If you follow my Instagram and Twitter feeds, you may have seen that I recently visited Charleston. Not only did I acquire a new favorite American city, I came home with a list of pinch-me moments longer than the Savannah River. You see, I was invited to tag along with two directors of Target's in-house design team as they explored the city's antiques markets to inspire what we'll soon find in Target stores. The experience was unreal; I kept waiting for Candid Camera jump out and yell 'gotcha!'
I did a little shopping of my own (the syrup bottle and Japanese pitcher below are two of my finds) but I was most fascinated to see the process of discovery that the Target guys employed. They. Were. Tireless. We left no stone unturned. My feet ached by the end of the day. But we weren't looking for items to copy outright. Our search was for patterns, silhouettes, surface treatments. For the handle on a vintage armoire to inform the curve of a lamp. For the print of a 1950's skirt to combine with a motif spotted at Art Basel to create something altogether new for window dressings. It was a search for tomorrow's design, today.
Along the way, the Target team had me cracking up with their tales of adventure—and misadventure. When your job involves unearthing the world's treasures, you're bound to collect as many stories as you do objects, and you'll need a great sense of humor while you're at it. Plus they've already traveled more this year than I have in my lifetime. I came away from my weekend with more respect and admiration for the design process than I've ever imagined. Not to mention a burning desire to return to Charleston with an empty trailer and fill it with antiques!
Disclosure: As a Target Inner Circle member, this experience along with my travel expenses were provided by Target. I am not an employee of Target, and all opinions are my own.