Tastemaker Tuesday – Kalyn Johnson Chandler of Effie’s Paper

coffee, girl, tastemaker, Kaylyn
Kaylyn and her favorite accessory!

This month, we’re introducing you to one of our favorite new friends, Kalyn Johnson Chandler of Effie’s Paper::Stationery&Whatnot, an energetic lifestyle authority who is setting the trend on lifestyle accessories, travel style, and the power of Black Girl Magic

Kalyn and I met at a recent Black Southern Belle conference in Charleston.  Her enthusiasm for female entrepreneurs , her smile and love of stationery and pretty things made us fast friends.  With her signature pops of pink and encouraging words, she is a chic and engaging tastemaker, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Three words that describe your style?

Downtown, chic, hip

As a fashionable city woman, what’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

Believe it or not, walking down the streets of Manhattan and riding the subway are a font of inspiration.  New York city has some of the most fashionable people I’ve ever seen. I take my cues from the people around me.  What I love about New York is that each neighborhood has it’s own style – for example, on the Upper East Side, people are generally classic dressers with clean lines and solid colors.  While downtown, in Tribeca, the vibe is decidedly expensive hipster.

Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Agatha Christie – I’d love to spend the evening with AC, as I affectionately call her, to get a sense of how her mind works because I love a good murder mystery.  In fact, growing up and to this day, my parents, sister and I read murder mysteries voraciously.  Lately, I’ve become addicted to all of the British murder mystery shows on Netflix and Acorn – Vera, Midsummer Murders, Broadchurch, Unforgotten and the like. What I love about the British shows is all of the twists and turns, they’re quite cerebral. Who knows, at a dinner party with AC, there might be a murder in the drawing room that needs to be solved!

Maya Angelou – I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid. One of my fondest memories is spending the weekend at my grandparent’s house and finding a copy of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, I was probably 11 or 12.  I read it cover-to-cover that weekend and she instantly became one of my sheros.  Maya Angelou had an amazing life, was a generous soul, a prolific writer and an extremely wise woman.  I think she’d be the dinner guest everyone would be clamoring to sit next to just hoping to gather a few nuggets of her vast knowledge.

Michelle Obama – I just kind of love everything about her!  She brought a level of class, graciousness  and openness to the White House that I haven’t experienced before in my lifetime.   Her infectious smile and her ability to make fun of herself with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show will forever endear her to me and many.  I would love to sit down and chat with her about what it was like to become a part of the upper echelons of society while not losing who she is at her core.  She’s a woman I admire greatly; she stepped into a role she was very hesitant to take on … it took her a minute to figure out how to make it her own, but that she did and then some!

stationery, paper, tastemaker
Pretty and professional stationery

A pieces of/type of accessory you couldn’t live without

I never leave home without a silk scarf or a bandana.  For some reason my neck tends to get cold, so I learned a long time ago that rather than be uncomfortable, it was just easier to always have a little something to put on my neck.  And I’m super excited because I just designed the some really chic bandanas that we’re selling now.   In addition to keeping your neck warm, they add the perfect pop of color to your outfit, look great tied around purses and do double-duty as a hat on bad hair days!

Do you recommend people follow a particular set of rules when writing letters?

My only rule when it comes to letter writing is sit down and write!  I find that people love to receive handwritten notes in the mail, but rarely take the time to write them.  I’ve heard all sorts of excuses from I can’t find nice stationery to I never seem to have stamps.  These two “problem” are easily solvable – you can buy both stationery and stamps online nowadays.  Of course I think everyone should be using Effie’s Paper to write their notes on, but whatever you have – please use it!  A simple note with just three sentences can make someone’s day.  And, the satisfaction derived from taking a minute to express one’s gratitude to another is priceless.

What would be the one thing you would have to have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

My Kindle and some kind of super duper charged battery pack. I love to read.  So, being stranded on an island with nothing to read would be a kind of purgatory for me.  I’m often reading more than one book at a time, which is why I’m partial to my Kindle, although there’s nothing like holding an actual book in your hands.

paper, stationery, tastemaker
Write it down, in a pretty book of course!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to an aspiring stationery creator.

