Annapolis Lifestyle Magazine met with our President, Larry Strassner, and Creative Director, Lauren Russell, to talk about how, like two complementary colors, this father-daughter team has worked together to find balance running a 26-year-old colorful furniture company. Taking a break from being behind the computer, phone and camera at Maine Cottage®, Larry and Lauren shared what the tagline, “where color lives,” really means. We picked some of our favorite photos from the article below, but you can read the full article here.
Working with family can sometimes call for relaxing with a cold one. The Anna Chair in Luxe Yuri / China Blue and Classic Maine Cottage End Table in Milk are a perfect place to plop yourself and perch your drink. Pillow shown is Ann’s Labyrinth / China Blue.
Visit the Maine Cottage® Flagship Store in Annapolis, Maryland to see our Color Bar in person! Can’t visit? Order color samples for custom painted wood furniture and fabric samples for upholstered furniture and we’ll ship em’ right away. Classic Toothy Table shown in Zinnia.
Read about the mother’s and watch a behind-the-scenes slideshow on our website to see how the furniture photoshoot came together.
A Mother of Two With Her “Support Staff”
Ellen Allen & Her BoysEllen Allen is that mother who has the ability to multi-task like no other. She constantly performs a daily balancing act between baking cookies for the boys (Scott, 9 and Mac, 11), helping with homework and running a successful business. She’s a celebrity of sorts in Annapolis known for her coloful and oh-so-Annapolitan handbag company. Women who embrace a gracious and preppy lifestyle clamor to carry an original Ellen Allen Eastport Tote to round out a perfect day on the water. On top of all that, we would describe Ellen as one of the funniest people we know and anticipate she will be recieving an invitation to host Saturday Night Live sometime soon!
Q: CAN YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST MOTHER'S DAY GIFT YOU RECEIVED FROM YOUR SONS?A: Yes, a poem that my husband wrote to me on my first Mother’s Day from our son. It was beautiful and validating. I still read it from time to time.
Q: WHAT WAS MOTHER'S DAY LIKE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?A: We always used to make my Mom breakfast in bed. I don’t recall doing the dishes, but we always made breakfast for her! I am sure we trashed the kitchen and she cleaned it up with complaint.
Q: IF YOU COULD CHOOSE, WHAT WOULD AN IDEAL MOTHER'S DAY BE LIKE?A: You mean with the kids or alone? Seriously, I love being with my kids more than ever at their ages of 9 and 11. They are so funny and have really insightful things to offer. I would like to spend the day with them boating, fishing or kayaking—then, I would take a day the following week to myself! I try and reflect on the job I am really doing as a mother and if there is anything I would like to edit. This always helps me with perspective.
Q: WHAT TYPES OF MOTHER/SON ACTIVITIES ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AS THE BOYS GET OLDER? WHAT ACTIVITIES DO YOU LOVE DOING NOW WITH THEM?A: We go fishing on Mother’s Day and I love that. It starts the summer and we all have a great time. What is the best part of being a Mom? I don’t think I have ever been happier parenting my boys! I love these ages and am drinking up every minute of it. They are so funny, competent and still sweet. They make me laugh all the time and always give me things to think about. They are plenty fresh when it is all said and done, but for the most part I really like who they are as people. That is the best part of being their Mom.
Q: HAVE YOU RECEIVED HANDMADE GIFTS FOR MOTHER'S DAY? IF SO, WHAT IS MOST SPECIAL TO YOU?A: Each and every year my kids make a decorative Melamine plate for Mother’s Day at their school. I think I have service for 12! They make it easy to chart the years.
A Mother of Two With Her “Support Staff” (cont.)
Jane, Jenny & GracieWe captured an adorable moment of Jenny Moran with her mother, Jane Duffy, and 6-year-old daughter, Gracie. It may look like business as usual, but it was a very special treat for these three. Jenny Moran is actually the mother of of four! Her three sons did not attend the photoshoot, allowing the ladies to spend some special “girl time” together. This female trio made light work for the creative team by being so well prepared with multiple wardrobe options and fabulous attitudes. Although this is a very “girly” group, they could certainly serve as role models for the Boy Scouts of America whose motto is, “Be Prepared.” Both Jenny and Jane are know about town (and very much appreciated for) being extreme “mom-unteers.” They volunteer every opportunity they can at the children’s events and fundraisers.
Mother: Jenny Moran
Q: CAN YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST MOTHER'S DAY GIFT YOU RECEIVED FROM GRACIE?A: The very first Mother’s Day gift that I received from Gracie was a beautiful jewelry box that she made in her preschool. I still keep my “special” jewelry in it.
