Welcome to another addition of In the Spotlight, this time featuring one of our favorite retailers, Dana Evans of Daisy Baby in Bethesda, MD. Dana is the go-to expert for nursery design in the D.C. area.
What inspired you to open a children’s store? I didn’t, really. I went into a partnership with some friends to open it, because we were all heading into that stage of our lives. Once I got into it, I really loved the design aspect of it, and the experience of being here with the moms their first time around, doing all that really fun stuff! For me, it’s always been about that experience, and the aspect of making a wonderful space for new parents.
Why children’s furnishings? Well, we carry a lot of things related to the concept of Baby. It’s just a really fun business. People are so happy having their children, or their grandchildren, they come in and they want gifts for a new baby, or they’re having a baby and they want to design their nursery, and no matter what it’s just a beautiful thing to go through with them.
What is your design philosophy? What inspires you? It should look like the rest of your house. It shouldn’t be so antiquated – it should just look like the rest of your home. Your kids are going to be exposed to your aesthetic and get your sense of design from the beginning, so your baby and children’s design should be something not just for the kids but that the parents can enjoy too. Design has gone beyond Winnie the Pooh and cartoon airplanes – we’re realizing children can enjoy good pieces and good design, and implementing that in our clients’ homes.
What sets your store apart from other similar retailers? We have really personal service. We’re here with you every step of the way, from just starting to think about if you want modern or traditional in your nursery, up to picking the colors of your sheets, and even helping you set up a registry for all that newborn gear!
What is your favorite aspect about owning your own business? I love being able to come up with an idea and be able to implement it. Just to be able to have an idea about what would be fun, or what people might like, and be able to do it! It’s so fun to be able to please customers and see them come back with their babies – the best part is when someone who designed a nursery with us comes back to design their big kid’s room.
What is your favorite Newport Cottages piece or collection and why? I think my favorite has to be the Panel Crib – it’s transitional. It can go into a modern space or a very traditional space; when you two-tone it, it just comes to life. I also love the Taylor Changer Dresser – it’s just that perfect size. Not too big, not too small, and it’s so good to organize; it goes from baby to bigger kid’s room perfectly. I also love the beading on the lower part of the Alexis and Celine collections – it’s small and elegant and great.
What is your favorite color palette? Blue. That baby blue. I just love it for a girl, and for a boy, too. For a girl you can dress it up with pink, or just leave that sweet pastel with girly touches.
What magazines or blogs do you read on a regular basis? I enjoy skimming design magazines when I have time – I read the baby and kids industry magazines. I’m just starting to get into blogs. It’s such a fun concept, and there’s so much out there!
Who is your dream client and why? My perfect client? Someone who cares. Someone who really gets into design; who enjoys doing custom bedding and really gets into picking the piping on their pillows. Someone who wants to do the entire room, the complete space. Even when they don’t do that whole space from me, I love when they’re tying every aspect of that baby space together. I love when clients have an aesthetic and they’re not afraid to make a fun choice, to be daring with their design.
And a few just for fun:
Dream vacation? Take a big stack of magazines and lay down and do nothing but read and relax. I like to be in a really great environment, somewhere warm and beautiful, and just laying low. Or just going through all the really great museums of the world, seeing all the artwork… or just seeing my family. Ok, I just love vacation. I think of what I’m doing, really, not just a place – and who I’m with!
Favorite design tool? Fabric swatches. They’re fun and really show the client what they’re getting.
Can’t live without? My family and friends! (and my staff at Daisy Baby!)
What are you reading now? I am reading Steve Jobs’ biography. It’s pretty good!
If you are in the Bethesda, Maryland area, you can find Daisy Baby at 4912-A Del Ray Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301.654.7477, www.shopdaisybaby.com