January 2013 “speakeasy” at Robust Downtown

Happy New Year!  We couldn’t have picked a better spot to kick off 2013 with our DesignSpeak crowd!

Robust’s new location, Downtown at the MX is fabulously done!  Not only do they offer an amazing selection of wines (and bubbles, see pic below) but they do so with such effortless hospitality that it’s hard to imagine they have only been open a few weeks.  Everyone from our servers to our event coordinator to the owner, Stanley, were so welcoming to our group.  Thank you Robust for being so wonderful, accommodating and treating us to super yummy appetizers!


Robust – Before DS madness…


Robust – After over 80 DS peeps arrived!

This month, we had an amazing architectural renderer as our surprise vendor raffle, Danae Designs & everyone enjoyed mingling in the space designed by SPACE Architects.  Check out a few pictures that I took trying to capture the ambience & energy of the event.  You really need to check it out for yourself.  Parking Tip: Valet at Embassy Suites for only $3 and it gets added to your Robust tab…can’t beat that downtown!

Being our first event this year, DesignSpeak popped open a few bottles of bubbly to toast!  Overall, a very encouraging start to 2013 and I’m very thankful for all the amazing people that continue to support our mission!  I’m looking forward to many more exciting events this year!

Cheers & we’ll see you in February!!

Yulespeak 2012 – Oh What A Night!

We had a blast celebrating the holidays and capping off a successful 2012 high atop the city at the offices of Interapptive!  Huge thank you to our sponsors, Integration Controls & Cosentino for helping us make this party one for the record books!

A beautiful space + amazing group of people = Yulespeak success!  Thank you to all involved!


My DesignSpeak Team, hard at “work”!!!

We had a lot packed into this holiday party with 3 raffle prizes, a presentation to recap the year and a side “fundraiser” for our Adopt A Family!  But all the guests wanted to do was fill out an application to Interapptive after getting lured by the beautiful interiors, complete with a fantastic view of the Arch!  I would definitely say the Arch was the star of the evening, as you can see below, people were lined up to get a photo op!


Our brand of “networking” has generated quite a following and we couldn’t be happier.  Even with all the holiday events that week, we had our best attendance yet at Yulespeak!  To all who came out, we so very much appreciate your support and couldn’t do it without you!   Also huge kudos to my DS team for springing into action and making everything run so smoothly!  You guys ROCK!!  Overall, we had a great time and we hope all of our guests did, too!

Another big shout out goes to Dana Diaz de Leon for beautifully capturing the event in photos!  Click the thumbnails below to enlarge the pictures.  We picked our favorites but you can view the full album here.

Thank you again to all involved & here’s to a fabulous 2013!!

5 Reasons to get excited about Yulespeak!

Happy Holidays!  I have to admit I am very excited about our holiday party this year!
Why am I excited?  Let me count the ways!

1.  Cardinals Jersey Raffle!

We have amazing raffle prizes this year, the best of which is a Cardinals jersey!!!  One lucky winner will receive the brand new St. Louis Cardinals jersey with personalization of their choice, courtesy of Lids sport stores.  Bring cash to buy raffle tickets and increase your odds!  1oo% of the proceeds go to our adopt-a-family charity!

2.  Cost!

$20 not only gets you in the door but covers drinks and food!  Also, if you are thinking of becoming a member or need to renew your membership for next year, we’re giving you $5 off!

3.  Adopt-A-Family!

DS has selected a wonderful family (single mom & 3 kids) that deserves a little extra special attention this holiday season and beyond.  The money we raise for them will go towards clothes, books (they love to read!), and a few fun things for under the tree!  Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

4.   Exclusive Tour of Interapptive!

An amazing space executed flawlessly by Nehring Design with 360 degree views of downtown.  Bright & playful, perfect for our version of the holidays!

photo by Alise O’Brien

5.  YOU!  You are the reason we hold these events!

We look forward to looking back on the successes of 2012 and ahead to a great 2013!  Hope you can make it!  Please click here to view the invite and join the festivities!

Huge thank you to our Platinum Sponsor, Integration Controls
& Gold Sponsor, Cosentino!  We couldn’t do it without them!



Membership Renewal + Holiday Party RSVP!


Choose your option below to renew now and sign up for the holiday party!

Membership Renewal/Holiday Party

september “speakeasy” at Trattoria Branica

Wow!  September was a busy month!  With DesignSpeak taking on the reigns of social media for STLDesignWeek, we had little time to pull off our own event!  However, we had another record crowd at our “speakeasy” in Trattoria Branica‘s private event space!  Thank you to all who attended and thank you to Trattoria Branica for the wonderful service!

STLDW was our surprise raffle for the month.  We gave away a beautiful poster designed by Kiku Obata‘s own Carlos Zamora as well as a reusable bag with the STLDW logo.  By complete coincidence, the color scheme at the event space matched the logo!

