China or Bust
North Texas entertaining expert monograms her way to big-time partnership
There’s no doubt that Kimberly Schlegel Whitman is the reigning monogram queen of Texas. Just consider the success of her latest (seventh) book, Monograms for the Home.
When she’s not monogramming, though, the Dallas-based entertaining expert (and blogger, TV guest host, NorthPark ambassador, and CultureMap lifestyle editor-at-large) is busy running Halo Home by KSW, a specialty linen company that she co-founded in 2015 with calligrapher and monogrammer Jen O’Neal.
“I noticed a big gap in the tabletop market,” Whitman says. “The table linens I found were either elegant and very, very expensive, or the lower-priced tags had a very low quality. Jen wanted to collaborate on some personalized products, so we put our heads together and came up with the products we offer through Halo Home by KSW.”
Those products include tablecloths, napkins, placemats, and the like. One of the main goals of Halo Home, though, is to provide a wide assortment of colors to accompany the numerous china patterns that exist — and monogramming, of course.
“We carefully select all of our colors to complement the most popular china patterns,” Whitman says. “I was always shocked that it was hard to find the right rust color for my Herend Chinese Bouquet that I registered for when I got married. Now, there is a perfect match out there for that and for so many other patterns I love.”
In a step that seems only natural, Halo Home has also just announced a collaboration with America’s oldest fine china company, Pickard China. The Halo Home by KSW for Pickard china sets will be available in three monogram styles — and there are plans to expand the selection to include additional monogram fonts and personalized options.
“We are so excited about the Pickard collaboration,” Whitman says. “Our goal was eventually to be able to bring personalized products for the entire table to our clients, but we didn't expect it to happen this fast.
“They are a fantastic partner. I have always been a fan. It’s all made in the USA, and we work directly with the great-grandson of Wilder Pickard, Andy, who now runs the company.”
Pickard China has been around since 1893, when Wilder Pickard established the company in Chicago. When it was first founded, the company specialized in hand-painted ornate giftware pieces and dinnerware sets. These early pieces are now highly sought-after by collectors.
In 1937, Pickard relocated to Antioch, Illinois, where it remains today. Pickard is considered some of the finest china in the world.
Customers can order the collection within Pickard’s existing Signature Monogram Collection, or they can add an exclusive Halo Home monogram to any of the 72-plus retail patterns offered by Pickard.
Patterns range from elegantly elaborate to chicly simple, meaning there’s something for every taste. And price points range from $29 for a bread and butter plate to a splurge-worthy teapot for $472. Turnaround time for the customized orders is four to six weeks, and orders can be placed online through the Halo Home by KSW site, as well as select retail specialty stores.
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