Highlights from Ecuador

Back in September I traveled to Ecuador for my first Belquist buying trip!  I booked the trip with the sole intention of buying Fall/Winter products for the shop and it was such a great business experience.  I had been to Ecuador a few times before (several years ago to do volunteer work) and I always loved shopping for local textiles.  After launching Belquist and honing in on globally inspired/sourced products, I started to dream about actually traveling around the world to pick out products.   Since I was already familiar with Ecuador and the country’s amazing alpaca textiles, I knew it was a perfect first buying trip!

 Did you know that Panama hats originated in Ecuador? Well I certainly didn’t!   The reason they got their name was because they were exported through the Panana canal (from Ecuador) and canal workers started to wear them.   I was so excited to find these because I think they are such a fun fashion statement.  I’m not sell them in the shop this year but I think I will pick up a selection on my next trip.Belquist In EcuadorThe hand embroidery work was amazing!  Women spend hours intricately embroidering clothing & home decor pieces.

Belquist In EcuadorThe markets were full of such beautiful a bursts of color.  I loved getting lost among the hundreds of vendors while searching for treasures.

Belquist In Ecuador Belquist In EcuadorThe main items on my list were alpaca textiles!  Alpaca is amazing because it is a hypoallergenic wool that is super soft and crazy warm.  The blankets were the biggest hit this fall (only a few left in the shop!!) and I have big plans for next year’s collection.

Belquist In Ecuador Belquist In Ecuador Belquist In Ecuador

All in all it was a fabulous trip and I loved exploring one of favorite countries from a business standpoint.  I’m already planning my trip for next year!

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Our Living Room {on a budget!}

Our apartment here in Boston is definitely not a long term living situation (and I hope to be in a new place by the end of summer) but I have tried my best to make it work for us at this point in our lives.  While I would really love to invest in furniture that we will have for years to come, it just doesn’t make sense since we don’t know what will work in our future home.

Our living room (along with the rest of our place) was done on a a major budget, but I am happy with how it turned out for something that isn’t permanent.

Brittany French Living Room 1 Brittany French Living Room 2 Brittany French Living Room 3

Since I’m always curious to see budget breakdowns, I thought I would share how I saved when decorating.  The sofa and the upholstered chair and both from West Elm that my hubby purchased those before I moved in, but everything else was pretty much thirfted, DIY’d, or bought on sale.  The one thing I want to change to make this space a bit more finished is a piece of real art.   I constantly have an eye out for an affordable piece at estate sales and thrift stores (obviously!)

Brittany French Living Room Prices

I actually really love decorating on a budget and even when we do move to a bigger place, I can’t wait to hunt for more treasures that will fill up a whole house ;)

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Our Living Room

Well I have certainly neglected this blog for a while!  But I am ready to get back into the swing of things and I wanted to start out with sharing our apartment :)  We have been living in our current apartment for almost 2 years (crazy!) and decorating has been a slow process.   We want to buy a house in the somewhat near future, so until then I don’t want to spend a lot of money decorating a rental because what pieces we buy now might not be right for our first house.  That being said, I’ve worked with what we already have and add pieces when I find good deals :)

First up is our bedroom!  I have shared a few pictures on Instagram, but here are some more :)

Brittany French Master Bedroom 1 Brittany French Master Bedroom 2 Brittany French Master Bedroom 3 Brittany French Master Bedroom 4 Brittany French Master Bedroom 5

The room was actually already navy blue when we moved in, and since we liked the color (and I didn’t want to paint yet another room) we decided to keep it.  Coincidentally, the curtains from my first apartment in LA matched/fit perfectly on the two walls flanking the inset window nook.

The bed &  3 dressers are IKEA, and I added lion head pulls from Home Depot to the black dressers to jazz them up.  The metal pouf was $50 from Marshalls, the rug & lamps were from Homegoods, and the side tables were from JC Penny (and I think they were less than $30 each).   Nothing fancy here, but I would say we pulled this whole room together for less than $1200 total.

I’m on the hunt for some oil paintings to go above the bed because my husband hates the metallic faux antlers from Marshalls (and they are the wrong scale), but besides that this room is as complete as it probably will ever be!


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Belquist Travels to Ecuador

I’m back from Belquist’s fall buying trip to Ecuador and it was fabulous!  Ecuador is one of my favorite countries to visit and I am beyond excited to share all of the wonderful products I brought back for Belquist.  I am working hard on getting product photos taken as well as some fun photo shoots to showcase everything I brought back.  My goal is to have the fall collection available online the beginning of October.

For now, here are a few snapshots from the trip :)


Shopping the market


Our cute hotel


Textiles for days!


Traditional hand embroidered clothing

Make sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook for updates!

