SR/A Interior Design was born as the passion project of its president and CEO Sabine Roy. Early in its 15 year history, the team cultivated the commitment to client relationships and the idea that everyone involved in a project, regardless of your role, was building together. The firm maintains this close-knit culture that manifests in high quality work and intimate client relationships, yielding highly personalized boutique design tailored to each project.
In 2013, SR/A launched La Collection, a retail gallery that allows the firm to house the antiques, art and unique furnishings that it incorporates into projects. As an affirmation to it’s strong ties to the community, La Collection now showcases all original art from local artists in the DMV area. SR/A prides itself on these strong relationships with local artists and strives to serve as a community showroom for the vibrant art culture in our backyard.
With its values rooted in community, SR/A regularly hosts charity events and art receptions for our Chevy Chase/Bethesda neighborhood. In April 2018, the reception of Real Art on a Shoestring welcomed over a hundred art enthusiasts into the La Collection space to appreciate the careful curation of works by 20 participating artists. The festive energy of the evening celebrating art and community serves as another reminder for SR/A’s mission to foster relationships in everything it purses.
As we reflect on the ethos that make SR/A thrive, excitement is building for its newest event set for September 29: Art x Arts Pop-up, a community mixer that plays with a fine art-meets-martial arts theme. La Collection partners with our neighbor, Ascend Institute of Martial Arts, to bring an afternoon of mingling with art brought out galleries and displayed in an unusual, refreshing space.
Learn more about Art x Arts and we hope to see you there or at a future SR/A La Collection event!
In being a part of Real Art on a Shoestring from the beginning stages, it was an incredible experience to watch the art collection and event all come to fruition. Lights were hitting each piece of art just right, there was a constant buzz and chatter of guests admiring each piece, and the room radiated with a festive spirit as we all appreciated original, affordable art together.
Real Art on a Shoestring was my first event since being with SR/A, and I witnessed over a hundred art enthusiasts join the SR/A staff and 20 participating artists for this opening reception at SR/A La Collection. Since the SR/A team always loves a party, we also took this occasion to celebrate the firm’s 15-year anniversary – Real Art on a Shoestring was a celebratory evening on all fronts.
To keep guests entertained, we added an interactive element to this event. We hung a large event sign in the middle of a moveable wall and entwined invisible fishing line all around the sign. When guests arrived, they were given a brightly-colored shoelace to hang anywhere, in any fashion, on the wall. The idea behind this element was to signify how art should be about community, fun, and creativity. The wall, now overlaid with multi-colored shoelaces, stands tall in our gallery as a real work of art representing community collaboration.
Along with watching the shoestring wall flourish as the night went on, I also enjoyed meeting and mingling with a lot of the artists showcasing their artwork. For such inspiration work call Brushwork Painters . Sue Fierston – a painter and print-maker who “walks the line between realism and abstraction” – was definitely one of my personal favorites. It was as if she was painting a picture right in front of me while I listened to her detail the inspiration she experienced from Yosemite National Park. Another notable favorite of mine, displaying her art at La Collection, was Stefanie Stark. Stefanie’s paintings were a mixture of abstract painted florals and whimsical colors that emulated spring, light, and hope. After talking with her about her collection, she noted her hopes were for viewers to get “lost” in her paintings as much as she does. After standing and admiring her largest piece, “Watching Flowers in the Rain,” it was as if I was taken back to my childhood days, spending time with my parents, planting flowers in the garden, and listening to them instruct me not to overwater them (as I tended to do) – a semi-comical, yet special memory I have. Another showcased artist, Fabiano Amin, was a high-spirited and enthusiastic element to the event. His abstract pieces were displayed on one of the front walls in the gallery, and they were definitely catching guests’ attention as they entered the gallery.
Though the art sales from Real Art on a Shoestring made it a successful evening for our artists, the energy during this art opening alone made it a triumphant occasion that I am elated to have been a part of. It was a remarkable experience to have all of the puzzle-pieces come together for Real Art on a Shoestring, and I am very excited for the next event at La Collection. For now, I will enjoy and appreciate my workspace being so immersed in these inspiring art collections that will be on display through Summer 2018.
Madeline Owens is a Marketing Intern at SR/A Interior Design. She graduates later this month with a B.S. in Marketing and Supply Chain from the Smith School of Business at University of Maryland – College Park.
You hear it again and again – Join a professional organization! Attend a networking event! In your head you’re thinking, but I’m not looking for a new job, why should I spend my precious free time networking and exchanging business cards?
