Recently, we had the good fortune of chatting with sunshine-y babe and creative girl-about-town, Bri Emery, of Designlovefest. Her story is an inspiring one (started as a blogger, now she’s here), but what really struck us was how real and open this designer is, behind the lens. Her design palette (from paper plates to digital floral wallpaper on her website) tend to sway more saccharine and L.A.-breezy than edgy and intimidating. Bri’s design appeal is both in her eye for the cute and kitschy-cool, as well as in her relatability. Here, she shares her favorite travel hacks—for the kind of wanderer who takes perfect Instagram pics while simultaneously sipping on colorful cocktails.
Tell us how the Target travel line came about, and how did the design process unfold?
In 2016, I had a line of paper plates and cups with a brand called Cheeky, in Target. With my love for travel, it seemed like the obvious next step to develop a line of luggage!
How did you choose the color palette?
I’m always drawn to a Scandinavian color palette. I love blush pink with graphic details, so we started there.
Tell us more about that black collection for the “not-so-girly.”
I know that some people want a practical black suitcase, and I just wanted to add some fun liners and patterns to spice it up. Not every girl loves pink like I do!
What are your favorite travel tunes?
I listen to a lot of Sam Cooke, Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, Rihanna, Jenny Lewis…I’m all over the board.
Do you have any good packing or organizational tips?
I am honestly not the most organized person, so I am not the best person to ask about neatness. But I always remember my socks, Bose headphones (and Spotify Premium so you can download your playlists), hydrating hand and face cream, a pen for customs, Xanax for travel anxiety, a big scarf to sleep on, and an eye mask. And always bring a backpack so you can easily walk around town!
What made you decide to create a travel line?
I started seeing a lot of the hard case roller bags and never being drawn to the color. I felt like the world needed a little pink at the airport.
Tell us about that dreamy photoshoot for the line. Swoon.
My friend Jesse and I knew we wanted to shoot the luggage somewhere tropical. We decided on the Big Island in Hawaii because we wanted giant green leaves as a background. Luckily, driving around for three days, we found endless amounts of flower bushes and beach settings. It was the perfect location! It wasn’t easy dragging eight bags all over the island, but it was definitely a shoot to remember!
Where did you go to design these pieces?
I worked with the same designer as the plate line; her name is Hema, and she’s amazing. We just got together and made a board of all of the patterns and colors that were inspiring us. We had TONS of designs to start and then started to simplify down to our favorites. We wanted it to have flair, but not be over the top. We more cared about the design details like the gold zippers and the perfect shade of pink, and the lining. We wanted it to feel quality, but also affordable. We did our designing and editing in my dining room.
That hard-side spinner, though! We imagine it’s a play on airstreams and Smeg fridges—no?
I’m happy it makes you think of that! I love that it plays a little into the vintage vibe. That is my favorite piece in the collection.
When things go wrong while traveling (misplaced passport, lost luggage), what’s your go-to philosophy?
As a naturally anxious person, I’ve had to learn that things DO GO WRONG, and there is no point freaking out about it. They lost my luggage recently in Stockholm, and I just had to take a few breaths and go through my checklist on how to resolve it. Or have a Bloody Mary and try to chill. Ha!
Of all the choices in your line, what is the one piece every good traveling gal MUST have?
I think the small pink carry-on with a tassel addition! That always gets the most compliments when I’m out in the world.
Your personal travel motto?
I guess I don’t have a motto, but I just always encourage people to JUST GO if you can. I find most of my inspiration while traveling; it’s so important. I’m definitely one of those "experiences over things" kinda gals.
Wine in the sky: yes or no?
Any recs on staying cute while traveling?
If you feel hydrated, you just feel better. Force yourself to drink way too much water, lotion on your hands, lip balm, face cream. And I love the Caudalie face mist! It keeps you feeling fresh on a stuffy plane.
Where to, from here, for you?
I’m trying to plan a month in Europe with my boyfriend this summer. We want to see Portugal, Spain, and Greece. I would love to do a house swap or something like that!