Tell us about your background. I am a native New Orleanian raised in a creative and entrepreneurial family. I knew I wanted to be a designer since childhood and spent each summer in Europe with my father gaining exposure to the textile industry. After studying fine art abroad and at The Masters School, I apprenticed with esteemed printers in Italy and France before returning to work for my family’s neckwear company, Wembley. To fulfill my creative needs, I began printing block pads with my necktie designs that were being discarded. After nine years of designing stationery on the side, I decided to formally launch my company in 2004. Papa always preached “not to throw out the dirty water until I had fresh water.”
How does New Orleans affect your profession? What are the benefits and challenges? There are no obstacles in doing business in New Orleans. Instead, there are many benefits in manufacturing down the street. By using local printers, I can offer on a quick turnaround and better control the quality of my designs. New Orleans has attracted and inspired artists for centuries. Its unique characters, lively music and self-indulgent lifestyle in combination with its sophistication and joie de vivre attitude helped shape me. New Orleans is having a renaissance and I am proud to be part of it – I even use “New Orleans” in my logo because people around the world admire our city. We have celebration and theatricality in our blood, and my work reflects that. I often use animals in my designs because they project a deep inner strength and personality with which we humans often identify, and I place crowns on their heads to add a little fun, regality and decadence to the mix. I created my first copywritten royal animal, “King Gator,” 12 years ago, a crowned animal motif that has become a trademark signature of mine.
Who are the principals of your business? Myself.
Tell us about your current projects. I’ve just completed the packaging design for Low Country Luxe’s Signature Home Fragrance Collection and two new collections of Boxed Stationery. I’m growing my business abroad.
What else would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? I’d be a cinematographer or music composer.