Brizo +Target House: My Memphis Education

Target House, the long term patient living facility is a welcoming place that families can take refuge in while their children are receiving life saving care at St Jude Children's Hospital.  Target donated muti-millions to build this home away from home and continues to give support.  They are on track to give 1 billion dollars by 2015.

Like the hospital, Target House has an uplifting spirit and forward thinking design.  St. Jude and Target House utilize celebrity support ~

The elephant is a recurring theme at Target House, a mascot, that we see again and again symbolizing strength and luck.
Celebrities have all taken to the "wall of elephants" for their unique, colorful interpretation ~

The Shaun White room is pretty cool by anyone's standards

The Brad Paisley Game Room

This guitar chandelier was amazing!

Each celebrity put their own stamp (and some of their possessions) in the room they sponsor.  They also stop by from time to time.  There is a tremendous amount of community involvement as well.

The Tiger Woods Library

Scott Hamilton has a special connection to Target House.  Having had several bouts of cancer himself, he really understands the needs of the families and the challenges facing them.  We know art is extremely therapeutic and encouraged in a big way.

The Proctor and Gamble gathering room

As you can imagine, the Jonas brothers dining room is a very popular place, and the stage is in constant use

The outdoor pavilion~
The attention to detail is evident everywhere.  Good design positively impacts health and well being.  It is transformative!  Each apartment that the families stay in is customized for their specific needs.  The average stay is from a few months to 2 years.

The Candy Land themed playground, for those not so hot days.  When I visited it was sweltering!

Thank you Brizo for opening our eyes to the wonderful work being done at St Jude and bringing the Blogger 19 together again for an amazing, life altering experience!  I feel privileged to have been a part of this experience.

Seeing the new technology and Brizo plant facilities was facinating.  We learned something new ~

The attention to detail and cross referencing or quality control of tasks to minimize mistakes was mind boggling.  Trust me, more companies in this industry should follow their lead!  They care about their products, harnessing new technology, and that function and beauty go hand in hand

Brizo uses exclusive diamond seal technology to ensure their products last.  The H20 kinetic water technology studies water in motion.  Hours of video were studied to learn how people shower and what the best water delivery coverage would be.  We're talking about the size of the water droplets, shower water direction, and basically how the water is delivered in an effort to deliver the best shower experience possible.  It's very scientific!

We danced, we sang, we made new friends,

with Lori Gilder, Leslie Fine, Laurie GorelickTamara StephensonMeredith Heron

with Meredith Heron, Julia Buckingham, Jonathan Legate, and Carmen Christensen

we won prizes ~

with Michelle Workman

we acted silly ~

AND a good time was had by all!  That is a perfect couple of days.  Thank you Brizo for being the company that you are; fashionable, forward thinking, and philanthropic.  Thank you for allowing us a glimpse behind the scenes into your unique niche in the market.

Brizo + St Jude :The Power of Dreams

I just had the most incredible experience ~ but first, a little background.  Remember when I was invited by Brizo for an all expenses paid trip to New York?  This has affectionately become known as The Blogger 19 because Brizo invited 19 bloggers twice a year for several years to attend a Jason Wu fashion show, of which they are sponsors, cooking at Sur la Table, and to learn more about their fashion forward line of bath and kitchen fixtures (check out the post here).  Well, a little reunion was in order.  About eighty bloggers from across the country and Canada got together in Memphis for another life altering experience.

We were welcomed like royalty to St Jude Children's Hospital for the day, and Brizo literally greeted us with hoots, hollers, and cheers as the bus rolled up.  We heard about the amazing cutting edge work the people at St Jude Children's Hospital are doing and the lengths with which they will go for the families that pass thru their doors; but knowing something and experiencing it are two very different things.

It literally costs 1.8 million dollars a day to run this hospital.  The average donation is just over $30.00, but nobody pays for their care at St. Jude.  Nobody!  You do the math.  Fundraising efforts are high on the list of priorities with events like The Dream Home Giveaway for which Brizo is a national sponsor. Danny Thomas started this hospital in 1962, its mission being to help find cures for childhood cancer and other deadly diseases.  The sickest of the sick come here after they and their families have exhausted all other resources.

