Social Media Diary 2 Year 1:Mid Century Mod Style

lucite sculptures
About a week ago, I mentioned that I met Marcy Feld of Irwin Feld Design last summer over a low carb lunch at Isabella's on the Upper West Side. Well, we ended up celebrating our first friendship anniversary in real life since many of us were in NYC for The Nate Berkus Show. It all came together so quickly, Who knew the design blogosphere would convene and make it even more monumental?!
Irwin Feld Design petit fours...yes, they are all about the fine details

Marcy and I have bonded over seemingly mundane (but not entirely) happenings over the course of our days in the past year. As restless Sagittarians (our birthdays are 6 days apart) who work from home, we occasionally check on each other and do the obligatory tug to the center. Something like a virtual buddy system of sorts that I have come to rely on.  I now have 6 Yiddish words in my vocabulary and fondly think of her as my Rosetta Cohen. She regales us with her brilliant writing and captivates with her beautiful photography. Her poignant blog posts are the windows to her magnanimous spirit yet also bring to life the mid-century modern pieces that proudly sit, stand, hang, and adorn the gallery. An insight or two is always gleaned from each post, just like her most recent one on slow home lifestyle. The Irwin Feld Design gallery in Stamford, Connecticut is a treasure trove of well picked, restored, edited, and fine pieces. Many of the designers we read and hear about come to them for that added oomph.  Here are some photos from my first visit last May when they hosted a Spring awakening cocktail.
yes, I wanted to swing from one chandelier to another!

Catherine @averydesign , Bob Avery, Gloria Battista Collins @gbcstyle 

Mona Klein Klapper and Marcy Feld
each vignette was D-i-v-i-n-e
piercing the senses with sputnik-like moments
Irwin Feld discussing some ideas with wallpaper designer, 
Tracy Hiner
of Black Crow Studios, another Twitter connection

a custom Hepburn-esque barstool covered in Stroheim from their 
Breakfast at Tiffany's vignette at the 
Le Beau Chateau tabletop event

here with Tracy Hiner @tracyhiner (I will write more about my collaboration with Tracy Hiner on another post) and Liz Orgera @ShorelyChic who is sweet as can be! She sells seashells and such on etsy so check her blog for details and sunny posts. 
Oh Marcy, what can I say but 
double hearty kvells for you and Irwin , and the gallery!
I know this is not a preferred photo of us 
(we're not giving credit to the Milo Baughman love sofa with our post 1-too-many-cocktail looks
but I had to post it.... 
I'm farklemptly sold on you!
sweet meringue kisses till we meet again!
the only way to end the night.....
there's nothing like roaring down the highway top down with groovy tunes
 from Stamford to the City with the Felds in their Modness!

how to get there: Take the Metro North Railroad (East of Hudson line) from Grand Central to Stamford (average travel time of 2 hours round trip at $18.50 - 24.50)

here's Marcy's blog post on their Gallery Spring Celebration 


Social Media Diary 1 Year 1:The Beginning

In yesterday's blog post, I talked about living a quiet life and relishing only knowing a few people in my immediate physical circle. Moving to a new place and finding friends or social circles is not difficult but finding a connection with people does not happen often enough.   After all, cultivating a friendship takes time and gradual seed planting in varying degrees. Then...there was Twitter and I find myself popping in and out several times a day and enjoying the conversation and engaging with a like minded community. Soon enough, it started growing and is pleasantly encroaching on my real life. I was part of a Social Media panel in High Point University as a startup furniture manufacturer last April 2010 and was asked the perennial question, how much business have you gained from being on Social Media? We didn't launch SNUG yet so I couldn't answer that in a quantifiable amount. Most of the concerns are profit and bottom line, time, and who cares about what I'm doing?  All valid. After all, we are in business to achieve our goals and this is just one of the ways to communicate with the world and hopefully get there while having fun. Almost everyone spends a lot of time online these days and if we want to get our message out, this is just one of the ways. Tom Peters has a term for it, "the little big things".  Every little thing counts. I will share some thoughts on this towards the end of the series. My story is personal. I am not saying social media should be used in this manner but this is how I am engaging in it.  People ask, what do I say? Just be yourself and observe  proper conversation etiquette the way you do in real life and the rest will follow. At the panel,  I gave them a brief summary of the people I met so far and continue to communicate with and the wonderful experiences as a newbie to show its organic and viral nature. My personal and professional resource base has definitely expanded. I know more than I did a year ago. Is it useful information? It depends on how you use it. 

