Brittany Romero has been a steward of wallpaper for years. She’s an independent sales representative that represents artists and designers under her business, The Beverly Collection, managing lines of wallpaper, fabric, and lighting. But while Brittany was surrounded by art both in her home and her work, it had been years since she had created anything herself.
“As a sales rep, I find it really satisfying to be a curator of all of these different lines, but I wasn't creating,” says Brittany. “I was just curating and so I guess the inspiration was just that. One day I sat down and started sketching again and it all just kind of came out.”
Over the two decades, Brittany has been busy in the design world. She’s worked on (and been on!) HGTV television shows, built up clientele and relationships while working at institutions like Holly Hunt, and launched her own sales rep business. She became a mother six years ago and moved to Kansas City from Chicago with her husband and son shortly after. Between all of that, there just didn’t seem to be time to create things with her own hands. But during the pandemic, like many of us, Brittany found some time.
“I had not focused on any creative outlets for several years, and I think everything we went through with Covid really made me start doing a little more soul searching,” says Brittany. “I realized that I missed the creative aspect of things.”
With Brittany’s background in the design industry, translating hand-drawn art to wallpaper was a no-brainer. She took her sketches — inspired by her garden or the music she was listening to — and worked with a collaborator, who created the repeating patterns necessary for wallpaper, and made her own wallpaper line. It’s called Beverly-Jane, named after her grandmother and mother.
Brittany’s resulting wallpaper line has a little bit of something for everyone. The designs range from simple, traditional lines to bold geometric patterns. She has floral patterns, like her “Honeysuckle Rose” design (named after the Fats Waller jazz song) and some of the wallpaper even seems to have a bit of an Art Deco feel. The patterns and various colorways are named after things like cocktails, natural elements, and jazz musicians, and the wallpaper is made of various materials, such as faux silk, grass cloth, textured artist paper, and vinyl.
While the patterns may vary in subject matter or feel, the collection has an ageless quality that connects them as a whole.
“I want it to feel like something that's been in existence for a long time, that's not necessarily new, and I definitely don't want to be designing wallpapers that are trendy,” says Brittany. “I want it to feel timeless and to feel nostalgic and comfortable.
Of course, some may think wallpaper is dated or may harbor resentment toward the medium after tricky removal jobs, but it has seen a renaissance in recent years. Brittany says newer products are a definite improvement to what most of us are familiar with removing from dated houses and believes the revival comes from the fact that “people started missing having fun patterns on the wall.”
While in the process of launching her wallpaper line, Brittany started looking for a space to house her wallpaper material that could also act as a studio and presentation space for the Beverly Collection. She found the perfect space in historic downtown Weston, though the space was far bigger than she needed. While she could utilize the upstairs for Beverly-Jane and the Beverly Collection, she needed to figure out what to do with the downstairs space and felt the building was far too beautiful not to be open to the public. A monthly antique market proved the solution.
“Because I had started collecting vintage pieces for props for my wallpaper photos, I was really in the vintage mode and I just thought, why not give it a try to just do a monthly vintage market,” says Brittany. “While we aren't open all of the time, I’m revamping and bringing in new pieces and I hope that it gives people something to look forward to.”
Modeled after First Fridays in Kansas City, Brittany’s vintage and antique market, Else-Wares, is open the second weekend of each month. Brittany collected many of the pieces in the shop on her drives between Kansas City and her hometown of Amarillo, Texas.
“I initially wanted to focus on French antiques and gifts but I am a maximalist and I have a hard time just zeroing in on one country because I love so many things from all over,” says Brittany. “So the vibe is definitely more European and I do have quite a few pieces from France but I'm glad that I didn't limit myself to just one nation of inspiration.”
While Brittany struggles to describe her personal design style, she does have a clear sense of how she hopes her wallpaper line and antique store make people feel.
“I just want people to feel inspired and cozy,” says Brittany. “I don't ever want a space to feel too cluttered, but I want it to feel like it has a soul. That's really important to me. I think that having pieces that speak to you and that have a history are really important.”
That sense of comfort, through vintage pieces with a history, certainly comes through in her eclectic shop as well as her wallpaper line. The feel the entire shop curates is what inspired its name, Else-Wares.
“Whenever you walk into our shop, we just want you to feel that you are elsewhere,” Brittany explains. “Not necessarily that you can put your finger on the time or the place, but we just want you to walk in and just have a sense of being transported somewhere delightful.”
You can visit Else-Wares the second weekend of each month or by appointment at 414 Main Street in Weston and you can follow the shop on Instagram at @elsewaresweston. You can see the wallpaper and fabric lines Brittany represents with The Beverly Collection at thebevcollection.com and see her own wallpaper line, Beverly-Jane, at beverlyjanetextiles.com.