Go for it!  I get asked this question a lot and as I result, I wrote an e-book to help folks who are thinking of starting their own product-based business.  There are a lot of players in the marketplace, so do your research and figure out what will distinguish your products from those that are already out there.  Identifying your target audience up front – know who she is, what she buys and why up – will save you a lot of time and energy.  Then before you jump in, learn what you can about the industry to make certain it’s a good fit for you.  Next, think about your strengths and weaknesses to determine which gaps you’ll need to fill.  I have a great team of young women I work with, I LOVE my girls; your tribe is your vibe! And finally, assess the direction the industry is headed in to determine where your products will fit in best and come up with a strategy to court those customers and retailers.

Bonus:  Here’s a quick round up of some of our favorite ‘whatnot’ from Effie’s Paper, just in time for summer hostess gifts and even Father’s Day gifts!

coffee mug, donut
Who else needs this coffee mug?!

 

 

 

 

 

stars stationery pink
Go ahead and stock up for your Fourth of July summer hostess gifts

Now get going and don’t forget to write to someone. You’ll make their day.  Thank you to Kalyn of Effie’s Papers for being part of our Tastemaker Tuesday series!  We can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon for you and Effie’s Papers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is fast approaching on April 21st and 22nd.  How will you celebrate this fabulous yet fragile planet which sustains us? Here are three fun ways get outside and celebrate our Earth and Mother Nature.

nature green family
Happy Earth Day!

First and most obvious, but we often miss this opportunity, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, and companionship with nature! Walk through the woods in search of emerging wildflowers and green moss. Go outside, no matter the weather!

Next eat seasonally and locally with this special offer for Georgia Grown Farm Basket from the ever-popular site Hand-Picked Atlanta.  Delight your family and friends by discovering  new herbs and vegetables to add to your entertaining menus, plus you’ll be helping local farmers with your support.

farm csa Georgia
Georgia Grown Farm Basket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember our blog post about favorite kitchen helper, Unpaper towels?  By using these washable workhorse towels from our Georgia pals Dot and Army, there’s another way to help our environment and earth, right in your own home, all year long.  More points for you and Mother Nature!

And finally, another chance to explore outside at this Atlanta treasure, Blue Heron Nature Preserve. All kinds of activities are planned for April 21, see there website for all the details and year round volunteer opportunities.

nature earth day
Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Atlanta

Can’t wait to take shop dog, Duke, for a long walk along the Chattahoochee River soon!  Let us know how you will celebrate Earth Day and use #inspiredtailoredauthentic #earthdayatl

 

Why You Should Make Camp Plans Now

But it’s barely April you’re saying! Why should I look at summer camps near me now? Your kids will be home for the summer before you know it, asking what are we doing next?   Do yourself and them a favor, flip to your family summer calendar, and plug your kids in a fun and innovative summer camp, thanks to MODA, Museum of Design Atlanta.

Always forward thinking, MODA believes kids make great designers! They see through fresh eyes, love wacky ideas and are brave enough to think anything in this world is possible. campMODA teaches kids to use design thinking in combination with STEAM (science, technology, engineering,art/design, and math) skills to solve problems and address real-world challenges.  Believe me, these camps fill up quickly.  You’ll learn so much from them too.

summer kids calendar camp near me
campMODA from May 28 – July 23

Do you have budding engineer or computer game coder?  What about your teen activist?  There’s a spot for everyone.  Join one of MODA’s week-long full-day or half-day camps for kids and teens
(Pre-K through 11th grade) at one of four locations​: MODA’s Midtown home,
Georgia Tech College of Design, First Presbyterian Preschool and The Lovett School
in Buckhead/Vinings. Full-day camps (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are $495 per week, and
half-day camps (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) are $250 per week. MODA members receive
10 percent discount.

summer camp kid calendar near me
Each campMODA ​2018 session features one of these innovative themes: Designing
with LEGO Robotics; Adventures in Blockly; Designing and Coding with Minecraft;
Craftivism; LEGO Robotics for Filmmakers; Architectural Design with Minecraft;
Circuits and Robots; Playground Engineering and Career-Building Design Studio
Field Trips. ​Reserve your spot to ensure placement in the camps of your choice.

summer camp kid calendar
Robotics, science, design and more

Registration for all camps is available at:
museumofdesign.org/campmodasummer

Have you looked at a family membership?  Not only can you save on summer camp, you’ll have access to adult lectures, classes and exhibits, perfect for family field trips and date nights.

