From Inspired to Styled: Behind the Scenes of Making a Collection

Inspired to Styled.jpg

Though I try to play it cool on social media and act like new collections and ideas just magically appear, there’s actually a lot of behind the scenes though and consideration that goes into every shoot (whether I’m working on styling products for a client or for a new mockup collection). So I thought it would be fun to pull back the curtain and show you a bit of what goes into making a mock up collection, from ideation to creation.

When I create a new collection, there are three phases to the process:

  1. Ideate

  2. Refine

  3. Organize


When I start ideating for a shoot, 99% of the time there is one key element driving the concept. In the case of the most recent collection (Bohemia) it was a turmeric dyed silk sari ribbon. The deep yellow hue was so beautiful, I knew it needed a special shoot to showcase it. To get inspired, I collect as many images related to my key element as I can find (Pinterest is a great tool for this!)

I hopped on to Pinterest searched the following terms:

  • Turmeric

  • Dark Yellow

  • Natural Yellow

  • Yellow in Art

  • Yellow Plants

  • Yellow Spices

  • Natural flatlay

  • Turmeric flatlay

  • Spices flatlay

Because turmeric is a natural element, I knew I wanted to incorporate other natural elements (like dried flowers, stones, or feathers) into the shoot. I searched for a few more images with those terms and pinned everything I liked onto a new Pinterest board.


Once I had about 30 images pinned, it was time to refine. (Having a lot of images is great to start, but to hone in on your concept, you have to limit the number of images that are inspiring you; I recommend keeping it between 4-8 images total)

I pulled out images that would specifically inform my backdrop (the cracked white image in the upper left), the props (the dried flowers, the feathers), and the color palette (the art with the deep yellow and the spice images). I had 4 more images that I moved into this phase, but when I put them into my mood board, they made the overall palette much darker and didn’t add value, so they were ultimately nixed for this shoot. Now that my mood board was done, it was time to organize my props.

Mood Board #1

I really liked this palette, but realized it was too dark (even though all the colors went together, the top right and bottom left were weighing it down)

Inspired v3.jpg

Mood Board #2

I refined the concept and removed the two darker images, which lightened up the whole scheme

Inspired v2.jpg

(Can you see the difference between the two mood boards? By just eliminating the bottom left and top right photos, the whole board had a lot lighter, brighter feel)


When I’m ready to begin the shoot, I print out a copy of my mood board and organize my prop table. On my prop table for this shoot I had feathers, dried stems from the garden, cinnamon sticks, papers, the silk ribbons, black shears, vintage stamps in shades of brown and yellow, and a few small dishes (both black and white). Laying everything out on a single table is, for me, the best way to organize my thoughts and see if my props match my concept and mood board. If the props aren’t reflective of the original concept, I know I need to go back to the drawing board. In this case, I eliminated the cinnamon sticks (they ultimately didn’t enhance my story).

The Result…

Ta-da! The Bohemia Collection. Inspired by turmeric, nature, and shades of yellow.

That’s it! Using mood boards when ideating your styling is the best way to stay organized and true to your vision so you too can create beautiful scenes.