Jessie Black is the luxury lifestyle brand’s principal designer, founder, and namesake. Her global background is reflected in the array of merchandise carried in the boutique as well as the refined yet characterful interiors she conjures into existence for clients. She was raised in Sydney and has also called Paris, London, New York, and Monte Carlo home. Jessie has spent much of her time working with the finest textile and cashmere mills throughout Italy and France to source the boutique’s sumptuous cashmere and her signature thousand thread-count Egyptian cotton bed sheets.
What inspired this career path for you?
I’ve always loved design, aesthetics, and beautiful things. One day I just decided to make a career based on the things I love.
I’ve a background in Visual Merchandising and Brand Strategy. Part of my role in Visual Merchandising meant I spent my time living and traveling Europe, setting up stores. This meant I was incredibly involved in all elements of the interior design process. As time went by, I was getting more and more involved in the interior design elements of my role. I soon realized I was able to turn my passion into a career.
Well before that time I did my MBA with a major in Luxury Sector, so that helped me in understanding the nuts and bolts of the luxury industry. This was vital to the retail element of my brand.
I’ve been fortunate to work in London, Paris, Monte Carlo, and New York. Each city has shaped my outlook and design aesthetic in their own quirky way.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
San Francisco Airport! Travel is my greatest source of inspiration. Each adventure brings me home with fresh perspectives, ideas, and suppliers. I always come home feeling rejuvenated and re-charged.
Travel doesn’t have to involve a plane, though. It can mean simply visiting a new gallery or coffee shop. There is inspiration everywhere — you just have to be open to it.
Tell us about your creative process.
I work very collaboratively with my clients, as it’s important to me that each space is tailored to my clients’ tastes and lifestyles. I always start by thinking about the mood of a space, and then work from there.
I like to start with a neutral palette, and then layer texture and accents from there. (And then at the end, pair back again!)
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Simple, Refined, Classic.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
Beautiful wooden flooring. It goes with everything! (The wider the plank, the more luxurious.)
Who do you look up to in the design world?
There are so many designers I look up to. I love everything Kelly Wearstler is creating at the moment! It’s fresh, modern, and always with a little twist!
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
My dream is to one day renovate an old French chateau.
I don’t have a specific, ideal client in my mind per se, but just a client who is willing to share that dream and vision with me.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
“Wood, White, and Sunlight”
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
There are so many great design blogs out there.
I absolutely adore the lifestyle of www.GaranceDore.com. Her aesthetic is cool and laid-back. She mixes French chic with American edginess seamlessly!
I adore www.designlovefest.com. Bri’s sense of style is so vibrant and fun!
Recently I’ve enjoyed Amsterdam-based blog www.TheStylefiles.com.
Share a little bit about the pieces you’re consigning on Viyet, e.g., do any have unique back stories, in what kind of space do you hope they end up, etc.?
I used to love scouring the flea markets of Paris with my godmother as a teenager. From an early age, I grew to appreciate the beauty of old treasures. I especially love vintage linens. I love how delicate and discolored they are. I’m forever mixing old with new items. It helps a space have character, warmth, and charm. Nothing looks more soulless than a home kitted out direct from the showroom.
What do you love about Viyet?
I love how easily I can find unique, high-end pieces for my clients.
I love buying old pieces and breathing life back into them. What I love even more than that, though, is buying an old piece and have it be in already wonderful condition. That’s why I love the curation process behind Viyet, too. It makes my job so easy.
In this day and age of disposable consumerism, I love that Viyet gives beautiful pieces a chance at a new life and home, too.