Ampersand Design Studio


Category Archives: bon voyage

we’re headed to Alt Summit! 01.23.2013

We’re on our way to Alt Summit!! Hope to see many of you there, and for those who are not on their way, we promise to take lots of pictures and give a full update on the way back! If you ARE headed there, make sure to stop by our “Going Into Business with Friends” talk on Friday morning at 9am!

PS–Follow our entire trip with us on instagram!!! Here’s a link to Carrie’s and here’s a link to Morgan’s!

comments 2

  1. Ashley Fine

    Enjoy! Can’t wait to hear all about it:) My dream is to go one of these days!!!

    January 23, 2013 6:32 pm
  2. Jessica

    great blog. this alt summit thing looked awesome wish I could’ve gone.

    January 31, 2013 7:44 pm

on my mind: a day in the mountains 06.06.2012

As Morgan said, summer vacation and getting away from our hectic schedules is front of mind for both of us, and in my case it will be a reality before long. We aren’t hitting the beach though; we’re heading to the mountains. So, I thought I’d share my wishlist for the trip. The only thing that didn’t make the cut here is a hiking backpack/ baby carrier. I’m not sure which one to get for toting around our guy on our (not-so-challenging) hikes.

links: 1. Camp Pop-over in navy stripe  2. The Beach Boys: That’s Why God Made the Radio  3. Women’s Baby Fringe Scarf in Blue Sky  4. Sunland Rancher 5. WT10 Minimus Trail Leather Shoes 6. Chai Spice Handcrafted Granola

comments 3

  1. rachel

    Just wanted to say hi ladies! So fun to work next to you this past weekend. Keep up the lovely work.

    June 6, 2012 2:05 pm
  2. Ashlie

    I was just asking my family yesterday if they wanted to meet for a mountain vacation next month! I hope it works out – I could use a relaxing vacation, too! Enjoy yours!

    June 6, 2012 3:26 pm
  3. carrie

    rachel! we loved working next to you, too! thanks for saying hi!

    ashlie! thank you! i hope your mountain vacay happens. it’s so good to get away especially to the relaxing scenery. fingers crossed for you.

    June 7, 2012 5:32 am

Surtex 2012: the big recap 05.29.2012

Well, we have made it back alive from our debut showing at Surtex 2012!! It was quite a whirlwind and seemed to fly by way too quickly, but we wanted to just pause for a moment before we get back into the full swing of things and recap our little adventure in NYC! We’ll start with our quick summary in case you’d like to forgo the rest of this long post. Overall, we’re really happy with our first showing! We talked to so many companies that we have dreamed of partnering with and then ended up meeting and discovering all new companies that we would’ve never been exposed to without this show. Lots of people have been asking us, “So, how was Surtex?” and we really don’t have a quick answer because the truth is, the actual show is just the beginning of conversations. The talks and possible contracts (fingers crossed) are things that will happen over the next many months, possibly even over the entire year! So, we think it went great, but we will keep you all posted on what (hopefully) exciting things come of it as time goes on!

Ok, onto our little recap. So we headed out a few days before the show started to get settled and have sufficient time to set up our booth. Surtex takes place in the Javits Convention Center and it is just HUGE! We walked all of our banners and books of patterns to the convention center as soon as we got into town and we immediately got busy setting up. Thanks to many dear friends who helped us plan our booth, things went relatively smoothly. We had our banners printed and made with pole pockets that we used to insert yard sticks and “S” hooks to hang on our booth wall. (Below: Morgan prepping the banners for hanging)

We had a corner booth so we had two walls to fill with pattern goodness. One one wall we did three large panels of patterns and on the other wall we used one of our patterns as wallpaper and put up a sort of gallery wall of some other works. We used metal clamps and this awesome neon duct tape that we ran across. And as if we didn’t have enough color going on, we decided to tag our booth pole with every color of neon tape that we had!

So our booth went from the above picture to the below picture!!! It totally felt like our own little home away from home. We felt perfectly content sitting in our crazy pattern world!

So clearly it was time to celebrate!

And then the big day was finally here!! Surtex runs for three days from 9am to 6pm. Never fear, we made sure to be well-caffeinated for each day.

(Above: Carrie looking all cute in our booth!)

Check this out! One of our favorite visitors was this cool duo that came upstairs from the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (going on at the same time as Surtex on the bottom level) just to walk around. We chatted for a bit, they recommended some great places for brunch, picked up our business cards–and voila! One of our business cards suddenly turned into a pretty rad fashion accessory!

We squeezed in as much time as we could to hang out with friends, but really, next year, we are most definitely padding our trip with additional time because we didn’t get to see everyone and we also didn’t get to play in the city as much as we’d like! But for those we did get to hang out with, thank you for making the time and the trips in to see us!!!! You guys were the treat after long days in a trade show! You know who you are :)

And, just like that, it was all over! Until next year, Surtex!


comments 13

  1. Heather

    the booth looked AMAZING!!! awesome job, ladies. congrats!

    May 29, 2012 10:14 pm
  2. carly {carlyklock}

    You ladies rocked that booth! You made it look like you’re seasoned pros – it was so polished.

    Phew, I’m exhausted just reading that post. ;)

    May 29, 2012 10:35 pm
  3. laura parke

    LOVED the recap, ladies!!! i can’t wait to see what comes of the show. a yearly NYC trip is definitely that is if i don’t pick up & move there! ha!