Q: WHAT TYPES OF MOTHER/DAUGHTER ACTIVITIES ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AS GRACIE GETS OLDER?A: Having three sons and only one daughter, I look forward to building a strong “mother/daughter” relationship with Gracie. I want her to look at me, not just as a disciplinarian, but as a source of unconditional love, support and guidance. I want to instill in her the same principles that my mother taught me.
Grandmother: Jane Duffy
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY ACTIVITIES THAT ARE SPECIAL TO JUST YOU AND GRACIE?A: I took Gracie to see the Nutcracker when she was two and she loved it so much, that we do it every year. It is such a wonderful tradition to do with my Granddaughter.
Q: WHAT WERE SOME WORDS OF WISDOM YOU IMPARTED TO JENNY WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER?A: When Jenny and her sister Jami were young, I always told them that it was more important to me that teachers tell me they were nice, as opposed to teachers telling me they were smart. They grew up to be two of the nicest people I know.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FUNNIEST PARENTING MEMORIES?A: One of my funniest parenting memories was getting Jenny involved in swim lessons when she was one and a half. She was the only one in the class that cried for two straight weeks, but she was the only one that learned to swim. It was the start of a long career in swimming that included going to Nationals, life guarding in high school, swimming at the collegiate level and coaching swim teams.
3 Generations, 3 Beautiful “Ladies” (cont.)
Jen & The Twins (Reese and Charlie)As the mother of 14-month-old twins, Reese and Charlie, Jen Fifer is required to stay on her toes 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. Just when one is fed and ready for a nap, the other one decides he needs some some mommy love and attention. No matter how you look at, raising twins is an exhausting proposition. They say a mother’s work is never done. That’s an understatement when it comes to twin toddlers. What impressed us about Jen is how easy she makes it look. Jen embraces the challenges with Reese on one hip, Charlie tugging at her pant leg and all the while she radiates a contagious smile.
Q: WHAT DO YOU TYPICALLY DO FOR MOTHER'S DAY?A: Unfortunately my mother lives in Boston so I haven’t spent Mother’s Day with her in a very long time. Her birthday is always right around Mother’s Day, if not the same day, so I make sure she gets flowers every year. We typically go to my mother-in-law’s house, who is really a second mother to me, and she ends up doing all of the cooking… LOL. We always put together a planter for her. It is really important for me to spend the day with her and my sister-in-law and the rest of the family. We just laugh and usually sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. She is a wonderful woman and I don’t know what I would do without her.
Q: WHAT TYPES OF MOTHER/DAUGHTER ACTIVITIES YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO AS REESE GETS OLDER?A: I want to make sure Reese and I have a strong relationship. I think it is important for all women to have a close and loving relationship with their mother. My relationship with my mother has always been strong and she is a big part of who I am today. I hope we can enjoy things together like running, shopping and travelling. But mostly I want her to know I am always here for her whenever she needs me.
Q: REESE MORE THAN CHARLIE, SEEMED LIKE QUITE THE HAM AT THE PHOTOSHOOT, WHAT INTERESTING PERSONALITY TRAITS CAN YOU ALREADY SEE IN HER?A: Reese loves to be the center of attention. She is always finding crazy things to do to get our attention, good or bad. She is very smart and knows what she wants. She even tells us when she is ready for bed. She loves to read. We call her the librarian because she takes books out, reads them or has us read them, and then puts them back over and over and over again. She is the strong willed one and will be the ringleader of the two. She has no problem taking a toy right out of her brother’s hands and most of the time he lets her do it.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MOM?A: The best thing about being a Mom is seeing my kids grow and develop. Motherhood has been so challenging so far and I am sure it will continue to have its challenges, but when you see your child start to walk or build something with Legos, complete a puzzle or say a new word it is such an amazing and proud feeling. I try to write down as much as possible because it just goes by so fast.
Double the Love (cont.)
Caryla and Baby GideonMother to 12-week-old Gideon and 2-year-old Ayden, Caryla Mohr is still exuding that new mom glow. She was just as calm as a cucumber during this shoot and little Gideon followed her lead. Taking everything in stride, as any good mother will tell you, is a challenge, but also a key to parenting success. Being laid back does not slow down this new mom. In fact, the entire Mohr family left our shoot and headed straight to Disneyworld for some family time!