I thought it was going to be a day filled with heavy hearts, but it was the opposite.  St. Jude is a happy, hopeful, colorful place.  The hospital's focus on integrating art into the environment is obvious the minute you walk thru the door.  Murals represent the look of the in-patients kids, some without hair, some missing limbs.  It's a way for children to identify with those around them and feel a part of something bigger than themselves.

The impact of color and design has a huge influence on a person's health and well being.  The bright colors and light make you feel energized and engaged.  Patient and parent input is taken very seriously. No idea goes undiscussed.  Its patient focused design is completely innovative.  The in house design team considers everything when building or remolding, which it does constantly.

You see engagement by patient and staff at every turn.  The team at St Jude rotate the art work of the kids on long gallery walls, wear silly costumes, have happy rituals like the NO MO CHEMO parties, all in an effort to "create moments."

One of the highlights of the day was interacting with the kids.  We helped them design the interiors of a giant dollhouse, painted tiles, colored pictures, and generally had a ball.  The power of a smile goes a long way!

Because the hospital was colorful and happy,  I really walked away with a sense of hopefulness, not helplessness.  The staff, volunteers, celebrities, sponsors, and donors help lift St Jude up.  No family, no need, no wish goes unfulfilled if it can be helped!

Behind the pavilion rest Danny and Rosemarie Thomas, in a private contemplation garden.  He really left a living legacy, as in all the children who have gone on to live healthy lives.  That's a beautiful thing!

*This was an all expense paid trip by Brizo

Aerin's World

Aerin Lauder seems to be quite the topic of conversation these days.  I don't think you can open a magazine that she is not in right now.  Bloggers, editors, and writers alike are buzzing over her life style branding tour.  Look out Ralph Lauren, soon we will be living in Aerin's world.

A lot has been mentioned about her new store or concept boutique in East Hampton, the first of many I am sure, that will bring together many of Aerin's product lines, summer essentials (in this case), and lines that Aerin likes that fit in with her brand.  It is a "must see" for me next month when I am in town!  I wouldn't be surprised if we see a little pop up shop in Aspen next year??

Aerin explains that she has always been in love with decorating.  The enthusiasm generated by the publicity of her magnificent homes in shelter magazines had people always asking where she got this or that.  That prompted her to seriously think about recreating pieces she or loved ones owned or were inspired by her travels as part of a bigger life style brand with a real person standing behind said brand.
Estee seems to be waving an approving wand over her granddaughter.  The obvious 1st introduction to the AERIN lifestyle brand was a notable line of make up in a natural palette.

Tabletops and objects d'art came next.  Each piece has meaning and an inherent beauty that exudes the message that is Aerin:  classic with a traditional twist.  Geodes, shagreen, pyrite, shell, lacquer; It seems everything she touches turns to gold.

Shoes, candles, sunglasses, and jewelry soon followed.  Her collaboration with Erickson Beamon is based on pieces either her grandmother owned or have a tropical, vintage feel.  Bold baubles that translate from day to night.  Glamour and femininity ring throughout each collection.

I mentioned previously (when I got a sneak peek) the excitement surrounding her newly launched fabric and rug line with Lee Jofa.  Elegant wovens, classic florals, sumptuous velvets, strong graphics, and rich embroideries present a well thought out and complete line; again indicative of Aerin's effortless look.  Her belief is to live beautifully but comfortably.

And this Fall Aerin is unveiling a furniture line with EJ Victor as well as lighting with Visual Comfort.
Aerin has taken cues from the places she loves the most.  From the chic, relaxed beaches of the Hamptons and Palm Beach to the rustic simplicity of her mountains hideaway, her classicism translates to an understandable lifestyle brand that affords everyone equal opportunity to "have a little piece" of Aerin's world.  Everything she rolls out has an effortless, easy going feel that speaks to one another whether it's a lipstick color or a fabric on one of her chairs.

In this month's AD magazine, Aerin's soon to be released furniture line made with her fabrics was set in a few pretty spectacular little vignettes.  You can really get a feel for the luxurious life style brand with a sense of ease that is AERIN.

A book is accompanying all this is to be released in October.  The furor surrounding Lauder will not be quieting any time soon.  There are many more chapters to be written!

Is it purely a coincidence that Aerin is so damn photogenic??

Most photos courtesy of AERIN, room vignettes in AD by Peter Estersohn