I am thrilled to (finally!) (officially!) announce some exciting projects we are rolling out at Well + Wonder. But before I begin telling y'all all about these fun new enterprises, I want you to meet my friend Emily. Because I couldn't even begin to get going on these pipe dreams for Well + Wonder without some help, and help arrived in the form of my art fairy godmother, Emily. Let me back up.
Emily, like me, was born and raised in the Bluegrass state. Technically 60 miles east of me in the beautiful (yes, I'm biased) southern town of Lexington, Kentucky. Not only was Emily lucky enough to grow up in Kentucky, but on top of that she grew up in a home where original art hung on every square inch of wall space - behind doors, in nooks and crannies, and up staircases. Emily's Dad was (and is) an avid art collector so we have him to thank for the art backdrop to her childhood.
Next up Emily attended Vanderbilt (and that's where I come in!) Naturally these two Kentucky girls were destined to major in Art History. The only bummer was that Emily was one year above me in school so we did not study abroad in Italy together - an opportunity we both say we are still grateful for to this day. When you throw in our Kentucky connections, art-loving lifestyles, and Commodore compatibilities Emily and I were destined to collaborate! I wasn't the only connection that Emily made at Vanderbilt that impacted her life trajectory - the most important one would be that of her husband, William, who is a Florida native and they now call Jacksonville, FL (his home town) home along with their children Jane (6) and Ford (4), and dog Charlie.
Prior to landing in Jacksonville, Emily lived in London for a year after college earning a Masters in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. After a brief stint in New York, while writing her dissertation and interning for Chubb’s leading Art Insurance broker, Emily moved to Washington, D.C. where she began working at the Phillips Collection, followed by a commercial gallery and ultimately joined the National Gallery of Art as a Development Associate. Emily says, "My time at the National Gallery was a dream come true – the exhibition openings, the building itself, the history, and the colleagues who I still greatly admire today." Soon after landing in Jacksonville, Emily began working for the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens until she was expecting her second child. Now that Ford is in school full time, Emily is eager to get back to work, or rather back to art.
When I asked Emily (who literally could do anything and everything in the art world) why she wants to join our community, I love what she said. "What I love most about Well + Wonder, in addition to the quality of the art, is the glimpse you get into the lives of thriving Southern female artists and the community built around their talent. Reading descriptions of their studios, I feel like these women could be friends of mine or maybe I know their hometown and could have a friend who lives down the street. Like so many mothers of young children, I feel like I’m constantly juggling the chaos of everyday life, so taking a break to think about art and help others experience the joy of collecting and living with art is SO appealing. Not to mention the fact that I want my kids to grow up knowing how important art and creativity are to the world we live in!"
So now what precisely do Emily and I have up our sleeves? A few things actually. But today, I'm sharing two.
With Well + Wonder's growth over the last three years, helping clients beyond art purchasing has become integral to the art-buying experience. Whether we have been in clients' home literally hanging ourselves or consulted over the phone or via text message we feel like we have seen it all and hung it all (we see you, plaster walls). We have learned a lot, but more importantly, we have learned in the power of helping one another. Our clients and collectors are seeking knowledge and tips on how to live with their cherished new pieces, and we are prepared to provide this with a series of videos we have coined Walls of Wonder. No one is better suited to oversee our Walls of Wonder than Emily. Her goal is to set out to answer all our clients' questions about framing, hanging, installation, lighting, and everything in between with the help of some of the South’s leading interior designers and art lovers. Have a question or a want to find out more about partnering with us on this, drop Emily an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
And lastly (thanks for sticking with me, y'all) coming soon are The Well Collected Guides. We are always compiling lists of go-to small businesses involved in the world of art collecting. As the Well + Wonder client list continues to grow, so do our lists of go-to interior designers, framers, curators, installers, painters and lighting experts. The Well Collected Guide is an index of these vetted businesses established by talented individuals who Well + Wonder deeply admires and can whole-heartedly recommend to the ever-growing Well + Wonder community. You know what they say, "the South is one small town." So in the spirit of this small town we love, we cannot wait to introduce Well + Wonder’s art-loving clients and friends to the business- es who can make their dreams of creating beautiful, artful homes come true. So if you are a framer, shop owner, interior designer, curator, home painter, installer, or overall art aficionado located in the south, please reach out. We'd love to chat with you to see if you could become a partner on The Well Collected Guides.