Jessica, What’s in Your Tote?

What to take to market in your tote bag

Isn’t there something fascinating about seeing what’s inside a girl’s bag? It can reveal a lot about a person, and during the summer it seems like everyone is always on the go. And that means they’ve got their bag chock full of their can’t-live-without items. So we asked, what’s in your summer tote bag?

Jessica is our Fabric and Upholstery merchant, so she picks out all of the fabrics for each season and is constantly up to date on the newest trends in home design. For Jessica, summer is about going to market to find inspiration for our next few seasons. When she heads to market with the rest of our Ballard Designs team, she takes all of her must-have items with her. This is what’s in her bag.

I’ll bring the Jute Carry-All with me next week to market where we shop the latest trends in fabric and upholstery. It’s cute and functional with an interior pocket that holds my small items. The white color looks great with my luggage and outfits!

My iPad – I use it to keep track of fabric images and notes all in one place. There are some great apps that help me document all the color and pattern trends we’re seeing, along with images.

Pantones – Sometimes we go to market seeking a certain color of fabric, so I’ll bring Pantone swatches to see if the fabrics we’re considering are within our desired color story. I have three colors I’m on the hunt for right now.

Antique fabrics – I like to bring vintage fabric swatches to show manufacturers as we discuss new fabric designs we want to do. It’s a perfect time to provide design direction and select the fabric content and colors.

Makeup – Our days at market are full of appointments, so I always have a couple of makeup items to freshen up with. My favorites are Bare Minerals powder and Almay lipstick.

A Ballard catalog – I always have a Ballard catalog for reference and to show to any vendors!

Shelter Magazines – Obviously the whole Ballard Designs team looks to shelter magazines for inspiration. My favorite is House Beautiful, so I’ll usually have the most recent issue with me!

Thanks, Jessica! 

Now, what tote bag would you … tote?

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.