Through the Eyes of a Child: Children’s Collections

If you’ve followed my work for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed a trend. My life filters into all of it. Every single piece of art I do has a story, and my children’s collections are no different. I honestly had no idea these would end up being as successful as they have been. And each new collection has inspired me to keep going. To know that I’m a part of some of the most precious seasons of your lives, seeing my work on your children’s bibs, blankets, pillows and wall hangings, has brought me the greatest joy.

With trends for children’s bedding and room décor transitioning from bright and fluffy to simple and sweet in the last decade or so, I knew that there was room for my designs in this market. I could incorporate the style and quality of other products and create some playful patterns that would speak to parents who wanted all of the fun without the fuss – classic patterns that would grow with the child that would blend with the rest of their home.

 Shop the Field Notes Collection  here . 

Shop the Field Notes Collection here

My children’s collections started with the Woodlands. I had done so many pillow fabrics with toiles and florals, and while those were fun, they really didn’t represent my illustrative style. The Woodlands Collection was an opportunity for me to get creative by designing something for a friend with the intent to produce and sell online and in the store. We knew it was a risk not having launched anything specifically for children, but it was also perfect chance to see where these products could take us.

We started receiving so much great feedback from the first children’s collection, that we knew we were going to keep going. But I wasn’t quite sure what was next. The maps of The Grove and The Drill Field were transitioning from prints and cards into pillows by popular demand. I had the opportunity to design playful fabrics with double decker buses and cowbells for the back of those pillows. On a daily basis, someone would walked into the store and said, “I wish I could do my little boy’s room in that pillow fabric.” I did some research on boy’s bedding, and that’s where my next idea was born. There was a need that I could meet, and I turned that into inspiration to create the Transportation Collection, made specifically for boys. 

 Shop the Transportation Collection  here .

Shop the Transportation Collection here.

Then, we started having children of our own, which meant it made total sense to use designs inspired by our two girls to add to the collections. So, the shelves filled with mermaids for Fincher and poppies for Poppy. Then, of course, after I spent hours designing and getting items printed, Fincher decided she didn’t like the mermaids and then wanted horses (can you parents relate?).

 Shop horses  here .

Shop horses here.

We had some special friends who weren’t finding out what gender they were having, which made it quite difficult for me to figure out what to get or do for them. And since most of our children’s designs were gender-specific, it seemed like a good time to create something neutral for those who want a simple and neutral feel or for anyone who can actually stand to wait to find out. I admire you all. 

All of our children’s collections have provided us a lot of flexibility in terms of how broad our products can take us. What started with a little project for a friend turned into a considerable portion of what we offer today. Personally, Lily and I are in the young parenting stage, and so many of the decisions we make are driven by the two little people who live with us. So, it makes sense that our store would reflect our lives. But we also want to protect the brand we have created and know that quality and consistency remain our cornerstone.

With our children’s collections, we keep a steady supply of Dash and Albert rugs, Pehr crib skirts, sheets, rail covers and all kinds of accessories. For parents-to-be, we’ve even made it easy for you by introducing our baby registry (link to registry if online).  If you’re expecting, call us or come in the store to pick from a variety of items for your registry. We'd love to be a part of your family for years to come. 

 

Meet Our Team: Amy Thames

It takes a lot of help to keep our store running smoothly day in and day out. There are so many moving parts, and between raising two young girls and working to meet the needs of our customers, our village is so important to us. We have been gradually extending our Adam Trest family over the last few months to keep up with the continued growth of our store. We thought it would be appropriate to introduce you to some members of our team over the next few weeks so you’ll know who makes us look good!

First up, Amy Thames. We are so lucky to have her for so many reasons. She comes to us with many years in retail under her belt, working with big brands like Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Anthropologie. Amy is a breath of fresh air and is the welcoming face our guests get to see when we are not in the store.

Amy Thames

Amy’s Background
Amy was born in Panama City, Florida, then spent middle school and high school years in McComb, Mississippi. She met her husband, Stone, in Hattiesburg while attending the University of Southern Mississippi, where she studied business and fashion merchandising. Amy moved to Jackson, Mississippi, while Stone attended dental school. She worked at Anthrolopogie, and it was there that she learned how critical visual merchandising is to any business with a storefront.

After opening the first Kate Spade store in Mississippi, Amy traveled as a regional recruiter and training store manager. Her husband finished dental school, they moved to his hometown of Laurel, where he joined Family Dental Care. Just after moving to Laurel, Amy and Stone welcomed their first child, a girl named Katherine, and they are expecting their first son, Levi, in just a few weeks.

Role on Adam Trest Team
In Downtown Laurel, everybody knows everybody. Amy was helping the Clairmont family in Laurel open their retail store, HAND+made, just down the street from Adam Trest Home. So, naturally, she became close to us, our family, our story and our store while working to help open HAND+made.

Amy serves as our store manager, where she helps keep us sane, organized and make sure all runs smoothly. Most of all, she helps keep me on task, which is a challenge for artists like me. And even more of a challenge for Amy, I’m sure. Amy makes it easier for us to grow our business because we know the day-to-day is handled. One of the very important tasks she does is telling our story to tourists who enter the store – how the art translates into products. We love how she helps make our store a creative space for visitors to shop and explore possibilities to decorate their homes.

Amy Thames

Amy’s Perspective
Moving to Laurel from Jackson was a scary thought to me. So much of who I was revolved around goals for my career while Stone was in school. Changing that lifestyle and becoming a mother was a huge adjustment, and I feared that I would not be able to achieve both. My prayer was that the Lord would put in my path something that allowed me to use my skill set that I have developed throughout my career towards a passion and goal. I truly believe that Adam Trest Home is that answered prayer. 