 

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New Chapter

journal, book, sketch, pewter, box
steve mckenzie’s Cypress Loop Sketchbook for all your thoughts and dreams

Dear Friends,

Change is always happening in the world and we want to let you know about some changes at steve mckenzie’s. Before we get into the changes, we want to thank you for your loyal dedication to our business. When we began this endeavor over 6 years, we had no idea how many friends and supporters we would come to know. We are eternally grateful for all of our friends we have made in the Atlanta design community and all of the consumers who have fallen in love with our product offering in the store.

We recently began an evaluation of our entire business model and have made some decisions about the next steps for our business. Therefore we have made a decision to close the retail portion of our business. However, you can’t get rid of us that easily.

Steve will continue with the McKenzie Design interior design business as well as producing his art and fabric, licensing for his art, rugs for Verde Home, stationery, and more. Also stay tuned for his first licensed furniture collection. Steve will also continue the classes that have become so popular (and sell out so fast). In fact, his design and art studio will remain at our current address and he loves visitors, always.

Verde Home, our fantastic business neighbor, will take over our retail space and will also continue to offer the Selamat Designs furniture and lighting line. Jill will join Verde Home as sales and outside sales to interior designers, thus expanding her offerings to include the full complement of Verde Home lines plus Selamat and Steve’s fabrics and wallpapers.

Now the majority of our current products need to be sold, and we will begin the sale March 7th.

However as a thank you to you, our loyal customers, please visit us before then for best selection and know we’ll pass on our best price.

We will continue to sell in the space through April 30th. Verde Home will officially take over the space May 1st.

In closing, know that we sincerely appreciate your support. We ask that you spread the message of Steve’s growing interior design and art business. If you are one of our trade customers, look for Jill to contact you soon to share all the lines she now represents and if you need to see her sooner, please contact her.

Many paths have opened on this amazing journey and we are grateful for each of you along these paths, and hope you celebrate this next chapter with us. We look forward to seeing each of you soon.

Sincerely,

Jill and Steve McKenzie

Spotlight on Art Artists Market

You know we love art, and we want to share this annual Atlanta art event with you— Spotlight on Art is the premier art series in the Southeast for both avid art collectors and casual buyers. Since 1982, its exhibitions have showcased new, original works by well-known and emerging artists.  Even more exciting, Steve McKenzie will exhibit in this venerable show!  Over 350 artists will show in this 6,000 square foot gallery space – something for everyone.  Original art adds so much to our lives!  Buy what you love ~

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Here are the dates so you can plan your visit…

January 29–February 3, 2018 Trinity School
4301 Northside Parkway NW Atlanta, Georgia

Free parking and admission

 

“…what began as a small school fundraiser has grown into one of the art world’s best-kept secrets.”
—Garden & Gun

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11 Shopping Days Until Christmas

Let’s not panic! We have Christmas gift ideas for everyone, so make your list, check it twice, and shop local where we’ll gift wrap for you, feed you cookies and you can relax by petting, Duke,  our shop dog.  Find more ideas here.

 

Melamine Appetizer Plates  

Perfect in-law gift!

 

 

 

 

Steve McKenzie’s Indigo Ice Bucket

Perfect for the hostess!

 

 

 

leather, guy, gameClassic Dice Games Set

 

 

 

 

 

French Market Basketjournal, Thimblepress, pink, book

Perfect for he/she who totes things like dry cleaning, fresh market veggies and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Dreamer Journal

Perfect for the Her!

 

 

Let us help with your holiday gifting and entertaining needs.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Holiday greetings from our family to yours!

We hope you spend the holiday with the ones who are most special to you. And enjoy those leftovers!

We look forward to seeing you in the steve mckenzie’s showroom tomorrow for our Black Friday specials – there are some great deals to be had; and don’t forget about our free gift wrapping service!!

The Top THREE Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for Holiday Guests

Hosting holiday guests may seem daunting, but we’ve got three easy ways to refresh your home for guests – and they’re all 30% OFF right now, at steve mckenzie’s, so they won’t break the bank!

  1. Pillows. New pillows can instantly- and beautifully – update any sofa, chair, bed, chaise, settee, etc…. you get the picture. And has steve mckenzie’s got a fantastic selection for you! Here are a few of our current favorites:
This “Southern Toile” design, by Adam Trest, is an absolute stunner in person and available at a fantastic price point – especially given our current promotion! And it’s offered in a range of colorways, including this delicious cranberry red, ideal for the holidays.
Add a touch of sparkle with this sequin and linen pillow in a greek-key inspired design. A design like this will go with just about any decor and will be a memorable touch for guests!

