Sarah Von Dreele: When you turn a creative outlet into a career.
Today with Sarah Von Dreele
Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today, LuAnn is diving into the world of textiles with designer Sarah Von Dreele. Sarah began painting as a creative outlet which soon transformed into a successful business producing wallcoverings, fabrics, and textiles. She relied on her branding background, her relationships, and her own talents as she launched her line. She’s sharing the lessons she learned along the way and how her business is shifting for the future.
Pick it apart
- [16:05] Sarah shares how staying “in the moment” opened the door for her to build toward something big.
- [19:09] LuAnn and Sarah discuss the importance of outsourcing and how difficult it can be to make the decision to let go.
- [20:11] Sarah explains how her background in corporate and consumer branding gave her a valuable skillset in her business.
- [23:00] LuAnn and Sarah dive into the importance of building relationships, both in your personal and professional life.
- [35:38] Sarah shares some insights on how she manages to maintain her creativity even while she operates in business mode.
LuAnn and Sarah’s “Ah-Ha” Moments
“When your life blows up, everything is out of control, and you actually have to live with that and adjust to that. That life experience, in addition, to the professional experiences I had really helped me navigate starting a new business in a completely different way.” -Sarah
“That is one of the toughest decisions we face as business owners—that hurdle of when to hire. We all know intellectually that when you hire your business will grow and the revenue will grow, because you’ve taken yourself away from activities that are not your highest money-generating activities. But internally, you go ‘That’s a lot of dollar bills though!’” -LuAnn
“When you package it and you talk about your brand story, and you figure out where your niche is, and your marketplace is—that’s how you breakthrough in the sea of all the other wallpaper companies. And for you to have had that skillset yourself, I’m sure was a nice leg up.” -LuAnn
“When I am painting, the work is so iterative, and one leads to the next, but then it starts to shift. When I can recognize that it shifts in a negative way and things start to look muddy and with no direction, it’s over. You got the best of it.” -Sarah
More About Sarah Von Dreele
Sarah Von Dreele has spent much of her professional life as a branding consultant, employing her strong visual communication methods to facilitate large and small-scale branding campaigns for over the last twenty years. What began as a simple creative exercise at the end of the day quickly evolved into a collection of surface designs, painted exclusively in gouache. Her latest works explore repetition of abstracted floral and geometric forms, which are ethereal and calm, and lend themselves to a variety of applications for the curated home. Sarah Von Dreele’s line of bespoke wallcoverings and textiles are available to the trade through Hewn Showroom in San Francisco, Lepere in New York City, and Twill and Texture in Miami. Sarah received a BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. Between developing new products, painting what she sees, and keeping up with her fourth-grader, she patiently pursues her interest in learning the French language.
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Kirsch is always at the forefront of innovation when it comes to window treatments. They have been an industry leader in drapery hardware for more than one hundred years, and they also have a custom window coverings program. Kirsch is dedicated to providing great resources to educate the design community about their product. Go to kirsch.com to find out more.
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