DD: Tell us a little bit about Maxwell Silver New York and what inspired you to pursue this business.
Lisa: While planning my own wedding, I was so frustrated by my inability to find inspiring dinnerware through the “traditional” registry options: department stores or china specialty stores. At this time of creating a personal statement with my wedding, I was unable to source something for my registry that I loved and felt reflected my own style. I didn’t shop in a department store and yet I was sort of forced to create a registry with one of these stores.
Prior to my wedding, I always loved buying gifts for people, spending the time really thinking about what they would want and I would usually find these gifts at small boutiques. People always loved my selections because they were personal and this made the act of gift giving so much more meaningful. Eventually, I did find “my dinnerware” at one of my favorite small boutiques and it was this experience that spurred to me to combine my love of gift giving and boutiques to start Maxwell Silver NY.
Zoe: I was a design editor at Town & Country for over five years, responsible for finding great new products to feature, and Town & Country Weddings was one of my primary roles. I spent a lot of time “sourcing the market” – looking at dishes, pots, linens and anything for the home. One of my favorite finds was Maxwell Silver NY! I had always enjoyed helping friends choose products for their homes and registries that reflected their personality and style and I wanted to make this for a wider audience, so I got back in touch with Lisa and the rest, as they say, is history.
DD: Could you both share a little about your backgrounds and what you do at Maxwell Silver New York?
Lisa: I was trained as a social worker, and enjoyed working with people. Now I love helping couples to alleviate what can be a stressful process, to make decisions together.
Zoe: Technically Lisa oversees business development and more of the back end and I handle the creative direction and front end, but honestly we are sharing all roles and responsibilities because two minds are better than one, especially when it comes to finding new, great products we think will resonate with shoppers, and continually thinking about how we can improve the registry and shopping experience.
DD: The bride-to-be is so busy with wedding preparations how can Maxwell Silver New York help her manage the important task of gift registry? Is a consultant available to assist or provide recommendations based on her (and the groom’s) lifestyle? Will the consultant shop each boutique with the bride or couple?
We offer a curated site. We have a terrific assortment from great brands and stores that doesn’t overwhelm a couple with infinite possibilities but presents an edited collection of great, often lesser-known designs. We think our service really is our service, meaning that we welcome being as hands-on and involved as a couple might need or want, in order to help them discover what they love, as many people haven’t had the opportunity before registering to express themselves in their home. We can meet with clients in their home, over the phone and in any of our partner showrooms, and some couples have asked us to do the shopping and selection entirely for them, based on a quick meeting and questionnaire about their style and needs!
DD: How does Maxwell Silver NY make the gifting process easier for those purchasing for a wedding or other special event?
Maxwell Silver NY is an easy to use site. You can browse by category, price or boutique. The assortment is less predictable, or the sort of merchandise that people are accustomed to seeing, so it’s more engaging and fun for the gift giver. We all want to present a memorable gift and the individuality of our boutiques and their great designs ensure that your gift will be enjoyed for many years.
DD: What are five must have gifts for this wedding season?
Salt and Pepper Shakers: We love the bright colors and beautiful patterns of the vintage Waylande Gregory designs. A bit of art for the table you’ll love to leave on display:
Hable Construction Storage Bushel: Because everyone always needs a chicer storage solution!
Wine: Burgundy Wines will source an assortment from smaller vineyards that any wine drinker will savor on any occasion.
Dansk Bar Essentials Ice Bucket: This is a classic design that will transform any surface into an eye catching bar.
Cookware: We love the clean lines, and great performance of Alessi cookware. This collection by Japanese architect Naoto Fukasawa would look beautiful on a pot rack and will make even a basic chef feel like a pro!
DD: Could you each share one tabletop collection that you love and would gift yourselves?
Lisa: I still use the Soule dinnerware that I picked out from one of the boutiques we still work with today for my wedding almost 17 years ago! And I love it as much as I did then. But I do wish I had two different sets. I think the Match Convivio would be great layered in. And I love iittala’s Kastelhelmi glasses. The bubbled effect is lively, and makes me feel like summer anytime!
Zoe: I love Scandinavian design, especially Royal Copenhagen. I love the contemporary iterations of its iconic Blue Fluted dinnerware. I start each day enjoying my coffee in a Blue Fluted Mega thermal mug. One day I hope to have a set of the dinnerware and mix and match it with a set of Princess and the simple White Fluted. I’m embarrassed to admit how much I dream of dishes!
Photo Credit: Portrait Lisa Blumenthal and Zoe Settle by James Schriebl.