Duo’s online marketplace goes for vacation vibe

For that always on vacation vibe, visit Dear Keaton, a global chic marketplace, started by Atlanta’s Christie Shepard and Chris Hutcheson.

The company: Founded in 2016, Atlanta-based Dear Keaton is an online marketplace that offers a curated selection of home décor, furniture, gifts and apparel around the world.

The founders: As a military child, Hutcheson lived in 11 different places by the age of 18. She graduated from Georgia Southern and was transferred to Atlanta for a job promotion. An Atlanta native, Shepard graduated from UGA. Both women had careers in marketing, branding, product design and development and strategy in several industry sectors. Six years ago they met while working at an Atlanta-based home decor manufacturer. With a passion for travel and great design, they decided to team up on a new business.

The company name: The name “Dear Keaton” is reminiscent of a time-honored practice of penning a quick note on postcards to family and friends while traveling. Dear Keaton is the founders’ personal postcard to its customers, sharing the latest trends in global home decor and resort wear.

The main goods: Furniture, lighting, home décor with a coastal feel, plus resort wear and jewelry.

Other favorites: Hand-block printed pillows; artisan-made totes; and hand-woven rattan furnishings.

Favorite pieces: The rattan swivel stool ($685) and the amber bubble chandelier ($958).

Popular gifts: Tonga baskets ($36 to $54); clustered glazed ceramic vase ($25); wide-brimmed “Do Not Disturb” beach hat ($40); and the Blue Vacay key ring ($15).

… and gifts from Georgia companies: Hand-painted glassware by Atlanta artist Melissa Payne Baker; Ink + Alloy jewelry; and Maelu Designs’ hand-printed kaftans.

As seen in: Coastal Living: Better Homes & Gardens; Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles; Jezebel; Atlanta Magazine Home; and Interiors Atlanta.


- Blogs /or websites: Design indulgence; elements of style; look linger love; and Nashville-based pencil and paper co.

- Instagram: @asliceopi; @lalarebelo; @waltergtextiles; @tenthingsjewelry; @graymalin; and @beaches_n_resorts @apairandaspare @wethepeoplestyle

- Atlanta-area home/design stores (other than our own): Steve McKenzie’s, Dixon Rye; The Front Porch of Vinings; and Huff Harrington.

- Places for unexpected finds: Brimfield Antique Flea Market (Mass.); The Deconstructed House (Atlanta); The Bohemian Flea Market (Etsy.com); and Thrift with Tyler (Atlanta).

Every room needs: A statement piece with a story. For Shepard, it is farmhouse dining table that has been in her family for more than 100 years. For Hutcheson, it is an antique rug in her guest room. She purchased the rug in Santa Fe on an anniversary trip with her husband.

Design pet peeves: Inappropriate scale, such as a rug or piece of art that is too small.

Biggest design mistake I have made: Deciding to renovate a 1927 home over time vs. doing it all at once, said Hutcheson.

… and mistake homeowners make: Buying decor as a quick fix rather than having a design plan that isn’t thought out well.

Where should people splurge: Bed linens.

… and where should they save: When buying trendy items.

Current design obsession: Rattan. It is timeless.

New (or re-emerging) looks we like: Textural wall coverings (grasscloth), furniture (wicker and rattan), rugs. Also macramé, which is back in a big way.

… and looks we are glad to see go: The washed grey French look.

Most unusual request: Send 350 jute poufs to a resort in Turkey.

Best design advice: Surround yourself with meaningful items.

What’s next: Partnering with some of the company’s artisan makers to create Dear Keaton branded resort wear and home furnishings.

Find Dear Keaton at:

- Website: www.dearkeaton.com

- Facebook: Dear Keaton

- Instagram: @DearKeaton

- Twitter: @dear_keaton

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