Print..Pattern & Product -Design Works International NYC celebrating its 27th year! 

Hard to believe that this month our NYC based design studio, Design Works International will be 27 years old! I can still remember our first day in business and our original 1000 sq ft studio on west 35th street between 7th and 8th ave.

We started as a textile-art studio creating hand painted original pieces of artwork for mainly the fashion industry. Our clients were based in NYC and many were a few blocks away from our small studio space. At that time we employed 4 full time designers and had about 10 clients.

FAST FOWARD to 2015 where we are now located on 36th street between 5th and 6th ave in our 10,000 sq ft studio employing many more designers and working with hundreds of clients.

Besides feeling thankful and blessed for having “survived” in NYC for the past 27 years I truly feel proud of what my husband Neil and I have accomplished over the years. It’s not easy working in the “Big Apple” when your a “mom and pop” business as the city is not kind with incentives for small business…finding affordable rent, benefits for employees and the everyday rising cost factor of having the privilege of living and working in NYC…but we did it and today we celebrate our Design Works International anniversary!

Neil Co-Founder Design Works International and First2Print


Over the past 27 years we have had the privilege of working on so many creative and exciting projects! From working with famous established designers, up and coming designers as well as successful corporations like HGTV, GAF, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Calvin Klein, JoAnn Stores, Dollar Tree, Jeremy Scott, Peter Marino, Marc Jacobs, Kids 11, Crate and Barrel, Beanstalk, Macy’s and Kimberely Clark…just naming a few!

How did we establish ourselves over the years in our business you may ask, LOTS OF HARD WORK and constantly moving forward with fresh and new ideas! About 14 years ago my husband Neil felt that digital printing would be the future of printing in this country as well as around the world and started our company First2Print which is housed in the same studio space as Design Works International. He hired a fantastic creative women, both technically as well as aesthetically, Dani, our Director of Operations and the two of them have built a fantastic digital studio with the collaboration of DigiFab located in Vernan California, the west coast office of First2Print! Clients have included many of the same from Design Works International with additions like, Graceland, Sony Pictures, Book of Morman, Elf the Musical, Marc Jacobs, Coach, Yigal Azrouel and Jeremy Scott, just to name a few!

Dani, Director of Operations at First2Print

About 7 years ago I started a division of Design Works International called “Creative Corporate” where I consult with companies on trend, color, print, pattern and product development. Many of our Design Works International clients naturally needed this consulting part of our business and became clients because of the one on one attention needed in business today talking about brand and lifestyle.

Nancy Co-Founder and Creative Director Design Works International.
Social media has played a huge part in our business and we are proud to say that we cover this on our own…yes I know that we “might” have more followers if we hired someone to do this for us, but we choose to be authentic and post articles, pictures and life stories on our own, after all we have survived in the “Big Apple” for 27 years, we surly can do our own social media!!!!

Our dedicated team of illustrators, surface designers, product and digital textile artists really help us complete the team at Design Works International and First2Print. We are truly international with so many on our team from many countries!

We are blessed with a talented team of designers, some still with us from the very beginning 27 years ago…and over the years we have become quite the work family…my brother Russ, our sales manager and “super duper salesman” has been with us for 19 years and Frank for about 15 years….Frank not only handles sales, he helps with art direction, design strategy and maintains his client base! Zach is our newest addition to the super sales team…giving us our millennial edge!

Our  super duper sales manager…”Brother Russ”! 
Frank….sales and all around creative!

Zach our “Millennial Man”
Meet Claire and Selina, our design director and art director of our “Chelsea Print Collections”  both from different parts of England and both incredibly talented! Selina spends her free time creating @thejellyempire and claire ventures throughout the boroughs @cnewton3 taking very cool street scenes!! 

Meet Elena our studio manager who is quite the talent scheduling our service work studio, designing and keeping the work flow…flowing!! Corinne, our art director of the “HOME” Collection is constantly in creative mode with lots of upbeat energy and uber talent!

 These guys….Jim (@jamessimonartist) and Michael, both “graphic gurus” have been with us the longest and have awesome computer talent! Always fun collaborating with this dynamic duo!

