Some people just have a knack for styling by turning anything they touch into gold. Lauren Saylor from A Fabulous Fete is that kind of girl…whether it be creating an invitation, setting the table, whipping up a cocktail or styling a photo shoot Lauren certainly has that innate flair that sets her work apart from the expected. We spent the morning with Lauren and let us say that it’s a breath of fresh air to meet someone who is so wonderfully laid-back, humble and willing to collaborate, and oh, let’s not forget so creatively talented. Seeing she’s an endless source of inspiration when it comes to party planning we asked her to share some tips and tricks…
HOW DID YOU BEGIN YOUR BUSINESS?
I started A Fabulous Fete as a blog in 2009, mostly to have a place to file away images I found and loved (back in the pre-pinterest days!) I loved (..and still do) entertaining, so most of my posts were pretty parties, products and DIY’s I wanted to try. It has evolved from there into a library of entertaining and wedding ideas, and of course my calligraphy business
WHERE DID YOU LEARN LETTERING?
I taught myself! There weren’t a ton of resources at the time, so I would follow my favorites on line and once I felt a bit confident and comfortable started working on creating my own style.
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY WHEN IT COMES TO DECORATING?
Make it pretty but livable! It’s been a long road to figure out a style that works for both my husband and I, our animals, and entertaining. You never want to feel like you can’t put your feet up on the coffee table or that you may have to break up with your best friend because she spilled wine on an overpriced pillow.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
My morning workout and coffee, my day feels off without it!
RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES FOR SOMEONE WANTING TO LEARN CALLIGRAPHY?
For watercolor lettering, Canson Watercolor Paper is the best, the tinniest round or spotter brush you can find, and any watercolors will do. I still use the basic set I bought at michaels years ago.
BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED WITH RUNNING MY OWN BUSINESS?
Act like you know what you are talking about and figure it out later… kind of like that saying “say yes and figure it out later” There were so many things I had to figure out on my own. But you do a little google search, get through that first client or project, then you’re a pro on round two.
WHAT’S YOUR DAILY UNIFORM?
A flowly dress and hat. I might throw in a cute necklace if I have to run an errand!
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO THESE DAYS?
Sia, Lana Del Rey and Hozier
HOW DO YOU STAY INSPIRED CREATIVELY?
I really like getting away, even if it’s just for a day or overnight. Palm Springs being a favorite. Being in a new place with new surrounds, shopping, enjoying the landscape, it all reenergizes me and helps me come back with a clear head and new ideas. And of course I have a tangible Pinterest board in my office where I gather tid bits of inspiration.
Props were getting lost and forgotten in the depths of my cabinets so we built open shelving. It’s genius as it allows me to visually see all my supplies. Everything is a bit on display so I’m constantly using wooden crates, metal bins and lucite containers to organize all the little goodies. Oh and as an added bonus the open shelving allows me to change things around when I’m itching for a new look.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE STORES TO SHOP FOR PARTY/PROP SUPPLIES?
Thrift shops for cool glassware, TJ Maxx Homegoods and Anthropology for everything else.
EVERY HOME NEEDS?
A little life (besides the humans). Plants are a must as they change a space instantly and create a cozy vibe. Fresh flowers as well if you are planning a get together. Oh and maybe a pup or two…
In the past, I tried to organize the day before a shoot by creating visual collages and such but then I would leave a bit disappointed as it didn’t go exactly as planned or as I envisioned it. I have learned that I work best in the moment. I’m such a visual person so I rely on a bit of a trial and error method, by adding or taking away items and staying open minded to different ideas.
EVERY PARTY NEEDS?
ANY TIPS OR TRICKS TO ENTERTAINING?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. I used to have a full on panic attach the day of hosting a dinner or throwing a party. I thought that everyone would be disappointed if I didn’t have itty bitty calligraphy flags on each straw, or perfectly strung cafe lights in the yard. They aren’t and they don’t notice so don’t stress yourself out over it. Don’t lose sight of why you are entertaining in the first place, advice from my husband;)
FAVORITE THING TO SERVE WHEN HOSTING?
Champagne, just kidding!!! I love ‘build your own’ bars. We’ve done panini bars, grilled cheese bars, crostini bars, etc. It’s so much easier to lay it out and let people make exactly what they want. And it’s a great ice breaker at the beginning of parties!
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?
Learn to say no when it’s not going to benefit you. I’m finally learning that there are projects that are going to cause me more stress than they’re worth. You can’t do it all. And if you pass up one opportunity, there is always one right behind it. You’re in this to build your business, not to do favors. That sounds totally mean, but I really am a super nice person, promise! 😉