NEW YORK, United States — When illustrator, photographer and writer Garance Doré began blogging in 2006, she, like many of her peers, had no idea that her words and pictures would someday blossom into a lifestyle play, with a staff of 12 powering daily editorial content (from podcasts to video), developing creative concepts for brands (through consulting, marketing campaigns and more), and turning out actual products (from apparel to stationery).
Perhaps that is why Doré — who has assigned herself the title of chief creative officer — and Emily Note, a longtime employee who became her business partner and chief operating officer at the end of 2016, have decided to rebrand as Atelier Doré, which the duo believe better represents the suite of products — both business and consumer facing — that the eponymous creator and her team offers.
"The way the blog started was such a personal story that having my name on it was pretty natural," says the French-born Doré, who recently relocated to Los Angeles, although the operations will remain in New York. "Now, it's not just me doing everything."
Originally based in Paris, Doré earned her fashion credentials by illustrating and photographing interesting-and-stylish women whose creative lives were often connected to the industry in one way or another. In 2012, she and then-romantic partner, The Sartorialist's Scott Schuman, received the CFDA's Eugenia Sheppard Media Award for their contributions to the transformation of the fashion media landscape.
By then, Doré was living in New York, where her blog had already begun to look more like a full-fledged publication. While Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP takes on new age-y self-improvement with a tongue-in-cheek self awareness, Leandra Medine's Man Repeller uses honest humour as a lens to discuss fashion and plenty more, Doré has positioned her brand as platform for inspiring creativity. "The art of life," as she calls it.
With no outside investors, the company is profitable with year-over-year growth, which Note attributes to its increasingly diverse revenue stream, including creative services, advertising, consulting, custom content, affiliate marketing and more. (Brand partners have included Macy's and Net-a-Porter.) "Obviously at some point in your business, you ask, 'Should we do it?'" Doré says of raising capital. "So far, we've found that staying free fits more with our mindset."
Flirtations with developing in-house product — including an ongoing stationery collection launched with Rifle Paper Company in 2014 and one-off partnerships with brands like Kate Spade — have made Doré and Note eager to do more.
In 2017, the studio will also host a series of reader events, including a Hamptons "house takeover", a creative workshop experience in Morocco in October, and a pop-up shop in New York City during the holiday season, tapping into the movement toward all things experiential. "It will be about channeling your creativity," Doré says. "Many of our readers have ended up working with us."