Three years ago in Chicago, three women came together to form an interior design firm which they named Studio Gild. Since then, Melissa Benham, Jennie Bishop, and Kristen Ekeland have been named “Ones to Watch” by Architectural Digest. Recently they opened Gild Assembly, a home goods store that donates a portion of sales to Gild Foundation, Studio Gild’s recently launched nonprofit. Take a peek at Gild Assembly in the slideshow and learn more below!
How do each of your styles complement each other to form the Gild Studio aesthetic?
Studio Gild is a partnership in the truest sense – all three principals are in the trenches and collaborating all of the time. We love to design and get our hands dirty, and our common goal is to never stray far from the design process. We share a love of modern lines, artisanal details and authentic materials and draw on our individual experiences and design discoveries to complement and enhance one another’s work in order to deliver the best possible results for our clients.
What inspired Gild Studio to open a retail space?
When we joined forces to form our interior design firm, Studio Gild, one aspiration that we all shared was an eventual foray into retail. We assumed that our collective dream would incubate slowly, but while looking for new studio space for our growing firm, we stumbled upon an incredible, raw storefront space in the north Bucktown neighborhood that was perfect for showcasing our home accessories, art and furniture finds. A particularly fun part of running the showroom has been the process of discovering new artists and artisans. With most we strive for exclusivity, which results in an ever-changing assemblage and provides continual opportunities to reinvent.
How is the process of curating a store different than curating an interiors project?
Our design philosophy for curating interiors is heavily rooted in collaboration with our clients. We approach each project with the objective of revealing an intrinsic reflection of our clients’ personal stories. Curating for the showroom allows us to remove filters, turn the lens on ourselves and shape our own narrative.
Tell us more about Gild Foundation.
Through our work as designers, we’re surrounded by beauty each day. We wanted to translate this beauty into meaningful acts and we thought establishing a foundation would be a great way to do so. Gild Foundation, launched in January, 2017, is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to further the Foundation’s mission of Bettering, Empowering and Improving the lives of others. Each year, Gild Foundation will support a number of organizations focused on a singular cause by donating 100% of monies raised to that cause. Since many of us have been deeply affected by cancer, contributing to organizations dedicated to ending the disease seemed like a natural fit for our first round of fundraising efforts.