Q: WHAT WAS MOTHER'S DAY LIKE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?A: I made handmade gifts for my Mom in school and would pick wild flowers for her in the field behind our house.
Q: IF YOU CHOOSE, WHAT WOULD AN IDEAL MOTHER'S DAY BE LIKE?A: I would definitely spend the entire day with my two children, Ayden and Gideon and my husband.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF BEING A MOM?A: Seeing my children laugh and smile. It’s just a joy to watch them learn something new and being amazed at how smart they are becoming everyday.
Brand New Motherhood (cont.)
Joanna, Emmaline & RubyJoanna is not only a mother of two little girls with boundless energy, but she is also a Cardiac Device Specialist at St. Jude Medical. We see lots of similarities between the two roles... let’s recap the skillset needed in order to excel at both: ability to adapt quickly to change, prioritize and then reprioritize, handle upset people without taking it personally and above all have a laid back personality with a great sense of humor. We think Joanna has found her two true callings! Emmaline and Ruby are a handful of excitement, creativity and giggles galore. If you stop into the Maine Cottage® Flagship Store, be sure to look up Emmaline’s entry and signature in our guestbook!
Q: CAN YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST MOTHER'S DAY GIFT YOU RECEIVED FROM YOUR GIRLS?A: Emmaline and Ruby give me gifts that they themselves would like. They give me their dollies and toys, with a grandiose presentation, then proceed to take them back a few minutes later. I don't mind, it's really the presentation I enjoy. Drama starts very young.
Q: WHAT WAS MOTHER'S DAY LIKE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?A: Growing up, my fondest Mother's Day memory was going to the annual church potluck supper with my sisters, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Watching the men of the church serve the women was slightly comical. The entertainment was singing church ladies. One was always slightly out of key and a beat behind the others even more comical. My sisters and I would giggle, while my grandmother beamed with pride. The multi-generational dynamic is very special. I did not fully appreciate that until I became a mother myself.
Q: WHAT TYPES OF MOTHER/DAUGHTER ACTIVITIES ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AS THE GIRLS GET OLDER?A: I love my girls at their current ages of 3 and 5, they have spectacular imaginations, boundless energy and are incredibly loving—most of the time. I come from a family of four girls, my best times with my sisters and mother are just sitting around chatting and catching up. I am looking forward to having meaningful conversations with my girls. Not that the silly ones are not fun. My girls love dressing up and pretending to have a day of beauty, so I look forward to having a real girls only spa day with them both.
The Chaos & Joy of Raising Sisters (cont.)
Jen and SamanthaWe recently met Jen Pratt because of her role as the Leukemia Cup Summer Gala Chair for the Annual Annapolis Leukemia Cup Regatta. Maine Cottage® is a proud sponsor of the Gala that’s held at the Annapolis Yacht Club. Jen is a mother of two who also juggles the demanding job as Managing Director at Accenture. Her world was shaken to the core in February 2009 when her daughter Samantha, at the time 3-years-old, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, or ALL. The day she was diagnosed Sam was immediately admitted to the Pediatric Oncology floor at Johns Hopkins and started six months of intense chemo treatments followed by 18 more long months of chemo treatments nearly every day. Sam took her last dose of chemo on April 27th, 2011. Now two years in the clear, remarkably, Sam’s prognosis is great. Jen can now focus on normal family fun and this Mother’s day, she is just thankful to have a healthy family to spend quality time with.
Q: HOW HAS THIS EXPERIENCE CHANGED YOUR APPROACH TO MOTHERHOOD?A: The experience taught me a lot about myself, life and being a parent. I definitely learned to look at the blessings in everything. Sam was lucky and we are so blessed to have her strong and healthy now. I truly appreciate every day with my kids and we take lots of time out to do things as a family. If you have health and happiness everything else is just noise. It also taught me how to be strong in the face of unbelievable pain and fear. My job was to be present, positive and fearless for Sam. I look at Sam now with overwhelming love and awe that she has been through so much in her life already and it hasn’t set her back one bit. She is my hero.
Q: WHAT TYPES OF MOTHER/DAUGHTER ACTIVITIES ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AS SAM GETS OLDER?A: I hope that she will love to be on the water waterskiing and sailing so that we can be active together. I, of course, will also enjoy the occasional pedicure together and special girl’s lunches.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A MOM?A: Being filled with an unimaginable amount of love for my kids that I am reminded of every time I see their little faces and the pure joy of watching them grow up to be unique and special people.
Her Daughter, Her Hero (cont.)
