December 19, 2012

Ballard Designs, events

It’s exciting to see home decor companies inviting interior designers and design enthusiasts for a behind-the-scenes look into their business operations. Just this month, I received such an invitation from Atlanta-based Ballard Designs for their Ballard Bloggers Event. About 13 of us from across the country convened in Atlanta for this 2-day adventure.

It all started with a kickoff dinner at Ecco Restaurant in Midtown where we gathered in a private dining area to get acquainted with the Ballard Designs Team, other Ballard Bloggers, and special guest Britany Simon of HGTV.

The next morning we met at the Ballard Designs Headquarters where I gained a full day of design inspiration and even some ideas on how to improve my own creative process when designing for clients.

Coming from a business background, I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the BD offices and meeting the employees hard at work. I could feel the creative energy throughout each business unit from the buyers, to the finance team, and finally the creative services team.

How cool to have outdoor umbrellas delineating working units? It’s a great alternative from working in a cubicle and makes for a clever product display.

Many of us conveniently got lost snooping through the stock room. More than just current merchandise stocked the shelves, but also products that are in early development stages. The photo below shows a portion of the items used for various catalog photo shoots and merchandise promotions.

After lunch we hopped upon a chartered coach to the location of the March/April 2013 catalog shoot.

Jill Sharp Brinson, Creative Director, walked us through four scenes that had been styled and prepared for the catalog. Each space took on a life of its own and I could recognize elements from the various mood boards and swatches displayed back at the Ballard Designs headquarters. Jill also shared styling tips and tricks to cheat the camera and insure each room is primped to perfection.

Upon our return, we enjoyed a final presentation from the merchandising team. I marveled at their photos and tales of trips to exotic places in search of inspiration. The Ballard Bloggers also provided feedback on never before seen fabrics and products slated for the Fall 2013 catalog.

I walked away from this experience with a new found appreciation for Ballard and their hardworking team. I often take for granted the jewel we have with Ballard Designs headquartered here in Atlanta. From now on, my monthly jaunts into the store may also lead to a short visit next door to their corporate office.

Thank you Ballard Designs for the unique experience provided to us all!

*Disclosure: This event was sponsored by Ballard Designs at no cost to me or my business. I was not asked to write this post, but as always I look to provide you with a peek into my life of design and personal experiences. Hope you enjoyed it.
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About Erika Ward

Multi-passionate entrepreneur, spokesperson, speaker, and philanthropist, Erika Hollinshead Ward worked in the design-build industry as an accountant before turning her passion for interior design into a successful business. Named by Atlanta Tribune as having one of the top design firms for two consecutive years, Erika is a highly sought after expert whose work has appeared in several media outlets such as House Beautiful Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Fox 5 (Atlanta Affiliate), Huffington Post, and many others. Her influential voice in the home improvement sector has lead to marketing collaborations with leading home and lifestyle brands including Home Depot, S.C. Johnson, and Home Decorators Collection. Erika holds an undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia and resides in Atlanta with her husband and five children. With her sharp business acumen and design prowess, you can rest assured that she is one to watch as a voice for working mothers, women entrepreneurs, and interior design enthusiasts.

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  1. Cam | Bibs & Baubles Says:

    I LOVE Ballard! I drool over the catalog. I could go broke with all of their gorgeous stuff.


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