photo: Our Love is Loud
An avid art collector, Dara Deshe Segal founded Simply Framed with the goal of making custom framing easy and affordable. The online custom framing service has changed the way we think about framing and has encouraged framing partnerships with over 400 professional artists and art businesses. Simply Framed has framed thousands of pieces for individual collectors, businesses and institutions coast to coast and has been touted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Oh Joy, and Vogue. Dara and I met at BRANDSHOP Atlanta and have been friends since. She is Mom to her 10-month old son, Miles and lives in Denver, Colorado.
We are so thrilled to have this genius mama join our #BURUTastemaker Tribe!
Read all about Dara in our exclusive Q&A below +
Shop her #momstyle on sale this week only!
Overall, I’d say that being a mom has given me a renewed sense of purpose. In particular, I just love peeking in on my son when he’s sleeping and watching him wake up in the morning is just the best.
Motherhood has forced me to better at managing my time!
My son’s name is Miles, and he’s 10 months old. He loves to play peek-a-boo and bang toothbrushes together. (Maybe he’ll be a drummer when he grows up?) He has the best smile and is a night owl. He was born with a serious case of FOMO.
I breast-fed, for six months. For the first two months I literally lived in a bathrobe and underwear because I honestly couldn’t figure out how to get dressed! After two months, I re-introduced pants and super soft tees to my daily wardrobe. It was definitely function over fashion at that time in my life.
There’s a renewed sense of excitement about just getting dressed up and putting on a great pair of heels! And I have really gotten into high-waisted jeans, something I did not think I’d be able to pull off.
I obsess over the loose knit tops from The Great, Zoe Karssen denim shorts, Suno blouses (perfect for my post-baby changing shape), cozy sweatshirts for the weekend (Bananas in the Bahamas or The Great).
I make an effort to buy well, so that I’ll have pieces in my closet that I will love --and wear!-- over the next five years. Because we travel a lot, I try to keep my wardrobe streamlined and buy only pieces that mix and match and layer really easily. I love mixing prints too. My go-to pieces include a perfect silk tank from AYR (that I purchased in three colors), striped tees from Everlane and Kule, chambray button-downs, white button-downs and blouses, a great navy blazer, skinny jeans (black, dark and a few pairs perfectly distressed), navy cropped pants for tucking in tops, a few skirts of varying lengths, black flats, black wedges, neutral sandals w/ a chunky heel for summer (mine go well with any outfit and are comfortable enough to withstand any evening), and navy dresses. Oh, and then also some great sweaters! I splurge on cozy sweaters in navy, gray and dark green.
The seed for Simply Framed started to form in 2010 when I was working for the online art website 20x200. I helped add a custom framed option to every print sold, and at the time it was extremely difficult to find a vendor who met all our needs. At the same time, I was so tired schlepping my own affordable art collection to the framer. Each visit was more expensive, confusing and frustrating than the last and left me wondering why it was so hard to purchase a simple custom frame.
It took two years for me to pursue the business full time, but after seeing how badly some of my DIY framing jobs turned out, I knew I had to try and streamline the custom framing process.
The biggest moment for me is actually a small gesture: it’s whenever a customer shares a photo with us after hanging their frame. Their persona framing glory. It’s our mission to help people surround themselves with the pieces that mean the most to them, so it’s incredibly rewarding to see the finished product hanging in their home.
Getting a great review from the Wall Street Journal’s “Cranky Consumer” columnist was also a very proud moment for our team.
First, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you want someone to tag you on social media, oftentimes you just have to ask. Think about who your ideal customer is and don’t be afraid to contact her directly. Always think about WIIFM (What’s in it for me?). If you know what you are selling is good for the customer, start by explaining what they’ll get from buying your product or working with you. And of course, be nice. It’s a small world out there. Don’t burn any bridges.
We live in Denver, CO and we’re walking distance to several fantastic parks! We love going to Manley Park, which is just a few blocks away, and also Wash Park which is more of a hike but perfect on a cool day. And we’re really looking forward to checking out the Denver Children’s Museum. Our favorite brunch spot is Onefold (we are addicted to their breakfast burrito) and for dinner, Il Posto (the chef is Italian and changes the menu every day but I can usually rely on their bombolini for dessert). And then of course, Sweet Cow for ice cream. In the past we have rented their ice cream truck for parties. It’s always a big hit.
As a business owner the best thing is hiring amazing people to help you. I am lucky to work with a fantastic team of self-starters. Day to day, I live and die by my calendar and I’ve started to put all tasks onto my calendar versus keeping a to-do list. This is evolving and a work in progress. I also try to block time for personal needs well in advance (like scheduling doctors appointments and hair cuts) because if they don’t make it onto the calendar, they never happen, and that is not fair to my husband. I’ve also started to say no to things that aren’t mission critical or simply acknowledge that it’s something to punt until at least 6 months from now.
I love Motherly’s description: “Motherly is holding on to your core identity and being true to yourself as you evolve with motherhood." It’s scary to think of losing your own identity just because you’re someone’s mother. While being Miles’ mom is perhaps the most important role I’ll ever play in life, I am also a wife, an entrepreneur, a daughter, a friend, and so much more.
Business owner: tie – creative and assertive
Bedtime Stories: Miles will rarely sit still through a whole book, so we like to just make up stories that use as many words as possible. He just likes to hear our voices.
Lullaby: We have re-written “You are my sunshine” and The Back Street Boys’ “I want it that way” with new lyrics centered around “Miles” and “Sweetie Piles.”
Vacation spot: Aspen or Santa Monica
Restaurant: Onefold / Il Posto mentioned above. The Wild Fig in Aspen
Children’s Brands: Billie Blooms, Homage, Hanna Andersson, Egg, Ouef, Rylee & Cru, Kickeepants and honestly Carter’s & Ralph Lauren Baby.
Just how drastically it changes how you think about time. I wish I would have done a lot more international travel!
Done is better than perfect.
(I learned this while working at Facebook, it was on the walls everywhere).
“You can always tell someone to go to hell tomorrow” (Warren Buffett)
“You can have it all, just not at once” (Stacey Snider)
Both quotes from my sister-in-law Gillian Segal’s book Getting There: A Book of Mentors. The book is full of great of advice.
“Full walls are happy walls.” A wall full of art you love will brighten your life every day.
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