the benefits of benchmade … in canada, no less

Traci Zeller and Kimberley SeldonRemember the branding seminar with Kimberley Seldon and Brentwood Classics that I was fortunate enough to attend at High Point Market?  For my designer friends (and any other business owners), I promised a recap on the blog, so here are my top three takeaways.  (1) Be professional in every aspect of your business, including your business name and email address.  This is not the time or place for cutesy!  (2) Would you rather have a Mercedes-branded toaster or a Home Depot-branded toaster?  Tailor your presentations accordingly.  (3) As a designer, it’s impossible to deliver Mercedes service without top quality, reliable vendors — so choose your partners carefully.

Brentwood Classics VignetteSee?  I told you Kimberley was fabulous!  Just as interesting as Kimberley’s advice, however, was the gorgeous furniture at Brentwood Classics — including Kimberley’s own collection, of course.  I particularly loved the clean, classic lines of these pieces, and I tried soooo very hard to capture the beauty of the fabrics.

Brentwood Classics Fabric SheenCan you get a sense of the subtle sheen and precise stitching on this pretty chair?   If the limitations of my iPhone camera and the harsh showroom lights were just a bit too much, please take my word for it!  I definitely couldn’t do the mohair justice, but just know that it was so divine that I may have been drooling in my champagne.  Kimberley did not mention overuse of alliteration and exclamation points in blog posts, so thank you very much.

Brentwood Classics FabricsI mean, hello?  Look at this incredible cut velvet.  As Twin B would say, that comes with “extra yummy sauce!”  And where does one find all of that fabric fabulousness?  Shortly after High Point Market, Diana Sisto, Brentwood Classics’ creative director, was headed to Lake Como, Italy to source new fabrics.  Insert happy sigh here.

Brentwood Classics Benchmade in CanadaWhen I evaluate upholstery vendors, my top criteria are quality construction, exquisite fabrics, excellent customer service, and compelling value.  Kimberley shared how valuable it is to her business that Brentwood Classics is family-owned and operated.  Because the owners are involved in the day-to-day operations, she is always able to get a quick answer and prompt follow-through with any questions or concerns.

Here in North Carolina, we tend to get a little myopic about our furniture being made “just down the road” … but Brentwood Classics is benchmade in Canada with the same quality and attention to detail that we expect here.  Thanks to the benefit of video, you can see where the magic happens from the comfort of your own laptop.  It’s impressive!

Plus, one of my core values is stewardship, so I’m especially pleased to report that Brentwood Classics is a member of the Sustainable Furniture Council.  All of Brentwood Classics’ upholstery products are made with soy-based poly foam, which assures you the utmost in sustainable comfort.  Oh, and guess what?  That pesky little thing called an “exchange rate” is totally working in our favor right now.  

A quick review of my top criteria?  That’s a Check, Check, Check and Check.  In other words?  I may see mohair in my future!

Thank you to High Point Market for pairing me with two companies, including Brentwood Classics, as a sponsored blogger. 


the latest on studio 202

Studio 202 Conference RoomLisa Mende and I cannot believe that it’s been almost a year since we signed the lease on our shared design studio, which we’ve lovingly dubbed Studio 202 (after the street address).  A huge thank you to Queen City Exclusive for the fantastic article in their latest issue

QC Exclusive March 2015If you haven’t read Queen City Exclusiveand you care at all about the coolest happenings in townyou really must!

Studio 202 in QC ExclusiveTo celebrate the one year anniversary of our lease signing, we’re giving the studio a bit of a refresher.  You know we designers like to experiment with new things … so you’ll see a new look debuting very soon.  Perhaps we’ll have a grand opening anniversary party!

Studio 202 Sitting AreaIf you’ve had your eye on any of the gorgeous art or furniture, act now!   Here are a few of my “in store” favorites …

Harrison Blackford Dry the RainHarrison Blackford‘s “Dry the Rain” original painting

Infinity Rings Sculpture

Infinity Rings sculpture


Alexis Walter Art 2Alexis Walter‘s original artLyra SculptureLooped natural iron sculpture

Julie Robinson Octopus GardenJulie Robinson‘s “Octopus Garden” original art

Thanks to Lisa’s and my busy schedules with client work — for which we are very grateful — Studio 202 is open by appointment only, so let us know when you’d like to stop by!  Or just send us an email with what you are interested in and we’ll get back to you absolutely as soon as possible.

traci zeller