Summer Camp

6 years ago by


Erik Melvin

This summer, like every summer, the whole team hopped into two big cars and went off to spend a week together. It’s a kind of Summer Camp–perfect for spending time together far from the stress of New York, so we can talk about the year, talk about what inspires us, what doesn’t inspire us anymore, and our goals for the fall.

Right now, I’m on my computer in the living room and Alison and Emily are hanging out in the kitchen. Erik is laughing as he looks through the “summer camp” photos we just took on the stairs five minutes ago. Elle and Nat are working, Brie is taking a shower and I’m not too sure where the others are, but in a few minutes, it’s going to be time for fish tacos.

[Excuse all the “Montauk” sweaters, by the way, but the day we arrived, we realized it was going to be a lot colder than we thought, so I went over to Montauk to buy sweaters for everyone—I love touristy sweaters, so it was just a way for me to have a good excuse to get one for myself (as if I really needed a reason)]

It’s the end of the day, the sun is setting and it really feels like the end of summer.

It’s crazy how much can happen in one year. The team got bigger, and it also changed. This year, Emily and I worked hard to figure out what we really wanted and what our goals were. In a few years’ time (she’s been working with me for five years already!!!) Emily has become essential to running the studio, just like Brie, Erik and Heloise, each in their own way. Carie, Alison and Nat are our new recruits.

Often when we arrive in a new environment, we want to get started right away – and the people who have been here for a while get busy explaining things to the new ones, and they forget to talk about the deeper values behind the company. So that’s what our Summer Camps are for, and it also gives us the opportunity to think about our upcoming projects.

Last year was incredibly busy for me. My book Love Style Life came out, and it was like a whirlwind until the end of the tour, leaving me feeling happy, but also exhausted and a little empty. The blog turned ten years old and we didn’t even have time to celebrate like we should. The media world has changed, and finding your identity, staying true to your values and delivering a message that’s meaningful to us posed new challenges. So many things changed, and I grew at the same time, and started asking myself questions about life—my life and the lives of the people around me.

The main theme of Love Style Life is that style is nothing unless it permeates everything we do and has an impact on who we are. This year, I realized that success means nothing if it doesn’t help us build a life that fits who we are. It’s so easy to get lost in life, in what we want and what other people want, especially in our super-connected worlds – so now more than ever, it’s important to stay connected to ourselves and to the people around us.

Now that I’m getting ready to start working on my new book, it was important for me to re-center myself. Once that (long and much more difficult than I imagined) work was done, it was important to communicate what I learned to the people who support me day after day—my team.

I think you’ll see the results of our new approach in the coming months. I also think it will be noticeable in my personal posts. I really want to communicate the changes that are happening inside, even if sometimes it doesn’t really match the image people have of me, or the image I think people have of me—which is exactly why I felt a real need to reflect on it. It would be a shame to restrict myself to a certain image all on my own, when no one ever asked me to do that.

My relationship with fashion has changed, my relationship with beauty and health has changed. Quite simply, my relationship with the art of living has changed. And I feel like I’m not the only one going through this phase of wanting to let go of certain things, while feeling deeply inspired by other things.

So that’s the inspiration we want to communicate to you in the coming months. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by this amazing, creative, talented, adorable (Brie just set a margarita down next to me), funny team who can’t wait to share everything that inspires them with you.

Translated by Andrea Perdue


Add yours
  • You all (except Lulu) look like you are on a really fun, but not too scary, roller coaster ride.

  • haha, Lulu is not amused :) I love her little face though.

  • Il est tellement important de prendre du recul, et du temps pour analyser ce que l’on fait, qui on est, où l’on veut aller..
    Bravo, pour cette année qui vient de s’écouler et que j’ai suivi avec délectations, même si je commente très peu,ton blog est une source d’inspiration et de réflexion. J’ai donc hâte de commencer cette nouvelle année avec vous tous!

  • Hâte de lire la suite!
    Et quelle belle déclaration à Emily. Les gens ont tellement de mal, surtout dans le travail, à voir et assumer l’importance de leurs collaborateurs!

  • Romain Gary August, 25 2016, 9:25 / Reply

    La finesse de s’excuser pour le sweaters “Montauk”: le style Garance in a nutshell …

  • You are a wonderful team not only for working but having fun, support and trust….very rare to get it all, especially nowaday

  • Garance! You have been a constant inspirationg through out the journey of my personal professional experience. Been in companys, agencies and finally decided to go on my own as an illustrator. You sort of been a North point to where to go. The career choice I made was connected to the life choice I’m also making at the moment. So, good for you..and good for me too :)

    Anita –

  • Erik must have fun listening to all “girls stories” and what a beautiful group !
    Gorgeous picture in the end of summer sunset.


