my story

If asked to describe myself in two words,  I would say I am a creative collaborator. My love of art, design and interiors began at an early age and is my life's passion. Being a women business owner and entrepreneur is extremely rewarding and taught me that the best way to succeed and grow is to collaborate and think outside of the box.

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How it began...

Starting Hammer & Hand as a retail store, I quickly realized that selling such unique items would require a different approach. I pivoted to an online retail connecting with a larger audience. My customer base was an eclectic audience from coast to coast looking to add something special to their interior that would give their space life. This move proved to be extremely successful. Hammer & Hand became one of the top sellers on Etsy for vintage furniture. I managed trade, logistics, marketing, social media, web development and customer care and retention.

How it was going..

 

After several years, I found a gorgeous space to showcase these treasures and opened my gallery to the public. 

Retail can be challenging and sometimes the right space and beautiful items isn't always a winning formula so you have to get creative. My love for food and wine as well as collaborating with other artist and creators helped to start my underground dinners series, The Silk Rodeo.

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Chef's Table...

The Silk Rodeo quickly became one of the number one dinner series in St. Louis, MO attracting some of the top chefs like James Beard nominees, Micheal and Tara Gallina and other top chefs and foodies in the area. My guerrilla marketing plan worked. The dinners were held in the showroom and attracted magazines, photographers and bloggers that photographed and wrote about the amazing dinners surrounded by my unique and exotic treasures. 

The Rodeo...

I put together some the best teams for my dinners pulling from the top restaurants in Saint Louis paired with the most elite sommeliers in the midwest. Since the space did not have a kitchen. Chef's had to go renegade style. They only had running water and electricity. 

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Event styling...

 

Magazines, photographers and bloggers that photographed and wrote about the amazing dinners surrounded by my unique and exotic treasures. Each dinner had a theme and was styled as such. One of my favorite ideas that ended up being duplicated by a restaurant was using the vintage lanterns to hold the table numbers (vintage playing cards).

Food styling...

Working with the chefs and photographers to create the perfect set to enhance the beauty of the dishes was a key collaboration. This work led to supplying several local photographers with gorgeous backdrops to use on their national campaigns. 

 

The dinner series also shined a spotlight on how amazing my pieces looked with beautifully plated food. Soon after, I began collaborating with chefs to help them find amazing statement pieces to add to their restaurants. 

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Prop styling...

The dinner series also shined a spotlight on how amazing my pieces looked with beautifully plated food. Soon after, I began collaborating with chefs to help them find amazing statement pieces to add to their restaurants. 

I provided lighting, tables, seating, entry pieces and even some design services for several new hot restaurants in Saint Louis and around the world. 

A new found passion...

Collaborating with a team of chefs, sous, sommeliers, writers, and photographers was an incredible experience. Being in charge of the collaboration of the entire team, ticket sales, event styling, host, and logistics was extremely rewarding to know that the success of this dinner series was a result of my passion and drive.

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New collaboration...

After years of owning this wildly successful business that promoted many collaborations with restaurants and hotels all over the world a unique opportunity to represent an artisan furniture brand out of Barcelona Sistema Midi presented itself to me. Midi produced tables for hotels and restaurants all over Spain. This new opportunity seemed like a move in the right direction as my love for interiors and blending antique and modern was growing stronger. 

Vintage Modern love...

This opportunity brought me to Barcelona where I fell madly in love. I was completely captivated by this city. It had it all. Food, wine, art and some of the most incredible interiors I have ever seen. Upon my return, I felt a huge pull to begin working with more European countries and find a way to connect my love for vintage with the world of modern furnishings.

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A key collaboration...

 

Hammer & Hand, born of the idea that the goods from Asia were made by hand and simple tools, remained an important part of my soul to offer clients something special and handmade that would last lifetimes. The desire to continue to offer artisan pieces made by hand had me searching for brands and ateliers all over Europe that were made by artisans. The gold star went to Xera. An artisan, hand made, hand finished luxe Italian cabinetry producer. 

A new field of study...

Xera has provided artisan, hand made cabinetry to some notable clients. The most impressive being Starbucks Reserve in Milan where they provided "Starbucks gold" cabinetry and Calcutta Macchia Vecchia marble for all of the counters.  Xera's stunning imagery garnered attention from a few AD's Top 100 Architects and Designers. I worked closely with the entire design and construction team on these projects. Some of my roles included; architectural plan reviews with technical drawings, collaboration with project management, architects, designers, contractors, electrical and plumbing teams, and more. on drawings, site measurements and installations. 

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Another new path...

 

In 2021, post pandemic (if we can call it that), I was wrapping up projects and feeling a little stuck. I didn't consider working directly with residential clients as most of my work was B2B. In late 2021, I met a wonderful couple that just finished building a home and were in need of nearly every piece of furniture as they recently moved from Japan. I knew I was up for the task. This process of designing their interior felt very natural as I realized over the years of owning and operating my business that I had the very skills they needed to perform the role as their interior designer. (image: in progress photo)

projects
past + present

Working alongside teams with different needs and styles required the ability to react and create synergy among the collaborators resulting in an efficient and smooth working relationship. Having worked in numerous fields taking on many different roles ensures my ability to lead a successful project.