Today, I'm so excited to share the home and story of my longtime friend, Bailey McCarthy of BiscuitHomein Houston, Texas. In our on-going series featuring decor stylings of fellow entrepreneurs, Bailey holds a very special place in my own story, as we met way back as high school freshmenat boarding school in Connecticut. Happy to report, we've stayed in touch and better yet, went down very complimentary career paths.
I've always appreciated Bailey's early support of my work and am so thrilled to share her creative vision with you all today. Lets learn more, shall we?
Bailey, won't you tell us a little about yourself as well as expand on whatBiscuit is all about?
Hi there. So, Ilive in Houston, Texas with my husband Pete, and two children Grace and Harry. I love to entertain, travel, and host our group of family and friends for weekends at our farm just outside of town. Biscuit is a line I started inspired by my upbringing in the South, and our love of traditional design and entertaining. I grew up visiting bespoke linen shops with my mom- and I remember designing my first bed before I left for boarding school (where I met Gray, actually!) when I was 14.
After working as an interior designer for several years, I consistently had trouble sourcing bedding for clients who wanted colorful, printed linens with design impact like the fabulous textiles we were using elsewhere in the room. I launched Biscuit in the spirit of those custom linen shops from my childhood- with my own modern take on that Southern homemaking tradition.
We have expanded our line over the years, and now offer our prints in kids pajamas which have been such a fun addition! We are a women-run business proudly manufacturing our line in the USA, and the job is way more fun than I could have imagined.
Love it! You launched Biscuit in 2012, right? How has your experience as an entrepreneur been?
Yes! I can't believe it's been almost 5 years, since launching in the Fall of 2012.
Finding balance and relinquishing control have been two of my biggest challenges - and triumphs. In the beginning, it was hard to discern where Biscuit stopped and I began.
For the first few years, it was12+ hours a day, 6 days a week running all aspects of the business. Over the years, as the team expanded it was challenging to let go of certain tasks and allow other people to bring their vision and ways of doing things to the table.
At one point I had to make a conscious decision to step back and allow systems and teams to grow in my place. It was uncomfortable at first, and felt like losing part of my identity. But now I look around and see this incredible team of women I work with who bring so much to the brand with their individual skills, backgrounds, and tastes and am so proud to have created something bigger than myself.
And now I can actually have a life! Which has been a real revelation- and I have found that living a fuller life with time to travel and be with friends and experience new things fuels my creativity and actually enriches my work at Biscuit. I feel like I am living an Oprah truth or something! Also- aren’t we all so grateful Oprah is coming back to network television? I’m thrilled.
I can certainly relate to everything you just said, and agree completely in that at some point you simply have to trust in your team and allow things to grow into their own fruition.
Lets talk your design style and why you chose theseparticular prints?
My style is grounded in the traditions of the great-lady decorators like Dorothy Draper and her contemporaries. I love playing with color, pattern, and layers of design. A minimalist I am not. I really have fun with my design, and don’t like a room to be too formal or take itself too seriously. There is always a quirky element, or an unexpected moment to keep things fresh - and I especially love to bring that contrast with my choices in art.
I can definitely see that! I was so excited when you chose this particular print, as I have yet to see it decorated in a room, and you certainly did not disappoint! It's always so fun seeing how my work is incorporated into someone's personal space and made their own.
Bellariva Ombre Umbrellaswas almost too perfect how well the colors in this print echoed the palette in the room- and yet it was the last piece we hung in the space! We had already placed our collection around the room, and I couldn’t find anything that was quite right for the spot of honor above the fireplace. I wanted something that had the same irreverent vibe that unites the rest of our art, but needed a different style or medium to work with the existing sculptural pieces and oil paintings.
I decided a photograph was the perfect foil to the surrounding pieces- and no one does fun and color in photography like my friend Gray!
Then, Ioriginally bought one of his Chicago beach aerial’s as a nod to my husbands hometown, and the beloved city we lived in when we were first married, for our last house. When we opened our new Biscuit space a few months ago I moved it to our offices- not a day goes by that someone visiting us does not compliment the piece.
I have been a fan, and collector of Gray’s for years. When we first opened Biscuit, we carried Gray’s work and he and Jeff actually came in to celebrate our opening! It was such an honor to be able to open my brand with their support, and so many Gray Malin fans and collectors found Biscuit seeking his work in those early days.
I so admire the brand Gray has built out of his extraordinary talent and vision- his work is so joyful- it’s impossible to be uncheered by Gray Malin and I am a big believer in the importance of fun in our lives.
Asa designer, Gray’s work is one of my favorite resources as I find clients really connect with his pieces. Whether it's an aerial beach shot or a whimsical animal confection, people get giddy when it comes time to hang his art in their space.
Oh well that is just wonderful to hear, and thank you so much for sharing that sentiment! Also, thank you so very much for sharing your home and office space with all of us. It's always a joy seeing my work come to life but it's extra special seeing it from someone who I've known for so long and couldn't be more proud of! To learn more about Bailey and Biscuit, be sure to check out her site here, follow along on all the socialsor best of all, if you're in the Houston area, stop on in!
Photos byMax Burkhalter