As the new kid on the block we are continually meeting all sorts of new friends in the decor and youth market and we really want to get to know the brands and products we recommend to our clients, share on our blog or boast via social media. So we are going straight to the source with Q & A sessions.
We kick off these interviews with one of our top go-to-brands for all things kids furnishings and decor that are on-trend, whimsical and of affordable quality, The Land of Nod. (Just saying their name is a pleasure and conjures up all sorts of nostalgic visions.) We looked to their 16 year veteran and creative director, Danielle Kurtz, for insider information.
But before we catch-up with Danielle here’s a little background.
The Land of Nod was started back in 1996 in Chicago suburbs by two boyhood friends. They were attempting to appeal to Baby Boomers nationwide who wanted their children’s rooms to reflect the taste level of the rest of their homes. And boy, oh boy, (and girl) did they succeed!
“It wasn’t just the baby pastel stuff you find everywhere else,” says Durham, now the mother of four. "The whole whimsical feeling takes me back to my own childhood, how it was a safer time. I want my children to grow up with the feeling that the world is a good place.” - Julie Durham. “Nod whimsical, but it’s no slumber” Chicago Tribune n.p. 6/09/2002. The company is now part of the Crate & Barrel umbrella.
Did we mention that TLON started out as catalog sales with phone sales only! Talk about nostalgia! Now they are suited-up with eleven stores across the US. No surprise that we are petitioning for their next grand-opening to be in Omaha!
Q& A : Danielle Kurtz by Lisa Janvrin
A collaborative leader who is inspired by others that create and a brand that is forever evolving.
Q : How would you describe the style, approach and brand of Land of Nod (TLON)? How do you want to position TLON apart from the competition? (products, styling, services, etc.)
A. The Land of Nod style is less about following a set of design rules and more about filling your space with things that make you smile. This no rules, layered approach often leads to spaces with a mix of aesthetics, colors and finishes that are a reflection of the families that live in them.
Q : You have been with the company almost since its inception in 1996. What is it about this brand that keeps your creative juices going and looking to the future? What’s the biggest change in kids products / kids rooms that you have seen over the years?
A : Though I’ve been at the same company for many years, it’s far from being the same place it was back in 1996. For one thing, the world of retail has changed dramatically. Back in ’96 we didn’t even have a transactional website, all of our business was done over the phone. So, the constant evolution has kept me constantly inspired. And, it’s allowed me to be continually learning and trying new things. In addition, I have the great fortune of working with so many talented and creative individuals. My co-workers and the artists, designers and bloggers we collaborate with are an on-going source of creative inspiration for me.
Q : Do you have a social media style crush? Is there someone you love to follow via social media and find inspiring to your creative process – would want to design a room inspired by their style?
A : One of my favorite Instagram accounts is @candyminimal by Matt Crump. Every time one of his photos pops up in my feed it literally stops me in my tracks. The colors and composition are always spot on. The perfect combo of dreamy, clean and weird. I love it, and would for sure design a room or a whole house inspired by this vibe.
Q : We get asked all the time “Why the focus on kids?”, as if we are limiting ourselves or company growth.
I am a self starter in pursuit of all things smart, savvy and stylish.