Krafting Your Millenial Message

Last Thursday evening I was invited to Kraft Your Pitch, hosted by Kraft Foods, Evol8tion and Grind. Eight companies worked with Evol8tion, a company that helps startups find their brand soul mates, to “kraft” their pitch prior to the event. According to Evol8tion “Startups are generally very good at talking tech and even funding, but what about marketing and monetization –  specifically, how their product and/or proposition will help deliver value for both consumers and brands?” The winner, PrePlay Sports received a two month membership to Grind, a collaborative workspace at 29th and Park (Manhattan) and a chance to brainstorm with some of the top brand managers at Kraft.

It was a fascinating evening. As a person born on the cusp of Generation X and a former Wall Streeter, I still have a toe firmly planted in the Baby Boomer generations. But running my own business, I have found in a weird dichotomy that the older I get the more I resonate with GenX.

Why do I bring this up? Because the majority of the eight people who presented on Thursday evening were all Millenials. I was amazed by the creative and unusual new businesses being formed around the internet and social media.

You ask what’s a millenial and why does this make a difference in my business?


Born from about 1977 to mid-2000, Millenials are also known as Generation Y, Generation We, the Net Generation and the Trophy Kids.  Trophy kids refers to the fact that kids in this generation get a trophy for showing up. They have been alternatively coddled and pushed by their parents. They are racially diverse, religiously observant and liberal, which you expect from anyone under the age of 30 but this group is even more so than the past. What else?

  • They are tech savvy collaborators.
  • They don’t talk on the phone – they text.
  • They consume information – technology is as easy as breathing air.
  • They value flexibility, family, friends and their health.
  • They are passionate about working at a job they love, where they can make a difference.
  • They value flextime over face time.
  • According to FwdNation, in the workplace Millenials want to creat value, feel valued and do work that aligns with their values.

The Millenial Workspace 

So what is the idealworkspace for these up and comers? It needs to be flexible and collaborative. They expect the latest and greatest in technology. They want to be able to personalize their space and they want workspaces that are inspiring and fun.

Because they care about their health and are more flexible about their time providing spaces such as game rooms, athletic facilities and juice bars will draw new talent to your office.

Are you ready to take your office to the next level? Avery Design can help you design an office space that appeals to all of the generations.

First in a three part series on the Effects of the Generations on Your Workspace

For more on Evol8tion and Kraft your pitch, check out

(Photo credits:,,,


So you Design, Blog and Want to Travel? BlogTour 2012

Well I know I do!

If you are a design blogger and have not yet signed up, Modenus and the sponsors of BlogTour 2012 are offering an opportunity of a lifetime. Click on the BlogTour logo above and brag about why you should be considered for BlogTour 2012. It’s that easy.

BlogTour 2012 will kick off in New York City in March around the time of the Architectural Digest Show. It will then be making stops in Milan in April and London and Paris in September. Can you imagine any better opportunity, as a lover of all things design, than to go to one of these design capitals and see firsthand the latest and greatest and then to tell all of your social media friends, colleagues and clients about it?

While you are there, if you haven’t already, check out Modenus, the brilliant brainchild of the ever dazzling Veronika Miller. Modenus is an amazing resource of endless interior design inspiration. Enjoy!

As seen on the Modenus site:

Modenus is a networking platform and resource catalog for the interior design community.  Design professionals and anyone else passionate about interior design can connect in our forums, find inspiration in our daily blogs, Before & After submissions and live event coverage.  Modenus is free to users and very easy to use.

Sixty Days in Real Estate

Sixty Days. Seems like a long time doesn’t it? We sold our house and had 60 days to find a new one. 60 days flew.

So wondering where I have been? Let’s catch up.

We sold our house in Norwalk in late July and had exactly 60 days to clean out, organize, pack, find a mover, find a new home, find an apartment in case we couldn’t find a new home…well you get the idea. Something had to give and it could not be my family or clients.

First task, find a real estate agent. We chose Phoebe Leask, of Emmy & Co. from Higgins Group to help us in the search for a new home. She and her team are incredibly knowledgeable about and connected in Fairfield and I didn’t have a minute to waste. I met Phoebe through my BNI Merritt Madness group and really liked her balance of warmth but ‘get it done’ business sense. Selling a home and then buying a new one is a highly emotional decision. I needed someone who understood what I was going through while simultaneously acknowledging that I had a long list of needs and wants for our new home and had to move fast.

Phoebe insisted that we have a needs list and a wants list. Our top three on the needs list were an open floor plan (something similar to the one above), master bath and back yard. Our daughter still has a playground and we love to entertain outdoors. Oh and it had to be close to our daughter’s school – that was non-negotiable. Ok, so we got down to four absolute musts. On the wants list were a 2 car garage, finished (or finishable) basement and a place to “live” during the renovation.

Phoebe and I looked at 40 different houses in two weeks – not the above 40 – but now I think I want this book. My husband saw only the ones we really liked. I knew what he wanted – a man cave – we are a good team that way.

We went round and round on negotiations for three houses over the course of five weeks. I was just amazed at dealing with sellers who didn’t really want to sell their homes. Really? All of those people tromping in and out. I couldn’t wait to be done! I was ready to throw in the towel and just rent a beautiful Avalon apartment for six months. The process was so stressful that I signed up for an exam prep course for the LEED Green Associate with Bill Janhonen. I plan on taking the exam in the next month. It was wonderful to go to class and think about something other than the move. But that’s another post.

With Hurricane Irene’s imminent arrival, we rushed to batten down instead of heading off to our much-needed vacation. Knowing that we were moving out mid-September, we did not have many groceries and the batteries and flashlights were already packed, but our generator was ready. By candlelight, I continued to organize and pack boxes. We were very fortunate to only have one downed large tree branch. You can imagine how concerned we were with a contract for sale.

