Jennifer Potter & Audrey Margarite, Founders of Fete Home, join us to discuss their recently debuted Scalloped placemats.
Raymond Paul Schneider: When did you first start to develop this new collection?
Jennifer Potter & Audrey Margarite: Our hand-blocked textile line was conceived in the summer of 2018. We started development and prototyping of our Scalloped Placemats in the summer of 2020.
Raymond: What was the overall timeline from conception to achieving the final design?
Jennifer and Audrey: We wanted to launch these placemats in time for the Holidays, so we started work on them in the summer. Our photo samples arrived in October with final production following in November.
Raymond: What was your initial inspiration, and where did the idea come from?
Jennifer and Audrey: The ethos of our brand is finding joy at home and celebrating the everyday. So, we wanted to design placemats that are colorful and fun. We love the whimsical shape of the scallop.
Raymond: Please describe your overall creative and design process.
Jennifer and Audrey: We started the process by picking which of our exclusive fabric patterns we wanted to turn into placemats. We wanted to choose patterns and colors that would look great for the Holidays but would also be versatile to use all year round. We’ve had clients use the red ones for Christmas and for Valentine’s Day, and saw the Red/Navy versions on Holiday tables but can also envision them this summer at an outdoor table.
Raymond: Did you have a specific audience or theme that you had in mind?
Jennifer and Audrey: Our audience, like us, are busy people who want beauty in their homes, but don’t have tons of time to fuss. There’s nothing that’s more effortlessly chic than throwing a pretty placemat on your table!
Raymond: Please describe the methods, tools, and materials that you used to develop and prototype this design?
Jennifer and Audrey: Our exclusive fabrics all are hand-blocked in India. The pattern is literally stamped on to the fabric, sometimes multiple times, depending on the amount of colors. We love the tiny variations of character this brings to the fabric. For the placemats themselves, we worked to get just the right amount of scallop design, while still leaving enough room for a large plate, and not taking up too much space on a dining table.
Raymond: Did you utilize a new technique or technology to conceptualize this product?
Jennifer and Audrey: Everything in this process is pretty manual. The weight of the fabric and the colors of the coordinating banding and placemat back all need to looked at in person.
Raymond: Please describe any challenges that affected the design and perhaps steered you to an entirely new final design?
Jennifer and Audrey: The only challenge we had was figuring out which fabrics to use! Stay tuned … more colors and patterns will be introduced in the coming months!
Raymond: Describe your overall brand DNA and Ethos
Jennifer and Audrey: We think of ourselves as a lifestyle collection where beauty meets ease of use. Now more than ever, homes are our sanctuaries and the objects we fill them with should spark joy and inspiration. But beauty is only the beginning. We don’t believe in intimidating pricing, high maintenance or strict rules (or rules of any kind!) when it comes to making your home or table beautiful. We specialize in washable table linens and dishwasher-safe glasses, flatware and plates. Our collections are meant to be used and enjoyed every day.
We started Fete Home to be a one-stop shopping and inspiration source for that final layer of your home. We are both working moms, and while we are obsessed with beautiful surroundings, we have no time for decor that requires meticulous care. We know that when you’re relaxed in your home, everyone has more fun! As designers, our main purpose is to offer collections that enhance your style, not dictate ours. We create looks that are multi-faceted and inclusive. The only rule of thumb is that if you love it, it works!
Click here to see more of our “Anatomy of a Design” series.
Like what you see? Get it first with a subscription to ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME Magazine.