Partners Erin Bunch and Michelle Vick began Los Angeles-based company Broke Girl’s Guide on the belief that a budget should never limit women from leading the luxurious lifestyle they deserve. Their spending-savvy site provides the best of daily sales, offers and deals for wallet-friendly fashion, food and travel! See the scoop on their recent office redesign (by accomplished designers Jenn Pablo and Olivia Korenberg of Twofold LA) and how they’re encouraging ‘broke girls’ everywhere to live brilliantly!
Also, see our Venice shopping tour with them here.
Can you tell us a bit about how Broke Girl’s Guide began? And how did Twofold LA get its start?
Broke Girl’s Guide: We decided to launch a daily email dedicated to living the high life on a budget after working as assistants in Hollywood. Despite meager wages, we were expected to look great and go out all the time—and somehow manage to pay our sky-high Los Angeles rent. We wanted to create a guide that helped women in their 20s and 30s live the life they wanted while still being smart with their money.
Twofold LA: Having met in 2008 working for residential design firm Digs by Katie, we immediately connected based on a shared passion for thoughtful and inspired design. Twofold LA launched in 2011 after many long-winded conversations over a bottle of red wine where we both expressed our love of all things creative. Soon after, Twofold LA evolved into a comprehensive design studio offering services in interior, event and production design—essentially a one-stop shop for our clients.
What was your inspiration for your office redesign?
BGG: We had a lot of great pieces that we’ve picked up over time from flea markets, used book stores and the like, but we weren’t sure how to bring it all together in the office in a stylish and cohesive way. That’s why we called Jenn and Olivia!
TF: Their existing office had beautiful bones, including sleek wood shelving which is oriented at an angle. We really wanted to accentuate this feature and stick to a contemporary sensibility while adding a fun, whimsical touch that would breathe life into the room and cultivate a creative environment.
“Lucite desk accessories from The Container Store keep items organized but prevent the desk from feeling cluttered.”
How were you able to redo the office while keeping expenses low?
TF: We love spaces that feel curated and personal, and have found that mixing high and low pieces provides an eclectic element. Our splurge was a pair of gorgeous Madeline Weinrib Ikat pillows in a bright purple and green color scheme. We then mixed in some vintage and found items that we showcased alongside Michelle and Erin’s impressive book collection. Many were discovered at local flea markets, such as the small apothecary bottles, lucite letters and brass owls. A pair of ceramic table lamps were found on Etsy and flanking sheepskin rugs were purchased at Ikea. You don’t always need to spend a lot to design a great space.
“Plants are a beautiful and affordable way to add additional décor without breaking the bank. If you lack a green thumb, stick to succulents —they’re easy to care for and thrive without much maintenance.”
Any other design tips?
1. Layer, layer, layer. We find that a room feels incomplete until each area has been tended to. Stack and stagger objects for a dynamic, interesting display—and don’t forget to style your walls and floors!
2. Get creative. Love the box that your new candle came in? Save it and use it as additional décor in your space.
3. Bring the outdoors in. Plants go a long way and can make a room come alive. It’s amazing what a fresh bouquet of flowers can do to a space.
“A well-decorated wall always pulls a room together. We staggered the photographs and mixed different frame types to create a more informal, eclectic feeling.”
Erin and Michelle, what do you find to be the challenges of running a content business?
BGG: Our biggest challenge would probably be bringing new eyes to the site. There are just so many other daily emails, websites, blogs and other media out there vying for people’s attention that it can be difficult to get noticed in such a huge crowd. That’s why it means so much to us when our readers tell their friends about BGG! Another challenge of running a content business is staying fresh. We’re always striving to come up with unique content ideas, partnerships, contests—but it can definitely be an uphill battle at times.
Jenn and Olivia, what were the most challenging and rewarding aspects about redesigning the office?
TF: The office itself is an odd shape, and we had to sit down and really think about how we wanted to orient the workspace. We decided on an open floor plan with Erin and Michelle sharing a communal desk where they could easily interact and work in tandem. The most rewarding part of any of our design work is when our clients are happy and relaxed in their new space.
“Who doesn’t love Tiffany boxes? We used gift boxes Michelle had been holding onto from her wedding to add that fresh pop of turquoise and some height in the corner. We love the way they pop next to the ceramic table lamp we found on Etsy.”
“Broke dog” Eli made a small appearance!
How do you sparkle?
BGG: An important part of our company credo is that everyone can sparkle, and that you don’t have to rock a giant Rolex to do so. No matter what’s in your bank account, we believe everyone can live the high life as long as they’ve got the right attitude, passion and a whole lot of savvy. We’re inspired every day to show “broke girls” across the globe that their sense of self should never be limited by their budget!
TF: Our sparkle lies in the model of our business. We’ve tried to create a company whose ethos lies in building everlasting relationships with clients. We are there to take care of everything from an engagement party to a wedding to the design of a new home. We like to think of ourselves as a “lifestyle concierge,” bringing beauty to every aspect of our clients’ lives.
Pictured: Erin Bunch and Michelle Vick of Broke Girl’s Guide; Jenn Pablo and Olivia Korenberg of Twofold LA