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From NYC to the Caribbean and Everywhere in Between

Mar 24, 2017
From NYC to the Caribbean and Everywhere in Between

An Interview with Nora Neiterman of NN Design & Color

We recently had the chance to talk to Nora Neiterman, veteran design guru and designer of Lime & Leaf’s product line.  [USA Today Home, March 2017 Feature].  Nora is the real deal – a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and the kind of pro that worked her way up through the ranks learning every aspect of design and color in the industry.  

You’ve undoubtedly seen Nora’s work at Crate and Barrel, Baby’s R Us, Macy’s and many others.  She is the consummate professional and can connect with the spirit of the mission quickly, see what others don’t see, and translate it into something beautiful.

As Lime & Leaf always does, we relentlessly pursue excellence and perfection in everything we do – even when it comes to working with the patterns of nature that have already achieved perfection…

 

Lime & Leaf:

So we heard you started at Macy’s right after you graduated from FIT – what a terrific launch of your career – can you tell us about your early years and your beginning as a designer?

NNDC:

Certainly.  I did start at Macy’s out of college and then after a year I moved to a home furnishing textile company where I was really lucky to begin as a colorist for them.  I stayed in this role for about nine or ten years, and worked my way up to designer, along the way learning everything there was to learn about textiles.

  

Lime & Leaf: 

When you say everything, did this include the nuts and bolts like printing and so on? 

NNDC: 

Yes absolutely.  This was during the time when most of the production was still  done in the USA, so I was able to really dig into and understand the whole printing process.  Everything was done by hand on the board, water-colors, etc.  I was very lucky to be able to learn at a young age all the components of textile design and product design just before everything went digital.

 

Lime & Leaf: 

We’ve heard that before, about learning the fundamentals before the digital revolution – why does that seem so valuable?  

NNDC :

The fundamentals are crucial.  Today you may learn a section or a part of the process, but you no longer need to learn the entire design and production process to survive and thrive.  However, if you have that background, you understand and know why things are done and the reason for them.  As a designer it gives you much more latitude and awareness of the creative process and what is possible, thus your designs incorporate that knowledge.

 

Lime & Leaf:

We get it! When you started branching out you formed NNDC in 2005, your own company.  How did that get rolling and what was your motivation to go on your own?

NNDC: 

I think the main motivation was freedom and the excitement of empowerment.  I also wanted to set an example and move forward as a woman owned business, to extend that empowerment to others.   NNDC was fortunate in that we were quickly hired by manufacturers that had clients such as Crate and Barrel, Baby’s R Us, Walmart and Target etc.  We have done a great deal of juvenile home furnishings and nursery things, in addition to a wide range of other designs. 

 

Lime & Leaf: 

With lots of options out there, you have a great client list, what makes NNDC special?

NNDC:

I design and clients most often manufacture under their label – but I think we get hired because we stay on trend and over deliver.  It goes back to those basics learned so long ago.  The nuances in our designs are possible because of the depth of understanding of the entire process, and of course our creative and artistic capability.  I am always proud of the products we produce, each one is personal to me. 

 

Lime & Leaf:

Has NNDC gone digital?

NNDC :

Of course! Along the way we have totally gone in that direction.  We have CAD designers and once I do a design I hand it off to them to digitize, but we are on the leading edge as well.

 

Lime & Leaf:

Now that we have all that amazing background, tell us about…us!  What’s it like to design for Lime & Leaf?

NNDC : 

(Laughing) Of course!  Designing for Lime & Leaf has been really special.  It was the first time someone handed me a little shell and wanted it to become a product true to nature’s design.  I have loved the work for Lime & Leaf because I really get to apply all I have learned in interpreting nature and applying it to the final product.  So much goes into it; the layering and mixing of colors; teasing out the intricacies of what I see in the shell, or sand dollar, or sea urchin for example.  Its exciting to do this for an entire product line. 

I want to change the focus here a little bit as well; I have loved every client, but what I really love about Lime & Leaf is that they’re a woman owned business.  Its great that the two founders, Lori and Kari, are sisters on a mission to do something wonderful.  I think it sends such a positive message to aspiring entrepreneurs out there that are female.  

 

Lime & Leaf:

Thank you for all the kind words!  We have loved the association as well, and having you and your team as one of our most important contributors is exciting for us as well.!

 

SHOP Lime & Leaf Patterns Designed by Nora and take 25% off!

Use code USAHOME25 at checkout on all decorative pillows and throws - now thru 3.28.17!!