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.
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!