Monday, June 28, 2010

Behind the Scenes

with Dabney Lee Wolgom

dabney lee woglom founded dabney lee inc in october 2004 because of her obsession for fabulous colors and stylish paper goods. she currently lives in brooklyn with the love of her life and their two kitties. you can find dabney's line in over 200 boutiques across the the united states, mexico and the u.k. 

Let's take a peek behind the scenes to learn a bit more about the oh-so-fabulous life of the creator of the dabney lee and dabney lee at home lines--dabney lee woglom herself.

How did you break into the paper and home business?
i started my company in october 2004, after moving to new york from atlanta. i made it a personal goal to do the national stationery show in may of 2005 and was lucky enough to pick up 50 stores at my first show. we showed a line of imprintables that had pattern printed on the back, which at the time no one was doing. it seemed to be a hit and we launched our personalized albums the following year. it only seemed natural for us to move into home with our great patterns and monograms, so in 2007 we launched dabney lee at home and it has been an amazing success.

What did you want to be when you dreamed of grown-up jobs when you were a little girl?
i wanted to be a teacher so badly! i loved the idea of creating projects and lessons for children to do. plus, i loved going back to school shopping and stocking up on crayons, pencils, erasers and paper. yes, i was the girl that would smell her no.2 pencils and get giddy! to this day, if i see a box of crayons or bag of erasers i have to stop to sniff them.  {I totally feel the same way about back-to-school shopping--luckily, it's kind of part of my job!}

Did you learn the tricks of the trade in school or on your own?
i took a ton of art classes in school, but never any graphic design classes, so when i was given the adobe programs at my old job i was determined to teach myself all of the programs and i did!

What was the most difficult part of starting your own company?
i think finding a good staff has always been the most difficult part of owning my company. it's hard to find people who care as much as you do about the company, so when you find those people it's really a blessing.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
seeing your staff happy. i love the days when we all sit around with an afternoon beer and talk shop. it's so fun to hear the stories of the day and get to know everyone better. 

How has having triplets changed your life?
i have become a serious multi tasking machine! i never knew i could get so much done in such a short amount of time! i have laundry going, dinner started, bottles warming, emails are getting answered... it's truly amazing. all of my friends with twins say the same thing, when you only have so much time to get things done, somehow they get done. it makes me wonder what i was doing with all of my time before the triplets came. hmmmm....

Peek into the perfect modern nursery!
For even more nursery inspiration, hop over here.

Speaking of triplets, how is motherhood?
motherhood is the most amazing thing i have ever done with my life! i was seriously meant to be a mom to 3. it has changed our lives and made them crazy and stressful, but all in the most amazing way possible. we love our babies so much it hurts!

How would you describe your personal style?
jcrew meets calypso celle. i am a prepster at heart with a little boho flair. i grew up in southern california where i was was always in a dress and flip flops. i love being comfy, especially after have my babies. so for me it's pretty much a pair of skinny jeans and a flowy top from calypso and my havana flip flops. or if i am "dressing up" i'll throw on my tory burch flip flops.

What is your go-to hostess gift?
i have 2 go-to gifts depending on if i am in the city or out on long island for the summer. for long island i'll do a bag of homemade bar nuts from my favorite restaurant on shelter island with a set of our drink coasters. and if i am in the city i'll do a bottle of poppy wineries chardonnay and one of our ice buckets.

What books/magazines are on your nightstand?
this is funny... i have babywise on my nightstand right now because we are working to get everyone to sleep through the night. i also have a summer read called bringing home the birkin by michael tonello. next to that i have a journal that i have kept of the babies every day since they were in the nicu. i flip through it from time to time to see what we were going through back in january when they were first born. it's a nice reminder that they are growing so strong and healthy. i will always treasure it!

What is a typical day like for you?
up at 7:30 to play with babies. babies take naps and i check emails, do laundry, vacuum, clean up, make calls (multi task). babies wake up and we go for a walk and then feed them at 11. play with babies, run errands, feed babies at 3. babies nap, i make dinner, baths at 6, bottles at 6:30. babies to go bed. i drink a glass of wine and eat dinner with my husband. the baby nurse gets here at 10 and i jump in bed! that's pretty much it right now.