 Pauline, Rosie, Nicole and Ellen are designing original prints non-stop in our fast paced studio…and we are blessed to have them on our creative team!

 Cannot forget Angela, our receptionist and Linda our office manger, both amazing women who are part of the Design Works International family.

Angela  Linda

 First2print celebrates Michelle, Romalia, Alex, Melissa and Lisa…a dynamic team of hard working and talented designers. And a special “shout out” to Eleah who is leaving our team to focus on a writing/pr career…we wish her all the best❤️

Michelle    Romalia

  Alex

Melissa
  Lisa


And of course Michael, our faithful and hardworking messenger who is truly the best! 

Kudos to all of you at DWI and F2P…we have a lot to celebrate…so let’s get started!

Sending lots of love and respect to the best creative team in NYC!

Nancy and Neil

North Devon…A Designers Delight

Just returning from a magical adventure from the English Countryside of North Devon in the U.K. for the past week. After spending a full day in London prior to our 4 hour drive to Devon, the slower pace of the countryside was a perfect welcome for two New Yorkers that are constantly on the go!

Neil, my husband and business partner for our company Design Works International and I rarely travel together because I travel solo on my most of my business trips while he stays at Design Works International managing our day to day business…so this trip was extra special on so many levels….after starting our design business 26 years ago, raising two kids in NYC who are currently in college, one just graduated and the other will be in his junior year… We are now able to travel as the team we were prior to starting a family!

This adventure was enjoyable because we rented a car and drove through the countryside stopping in towns like Dunster, Lynton, Parracombe and Braunton just naming a few… Each small town has their own charming personality….for example Dunster is a medieval town with an incredible castle and gardens that dates back over 1000 years. The town of Dunster is filled with charming resturants serving the traditional “pasty” prepared either Cornish Style with meat and potatoes or a vegetarian option of onion and potatoe…Most shops are geared toward tourists except for a unique shop called “Horse and Crook” where store owner and curator Abigail finds local treasures and reclaims them in various ways. See below image of her succulent pots in a textured ceramic pot….


The town of Lynton was our next stop perched on the top of a hill reachable by cable car with a view that is spectacular! Here is where I finally had my scone with clotted cream and jam with a pot of perfectly brewed earl grey teal! Next stop was Arbon Textiles where we purchased traditionsl British-made socks from local wool…..Lynmouth is the town directly below Lynton which is known for its seaside village as well as famous fish and chips restaurants!


Thanks to our Art Director Selina at Design Works International for inviting us to her wedding in Braunton because without her invite I am not sure we would of ventured to this magical part of the U.K.! Selina and Pete planned the most fairytale wedding at the Ash Barton Estate which sits on top of the highest hill in Braunton, a well seasoned surfer town…think Montauk LI but with the “best” fish and chips….The Ash Barton Estate is best illustrated by my photographs because it’s hard to find words to describe its visual magic! Selina and Pete’s wedding was an amazing mix of family and friends with a DIY sensibility! From paper flower bouquets, a sign in vintage globe, hand printed invites, seating cards and DIY mason jar beer mugs….no DIY project was left undone!  See pics below of the beautiful bride and groom!


Last but NOT least….”The Cottage Gardens”……being an avid gardener I have to confess my skills are now sharpened and all my gardens will be having a “makeover” in the next few weeks…. So many new plans for new garden beds and the restructuring of old ones….see below my newest Devon inspiration and please head to my blog colorchoasandcreativity.com and my Instagram nancy_fire to view more photos of this amazing adventure!


     Kudos to my husband Neil who drove over 500 miles on the wrong side of the road so his designer wife could photograph rooftops for an upcoming project, gardens for our HGTV HOME Plant partners and for my personal reference….

Planning a trip to this part of the U.K.? Feel free to reach out regarding tips on where to go….I will be posting tips this week on some local restaurants, lodging and general info.

For more pics from North Devon check out my blog at : colorchaosandcreativity.com                           On Instagram @nancy_fire and hgtvhome

Cheers,
Nancy

PS our trip to Stonehenge was incredible….to see this ancient temple aligned on the movement of the sun….over 4500 plus years of history!


Neil and Nancy “photo bombed” by Stonehenge!