Designer Blythe Harris, Chief Creative Officer of the social-selling lifestyle brand Stella & Dot, talks inspiration and her new collab with the Wainscott based Serena & Lily.
Blythe Harris (left, with Serena & Lily cofounder Serena Dugan) has transformed Stella & Dot from a small jewelry company into a lifestyle brand with a distinctly East End aesthetic.
Tell us about Stella & Dot. My partner, the founder, is a fellow Stanford grad, Jessica Herrin. We met at an alumni event in 2007. We relaunched her company, Luxe Jewels, as a social-selling model under the name Stella & Dot, after our grandmothers. I started repositioning the product line as midlevel boutique- style costume jewelry, opening a design studio in NYC and focusing on our manufacturing overseas.
What’s the concept? We focused on jewelry for a long time but have evolved into more of a lifestyle brand. This summer we have all the beach essentials: tunics, sunglasses, beach totes, and fun, light layers. This collection is everything you’d need to pack for a beach getaway. The Hamptons inspired a lot of our pieces.
How so? The Hamptons has drawn artists for a long time. There’s something about the light and the air and the vibe that’s very conducive to being creative. My husband and I love the Hamptons, which is where we had one of our first dates. We moved around the world so much and lived in 17 places, then we found a little place in Sag Harbor and purchased it just weeks before our first baby, Olive, was born. I worked from there, and it was so nice to have a home base to draw from creatively. I gave a TED talk about this: As a creative, you need to take input from the outside world, but you also need a creative foundation that defines you and your point of view.
What’s your earliest Hamptons memory? The first time I went was with my grandma, Dot. We went to Montauk, where her friend had a house, when I was about 10. We went to the beach, and it felt like a magical place. I remember it being so beautiful. It was September, the weather was cooler, and the light was so pretty.
You’ve done a great collection with Serena Dugan, cofounder and design head of Serena & Lily. Serena is my closest friend in California. She and I met because people said we had to. We have the same roles in our companies, kids the same age, the exact same car. We’d talk about our creative processes. We share a love of homemade things, traditional arts and crafts, and India. We both do tailored bohemia. We traveled together to Jaipur last year and went to each other’s artisan workshops. It was inspiring to see India through her eyes. The Stella & Dot and Serena & Lily collaboration is a luxe collection of couture—embroidered bibs, clutches, pillows, and textiles that share our bohemian vibes. Serena & Lily, 332 Montauk Hwy., Wainscott, 631-537- 5544; serenaandlily.com; stelladot.com