At Home With Veronica Sheaffer

Chicago photographer Roberta Smi spent the day with wedding gown designer Veronica Sheaffer and her family documenting life at home with this successful entrepreneur. We love the moments with her daughter Poppy and the feminine, French-inspired style throughout her home. We also loved getting to know here more in the brief Q & A below - enjoy!

What inspires you?

I’m so fascinated by the past – how it felt to live in another time – and that’s been such a part of me for as long as I can remember. It carries into my bridal and lingerie designs and my decorating at home. My eye is always going to be drawn towards a gorgeous thing from history – something of quality that was beautifully made. That’s what I try to achieve in my own work.

How did becoming a mother change how you work?

It changed me in every way, of course, not just in my work. Because there’s no longer extra time in our lives, everything we do has a purpose. Everything I wear, everything I purchase, anything I make has to be “worth it.” The biggest struggle is not having time to explore and experiment with all of the ideas I have in my head, but that has also forced me to only focus on creating things that are really of value. And I can no longer be “on” at all hours. If I’m with my daughter, I’m focused on her. I’m still getting used to the adjustment, of course – it’s difficult not being able to do everything, but it’s absolutely worth it.

What is your business philosophy?

If you’re going to do it, do it well. And be good to people, always.

What do you hope to make brides feel when wearing one of your gowns on their wedding day?

Of course I want them to feel beautiful, but beyond that, I want them to feel loved. My job is to make sure their gown is not only gorgeous, but also supporting them and allowing them to forget all about what’s happening behind the scenes. They should feel effortless and taken care of, so that they can take in all of the love coming at them on such an amazing day.

How would you describe your home?

A work in progress - haha! We bought our condo two years ago (when our daughter was just a few months old), and again, I’ve had to be much more strategic with my projects than I would have been in the past. And because I’m so thoroughly rooted in the history of a place, I’ve tried to push myself to think of fresh, new ways to update it. Our building was built in the late 20’s, and we’re so lucky to have many of the original details, which I love, but the fun of it is in making things a little more modern with new hardware and adding a bit of humor to the place in the artwork. It’s the first home I’ve decorated without a lot of paint on the walls, but I love how open and light it feels here. 

What matters most to you?

Family, without question. Integrity. Quality. Beauty and design. And evenings out!