My first tweetup was in June 2009 with Charlotte locals and interior designers, @WandaSHorton of Interior Concepts by Wanda and @StarrMiller  of Starr Miller Interior Design. Since then, we've attended a few local events and meetings and Wanda and I have collaborated on a tabletop event last March 2010 that Starr invited her to be a part.  Please see photos below of the tabletop Wanda designed based on her Midsummer's Night Dream inspiration. I was thrilled that she used SNUG's Cocoon Chair, incorporating a contemporary organic chair into her elegant and gorgeous traditional setting. It was a chance for me to get a reaction from direct consumers and other designers about our chair pre launch. You can see Wanda's heartwarming post here. I am happy to say that Wanda and I have truly developed a friendship and we just did another tabletop event together a month ago! (more on this later)
first tweetup at The Tea House

Roger Horton, Roger's sister, Davetta Moore, Wanda Horton

I was in New York for two weeks last summer and tweeted up with @abcddesigns  (Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo) at 71 Irving Place Coffee and Tea Bar and @irwinfelddesign (Marcy Feld) at Isabella's. Sometimes, when you like the energy of a person online, you can bring it to the next level by meeting them in person especially when you find yourselves #just140it-ing all your exchanges too much. This is what happened with both ladies. I've long admired Amy's maximalist view on life despite her recent travails, find her bespoke stationery designs clever, and have tried and tested some of her family recipes before meeting her. By the time we finished sipping our coffee, she had convinced me to blog and when I did, she sent me ten blog header designs to choose from as a blogwarming gift! So overwhelmingly sweet!!!  It was so hard to choose which one, check them out! 

So are you FrouLaLaed  to death? Cause I was, in a massively good way!! Soon right after, one of my best girlfriends from the Philippines based in Dubai was asking on Facebook if I had any ideas for her wedding invitations. Of course, the first person that came to mind was Amy and so I introduced them via Facebook and through time zones and internet cables, they came up with these beautiful invites perfect for an island paradise wedding. You can see Amy's post on it here. 

I will end today's post with ABCD's inspirational and artistic handiwork. Tomorrow, I will tell you more about Marcy Feld---our beautiful friendship and their museum like midcentury modern gallery, Irwin Feld Design. 


Double Anniversary

I landed in Charlotte, North Carolina exactly four years ago today. Having led a relatively sheltered life in Cebu, Philippines, I've long wanted to explore living elsewhere. After two previous attempts to study in New York and landing a scholarship in Germany, the right time finally came after I turned thirty. Charlotte was not on my radar but it worked out. 
Cebu, Philippines
the Big 30 overnight cruise with my best friends

For most people in my circle, this wasn't the age to go out and do something different. It's the time to get serious and buckle down to whatever they expect of themselves or perhaps deemed by society. My restlessness was quelled by many exciting chapters, a few dalliances, travels, and a constant stream of stimulation from varied passions. There finally came a time though when I heeded the tugging of my consciousness. Within 5 months, a decision was made after asking my father, found a school, did the necessary paperwork and research, packed my bags, and immediately started a new life after my 20 hour flight. Picked a place with an international airport, a youngish demographic full of transients, no familial ties (they have to be within a 2 hr flight radius), and relatively close to furniture market. It was an interesting way to weave through life while getting to know myself more intimately. 
artwork by Dr. Joel Mendez 2003

A refreshing pace with nary a care in the world but my immediate goals and everyday to do list. I had the time to sort out experiences, nurture, and converse with myself. Truly a great period of affirmation, growth, and discovery. When one is almost always physically alone, there is a heightened sense of awareness and that was what I was after. This is also what drove me to walk 80 miles to Santiago de Compostela in 5 days in September 2007. My family and friends saw a different side from my usual gregarious self. For awhile, I'm sure that they thought I was mad.

I kept in contact and was thankful for many real and caring family and friends from all over the world so I didn't feel the need to socialize and seek out people in my new environment. Special mention to you dear friends for always being there. 