  • Congrats to Erik on this photo. It looks like an extremely authentic version what Bruce Weber is always after capturing. The light, the smiles, the shiny hair blowing in the wind, the feeling of nostalgia, I just love everything about it.

  • Pam, I could HUG AND KISS YOU. Thank you so much!

  • Beautiful thoughts here – I’m looking forward to the new!


  • I love hearing about this summer camp. I think a great work culture is important. I’m glad you guys take the time to listen to each other’s needs and visions. Also, I kind of like the Montauk sweaters. Kind of like a corny team photo haha. Can’t wait to continue following you on your journey :)

    PS: When’s the wedding? Did I miss this date?

  • Great shot!

    Tell me, what’s your secret to all looking so great in one picture?! (in my case, I’m usually the one making a funny (ugly) face (not Audrey Hepburn-type funny face unfortunately) or looking horrendous…)

  • CecileMaki August, 25 2016, 11:09 / Reply

    Super photo d’équipe! Justement, les sweats, même s’ils n’étaient peut-être pas prévus à l’origine, crée une belle impression d’unité et accentue le côté Summer Camp ;)
    Profitez bien de vos moments tous ensemble!

  • just another reason I wish I worked with you all!!

  • Ohhh j’aime ce post… ça fait tellement longtemps que je lis GaranceDoré.com , depuis 2008, et je t’ai vu changer, évoluer, “grandir”… C’est relatif, on ne se connait pas mais je crois deviner de quelles aspirations/inspirations tu parles, et j’ai hâte de voir la nouvelle tournure que prendra le blog. Je sais que ça me plaira même si je commente beaucoup moins maintenant (moi aussi j’évolue à ma façon, cultiver le silence, peser mes mots me convient plus maintenant …) je serai là à te suivre et à lire tes nouveaux posts!

    PS; Une spéciale dédicace à Emily! Je me souviens encore très bien de l’époque où elle débutait avec toi. Je vous souhaite encore une longue et fructueuse collaboration <3

  • J’adore aussi ce genre de sweaters et je rêve d’aller à Montauk (surtout depuis que j’ai vu “The Affairs”).
    Tes posts personnels sont ceux que je préfère sur le blog même si je trouve tous les autres articles aussi inspirants et intéressants. Je suis passée par des moments forts ces deux dernières années qui m’ont également fait repenser la vie (que je pensais déjà bien connaître du haut de mes 30+ ans) et j’ai compris l’importance de se recentrer. De faire le vide puis de refaire le plein. J’ai beaucoup aimé ton premier livre (ravie de savoir que tu en prépares un deuxième !!), j’ai d’ailleurs eu l’occasion de te rencontrer à Montréal lors de la soirée de dédicace à Club Monaco (je sais tu en as rencontré une centaine des lectrices, je suis la fille de Madagascar ;)).
    Ma devise (sur mon blog aussi) : Voyager avec style à travers la vie. Ce style, nous le définissons, il évolue mais doit toujours nous appartenir ;).
    Bon summer camp à toute l’équipe !
    P.S.: Je te rejoins sur pas mal de choses, c’est bien pour cela que je suis ton blog depuis quasiment ses débuts ! D’ailleurs, j’ai appelé mon blog LifeStyleWanderlust (ça me fait penser un peu au titre de ton livre mais j’ai créé ce blog début 2015, bien avant que ton livre ne soit communiqué…)

  • Très belle photo ! ?


  • Lisa Walker August, 25 2016, 12:28 / Reply

    Incredible pic! (And team). Just read your book… Loved all of it! XO

  • It always seems like Erik is the one that provides the thread that loosely holds everything together with the wonderful moments he is able to capture of all of you. We get to see the working bones of your business/life. It really is unique to have a group that is about information ultimately but provides so much warmth and beauty. It should be a goal for every work environment.

    Looking forward to the next 10 years whatever they bring.

