Our town of Cape Charles is quietly becoming a town of unique shops, but being a fan of design, one of our favorites is La Mer Design, tucked neatly away in a gorgeous space at 215 Mason. With the holiday season in full swing, owners Nicolle Isaacs Smith and Tammye Delk Van Clief took a few moments to talk design and influence with the Cape Charles Mirror.
Mirror: Where did you get the idea to start La Mer?
Nicole: The idea for La Mer came out of two friends that liked spending time together, which was at the first house, which was kind of a design think tank for us. Two best friends wanting to do something together.
Mirror: You have such a great shop, it has its own feel, its own aesthetic. What is the design influence for La Mer?
Nicole: Our design philosophy is really about juxtapositioning, mixing the old with the new, contemporary with a vintage look, with a little of our flair adding to it; We like the mixing of mid-century and traditional. Our main goal is to create something that is authentic and real.
Mirror: As far as clientele, who would you consider to be the main ones, do you do design for people’s homes, or is it more people coming into the shop to pick things out?
Nicole: We do design in people’s houses – we can do it from the ground up, or we can do it right from their homes as it sits. We can design and work with what you have. Our main thing is telling your story, revealing who you are through what you have. It’s not like you have to come in and buy a lot of expensive things, we can work with what you have. Our main goal is revealing the story of the client. The important thing is that you have things that you really love, and they will always go together. It is important that your home, that it tells your story, reveals who you are.
Nicole: For the next season, we would like to have more design that goes beyond the retail. We love the retail part of the business, but one thing we would like to do, as far as telling our story…we sometimes feel that people sometimes think we are expensive, or too expensive, and that really is not the case. I’m very down to earth, and I would love for people to see us in a little bit different way, then just this expensive retail store. We are really here to help you, to help reveal your story, even if you just need some help decorating for an event, or the holidays. We’d like to be seen as more approachable on the design side. On the retail side, we are going to hone in on the vendors that work best for us, as far as what we are trying to do. We’d like to offer very authentic things, that…we really want to be able to help the people of the community. That’s why we started La Mer, that’s what it’s all about.