In recent years, Pittsburgh has become home to stylists, independent artists and emerging designers alike. A market we’ve been yearning for is finally rooted in our city of steel – interior design. No longer only known for our sports, steel, and bridges, Pittsburgh’s network of creators is rapidly growing and we’re ready. We’re ready for style and to welcome the makers of this town with our own sense of good taste.
In the mix of Lawrenceville’s urban vibes lies a brick-and-mortar lifestyle boutique founded by Lauren Piasecki and Stan Adamik. Black Cherry Design offers an array of designer furniture, lighting, vintage and home accessories to shop for a life “well-lived”. The interior designers/ boutique owners live and breathe style and give Pittsburgh a glimpse of that good taste we’ve all yearned for. Chatting with Lauren Piasecki, one of the two founding partners, we get to know what it’s really like to be a designer.
Q: When did you begin your design business?
A: WE STARTED BLACK CHERRY DESIGN IN OCTOBER 2014.
Q: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
A: DESIGN MAGAZINES (ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST, ELLE DECOR), INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, TRADE SHOWS LIKE NY NOW AND HIGH POINT MARKET
Q: Do you have any advice for women just starting their first business?
A: MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF! WHETHER IT’S A QUIET WALK AROUND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, A HOME FACIAL OR A 30 MINUTE TV SHOW, MAKE THAT TIME SO YOU DON’T BURN OUT. WOMEN TODAY FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE TO BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE. REMEMBER WE’RE ALL HUMANS AND NO ONE CAN “BE ON” ALL THE TIME.
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF, REMEMBER WHO YOU WERE WHEN YOU WERE A LITTLE KID AND NEVER LOSE YOURSELF.
Q: Why design? What sparked your passion?
A: I WAS ALWAYS A CREATIVE KID. I LOVED TO PAINT, DRAW, SCULPT. I TOOK A LOT OF ART CLASSES AS A CHILD. I EVEN TOOK A PAINTING CLASS WITH BOB ROSS’S SON WHEN I WAS 10. I REMEMBER BUILDING HOUSES FROM OLD CARDBOARD BOXES AND EVEN MAKING CARDBOARD FURNITURE, I MADE WALL PAPER FROM GIFT WRAP AND CUT CARPET REMNANTS TO MAKE “RUGS.” I WAS ALWAYS RE-DOING MY BEDROOM. I’D SHOP THE DISCOUNT AREAS AT PIER ONE ON WALNUT STREET IN SHADYSIDE FOR LITTLE ACCESSORIES, THROW PILLOWS AND CANDLES AND USE WHATEVER MONEY I HAD TO BUY THINGS LIKE THAT.
Q: What have been some of your successes and failures in starting a business?
A: OVERALL, I’M SO INCREDIBLY PROUD OF WHAT STAN AND I HAVE BUILT AT BLACK CHERRY DESIGN THESE PAST THREE YEARS. FORTUNATELY, WE HAVEN’T FACED TO MANY HARDSHIPS YET. WE BOTH HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE AND HAVE BEEN CAREFUL ABOUT OUR BUSINESS DECISIONS.
Q: Who are your muses?
A: MY GRANDMOTHER WHO PASSED AWAY IN 2000 WAS VERY INFLUENTIAL. TODAY, I’M INFLUENCED BY A LOT BY REALLY HARD-WORKING WOMEN IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY LIKE LINDA FARGO AND I ADMIRE FRENCH WOMEN FOR THEIR EASY STYLE AND LOVE OF LIFE – I STRIVE FOR THAT.
Q: Do you think Pittsburgh has a good market for interior design?
A: I THINK WE HAVE A TON OF POTENTIAL AND THERE ARE A LOT OF CREATIVE PEOPLE HERE.
Q: What makes your work different from other designers?
A: I LIKE TO THINK IT’S CHAMELEON-LIKE. I DEFINITELY HAVE A POINT OF VIEW, BUT I MORPH AND MOLD BASED ON THE WHAT THE NEEDS OF OUR CLIENTS ARE.
I LIKE TO BUILD A ROOM AROUND A REALLY BEAUTIFUL FOUNDATION PIECE LIKE A SOFA WITH GREAT LINES OR AN AMAZING VINTAGE RUG.
Q: How do you balance business and life? Any tips? Any personal struggles?
