Hattie Collins, owner of the erstwhile Hattie Sparks boutique, recently forayed into the world of decorating. Though the boutique — which specialized in women’s clothing, unique jewelry and gift items, accent pieces and art — is now closed, it served as the perfect launch pad for this new venture. With a master’s degree in art history from Tulane University, Collins has long been fascinated with interiors. The ability to style or merchandise a room, and a keen eye for vintage and antique pieces, perfectly positions Collins in this new role. She also spent the last decade collaborating and building strong relationships with independent designers, craftsmen and artists — close connections that are invaluable for curating spaces that reflect relaxed-yet-refined style. Collins’ design philosophy centers around a fluidity to interior spaces where elements should be able to change without altering the room’s visual cohesion. Since inception, Hattie Sparks has been tapped for projects in Montana, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Washington, D.C and more.



Amber Howell Named Executive Director of the AIA New Orleans
Amber Howell, who has 20 years of experience in executive nonprofit leadership and nearly 30 years of experience working for and with nonprofit organizations, has joined the AIA New Orleans as the new executive director. Howell previously served as the executive director of the New Orleans Academy of Ophthalmology where she raised more than $1 million and increased membership by 39 percent. She also created new programming that increased attendance at the organization’s educational meetings by 65 percent.




Trahan Architects Mentors Javier Castellon
Trahan Architects, a global architecture firm with offices in New Orleans and New York, and Son of a Saint, a nonprofit organization that exists to transform the lives of fatherless boys, have announced that Javier Castellon has joined the firm as a mentee of founder and CEO, Trey Trahan, and his entire staff. Castellon joined the firm in January and will be learning the ins and outs of architecture until he goes to college in the fall to study the field. Castellon — a 17-year-old senior at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts — has been an active participant in a the Son of a Saint program since its inception in 2011. “We at Trahan Architects are thrilled to be partnering with Son of a Saint for the first time,” Trahan says. “The tremendous and admirable work of Sonny Lee is truly inspirational and an incredible asset for our city and its underserved youth. We could not be more excited to welcome Javier to our team and help him thrive in the architectural field.”



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M.S. Rau’s Best of the Best Catalog
M.S. Rau — the French Quarter-based shop offering world-renowned collections of rare antiques, jewelry and fine art since 1912 — released its most important catalog of the year. “The Best of the Best” catalog includes one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, as well as M.S. Rau’s best in fine art, silver, glass, art and furniture. For example, the catalogue includes items such as “Berthe Morisot,” an oil-on-canvas painting by Édouard Manet completed in 1872. It also includes a George III Dressing Table by Thomas Chippendale, a 20.10-carat Asscher-cut diamond ring by Tiffany & Co. and Flora Danica porcelain dinner service by Royal Copenhagen. View the entire catalog on M.S. Rau’s website.