My favorite part about working here is being able to watch Adam and Lily take something so close to their hearts, the brand, and let me have the freedom to explore ideas, improvements and enhancements to achieve a great vision. It makes me feel investment in my new hometown in a way that would not be possible without working downtown and for the Trest’s. Not to mention I’m beyond horrible in the art department and am dazzled by all the beautiful products he creates just on a whim.

Fun Fact About Amy
Amy is obsessed with the History Channel and Antiques Roadshow on PBS. She loves to record episodes of Mysteries at the Museum and American Pickers to watch to relax at night before going to bed. 

Spring is Here: About The Field Notes Collection

Even though the groundhog said we’ll have a longer winter, things are already starting to bloom here at our farm. We enjoyed our record-breaking two snows this year in the Deep South, and now it’s time for some warmer days. Bring on the season of longer days for playing outside in our new yard. I am ready.

Field Notes Adam Trest

Spring inspired me to create a new collection of prints, bedding and pillowswith a neutral palette that carries a sense of freshness that’s welcome any season. This is called the Field Notes Collection. Rather than filling this collection with boisterous florals, I wanted to capture the beauty of spring in a more subtle way, highlighting some of the more underlying aspects of nature – insects, animals, flowers and other classic elements that we sometimes fail to fully appreciate. Shop the Field Notes Collection here.

One of the most important things to me as I develop collections like this is to make sure there is great significance in every work. For the Field Notes Collection, the neutral palette allows each piece to work well for a nursery or any other room in your home. I was very intentional about each item represented something for the homes where these products will live. From the daisy signifying friendship to the dandelion for wishes and dreams, as well as a robin’s nest to symbolize home and even lavender for sleep, every component of this collection served a specific purpose.

I love how the nursery and bedding pieces turned out for this collection. The inspiration came from author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, best known for her children’s book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. I mixed Potter’s illustrative style with inspiration from John James Audubon’s sketchbooks. What I love about his style is that he was using art to document his life. Now that we are experiencing life on the farm, I feel like these components in the Field Notes collection are visions of what I hope for as things start blooming on the farm. So much here moves me to create, and I love to that I can create art with expectation of what’s to come and what will grow on our own slice of heaven. I feel like I’m living the life of John James Audubon right here in Jones County, Mississippi.

And as with our other children’s collections, these items can grow with the child and the family. And they all blend perfectly with antiques, vintage prints and other neutrals that will flow perfectly across a home.

Field Notes 2

By keeping our colors consistent, we hope to be able to provide you with products that can blend with other items you’ve purchased with us. No matter what item suits your style, we want your investment to be one that will last forever in your home, not just for a season.

Now, bring on the sunshine and scents of spring! I’d love to hear feedback from you on your favorite pieces from this collection, so drop me a note on our Contact page.

The Story Behind our HGTV Home

Those of you following along on my Instagram or watching HGTV show Home Town were introduced to our new home on this week’s episode of the show. It’s been such an exciting last few months anticipating the reveal on national television. Even though I told much of the story on the Laurel Mercantile Blog, I thought it would be fun to share some behind the scenes here on the blog, including the story of why we chose the home in the first place, how we got on the show and why this house was a perfect fit for our family.

Adam Trest House

We often get asked questions about the process, how things really work when you’re on HGTV, so I’m here to tell you, it’s everything it’s cracked up to be. Our family is completely in love with our new home, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Erin, Ben and the team for making our dream home a reality for us.

The House
We just welcomed our second daughter to our beautiful, historic home in Downtown Laurel. We LOVED our house, but as many others experience with a growing family, it no longer suited our needs. Poppy’s nursery was a nook rather than a bedroom. And we knew wanted more land.

I went into a lot of detail on my post for Laurel Mercantile, but as an artist, it’s hard to escape the fact that everything around the subject is just as important as the subject itself. What is a great story without a great setting, right? We knew that the setting didn’t fit our story. We wanted a place where our girls could learn patience from a garden, compassion, gentleness and responsibility from raising farm animals. And we wanted them to know that fun isn’t always found on an iPad or television screen but rather in climbing a tree or running through a wide-open pasture.

The new house was unique in that we fell in love with everything other than the actual house. The land was stunning. Seven beautiful acres that would make any Southern raised land lover drool. The house, however, was dilapidated and had been a rental property for the last 10 years. This part made it not so easy to picture ourselves here. While it would be ideal to save money by investing in a structure already on the land, it wasn’t something we had the time or energy to invest in doing. With two young kids, this task seemed impossible. Lucky for us, HGTV was casting for the second season of Home Town.

The Design
We knew we could completely trust Ben and Erin, so the process was fairly simple. Having been friends for them a while, they knew our style and taste. We had a few key criteria:

    Our Own Retreat
    Being busy working parents, we wanted to have an area just for us to relax away from the girls.

    Space for our Art
    Obviously, as an artist, I love to fill my home with art, so displaying it well was important.

        We had a few meetings with Ben and Erin to talk through what was feasible, and the rest is history. Many people don’t believe this when we tell them, but we literally owned the house for one day, gave them keys and walked away. We didn’t lay our eyes on the house until the day of the reveal.

        Since the Reveal
        This house is so much more than we could have ever dreamed of for our family. When I pull into the driveway after a long day, I want to pinch myself at this dream that has come true for our family.

        We are so grateful to have been a part of the show. We have so many phenomenal people since they started filming season one that we now consider great friends. Our words of advice to anyone who is considering a renovation. If an HGTV show comes to your town, DO IT! It’s been the biggest blessing for us, and it will be a memory we will never forget.