Where do you find inspiration for your products/designs?
manhattan and brooklyn are such inspirational places to be. i am lucky because i see pattern in everything from manhole covers to the iron work on the brownstones. it's easy to see inspiration all around. i also love flipping through fashion and design magazines looking for hot new colors and trends. as for new product ideas, we really try to come up with items that we would want to use ourselves. we think "what are we missing" and usually someone says something and we've found a new product idea!

What are your top paper commandments?
i get so sad when i see things printed on anything lighter than 80 pound stock. paper is so beautiful and should be thick and luxurious! another would be that no one should be using the font papyrus, that might be one of my biggest pet peeves ever! that and comic sans should be banned from computers everywhere.

What is your must-have indulgence?
my iphone. i seriously could not live with out it. do my nanny and baby nurse count? i would not be the person i am right now without them, that's for sure! 

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
domestically, the biltmore estate in santa barbara. internationally, la casa que canta in zihuatanejo mexico.

I think we could all use a vacation here.

Many, many thanks to Dabney Lee for taking time from her busy day to share a bit of her life with us!  For more information or to view even more products resulting from her creative spirit, visit her site!

In honor of Dabney Lee and all the multi-tasking mommas, daughters, teachers, sisters, etc. out there, I think we need a giveaway...

And I think a personalized planner is the perfect solution!

Since it's a fill-in planner, you can start using it the day you get (or give) it!

To enter:
1) Leave a comment below--be sure to tell what color you'll choose.  
2) Follow the blog for the latest nesting news.
3) Start wishing!

Now remember, this is a personalized planner.  The lucky winner will get to design the planner cover just the way she likes it--this is the fun part!  Everyone else can get a planner of their own too.  It can be yours for only $55.00.  Everyone's a winner here!

The official winner will be revealed on Friday!


  1. Love the Q&A, love the planner, and love you Jen! I would choose aqua for my planner.

  2. well i would choose a nice purple for my planner.

  3. I love your blog! Your sister Erin told our Bible Study about it and I'm so glad she did :) I would choose yellow. Kate Cully

  4. GREAT items - GREAT blog! If I won a planner, I think I'd pick a baby blue...xoxox, KC Tucker

  5. I love everything you have. I am getting married soon and have my eye on some of your things for hostess gifts!! I do believe I would choose green if I won!!

  6. Jenn I would pick yellow!!:) I'm new at this blog stuff! It took me ten minutes to figure out how to be a follower!

  7. I would pick a pretty purple for the planner if I won! :)

  8. Hmmm. Something fun...maybe green or aqua. You know me it would be hard to decide. Love you friend!

  9. This planner is so cute. I would choose something colorful!

  10. Hmmm...I am now a follower and a fan of the planner...I think ANY color would be FUN!

  11. Hey Girl,
    I am in your Siser's bible study and she told us about your darling blog! So fun! Anyways, I would probably choose black and white or aqua! I am wishing.....
    Devin Bertrm

  12. Hey Jennifer, Love your blog! I had trouble subscribing, but will try again. Love the planner...I'm thinking yellow!

  13. I think I need this planner! I think I would choose something in the green family!

  14. Hey Jen! I'm in to aqua at the moment, so I'd design my planner in aqua. Can't wait for my plates to get here!

  15. I love love your blog! I would choose a purple I think!

  16. Can I win again??? I am feeling lucky?
    I would choose hot pick with black to match my stationary cards!!

  17. Hey girl Hey! I want that planner! Aqua, Green, Purple...who really cares..It would be super cute any color! And AWESOME job on the rehearsal it all! So lucky to have such a fabulous MOH.

  18. Love the planner and the blog! I would pick purple!

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  20. Jen,
    Is this what you're doing now!?!? So fun! I love hearing of women starting their own businesses to do something they love! I would pick the one from the picture above, LOVE the design with the navy/aqua!
    Best of luck! Kristin Hartnes

  21. Love the blog! With four kiddos, you know I could use a planner in ANY color!! I would probably pick black and white...possibly hot pink!

  22. I love this planner!! I would pick turquoise!!

  23. What a great planner! I'm thinking it would be great in turquoise!

  24. How fun! i found your blog through kelly's korner....i've loved looking around! hope i'm not too late to enter the giveaway! i became a follower and i would choose something in pink and green....or maybe brown and pink....or possibly that pretty aqua.....oh, too hard to choose! they are all precious!!!