Karen Suen-Cooper & Martin Cooper at B'ellow, their home in the Hudson Valley.
“Create the things you desire…”
... is the mantra of many designers as with fashion designers Karen Suen-Cooper and Martin Cooper. Karen and Martin, both alums of the Parsons School of Design, were the first married couple to be inducted into the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) in the same year.
As VP-Creative Director, Karen brought her creative energies to Kieselstein-Cord, the pioneer American luxury house, and later founded her own luxury brand, SUEN | COOPER luxury leather goods, where she specialized in exotic skin handbags.
As Burberry’s guru of outerwear, Martin spent 16 years building the venerable British brand’s calling card during its renaissance. Later as Chief Creative Officer of Belstaff, he led the creative transformation behind the brand’s reboot.
They balance the hyperdrive of city living by finding respite in Upstate New York’s Hudson River Valley. There, they restored their 1790’s farmhouse, B’ellow, and relish in the simple pleasures of entertaining friends and family in their black lacquer dining room.
The Cooper's black lacquer dining room at B'ellow, their home in Old Chatham, New York.
So, what was the thing they desire...?
Joy— more of it! With joy as one’s compass, the noise of daily life falls away. What emerges is The Joy Economy™. “We coined this moniker to express the intersection of purpose and commerce. It’s a commitment to enterprises that bring joy to oneself and others,” declares Karen and Martin. They co-founded The Punctilious Mr. P’s Place Cards Company to facilitate the goodness of gathering— joy derived from the ritual of the meal. At its core, no matter how casual or lavish, the partaking of a meal savors the experience of being together. In today’s hectic digital-virtual world, getting together for a meal with friends and family is truly a celebration.
What better way to make your guests feel center stage than to make a place for every name. Unable to find something more enticing than a white place card, or a folded white card, Karen and Martin invented the illustrated place card—a place card with a beautiful ‘curio’ image printed on the face with the option of digital calligraphy on the back. The curio images evoke an intoxicating mood that set the theater of the dining table and spark conversation. The illustrated place card brings new life to the table with each theme without investing in a new china pattern. They perfectly accessorize the table for every occasion and season— like the perfect handbag for a woman’s look. Invariably, the place card becomes a souvenir of an enchanted experience that recalls the goodness of gathering.