We are such fans of Neely & Chloe - how did you conceptualize the brand? So much of Neely & Chloe came to be from our experiences as consumers. For better or worse (certainly worse for our wallets!), we’re shoppers. We felt like finding something that was beautiful and well made, but also at a digestible price point was really difficult. Add into the mix that you’re looking for something special and tailored for you, and it was really an uphill battle. Our goal was always to create items of beauty, that were meant to be worn season after season, year after year. It’s been incredible to watch how that concept has grown over the last three years!
Can you tell us a bit more about how you decide what new products you'll bring to market? Each season we continue to run our “core” product line along with introducing 2-3 new silhouettes. We also introduce seasonal colors- this spring its Palm Green, Flamingo Pink and Marigold (actually a similar palette to our India Amory table!). We take cues from our customers and what products have done well for us in the past. We begin the design process with inspiration, thoughts and ideas and come up with around 7-8 new concepts. After initial sampling, we whittle that down to 4-5 for second stage sampling. Finally, as we hone in on the color palette of the season, we land on the final few new introductions and decide which of our core products we’ll introduce in the seasonal pops.
What are your greatest sources of inspiration? Neely- For me, its almost always travel and set/costume design. I’d time travel tomorrow if I could, so I always love movies that take you to a different time. So anything that’s from another time or place gets me excited. Chloe- Probably my mom (or dad!). My mom saved a ton of her clothes from the 70s, 80s and 90s and so many of them have come back into style.
Favorite travel destination? What makes it meaningful? Neely- India (appropriately!) is one of my favorite places I’ve ever been. I was there for 11 days and was nervous we’d be very ready to go. I couldn’t believe how fast the trip went and was left wanting so much more. It’s such a huge, varied country, I can’t wait to go back. First up on my return visit is Udaipur. Chloe - Palm Beach! As a family we went growing up and it's become my "happy place." We go 5-6 times a year and I want to dig my heels in the ground every time we have to leave. I am also getting married there in April and I can't wait to show everyone my little oasis.
Do you like to entertain? What is your approach to throwing a party? Yes!! I think we both always feel like we’re older at heart than our peers. I was never great at the 20-something clubby/party scene, we’re both so much happier spending a long night at the dinner table with lots of wine and good stories. Thankfully our Saturday nights have been looking a lot more like that lately.
Our Mom has always been an incredible entertainer. She’s one of those people who could put together a dinner party for 25 people with her eyes closed, so we’re really always just trying to channel her. I think entertaining is at its best when it feels personal and like an extended family dinner, playing off your surroundings and the setting. I’m currently planning my wedding and even for 120 people, I’m hoping to capture that feeling. From a more practical standpoint, I think what we’ve learned is that you prep and do as much as you can before people arrive and plan away, but once your guests are there you roll with the punches- a stressed host is palpable to everyone.
How do you approach setting a table? Neely- Mix and match for me. I love to pull in old and new and keep things interesting and trying out different combos. I’ve developed quite the plate habit (and rapidly running out of space for them in my apartment), but having so much fun mixing it up from boring old white. Chloe- I go for clean and crisp. I love colorful tablecloths and napkins but stick to classic white plates and silver utensils. I like to then throw in some fun flowers and decorative pieces so it's not boring!
Seated table or allow guests to seat themselves? We’re both suckers for assigned seating. It can be a lot of work but I actually quite enjoy thinking through how all my friends and family can connect and what they have in common. It can also make all the difference in a guest's night.
What attracts you to India Amory - favorite print or product? Neely- Always been a blue and white gal (if you could only see my living room), so I’ve got my eye on the Aegean Chintz Tablecloth. Chloe- The prints of course! They are so fun but also classic. I've been needing some new pillows for my apartment and am drawn to the Petal Alpine Pillow case.
Top tips for entertaining - what makes a great party? Neely- I am always focused on the music. I think people notice it less than I do, but I think it’s such a quick way to set the tone of the evening. Chloe- Relax! I think trying to control the environment is where people go wrong. If you have the right people there (and the right music as Neely said), you will have a great party!
What's next for Neely & Chloe? We have lots of exciting things for the brand on the 2020 horizon. We can’t give away too much but keep your eyes peeled for growth in our ability to customize and for some exciting partnerships with some of our favorite people in the design world.