A: BALANCE ISN’T AN EVERY DAY THING. THAT’S SOMETHING I’VE LEARNED. ONE WEEK OR A SPAN OF A COUPLE WEEKS WILL BE CRAZY BUSY AND I WON’T EVEN HAVE A MOMENT TO MYSELF AND THEN THE NEXT WEEK I CAN LEAVE EARLY ON A FRIDAY AND TREAT MYSELF TO A MASSAGE. I GUESS KNOWING THAT BUSINESS HAS EBBS AND FLOWS LIKE EVERYTHING IN LIFE KEEPS ME FEELING BALANCED.
Q: How would you describe your personality?
A: I’D SAY HONEST AND GUARDED AT THE SAME TIME. I DON’T HAVE MUCH OF A FILTER, BUT THAT’S BEEN A MOSTLY POSITIVE THING FOR ME.
Q: What are a few of your favorite quotes?
A: I TAKE SCREEN SHOTS OF QUOTES ALL THE TIME AND I USED TO KEEP A LITTLE BOOK OF QUOTES THAT MY SISTER STARTED FOR ME WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. “WHEN PEOPLE ARE READY TO, THEY CHANGE. THEY NEVER DO IT BEFORE THEN, AND SOMETIMES THEY DIE BEFORE THEY GET AROUND TO IT. YOU CAN’T MAKE THEM CHANGE IF THEY DON’T WANT TO, JUST LIKE WHEN THEY DO WANT TO, YOU CAN’T STOP THEM.” – ANDY WARHOL
“WHEN YOU GET DOWN AND OUT, ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT THE SUN ALWAYS RISES AFTER A DARK NIGHT. WHEN YOU FEEL LOST, AND LIKE YOUR LIFE HAS NO DIRECTION, TRUST YOUR HEART TO GUIDE YOU. IT’S CLICHE, BUT IT’S TRUE: TOUGH TIMES DON’T LAST, TOUGH PEOPLE DO.” – SYLVESTER MCNUTT
Q: Any hobbies or outside interests?
A: I HAVE TWO KIDS, SO MOST OF MY DAYS AND FREE TIME REVOLVE AROUND THEM, BUT THEY SORT OF ADOPTED SOME OF MY INTERESTS TOO LIKE VISITING MUSEUMS AND CHECKING OUT NEW RESTAURANTS. I ALSO HAVE A GREAT DANE, JACKIE AND I LIKE TO TAKE HER ON WALKS AND TO DOG PARKS. I HAVE SOME PRETTY AWESOME PEOPLE IN MY LIFE WHO I’M FORTUNATE TO SPEND MY TIME WITH.
Q: What are you currently listening too?
A: LORD HURON, FATHER JOHN MISTY, LUCIUS AND FLEETWOOD MAC.
Q: What are you currently reading?
A: THE MEN IN MY LIFE: A MEMOIR OF LOVE AND ART IN 1950S MANHATTAN BY PATRICIA BOSWORTH
Q: Favorite place you’ve traveled to?
A: NYC AND OCRACOKE ISLAND, NC
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A: EASY AND FEMININE WITH A A LITTLE EDGE AND A TOUCH OF 90S: BLACK SKIRTS AND BLACK LEGGINGS WITH LOTS OF BLACK AND WHITE AND LOOSE TOPS & DR MARTENS BOOTS AND BIRKENSTOCKS
Q: How would you describe your home style?
A: A MIX OF VINTAGE & NEW FOR SURE. I HAVE A LOT OF ORIGINAL MCM FURNITURE THAT I’VE PICKED UP ALONG THE WAY. I DO LIKE BRIGHTER COLORS AT HOME WITH WHITE WALLS. I HAVE A MANGO 1960S SOFA AND AN AVOCADO WOOL EAMES CHAIR THAT I LOVE.
Q: Where are your favorite places to shop?
A: PAVEMENT IN LAWRENCEVILLE, ANTHROPOLOGIE & FREE PEOPLE IN BAKERY SQUARE FOR CLOTHES AND POP-UP MARKETS FOR ACCESSORIES LIKE NECKLACES FROM META MORPH JEWELRY. AND OF COURSE, I LOVE BLACK CHERRY DESIGN FOR FURNISHINGS AS WELL AS WORLD OF RUGS IN ROBINSON TWP. AND TOADFLAX IN SHADYSIDE HAS THE BEST CANDLES AND FLOWERS.