Thoughts of our beautiful beaches and 
sunny smiles brought warmth during winter.
Calicoan Island
a sandbar somewhere

The difference in time zones proved to be a good exercise in containment of emotion, whether high or low. If I was upset, there was no one to immediately call most of the time. My yoga guru would have been proud. Detachment comes when you don't seek it. Being a solitary spectator was meditative and I needed that after years of  being in the scene and sometimes, creating the scene as Gypsy Queen (my 6 year stint as a lifestyle columnist and I was out almost every night) aside from holding a day job at a furniture factory. My G.Q. experience gave me great sociological lessons that came in very handy. 

fishing in Ocala, Florida

Except for a handful of classmates, teachers and staff in school, a boyfriend, few friends from Withit, and a non denominational church (called Watershed --- which prompted my aunt to ask if I've joined a cult), I only know a few regular names...Google, Ed-my landlord; Eric-the fishmonger; Seang-the florist; Anna-the dry cleaner; Linda and Dan-stylists at Sloan,a fave boutique; Gale-the postman; and Carlo-the waiter at my perfect dine alone place, Coco Osteria, when I lived downtown.  I've had my fair share of addresses---from a cool downtown loft (my dad fondly called it the sanitarium, he couldn't quite equate industrial to chic); an established building 3 blocks away properly called The Jefferson ; 
 a Euro summer in Chateau de Pourtales, Strasbourg 
(with a whole chapter of its own akin to 
Before Sunrise (2003) and Before Sunset (2007)
  a historic duplex in Dilworth (the only place I felt truly at home in Charlotte) ;

a rambling pink Victorian in Warrenton, Virginia for my internship with the amazing Barry Dixon ; back to Dilworth ; a brief stint in a neo-chateau in Lake Norman ; and now somewhere in the Hickory woods. This time, the name Gypsy Queen, has truly hit home. All this moving is not futile though since I've learned to downsize and only buy if I truly like something or it's necessary. All my possessions are in a 10x10' storage and a few special furniture pieces stored in a warehouse. Of course, an opposite philosophy applies to the planet where my shoes belong :-)

Coming from entrepreneurial and furniture influences, the Snug partner and I decided to toy with the idea of a furniture business. So on our first sneak presentation at High Point Market in Oct 2008, we had a cocktail party and some friends and family in the industry critique the products. Then we put the thought on hold for a good year to see if we should still do it while working on our day jobs (still d0). I finished a bachelor's degree in Interior Design in 2.5 years just in time when the economy tanked. 
the lovely O at Home  ladies enjoyed lounging in the Lo Rider 
with caviar pie and Louis Bouillot champagne

Fast forward to May 2010, SNUG was launched in New York at ICFF. Pre launch, I had read about the importance of Social Media as a marketing tool especially for start ups and joined Twitter April 2009. Like many, I didn't fully get it from the beginning and was somewhat aghast about tweeting away too much info but eventually started enjoying conversations with like minded people. An intimate come-as-you-are virtual cocktail party. Coming from a different culture where it's not quite common to ask "what do you do?" immediately after shaking hands, I didn't say too much on my Bio, only to realize later that it's imperative to do so unless one is a known figure. I met many of these people online through tweet ups and upon the encouragement of Social Media maven Leslie Carothers (@tkpleslie) of The Kaleidoscope Partnership and maximalist Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo (@abcddesigns), I started this blog last Sept 22nd so my first anniversary is coming up soon. I plan to celebrate it all week by showing photos and snippets of the year that was for me in Social Media. It has been a fun journey meeting wonderful people and getting to know some of you extremely well. I've learned so much from so many! To me, it's not only a marketing tool but a way to communicate in our constantly changing world where sometimes, all you need to do to say or ask for something is to #just140it (there are 140 characters per tweet).

I spent most of the summer in Cebu and went on an unintentional blog hiatus, a no no  in the blogosphere, since readers expect consistency. I was Home and it was more important for me to spend every waking moment with loved ones and kept many in betweens for spontaneity and me time. I just needed that. In this day and age of instant gratification and TMI, sometimes it is more sublime to savor and save it for later.  
Thank you for sharing your world with me and 
taking a peek into my world!
I look forward to getting to know you all better.
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap