A Spotlight on Inslee by Design



Senior Event Curator, Remo, sat down with watercolor artist, Inslee, to discuss her artwork and inspirations. Inslee will be joining Dempsey & Carroll in their showroom for an event on December 2nd.

RN: It’s been such a pleasure working with you on your paper collection! Could you tell our readers about yourself and what your passions are?

IHF: My name is Inslee Haynes Fariss and I am the founder of Inslee By Design. I am passionate about fashion illustration, beautiful paper, and correspondence in the time-honored tradition of the handwritten note.

RN: When did you understand that illustrations were your professional life? Your job?

IHF: Fashion illustration has always been a part of who I am. My earliest memory is of drawing as a child. I realized I could create illustrations as a profession when I was a sophomore in college—that I could create the art I loved not just for myself, but for other people. I began accepting commissions and was delighted by the experience of creating something that could brighten someone else’s life and help them celebrate their accomplishments and happy memories.

RN: It seems that you have a strong relationship with your community in New York City and online. How did you develop this community andinslee how do you continue to nurture its growth?

IHF: I’ll admit it—I love New York City! My husband even jokes that I see this city as if perpetually wearing rose colored glasses. I think that a place reveals its most charming self to you when you embrace it. I’ve met some of the most inspiring people here. I found some of the most inspiring places I’ve ever known in this wonderful city.

I’m always looking for ways to connect. As a small, independent business, I know I am only as strong as the network I build. The same can be said for online networks. I adore the strong, supportive group I’ve fostered through my website and social media. I feel so connected to so many people around the world who share my love for art and beauty. We live in an exciting and important time for sharing and collaborative creativity.

RN: What is the dream?

IHF: As Elsie de Wolfe said, “I am going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.” Isn’t that the dream? To make everything beautiful. To help others see beauty, and celebrate beauty in every small nuance of life. Every day I strive to live up to that sentiment through my work.

A Spotlight on Haute So Sweet Cake Creations


Dempsey & Carroll event curator Austin A sat down with Michelle Apiar, owner of Haute So Sweet to discuss her beautiful creations.

AA:A lot of brides are asking for very classic and timeless engraved invitations. Your range is amazing but are you seeing a similar trend developing in requests for cake designs?

 MA: I find that Manhattan couples are interested in classic designs for cakes with a modern edge, a “new classic”, if you will.  They are moving away from cakes with abundant flower sprays and choosing designs that are textural and structural.  So many venues feature the Manhattan skyline as the backdrop for the wedding, so they choose cakes that work with it.  Another shift that I’ve noticed is the groom being very involved in the cake process.  He is usually in charge of choosing the flavor!

AA: Your cakes are works of art. Do you ever title them?

 MA: Thank you for the compliment!  I currently do not title them, as each cake is designed specifically for an individual client and are generally not exactly replicated.  However, each cake does tell a story, which serves as my inspirat20120607_ma_481ion for creating them.  For example, a client of mine wanted to surprise her best friend with a Manolo Blahnik shoebox cake for her 40th birthday.  What was wonderful about this is her friend was battling breast cancer, and she vowed that if she made it to her 40th birthday, she would buy a pair of Manolos to celebrate. Well, she made it to age 40 and she got the shoes and the cake!  Contributing to beautiful celebrations like this is truly why I do this for a living.

AA: What is the most far fetched inspiration a client has showed you and then asked for it to be translated into cmaake?

MA: I went into this business because I love challenges, and Haute So Sweet specializes in making the impossible possible.  This past season, a wedding planner introduced me to a bride who wanted a chandelier cake, which is a hot trend right now.  We chose a beautiful crystal chandelier and designed the cake to match the chandelier.  The wedding planner and I worked together with the venue to install the new chandelier that was rigged to hang the wedding cake from.  It was an impressive centerpiece to the wedding and wowed all the guests.  The bride contacted me weeks after the wedding and said the guests were still talking about the cake!

AA: Corporate events or weddings? What is the biggest difference and what do you loveabout each?

MA: Artistically I love doing wedding cakes because they have the “pretty” decorations like flowers and intricate piping, you know, the fun stuff.  I also love working with the couple and often their family members to create a beautiful cake and dessert presentation.  I’ve built lasting relationships with many families though this.  The interaction is much more personal.

Corporate events are great because they demand high volume, and at Haute So Sweet we love making hundreds of something.  It’s exciting and challenging to produce 500-1000 cake pops for a trade show, for example.  Also, being a business owner and formerly in PR, I understand what companies are trying to accomplish with a promotional mailing or event. They want to gain brand awareness or retain their clients’ attention, and we create a delicious and unique product to accomplish that goal.

Michelle is the featured guest for our October 9th showroom event.