“FASHION FOR THE HOME”
Kim Seybert founded her company on the firm belief that just as beautiful clothes are made to be worn, beautiful pieces can be made for the table. “When I started out in 1998, my idea was to create gorgeous pieces that could be sold in the stores I liked to shop in,” says Seybert. “I wanted it to be fashion for the home.” She set out to combine her personal philosophy and design experience to craft a supremely stylish collection for modern living.
Seybert began her career in fashion, designing dresses and beaded evening gowns but had always loved tabletop. During her many business trips to China, the designer saw vivid linens and textiles on display in the many bazaars and open-air markets. The simple purchase one day of an inexpensive pocket square—that was completely hand-embroidered—made her realize that this same type of workmanship could be brought to the table. The intricate hand-beading done by old-world artisans held much more value than what she currently saw in the market. Seybert thought, why not try something like this for the tabletop?
As she created her line, Seybert began to observe that most of the current merchandise on offer was white. “The only thing on the table with color was the flowers! There weren’t a lot of choices.” About the time her ideas were taking shape, Seybert was redoing her apartment as well—designing pillows and throws, placemats and coasters to give it a refresh. “My friends and co-workers saw what I was doing and asked if I could make some for them as well,” says the designer. When they started placing orders, Seybert knew she was onto something.
It was then that Seybert considered taking her samples to Henri Bendel’s open viewing day for up-and-coming designers. The assistant buyer took one look at the product and instantly referred her to the head buyer. Nieman Marcus soon followed—with an order for all stores. “They were tremendously supportive,” recounts Seybert of the retailers’ initial enthusiasm. “And the customer was hungry for it.” Seybert had discovered a fashionable client, who wanted style for their table as well as their closet. “Just as you do with your clothes, you can be many things when dressing your table,” says Seybert. “There’s always a way to mix it up.”