Hi friends! We are nearing the end of our expert advice series. I certainly hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have!! There’s a lot to be learned and some great advice out there if only we stop to listen! Today, I’m thrilled to have Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham of New York’s Tilton Fenwick here to share some advice on working as a design duo. These ladies have certainly mastered the art! Enjoy! xo, Tobi
We are always asked the question, “what is it like to work with a partner?” Many people (especially other decorators) are very intrigued with how the dynamic works. Very early on we were given advice from our friend Markham Roberts, who told us to make certain we do everything together. We have taken his advice very literally – we even take out the office trash together!
In a decorating partnership it is very easy to take client projects and office responsibilities and divide and conquer, but we have committed since day one that we will work on every project together. A sampling of reasons our partnership works best for us…
- Clients get double the creative power – the output of ideas we generate together are stronger than any idea each of us would come up with individually.
- Highlight each other’s strengths- Partnerships are intrinsically relationships of equals, but we do recognize our individual strengths and weaknesses. If you do something really well, a partner should help you do it even better and vice versa.
- We love what we do and love it even more when experiencing together – We work late hours, eat lunches together and yes, even vacation together.
- Shared vision- we have a shared vision for the future of Tilton Fenwick. We are constantly communicating about how we would like to evolve and what steps we can take to achieve them together.
- Egos take a back seat- Though we are both strong personalities, we trust in our common vision for our company and hence neither of us feels like we need to be in control. We are constantly focused on our joint vision towards our goals.
These projects are just a few of the ways, we’ve worked together to create an amazing end result…
-Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham of Tilton Fenwick
[Images: Headshot, Sarah Sloboda; Portfolio Images 1-4, Patrick Cline; Image 5, Michael Rodenbush]