The art of finding

Go Finding with Jess Levin Conroy

July 25, 2018
by HG Guest

Furniture and Home Accents

As a business owner, it’s important that every investment in our company is focused on maximizing our productivity and helping us do more with less. When it came to investing in our conference room, this was no different. Carats & Cake is a network of over 20,000 businesses primarily focused in the wedding industry, and we are all about the “we” culture. Most everything we do is a team effort, and over the past few months, I had been realizing that we didn’t have a space in our offices that genuinely fostered this sense of togetherness and collaboration—a factor that is so important to what we do.

I love that HomeGoods gives me the ability to feel good about the money I am spending while still helping me protect our bottom line. I wanted to create a space that visually spoke to our brand but also was functional and cost-efficient since I have always been a big believer that it’s important to create a work environment that you want to spend time in and effuses your brand. Since starting Carats & Cake in the West Village in 2012, I have realized that what I love most about my favorite places in New York City is the process of discovery. I love the thrill of stumbling upon a new place that immediately feels right (from the flower market to my favorite bakery), which is the same way I feel when I shop at HomeGoods and locate that perfect find. My favorite spots in NYC also have a design element in common: each one feels like the brand when you walk in, so it became apparent that our conference room, both with color and design, needed to accomplish the same. As you can imagine, I headed straight to HomeGoods to make this happen!

I try to start every HomeGoods trip with a plan, but always end up wandering around the store discovering amazing things. This time around, I walked in looking for seating, vases, and accessories for snacks and coffee, and found so much more! After a few hours and some experimenting with the merchandise in store, it was back to the office to put the finds to work.

Our revamped conference room includes various elements that I love, from the tufted chair, which reminded me of my visit to my favorite bakery, to the clear vases that I saw at lunch (these will allow for the flowers to speak for themselves), to the small bowls and marble slab for snacks and candy that mimic some of the serving items at my favorite cafes. All of these pieces have meaning to me, and when finding these pieces in HomeGoods, I knew they were the perfect additions to our space. The coffee mugs and bowls, as well as the color of the tufted chair, all speak to our brand in their greige tones and simplistic design. I hope you enjoyed following along on my Go Finding mission. Below are my tips on how to think about creating a space that inspires you to be more productive and collaborative.


1. Think About Functionality First – What do you need the space to do or help you accomplish

2. Breakdown What Inspires You – Look for items that speak to you and pick out the specific elements that you can incorporate into your own design or space, both big and small

3. Manage What You Love – To help you not only create a space that you love but also a space that helps you accomplish your goals, make sure that the elements you are choosing speak to the functionally you focused on in step 1

4. Start with the Bigger Items – If there are some larger items on your list (like a table or a chair) pick those out first and use them as your anchor to fill in the smaller elements next

5. You Don’t Need Something Big to Make a Big Impact – Adding a tray to your desk (or my personal favorite, a beautiful vase of fresh blooms) can seem like a small change that can create a significant impact. Explore all that HomeGoods has to offer, you never know what you’re going to come across!

6. Edit Your Space – At the end of the day, your workspace shouldn’t be overwhelming—you don’t want the decorating to stifle the creativity or productivity

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Switch It Up – Anyone that works with me knows I rearrange my office at least once a quarter – sometimes something as simple as moving a desk around or changing up a chair is the perfect bit of fresh air

Photos courtesy of Jessica Lorren

Jess is the Founder and CEO of Carats & Cake, a platform that empowers local events businesses by bringing their brands to life through real content and enabling them to run more efficiently through smart, elegant tools.