. Our client actually suggested our Katie dot in taupe because she wanted something with a little pattern, and to bring out the gold/champagne tones in the wallpaper & curtains without going too Liberace.
As a designer, the Katie seemed a little casual and preppy for the room initially, but seeing it on the bed, it gives a perfect subtle depth that works in the room without overpowering the rest of the design. To make sure it had enough sophistication for such a posh space, we accented with a lumbar pillow in a shimmery silk texture, and a silk Kumi Kookoon throw both in coordinating colors.
I love how prints from our line can work in two such completely different spaces. While some creative companies study market trends in their product design research, our line is inspired by traditional interiors and textile design. It has been so satisfying to bring to life some of the spaces that inspired the bedding prints themselves, and now on our second shooting cycle- to remix that initial inspiration and see the prints in a new context as well.