Two weeks ago I (along with a few other bloggers across the country) was treated to a behind the scenes look at Ballard Designs, the European-inspired home furnishings company headquartered here in was bananas.
We had a full day tour of the Ballard offices and learned all about their extensive processes for selecting merchandise and shooting their coveted catalogs. The research they go through is beyond comprehensive and the visual details are a huge part of getting to the final product--rest assured that Ballard sells nothing without keeping the wants of their ideal customer at the heart of the selection process . It's such a collaborative effort--everyone brings in inspirational tear sheets, they sort through the various ideas, talk concepts and start to pull the catalog layout together from there. From a business perspective, I love their process because it's such a great reminder that inspiration can be found anywhere! 

While the January/February catalog should be mailboxes next week, they were actually already shooting the March catalog so we were treated to an off-site visit at a gorgeous custom-built home that Ballard rented to shoot their catalog. The amount of hands on-set and sheer volume of props, furniture, food & styling accessories reminded me of my time working as a Design Assistant on the TBS show Movie & A Makeover...except with about two times the stuff. Jill Sharp Brinson, Ballard's Creative Director (and whose house, you may remember, was featured in House Beautiful awhile back) created these great vignettes throughout the home that were gorgeous...can't wait to see how the catalog comes together once it gets to my door.

HUGE thanks to the Ballard team that put this event together--Mollie Kitchens (Marketing Manager), James Pope (Director of Business Development), Karen Mooney (Vice President of Creative Services) & Ryan McKelvey (President). We started out the night before our tour with dinner at Ecco (have you ever had fried goat cheese?? Definitely not Paleo, but it was D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S) and then began our morning with breakfast and they were so transparent about their business, processes & history...I was honored to be included in this group!