Hey everyone! I was just in the beautiful port city of Hamburg where I launched the German edition of Decorate For a Party (which JUST released in America and the UK!) in partnership with Blickfang, “the” International Design Fair that has events all over German-speaking Europe supporting new and established independent artists and designers, and our German publishers, Random House/DVA. I still can’t believe I’m with Random House, a real dream come true as I’ve always wanted to be represented by a very large house. So thank you DVA for working with us on our book and being so supportive with the latest title which is called FEIERLAUNE (available here).
I really love Blickfang, I had the honor of dining with their CEO Jennifer Reaves and was so fascinated by her ability to keep her cool and be so approachable and warm despite all of the pressure to manage so many fairs plus having two children (a baby and a young son) and a husband at home. In addition to being a power woman and a great mom, she’s extremely supportive of the design community in Europe and really enjoys giving them a beautiful platform in which they can have an almost “pop up shop” for a weekend at a beautiful location and not only meet the local press and journalists but also get in close touch with bloggers who are invited and of course, the local community who shops at Blickfang.
For this fair, I was invited to be on a jury with two others, French Industrial Designer Inga Sempé and German Photographer, Star-Stylist, Magazine Founder of TUSH magazine and Makeup Artist Armin Morbach.
It was such a nice joining, us three, because we are all coming from different backgrounds and places in our careers, and countries – a German, French and an American – which really gives us such an interesting perspective when we were gathered together. One thing I noticed though is that despite our differences, we all know good design when we see it – well made, thought through, a good story, etc. We didn’t argue at all about the winners – we all were told to walk the floor separately and then regroup a few hours later to show our 3 favorites in each category – fashion/accessories and home design. We all chose the same designers as our finalists so it was easy to determine the winner from there. However, to be fair, we went back to the booths of all of our finalists giving them a chance to “sell themselves” to us, the jury, as to why they deserve to win. That was most fascinating. It’s always so interesting to see what people have to say about their own products and how well they can give, what we Americans call, an “Elevator Pitch”.
In the end, we chose Dubaruba for Fashion because of her necklaces and bracelets by Pichulik and Lieblings Licht for Design. I personally loved the story behind Dubaruba because she is giving work to Africans to make and design jewelry for her label. The winner for home design easily went to the lighting from Lieblings Licht which was just exquisitely made – both form and function were equally strong and I really loved what I saw plus the designer, Markus Ranft, was a charming man and knew how to pitch his product which was impressive because being an independent designer is more than just making things, you have to also have a strong business sense and not be afraid to speak with conviction about your brand. After the winners were selected, we presented the awards before the fair attendees and each was given 500, Euros cash. It was really fun to take part in this presentation and to make other people so happy!
The next morning, I was the star of show which was really fun but also scary, since I’d not been in the public eye doing an event since October 2012. I took time off to be pregnant and then, spend that time writing books (I wrote one during pregnancy and then one last year) and I wanted to stay close to home with a new child and I’m glad I did it. But he is 2 1/2 now so I decided it’s time to get out and start meeting my friends and fans again.
It wasn’t hard after walking in for the breakfast launch party on Saturday morning – we had a full house and it was invigorating, beautifully styled and planned, the food was excellent, and it was gorgeous – the space, all of it. Happily, Blickfang and my German publishers, Random House/DVA, along with one of my favorite drinks – Charitea, sponsored this gorgeous event for FEIERLAUNE and I couldn’t be happier! I only missed my co-author Leslie Shewring.
All of the photos in this post, so beautifully done, are by Photographer Johannes Zettel (with permission) and were taken mostly during my event. You can see the nice guests and splendid breakfast buffet and my youngest fan, Charli, who is only 14 years old and a blogger for teenagers – she completely melted my heart when she called me her idol. I nearly cried from happiness to know that my blog has influence over people of all ages and backgrounds, maybe it is because I have a child now and want so much to be a good role model to young people now more than ever before. It was very touching to meet her and motivated me to keep going full steam ahead with my career.
The two photos below show her and I – she asked me to sign a copy of my book and of course, I did. I really loved meeting her, her talented father took these photos below of us.) I got to meet her parents and they were incredible – so supportive of their daughter and her creativity.
So, to wrap up I have to say a few things: Thank you from my heart to Ami, Johanna, Astrid and of course, Jennifer for EVERYTHING. I am still so impressed by this amazing party in my honor. And thank you to DVA/Random House for the support in this, too. Also, thank you to everyone who came, it was so nice to meet all of you – truly a pleasure.
Also, if any of you are interested in Blickfang, either visiting or being a part of it, I highly encourage you to check out this video. It’s from last year (I’m in it!) but it really shows the fair and how well done it really is.
I’ll be on the jury at Blickfang Zurich and teaching two workshops and sharing my book at Blickfang Zurich 25-27 November, so I hope those of you living in Switzerland or nearby can attend. I’ll be working with Blickfang and Switzerland’s most influential woman’s magazine, Annabelle, and can’t wait to meet all you there.