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Our Wedding Flowers + Some Tips

Nothing brightens up a home or a party like pretty fresh flowers.  I knew that for our wedding I definitely wanted pretty blooms, but I didn’t want to spend a crazy amount of money on them.  After all, they would only be used for one day and our venue was so lovely that it didn’t need too much to decor.

For our bouquets, I called several florists in the area whose work I liked and asked for quotes after we chatted about what I was looking for.  I knew that the word ‘wedding’ made everything expensive but I was a little taken back when I was sent quotes.  There was no way I was about to pay $200 for a bridal bouquet and $125-$150 for bridesmaids (especially since I had 8) so it was time to get resourceful.  Thats when I turned to Whole Foods and I am so glad that I did!  I called a few Whole Foods in my location (they all gave different prices which is so weird) and the 4th one I called had prices I almost couldn’t believe.  We ended up paying $35 for bridesmaids bouquets, $50 for mine, and $5 per boutonniere! #winning


We put the bouquets in vases after the ceremony and I love that they did double duty.  For the rest of the decor, we purchased flowers from a local wholesaler and then one of my mom’s best friends made all of the arrangements the day before the wedding.  We saved a ton of money by buying wholesale and arranging ourselves, so if you (or a friend) has a wholesale license I highly recommend going this way :)




{*All images property of Brittany French}

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Labor Day DIY Blog Hop

I can’t believe that this upcoming weekend is Labor Day!  Seriously, where did summer go?  It was a crazy one (in the best possible way) but I am actually looking forward to fall.  If we could just skip to April after New Years I would be much more happy about embracing the changing seasons ;)  Anyways, since fall is in the air (whether we like it or not) a few blogger friends and I decided to share some Labor Day/fall inspired DIYs!

Sarah from 702 Park Project, Mary from Lemon Grove Avenue, Amy from Eat, Sleep, Decorate and I are all sharing out projects next Monday the 1st :)  But in the meantime, I suggest you go check out their blogs for some awesome inspiration!

Laboring Away (1)

In honor of my new last name, I whipped up a fun little something to adorn our front door.  It took less than 45 minutes and cost less than $10 so it was a total win in my book :)  Make sure to check out these other ladies’ blogs and DIYs next Monday!

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Belquist Is On The Go!

I am super excited because in just a few weeks I will be on my way to Ecuador for Belquist’s fall buying trip!  I’ve been to Ecuador three times before and it is such a captivating country.  My past visits were to do volunteer work but at the end of each two week trip we would have the chance to do some shopping.  Ecuador is known for their amazing textiles & crafts so I was in heaven at the local markets!  The colors of the textiles are beyond amazing and the quality is top tier since everything is made by local artists.  I can’t wait to scoop up lots of goodies for Belquist :)


Brittany French - Ecuador Brittany French - Ecuador Brittany French - Ecuador Brittany French - Ecuador Make sure to follow on instagram and keep up with the blog for updates and to be the first to shop!

{image 1:  all others taken by Brittany French}

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Our Week in Maine

One of my husband’s (so weird typing that!) favorite places in the world in Goose Rocks Beach, Maine.  Its a cute little beach town in Kennebunkport and his family has spent time there every summer since he was a little one.  Last year was my first visit and I loved it so much that I was equally excited as him to return this summer.

We ate lots of lobster, took long walks on the beach, and just relaxed a whole lot which was awesome :)

Brittany French. Goose Rocks 1Beach Brittany French. Goose Rocks Beach 2
Brittany French. Goose Rocks Beach 4 Brittany French. Goose Rocks Beach 6 Brittany French. Goose Rocks Beach 7

It is a truly magical place and I look forward to making lots of memories up there in the summers to come :)

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I’m Back…& Married!

I’m officially back from my un-intentional month hiatus!  In case you didn’t realize, I was busy getting hitched to a pretty awesome guy ;)  We spent the last week of July in Maine and then we spent the week before our wedding putting together all of the final details before kicking off wedding festivities with our friends & families at our lake house the Thursday before the big day.  After the wedding we snuck away to Vermont for a few days just the two of us and now it is back to the real world!

I have so much to share next week and will get back to regular posts since there is lots happening in the next few months :)

Brittany & Eric French

Have a fabulous weekend!! (ps more wedding pictures to come soon too)

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Style for Maine

We are off to Maine on Saturday and I am so excited to spend the week relaxing on the beach and soaking in the sun (but not too much!)  It is crazy to think that our wedding is a little over two weeks away so it will be nice to have this little getaway before the big wedding week :)  I’m all about easy and simple style for beach vacations but I’m also going to pack one or two date night outfits so Eric and I can have our last date as an unmarried couple.   I’m also pretty sure that I need to pop into the new Warby Parker store on Newbury Street before I leave so I can pick up a new pair of shades.  I never leave the house without sunglasses and a Main vacation might be the perfect excuse for a new pair :)

Maine Style


I am so excited to hit the road Saturday morning and I will definitely check in next week and share photos of our trip :)



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