News Flash – there are TONS of reasons professional organizations are worthwhile! But in the essence of time, here are my top four…
Typically, professional organizations will hold their events in a variety of locations to try to appeal to members located in different neighborhoods or areas of the city. If you are a person who loves to try out new restaurants, breweries, hotel bars, or whatever the venue this is great news for you! At each event you get to check out a new hot spot in town without having to make any reservations or plans on your own.
3. Keeping in Touch
You’re thinking, isn’t this networking? The answer is no. I’m not talking about making new connections here, I’m talking about keeping old ones. It’s no secret the design industry in DC is a small one. You really don’t know how many people you already know in the industry until you attend an event. I’m constantly running into past co-workers, former professors and industry acquaintances. Professional organization events are a great way to keep up with these people on the fringes of your social circle. If you are nervous about not knowing anyone at a professional networking event, don’t be. Odds are you’ll know someone else there before you walk in the door.
2. Committing to Your Industry (and company!)
“Hi, I’m so and so and I work at so and so company.” Making the effort to stay involved in a professional organization isn’t just a benefit to you but also your company. Every name tag with your company name on it or contact list with your company email is free advertising for your company. An employer appreciates seeing that you are not only committing to being deeper involved in your industry, but that your effort is reflecting positively on the company as well and who knows where that might lead?
1. Growing Your Professional (and Life) Skills
Professional organizations are completely volunteer run. Do you think those awesome events, wacky fundraisers and packed trade shows plan themselves? Let me tell you, they don’t. Joining a committee is an easy way to kill two birds with one stone – 1) you automatically meet people in the organization and 2) you get to brush up on those rusty event planning, fundraising or other life skills you haven’t used in awhile. Professional organizations need help putting together outreach campaigns, connecting with students, planning events, and lots more. Each organization is always looking for volunteers! Contributing a couple hours a month to a committee is completely worth the benefit and who knows what skill (be it professional, life or leadership) you’ll develop?
Jennie Carman is a Certified Interior Designer & Brand Coordinator at SR/A. She served as Director of Programming for the NEWH DC Chapter in 2016, and has been an active member of the organization since 2014.
If you know the SR/A team, it’s no secret that many of us are animal lovers. On any given day it’s possible to see one of the staff’s dogs in the office keeping watch over our desks, greeting gallery customers, and patrolling the kitchen during lunch time. That’s why it’s no surprise that when we choose to give back to the community, one of our first instincts is to help animals. On September 23, SR/A held our second annual adoption event and fundraiser at La Collection in partnership with City Dogs Rescue.
Though we typically hold several events at La Collection throughout the year, the dog adoption event is my personal favorite. La Collection comes alive with energy as adoptable dogs literally take over the gallery. Most love the attention, belly rubs, and ear scratches they get from customers and passers-by, while those that are little shy, as some rescue dogs are, can easily find a quiet spot in the gallery where they can settle down to watch the show. At our 2016 event, all the dogs present were adopted within a couple of weeks after the event, and we’re happy to report that it looks like several of the dogs this year also met their forever families at the event.
This year, SR/A organized a silent auction as part of the event. I’m pleased to say we raised over $600 for City Dogs Rescue, over double the amount raised at the 2016 event. This would not have been possible without the generous sponsors who donated goods and services for the silent auction:
- Ascend Institute of Martial Arts
- Olde Towne Pet Resort
- Orvis of Bethesda
- Academy Dog Training by Heywood
- Veterinary Holistic Care
- ReetMomma on Etsy
- Frame Avenue
- Sabine Roy
- Nadine Singh
- Cori Steadman
Giving back to the community is part of our firm culture. As much as we love dogs, SR/A is proud to have supported other animal organization in the past, such as earlier this year when our team participated in Design for Felines with the DC Humane Rescue Alliance. However, City Dogs is an organization close to our hearts here at SR/A. My fiancé and I adopted our dog Lander from City Dogs in 2015 and our principals, Sabine and Sean, adopted their dog Margot in 2016. Here are Lander and Margot sporting their “alumni” bandannas at this year’s event.
If you’d like to learn more about City Dogs Rescue, please check out their website: www.citydogsrescuedc.org. And, be sure to keep your eye out for the date of our Third Annual Adoption Event next fall!
Jennie Carman is an Interior Designer at SR/A Interior Design. She earned her MFA in Interior Design from The George Washington University in 2014 and previously spent several years in the event planning industry before moving into a career in interior design.