designer Allison Honsen Delaney, who steers
clients who want a tailored yet comfortable
look in their direction.
“They are a favorite of mine if I have to recommend a retail resource to a client, because
of how easy it is to order online and how well
curated their catalog is,” Delaney says.
How did Kanter go from operating a single
store to building a brand with 533 items ranging
from bedding to custom upholstery, one that’s
redefined intimate home spaces like the baby’s
room? Judging from the juggernaut that has
been Kanter’s career path, it’s clear she was never
destined to keep things small. But the catalyzing
event happened on a day when Kanter was not
even in her shop. She was at the hospital, giving
birth to her second son, when Dugan walked in
bearing pieces of hand-block-printed fabrics she’d
created while working as an artist and designer
for both retailers and private homes.
“Serena was doing a lot of decorative painting in nurseries,” Kanter recalls; she herself had
been immersed in nursery decor both at home,
preparing for her new baby, and at work.
“We both arrived at the same conclusion:
that what we would want in our baby’s nursery
didn’t exist in the marketplace,” Kanter says.
This was 2003, and Dugan describes the
crib bedding on the market at the time — even
high-end stuff — as “fairly saccharine.”
“It was ducks and bunnies and choo-choo
trains and pastel colors, and it wasn’t really
speaking to the parents. It was speaking to the
child,” Dugan says.
Kanter knew that she was not the only woman
out there who arrived at motherhood with career
successes behind her and a grown-up sense of
interior design. Dugan hadn’t started her family
yet, but she had watched her clients grasp for
something missing from the marketplace.
“We were appealing to a slightly older mom
who had more sophisticated taste and probably
more money to spend on this very important, very
valued space and life experience,” Dugan says.
“We both arrived at
the same conclusion:
that what we would
want in our baby’s
nursery didn’t exist in
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