    These polka dot linen pillows, based off of Steve’s fine art, will add a sense of fun a whimsy to a space!

Lamps. Not only will a new lamp help brighten a dim space, they can provide a bit of sparkle in a room, jewelry for your current home decor ensemble, if you will. A fantastic lamp can also provide a stunning sculptural element and add needed height on tables which may be lacking. But, a good lamp can be hard to come by. Good thing you have access to the experts, and a glorious selection at steve mckenzie’s; including these:

Blue and white is a timeless combination for interiors and when done in the chinoiserie style, looks effortlessly stylish!
A desk lamp perfectly placed in a guest room offers such a warm, thoughtful touch. And the gracious lines of this lamp are sure to add a designer touch!

Throws. Much like pillows, a new blanket or throw can do so much for a space. It can add the perfect pop of color to your bedding, offer loads of texture when draped over the corner of a sofa or provide softness and warmth set over the back of your Adirondack chairs near the fire pit. Here are a few fabulous options currently in stock:

And remember, all of these – plus SO many more – are available at steve mckenzie’s, 30% off now, through the end of the holidays! Please stop in today for best selection and let one of our team members help make selections both you, and your holiday guests will adore.

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How to Set the Perfect Autumn Table

Earlier this fall we had the pleasure of collaborating with Lisa Rieves, owner of The Front Porch of Vinings, to design a dinner party bursting with the colors of autumn and BIG on style. The backdrop could not have been more perfect; we staged our table setting in Lisa’s beautiful home and this provided direction of the rest of decor.

As you know, we love starting with floral and the centerpiece for party was no different! Floral was purchased from Trader Joe’s the morning of the event – this really gave us that fall color and helped establish the palette. Our selections included roses, gerber daisies, sunflowers, and little petite daisies.  But we think the actually came from a walk together with Lisa through her beautiful garden gathering hydrangea, ferns, branches and vines. We set the centerpiece in a lovely lichen and moss-covered urn Lisa already had and combined the greens and flowers for an abundant, yet casual arrangement. The floral, coupled with Lisa’s beautiful distressed candlesticks, set the stage for the rest of the tablescape.

We then turned to Lisa’s gorgeous open shelves, abundant with dishes, glasses, serving pieces and more – this is when the fun really began! Lisa purchased her Gien and Le Jacquard Francais from our showroom and it looks just stunning presented this way in her home!

As the base for our placesettings, we chose these beautiful, boxwood placemats, which can be found at The Front Porch of Vinings. The green makes such a lovely, lush grounding for the charger and dishes, coming up next…

We then turned to this beautiful Pont aux Choux (in Cream) as the charger from Gien. We love the detail the scalloped handles provide.

The dinner plate is Gien’s Pont aux Choux in Taupe, which sets an earthy, autumn tone to the overall setting.

The Gien Chanterelle dish acts as our salad plate and offers detail and interest to the overall setup.

We then completed the placesetting with a Chanterelle collection bread plate, Gien soup bowl (in Taupe) and vintage silver-plate cutlery, tied with twine from The Front Porch of Vinings, and a Le Jacquard Francais napkin.

For the beverage service, we used a beautiful cut-glass stem vessel as well as a Ball Mason Jar to add a bit of that down-home, comfortable fall feel.

Here is a quick look at the layers all coming together:

The finished look combined with the floral created a truly magical fall evening!

Together, Steve and Lisa had a wonderful day setting the perfect autumn table!

We want to thank Lisa for opening up her beautiful home and collaborating with us on this fun dinner party.

*All photos by Katheryn McCrary Photography

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Honoring those who served this Veteran’s Day.

The team here at steve mckenzie’s wanted to take a quick moment on this day of remembrance to honor those who have served in our military. We have the utmost respect for those who put it all on the line to protect our country and are grateful each and every day.  Please remember the family of our son’s fraternity brother who was killed in action earlier this year, Lt. Weston Lee.

It may only be two little words, but we want to say THANK YOU to those who were a part of the armed forces – and encourage all to take a moment and thank a veteran in your life today.  As a token of our appreciation, steve mckenzie’s is offering a 15% discount on your total purchase in the store today and tomorrow, Saturday November 11th.

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