“Sophisticated casual” is how Jennifer Keiser, interior designer and general manager of The Quiet Moose, would describe the vibe of the unique Interior Design and Furniture Showroom in Petoskey. Nestled in a grove of trees along Little Traverse Bay between Bay Harbor and Petoskey, the building bears homage to the theme of the store which is, incidentally, Keiser’s design style: “Lodge, Cottage and Contemporary.”
Keiser grew up in Cheboygan and earned a degree in art history from the University of Michigan. She joined the team at The Quiet Moose in 1998 and became general manager eight years ago. Today, Keiser finds herself doing a bit of everything from designing to attending trade shows, buying, managing and directing operations, and leading The Quiet Moose social media team.
“I personally choose a few design jobs each year along with my other responsibilities. I’ve learned that the designer-client relationship has to be the right fit,” Keiser said.
This process of matching designer to client comes as a result of meeting and consulting with perspective customers, discussing how they want to live in their space, walking the floor with them, showing them what The Quiet Moose can offer and establishing a unique partnership.
“It’s really an exciting interview process and a collaborative effort,” she said of the experience.
Ten design elements Jennifer Keiser can’t live without:
iPhones and iPads are essential when running the showroom and traveling to meet with clients. We can just hop onto the internet and browse thousands of sites for inspiration or use them to stay up to date with the latest trends.
2. Social media
Social media sites and design portals allow us to visually share, discover new interests, research new design trends, projects and products and create our own virtual library accessible from anywhere.
3. Happy colors
We like using decorative art, rugs, upholstery and wallpaper in bright, happy colors in a wide palette of hues. Not everything has to be neutral or solid; use a floral print, mix it with plaid, and layer in the space with personality.
Accessories play an important role in completing a designed space. This is where we get to add the finishing touches; where we get to have fun and bring out the project’s personality, to create the shapes, colors and desired textures to complete the décor.
5. Mood boards
We love using mood boards to showcase ideas and concepts that represent a certain aesthetic. This includes color palettes, materials, samples and most importantly, the concept. Mood boards help us communicate and better understand our clients.
6. Attending trade shows
Several times a year we visit industry trade shows to shop for our clients. We attend them year after year not only because of our love of new and exciting design sources but also to keep our fingers on the pulse of the industry. Staying on the cusp of emerging trends is essential for us.
Networking is of crucial value regardless of your industry. Having access to a Rolodex of talented and enthusiastic professionals is a real game changer in this industry, ensuring that we deliver the best results to our clients in a timely, professional manner. And let’s be honest, helping others and collaborating just feels good!
8. Right brain, left brain thinking
In working with clients directly on a daily basis, it’s important we use both sides of the brain. The left brain is the creative aspect that brings style and originality to our projects. The right brain is the accuracy, foresight and organization that allows a project to run smoothly. Everything we do is intended to make our client’s journey as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
9. Balancing home life and career
I’ve come to realize there isn’t a perfect formula for achieving balance, but when you have, you feel a little less crazy in life. I want my kids to grow up valuing their work, following their passion with the right amount of hustle and making time to be fully present with friends and family and their life. And I hope they learn that from me.
10. Teamwork makes dreamwork
We have a growing furniture line and a growing team of amazing individuals who work tirelessly to make The Quiet Moose tick each day. The list goes on and it’s been an incredible thing to watch our business grow. None of this would have been possible without our incredible followers. We thank you for being part of this journey and can’t wait to show you what’s coming this year!
The Quiet Moose
2666 Charlevoix Avenue, Petoskey
Written By Anne Kelly, Photos by Tatum McWatters