For unique and authentic holiday gifts, I turn to pop-up shops that feature local artists. It’s absolutely amazing how talented our neighbors are. I took a few snaps of my favorite finds at Happy.Merry.Bright, a shop at Fieldwork Gallery featuring Pittsburgh based artists and chatted to the women behind it all – Lauren Doyle and Leigh Solomon Pugliano. Read on below to see the gorgeous pieces, shop, and learn about more Lauren and Leigh’s inspiration.
GG: Lauren & Leigh, tell me a little bit about yourselves pre-Happy.Merry.Bright!
Lauren: I’m the author of The Modern Lady Official and cultural attaché born, bred and educated in Pittsburgh. I studied Economics at the University of Pittsburgh and have spent the last few years consulting, writing, dating rockstars and working with non-profit organizations as an advocate for at-risk youth.
Leigh: I am originally from Guyana, South America. My family moved to Pittsburgh in the 80’s, and I’ve been here ever since. I began my professional career working for a world-renowned luxury retailer, managing markets in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Three years ago I started my second company, Straightforward Consulting, offering HR and Business Development services to small businesses, startups and nonprofit organizations. I’m a busy wife and mother of three young girls, a musician, music educator and advocate for the arts.
GG: What was your inspiration behind opening Happy.Merry.Bright?
Pittsburgh is filled with movers, shakers, and doers, and we wanted a way to showcase their talents in an elegant and shoppable boutique environment. Many of the products sold are from local artists, creators, designers and entrepreneurs. And we wanted a store that hosted unique shopping experiences–live music, complimentary gift wrapping and delivery, and private shopping events.
GG: What 3 items are on your wishlist this Holiday season?
Lauren: Inspiration, experiences, and anything cashmere.
Leigh: Two days of rest and relaxation, two days of rest and relaxation, and two days of rest and relaxation
GG: What’s your go-to gift to give?
Lauren: Soyil candles, which are sold at Happy.Merry.Bright! They’re delicious smelling, hand-poured, all-natural, and a gift that lingers for quite some time.
Leigh: A beautiful ornament, preferably handmade.
GG: Why is it important to shop local?
Small-business owners are passionate about what they do and care personally about their customers. You’ll find authenticity instead of scripted recitations, and your hard-worked dollars stay right where they belong, within the community.
GG: What’s your favorite Holiday tradition?
Lauren: Smooching under mistletoe.
Leigh: Christmas Eve mass and decorating the Christmas tree with my family.
Stop by Happy.Merry.Bright ’til 12/27 to shop Pittsburgh’s local artists’ best gifts at 4925 Penn Avenue.
Where do you love to shop during the Holidays? Comment below!