Monday dawned bright and sunny. We packed the car and hit the road for Fenwick Island, DE.  While on the road, we received word from a lovely family at our church that we could rent their apartment close to school while we continued to look for our home. I breathed a momentary sigh of relief and then my husband said “I just want to move straight to our new home.” I realized that at that point it no longer mattered what the home was like, my husband was not willing to move twice.

There wasn’t a whole lot I could do – after all we were headed on vacation, so I simply put it out there to the universe “find me a new home that I actually want to live in.” The one we were negotiating on had so many problems – causing us too many sleepless nights before we even moved in.

It was the most relaxing vacation ever. Maybe it was just sheer exhaustion from the move, but I was in full vacation mode by Tuesday morning. We had important decisions to make each morning – beach? pool? boat? mini-golf? Every single day was absolutely glorious – it was hard to imagine that mother nature had just slammed us with a hurricane. I didn’t spend one minute thinking about where we would live when we got back home. I was much too busy having fun!

By Friday morning I had my answer. Phoebe sent me an email about a home that had just come on the market. It was the perfect size, the right price, a lovely little backyard and only a mile and a half from DD’s school. The catch? We wouldn’t see it until the following Wednesday because we were on vacation! We drove home that Tuesday in the after-effects of Hurricane Lee. With all of the rain here in CT, a tree fell across the Merritt Parkway so instead of seeing our new home we were left waiting some of us more patiently than others on the highway…

When we saw it Wednesday, we knew it was a perfect fit for us. From there, the entire process was so easy, we just knew it was right. We had a 10 night stint at a hotel in between closing dates, but it was fun and we had a kitchenette so we did not have to eat every meal out.

This was my view from our front door on the day we moved in. I didn’t ask for a sign, but I believe I received one anyway.

Now, we are negotiating piles of boxes, creating a rudimentary kitchen setup in the second kitchen downstairs (how great is that!) and interviewing contractors for the renovation. We are so happy in our new home. Sometimes, I can’t even believe it is true.

Stay tuned for posts on the renovation process…

The Voice behind Avery Design Interiors

Ever wonder:

Who is Catherine Avery?

What is her company’s design philosophy?

What can Avery Design Interiors provide for me, my home, my business?

Listen in on my interview with the amazing and gracious host, Carol McManus aka the Linked In Lady, as we talk interior design, great tips for your home that you can use right now and our shared passion for social media.

The Linked In Lady show airs every Wednesday morning on 1490AM WGCH. If you are not from Greenwich, CT or the surrounding area, the show is simulcast on the internet at

Questions about social media, check out the LinkedIn Lady.

Still have questions about me, please contact me at or peruse my website at

Modenus Tweetup at the Architectural Digest Home Show

interior design, bloggers, social media, modenus, architectural digest, home show
Modenus Tweetup

For those who think Twitter is all about avoiding connecting with people out there in the world, think again. Through Twitter I have met, connected and collaborated with more amazing people in real life – people I might not ever have met, mostly because they live far away, if it weren’t for our connection on social media. Try it – you will be hooked.

Veronika Miller of Modenus hosted the tweet-up at the Architectural Digest Home Show on Friday morning. Interior designers, design bloggers, furniture designers, kitchen designers and anyone related to the world of interior design mixed, mingled. Plans were made, cards were exchanged, hugs all around, fast friends and a great time for all.
Happy social media!
(photo from Modenus)

From the AD Home Show: Snug Furniture and Black Crow Studios

quintessence, blog, interior design, maybelline te, tracy hiner, wallpaper, black crow studios, snug furniture, architectural digest, home show, interior design

Maybelline Te of Snug Furniture and Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studios collaborated to create this amazing custom wallpaper for the backdrop to the Snug Furniture booth at the Architectural Digest Home Show. They met on Twitter and have been friends ever since.

Eye-catching and effective, the wallpaper not only exhibits Tracy Hiner’s tremendous talent for translating a unique subject to paper but also beautifully showcases the design process for many of the furniture pieces that were not shown in the booth.

Maybelline Te describes the Snug Furniture line as “furnishings for the modern urban lifestyle”. See more at Snug Furniture

Tracy Hiner states that Black Crow Studios “pushes the traditional idea of wallpaper into the realm of Art”.  For more see Black Crow Studios

Fortunately, Stacy of Quintessence and Carmen of The Decorating Diva took great photos of the Snug booth. I was far too busy catching up with Tracy and May to remember to take out my camera. We were “air” designing a custom wallpaper for a girl’s bedroom. I will let you know when it comes to fruition.

I love to hear from you. If you could design your own wallpaper that expresses who you are, what would it look like?

A Story of Social Media, Friends and a Pink Bench

gallery, Irwin Feld Design, interior design, social media, abcddesigns, Stamford, CT, mid century modern, furnishings

Does it get any better than this?

A fun moment and fond memory in my design travels with lovely social media friends now IRL: Marcy of Irwin Feld Design @irwinfelddesign, Jonathan Legate of Halifax Canada @jonathanlegate, and behind the camera, Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo @abcddesigns (Amy’s photo). We had a grand time at the gorgeous mid-century modern gallery of Irwin Feld.

Why is Marcy hiding her face? I’ll never tell.

But I will let you know that their amazing pink bench (gone internet viral thanks to so many design bloggers) sold. All proceeds benefit Komen CT. I can’t think of a more uplifting Valentine’s Day story.

breast cancer, Susan G. Komen, pink, Irwin Feld, bench, furnishings, mid century modern

For my original post…

Marcy hasn’t revealed the story of the bench’s new home yet so stay tuned.

I love to hear from you. Where do you find your design inspiration?

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