We also turned the tables on the crowd in terms of networking.  Usually, we have our team ask questions for a raffle drawing.  This month, we decided to try a little game we call “6 Degrees of DesignSpeak” and had the attendees get signatures of at least 10 people they didn’t already know.  This resulted in a very lively crowd and I’m glad we had a mike to get everyone’s attention.  Thanks Jamie & Integration Controls!

Here are a few pics from the evening! 



“speakeasy” words of wisdom

DesignSpeak’s August “speakeasy” event was held at Frazer’s Restaurant in the Benton Park area. As usual there was a question needing an answer passing through the crowd.

This month’s question was regarding Words Of Wisdom.  ” What is the best advice you have received or given?”


Don’t fear the unknown. It’s OK to ask for help.


Believe in yourself.


Never underestimate your abilities.


It’s not worth winning if you can’t win big.


Express yourself.


No one said it was going to be easy.


Listen to your client.

Vision is everything.


Do your research.

Other Words Of Wisdom that have been passed down:

Do what you love. Forget the rest.

Don’t quit.

Follow up is key.

Photograph everything.

Don’t be intimidated.

You can’t sit on your butt if you want to make a buck.

Hire slow, fire fast.

Pay in cash. You never know who is watching.

We are what we repeatedly do.       Aristotle

Take the gun, leave the cannoli.    Clemenza

I have to get back to work.   Tom Hagen.





july “speakeasy” at Araka

Whew! In the crazy heat of July, we had the foresight to go indoors!!  We had our biggest turnout yet, over 70 people, at our event  at Araka in Clayton!  Thanks to all who came out!

What I love about Araka is the play on texture and neutral colors which is offset by the revolving colors lighting up the bar.  Araka is located in the Crescent building in Clayton, across from the Ritz-Carlton, which turned out to be a perfect setting for our event.  Crescent Plumbing Supply, a local plumbing wholesale company, actually approached us to sponsor after we had booked the location.  To top it off, the did all the plumbing in the  Crescent!  St. Louis really is a small world!

We enjoyed the yummy appetizers that Crescent sponsored and queued up the attendees on kitchen & bath remodeling advice. Crescent was our surprise raffle vendor and they gave away a wonderful Kalista faucet!  Thanks to the spirit of the night and everyone that attended, we had another amazing event!




June “speakeasy” at Rue Lafayette

Happy Summer!  I’m excited to announce another successful happy hour event last month, despite over 90 degree temperatures!  Huge thanks to the staff at Rue Lafayette for staying open beyond business hours and being so hospitable!

So this month, we focused our networking efforts on recent graduates of the design industry.  I know it was hard for me to transition from college student to the working environment and that was in a good economy.  We decided to host a pre-event welcoming recent grads and have them meet one-on-one with a variety of design professionals.  In addition, we displayed the recent Boardwalk Student Competition winners and invited students to join in the fun.

ASID graciously supplied yummy appetizers and our raffle prizes in the form of ArtMart gift cards!  Who doesn’t need a gift card to ArtMart?  I almost snuck one out of the pot!  Thank you Cary Baumann & ASID for your generosity!

Overall, I think everyone enjoyed the evening as evidenced by the photos below!


May “speakeasy” at Scape Back Bar

If you haven’t been to the coolest new outdoor patio in St. Louis, you better put it on your to do list!  We were lucky to book the new Back Bar at Scape for our May “speakeasy” and had such an amazing night!

Because of the lush surroundings, we chose Growing Green to be our surprise raffle/vendor and they outdid themselves, raffling off not one but 3 beautiful orchids!!

To continue our theme of Q & A for raffle chances, we asked attendees “what inspires you?” and “where do you go for inspiration?”  We reviewed all the answers and an overwhelming majority cited nature and gardens as their inspiration source.  Other answers included color, art, travel, music, creative minds, friends and design idols.  We appreciate all the unique answers.

Thanks again to all who were able to attend and make another successful event for us!


March “speakeasy” at Herbie’s Vintage 72

This month, we went underground in true speakeasy fashion and hosted our “speakeasy” event at Herbie’s Wine Cellar!  We had another great group of new and returning faces join us for a fun evening of networking.  Last month’s event at Cyrano’s was so successful at interaction that we had to come up with something to follow it.

We decided to quiz the attendees using James Lipton’s list from Inside the Actor’s Studio:

  1. What is your favorite word?
  2. What is your least favorite word?
  3. What turns you on?
  4. What turns you off?
  5. What sound or noise do you love?
  6. What sound or noise do you hate?
  7. What is your favorite curse word?
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Suffice it to say, we started quite a few lively conversations and our team had a lot of fun reading the answers.

Again, thanks to all who attended and helped make the evening a success!

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