Celebrity Nurseries & Bedding Designer Katy Mimari
by Sherri Blum
Today our Nursery and Kids Room Design Expert and Contributor, Sherri Blum introduces us to one of her peers. A pioneer specialist for children’s-room interior design, Sherri designs for celebrities, and for the baby next door.
As a children’s interior designer and product designer, I have the opportunity to meet some smart, creative, witty and all around FANTASTIC women in the children’s industry.
Not only do I exhibit my own products at the same trade shows (sometimes even sharing a booth), but I also source their products when decorating my clients’ nurseries. So I thought that it might be nice to give you an inside peek into the creative minds and lives of some of my favorite and most inspirational colleagues.
My first interview is with Katy Mimari of Caden Lane. I first met Katy at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas three years ago.
Not only was this woman drop-dead gorgeous with her bouncy auburn hair, but she flashed a big, warm grin and greeted me with genuine southern hospitality. How refreshing!
We talked for a while, discussing ways in which we could work together. I had always loved her unique and beautiful bedding (top-notch quality, too!), but now I knew that the person behind the designs was someone that I would enjoy working with through the years.
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to my friend, Katy….
Sherri Blum (SB): What city do you call home?
Katy Mimari (KM): San Antonio, Texas… y’all.
SB: When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer and how did you prepare yourself for this career?
KM: Hmmmm… I think I’ve always been creative? I was the best color-er in kindergarten, middle school has never seen so much talent, and I designed our senior T-shirts in high school – I mean, if that isn’t a designer in training, I don’t know what is. (Ha-ha – I’m kidding.)
Seriously though, I graduated from The University of Texas – hook em horns – with a degree in Advertising. I started my first business in college, as a photographer…and always dreamed of creating a product that could be used around the world. I don’t have any formal training in design, but I think that’s part of the creativity that’s necessary to have a business like this. If you do things the way you are told, well then, that truly isn’t creative – right?
SB: How did you get into this business/start the company?
KM: As a children’s photographer, I was witness to the quilted & themed diaper bags that were sadly the only bags available to modern moms…I did not yet have kids of my own, but I knew that once I did have children, I would need something MUCH more fashionable to carry dirty diapers in.
Conveniently, I did become pregnant during the first year of starting Caden Lane, which lead to our bedding & accessory collection. I was NOT going to do choo-choo trains or Winnie the Pooh. Turns out a pregnant diaper bag & baby bedding designer is a fabulous marketing technique!
SB: What do you adore about your job?
KM: I adore working with pregnant women. I love those precious few months that are filled with so much dreaming and hope – and knowing what awaits them the first time they meet their baby. No one can describe that kind of love. Plus, designing nurseries & children’s room has to be the best creative outlet ever – where else can you glue rhinestones to the walls and hang swings in the corner!
SB: What do you like the least?
KM: Not having more hours in the day to get everything done. In fact, I’ve been meaning to ask you… do you have some I can borrow?
SB: When you need inspiration for your designs, where do you most often turn?
KM: What do they say… Genius is 99% perspiration, and 1% inspiration. I look for inspiration when I need it, I don’t wait for it to hit me, or lead me in the right direction. I always go with my gut, and design what I would want in my OWN child’s room at that specific moment in time.
SB: How might your clients describe your “signature look?”
KM: Hmmm… well it depends on where you are from! In the south – we are considered modern (compared to the smocking & pastels that used to be so popular). I think we are a fresh take on a NEW modern design for nursery & baby accessories. I love color and design – and never want to be cornered into a theme. I want all of our collections to be versatile enough to be considered delicate and daring.
SB: Famous clients? Tell us a little about working with each.
KM: They have all been fabulous. Samantha Harris was my favorite. Ashlee Simpson’s house was incredible; and Tori is JUST as she seems in her show. They were all wonderful!
SB: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you?
KM: Actually – we are working with another celebrity nursery right now! She’s not due until the end of the year, but her taste is impeccable! It will be very exciting to see what designs develop.
SB: What do you know now that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?
KM: Always look forward, never look back – take chances, and trust your gut. Oh, and save up for the crash of 2008 – present.
SB: You’ve learned your design studio will self-destruct in 60 seconds, what three things will you grab?
KM: Two bottles of wine, and a glass.
Sherri Blum loves putting her talents to use designing beautiful rooms for her tiny clients. Sherri’s designs are popular among celebrities and have been featured in numerous TV shows and publications.
Sherri shares with us trends, designer projects and advice for creating beautiful, yet functional kids rooms and baby nurseries.
Sherri operates her design firm Jack and Jill Interiors and she creates her signature line of children’s wall art, clocks and hand-hooked, wool rugs — Sherri Blum Designs. Sherri writes the Jack and Jill blog, and resides with her family in rural Pennsylvania.
Design Junkies, what’s the most exciting thing on your horizon?