Today marks the last day of Annapolis Restaurant Week and blogging about our juicing journey of this Color Cures co-branded campaign. Thank you to Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge for providing fresh, delicious cold-pressed juices to the staff at Maine Cottage!
We still have about two weeks left in reaching our 30-day goal of drinking three fresh juices each day, so instead of reading about them here on our blog, treat yourself, order a fresh juice from Metropolitan and toast to color!
SPINACH: Gives mental push to memory and mind.
PARSLEY: Chlorophyll oxides the blood for a healthier heart.
CELERY: Calms the nervous system with essential oils.
CUCUMBER: Keeps body hydrated and functioning properly.
APPLE: Reduces high cholesterol levels.
GINGER: Decreases pain from constant headaches and migraines.
LEMON: Cleanses kidneys and digestive system—a great detox!
“I skip breakfast most mornings and end up snacking throughout the day on junk food. While I drink plenty of water each day, I know my body needs better nutrients and fluids to fight the toxins I’m putting into it. So, I chose the Detox Cocktail juice to get a healthy punch of fruits and vegetables into my diet. The lemon and ginger provide natural cleansing, while the spinach and apple subside my cravings for unhealthy snacks. It tastes really good and it doesn’t hurt that it’s my favorite color too!” —Elyse, Graphic Designer
Maine Cottage greens are as fresh as the herbs in your garden, a midsummer meadow or a leafy forest canopy. They are an easy way to bring the outside indoors. Our signature Pear color is a great way to revive a room. Think of filling a room with greens like planting a garden—one you can enjoy all year round.
WATERMELON: Powerful antioxidants can help fight cancer!
CUCUMBER: Made up of 95-percent water and keeps the body hydrated.
APPLE: Increases heart health by reducing high cholesterol levels.
BASIL: Eliminates infectious diseases in the body.
“I love, love coffee. I feel like I need it to give me that push to get through the morning and afternoon. It’s a crutch to keep me alert while I coordinate the logistics of shipping and tracking Maine Cottage furniture all across the world. Typically, I’ll consume about six cups a day and know it’s not the healthiest beverage. I chose the Farmer’s Wife juice because the watermelon and cucumber are incredibly hydrating, which helps me stay refreshed and alert. The basil is also a calming scent that I appreciate when having to speak with customers and schedule overnight deliveries from as close as Annapolis to as far as Norway.” —Sara, Customer Service Director
A lively color that suggests a youthful and carefree spirit. Mixed Berry is the latest Maine Cottage pink creation that was inspired by a frozen drink. This yummy color has a slight blue undertone that gives it a hint of sophistication. For a fun and friendly addition to any home, go positively pink!
For more information about the Mabel Bed (shown in Mixed Berry), wicker Monday Baskets (shown in Porch) or the Kidney Pillow (shown in Sea Biscuit / Porch) visit MaineCottage.com, call 866-366-3505 or visit the showroom!
Color invigorates and inspires. It entices and stimulates all the senses both visually and internally. Adding red to your home can ignite passion (try Maine Cottage signature color Rhubarb), while adding red to your diet can boost energy (try Metropolitan signature drink Know the Glow).
THE CO-BRANDED CAMPAIGN
Maine Cottage Furniture, together with our Annapolis neighbor Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge, created a co-branded challenge… a 30-day juice-off to prove that color does cure! Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge is a unique restaurant with an emphasis on farm-to-table cooking located in the heart of Annapolis—and less than a block from the Maine Cottage Flagship Store! The campaign combines the positive effects of Metropolitan’s signature cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices with Maine Cottage’s signature home furnishing colors to show how powerful color can be.
THE COLOR CHALLENGE
Last week the entire staff at Maine Cottage embarked on supplementing their diet with 3 colorful cold-pressed juices each day. So far, the results are refreshingly eye-opening! So, for the next seven days, someone from the Maine Cottage team will share on our blog the colorful ingredients of one of Metropolitan’s signature juices, what the health benefits are of that particular juice and how it made them feel after one week of drinking it. Plus we will show you how the healing colors in each juice have similar health benefits when you incorporate them into your cottage home interior.
Our hope is to encourage others to challenge themselves to incorporate more color into their lives. If you’re local, pop into town during Annapolis Restaurant Week and get started juicing with us!
The Maine Cottage® blog is a window into what inspires our designers to create cottage style furniture, coastal colors and unique fabric patterns. Whether you're an interior designer that specifies our products, a color consultant with creative block or a homeowner ready to live on the colorful side—welcome to our color drenched journey!
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