    May 29, 2012 10:37 pm
  4. admin

    oh thanks, ladies!!! it really was a crazy busy trip, but we squeezed a lot of fun in there, too :) glad you like the booth!
    An annual NYC trip is on the calendar…done and done! :)

    May 30, 2012 2:30 am
  5. Dariela

    Thanks for the recap! I am glad it went well and it is exciting to see all your process since we are on out way there and we also work together but we are remote. You guys are such an inspiration!

    May 30, 2012 5:22 am
  6. jing

    Yay! Congrats on the amazing booth and all of the hard work. It looked beautiful. :) You two are so inspiring!

    May 30, 2012 11:33 pm
  7. ampersand

    Dariela and Jing!
    Thank you so much for the kind words. We are flattered!

    May 31, 2012 2:35 am
  8. Mary Jo Hoffman

    Hi Carrie and Morgan,
    Thanks for the great summary. I am the gal from Minnesota who introduced herself. I will probably see you at Surtex next year :-)
    Love you blog!
    Mary Jo

    May 31, 2012 5:39 pm
  9. Melissa Ybarra

    Your booth was so very well done…complete eyecandy!! You’re work is fantastic and it all came together so very well! Excited to see what’s next for you lovelies!

    June 5, 2012 2:58 pm
  10. Joy Hall

    Enjoyed reading your recap and so glad you had a great first show!

    June 6, 2012 10:09 am
  11. Jeanee

    Booth looked awesome!!!

    June 17, 2012 10:00 pm
  12. Helen

    Loved reading your blog! Reminds me so much of the days when I traveled to Surtex to look and buy — but so proud of you two doing it on your own!! You are two talented ladies!

    September 10, 2012 1:40 am
    • ampersand

      Thanks, Helen! We appreciate your sweet words!

      September 10, 2012 1:42 am

Alt Summit Round-up 01.23.2012


 (here we are with our good friends and roomies, Tobe of Because It’s Awesome and Laura of A Girl Who Makes)

Hello there, friends! We hope you had a great weekend. We’re back from Alt Summit! As you can see, we had tons of fun meeting new friends and putting faces with names for others we’d only connected with virtually before. There were so many inspiring people there and the whole mood was one of sharing ideas and advice! We are just filled to the brim with inspiration for our creative business and many great thoughts for how we can make the blog better for you, our readers! Sooo, we have some exciting new things planned (one in particular that we can’t wait to share soon!!! We hope you’ll love it.) More than anything, we realized that what’s most important to us is building more of a community here and getting to know all of you better (yes, you….and you,….and you, too)!

For both of us, perhaps our favorite part was hearing Ben Silberman, the founder of Pinterest, talk about How Pinterest Became the Next Game Changer. He was so well-spoken and humble and above all, INSPIRING. If you follow us on twitter, you may have seen a few of his quotes that we tweeted last week, but here is a little collection of noteworthy thoughts from Ben that we thought you would enjoy:
“Be close to the people that inspire you.” (For him this meant moving to be near Google and Apple and the minds that are making things happen in the technology world)
“If you don’t bet on yourself, no one else will.”
“Collections say so much about who you are.” (one of his motivations for starting Pinterest)
“If it’s not beautiful, the rest won’t matter.” (in discussing the process of designing the look of the Pinterest grid.)
“Move Fast and Break Things *except data *and hearts.” (Pinterest Motto)
Another wonderful speaker was Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project. 

A few of her many words of wisdom:
The circular idea that there are 2 parts to happiness: one is making other people happy and the other is being happy yourself makes other people happy. 
“Cram your life with the things you love.” (then you don’t have room for the things you don’t!)
We are SO excited for all the fun things we have planned! We hope you all come along on the ride with us :)
PS–we’ll share many more photos with so many friends, new and old, on facebook as we get them all compiled!
(Thanks to Method & Smilebooth and Rue La La for the fun photobooth pics!)

comments 9

  1. Michelle

    >Cute pics :) So glad to have met you fun girls!!

    January 23, 2012 6:47 pm
  2. Josephine

    >LOVE!! SO wish I was able to go too, and see you girls. Can't WAIT to hear more about the Summit, and to see what new things you've got in store for your blog! YAY!!!!!

    January 23, 2012 10:37 pm
  3. Drew {Coral Cafe}

    >What great advice!!
    So glad to see you both had such a great time and an inspirational experience!

    Looking forward to your surprises!!

    January 24, 2012 1:46 am
  4. Uncle Beefy

    >Morgan & Carrie! It was SO nice to meet both of you! Take care and be in touch! xo Uncle Beefy

    January 24, 2012 3:08 am
  5. Jeanee


    January 24, 2012 4:44 pm
  6. Ampersand Design Studio

    >Michelle! Ditto! We are so ready for our Thai date!

    January 24, 2012 6:54 pm
  7. Ampersand Design Studio

    >Yes, Josephine, you have to go with us next year. You, too, Jeanee! It was such a good experience.

    January 24, 2012 6:56 pm
  8. Ampersand Design Studio

    >Thanks, Drew!!

    January 24, 2012 6:59 pm
  9. Ampersand Design Studio

    >Uncle Beefy! We loved meeting you! Our little dinner group Wednesday was such a good one! We will definitely be in touch!

    January 24, 2012 7:01 pm

We’re headed to Alt! 01.18.2012


Hey everyone! We just wanted to let you know that we are headed out of town to Altitude Design Summit! We’re really excited to catch up with friends old and new and have two entire days dedicated to design & lifestyle blog dicussion (yes, we’re pretty much going to design blogger camp. ha)! If you’re going…come find us, of course!! If not…we’ll see you back here on Monday. Cheers!!

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