  • J’adore ces posts profonds et stratégiques ! J’ai hâte de voir ce qui va sortir de vos travaux.
    Sur les photos de toi de cette année, par rapport à quelques années en arrière, c’est clair que transparait beaucoup plus d’équilibre et beaucoup moins de fashion. C’est plus global, plus vrai, plus profond, mais aussi plus américain (dans le look et la pensée). J’aime aussi beaucoup l’évolution plus business.
    J’aimerais aussi beaucoup que l’équipe continue de se présenter, ou alors qu’elle soit toute dans l’onglet “studio”, la voir et l’entendre. :)

  • J’ai bien hâte de suivre avec toujours autant de plaisir l’évolution de ce joli blog…. J’avoue zapper de plus en plus les articles purement fashion, pour prendre plus de temps à lire ceux plus personnels, anecdotiques. Je te suis depuis 2007 il me semble, et sans jamais m’être lassée. Alors bonne dernière soirée de Camp et vivement la rentrée !
    (et puis j’aime tellement Montauk…)

  • Beautiful photograph. It really captures the nostalgia of sleep away camp. I am assuming Erik is the photographer seeing as how he is missing from the photograph.

    A very thoughtful and honest post. Really quite inspiring on many levels. Thank you, as always for your candid thoughts, and for the beauty that you all continue to bring into the world.

  • Erik! What did you tell them all to laugh like this!!? Tell us your secret!!!! heheh
    Energy is what I see, Bravo Team Garance, continue to deliver your creativity, and G you’re the core of it all.

  • What an attractive fun-loving team. I’m envious. We have a book too!

    Janine Claire

  • Paige Mitchell August, 25 2016, 7:36 / Reply

    Love the sweatshirts. Where can you buy one????

  • This photo is magic! Totally agree with reference to Bruce Weber – Erik you’ve got such an eye.
    Here’s to many more years xx

    P.S. I initially read camp as “camp”, you know in the HONJ vein…

  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira August, 26 2016, 3:59 / Reply

    Thank’s for everything Garance and Team! I LOVE your Work!And …a song came to my mind seeing your picture from above from the french band AIR and it’s called :«All i need»!!!

    Divirtam-se !

  • Sophie D. August, 26 2016, 7:22 / Reply

    Les brunes ne comptent pas pour des prunes à ce que je vois !
    Felicitations à vous tous, c’est une bouffee d’air pur de te lire Garance.
    Bisous à tous
    Sophie, blonde parisienne ????
    Ps : et bravo Erik pour cette photo tres sympa

  • Sophie D. August, 26 2016, 7:26 / Reply

    Les brunes ne comptent pas pour des prunes à ce que je vois !
    Felicitations à vous tous, c’est une bouffee d’air pur de te lire Garance.
    Bisous à tous
    Sophie, blonde parisienne ????
    Ps : et bravo Erik pour cette photo tres sympa

  • Excited to hear of the emerging direction – look forward to reading!

  • Hello there!
    Je ne connaissais pas du tout ce concept de summer camp d’entreprise. Je trouve ça absolument génial car enrichissant et favorisant la communication et la cohésion. La photo de couverture vous montre heureux et c’est exactement ce que l’on a envie de voir! De plus, cet article teinté de cette envie de changement montre aussi à quel point les expériences de groupe et nos expériences personnelles peuvent nous faire évoluer et nous faire nous rapprocher de ce et ceux qui comptent vraiment !
    Bonne continuation et bonne rentrée,
    Mille baisers lyonnais,

  • Congratulations on showing how to be a good employer!

  • Where can you purchase those very cute sweatshirts?

  • Montauk rime pour moi avec “The Affair”.
    Chouette article, curieuse de découvrir l’évolution et les changements, j’adore l’idée du Summer Camp en équipe et les sweater, surtout en beige !

  • Mais quelle belle brochette de brunes pleine de vie! Hâte de découvrir la nouvelle approche de ton blog et les découvertes qu’elles vont engendrer pour nous lectrices…

  • Hey, great team! I just came back from my holidays and checking your blog… something has changed (at least in the german speaking part of the world): EVERYWHERE shocking non-fashion advertisements !!!(Ernsting´s Family ? I know you earn your money with ad´s, but these are too bad. If you need help choosing the german ad´s -ask me ;-) xo

  • Hi Mag,
    Thanks for the note! We are testing some new advertising tools and are in he process of filtering out as much of the off-brand stuff as possible. Thank you for bringing these to our attention and the ads you see on the site should be improving :)
    x Emily

  • Apparemment, seul le chien n’a pas trouvé la blague très drôle, il garde sa tête de “renfrogné” (o:

  • Ahah lulu il fait la gueule!

  • What a wonderful and happy photo. You can’t help but smile just looking at it. I greatly look forward to experiencing whatever it is you choose to share next. Thank you for creating such an inspiring and genuine destination!

  • Champagne alors :) !
    PS: je porterai bien un sweater avec tes dessins ou messages ;-)

  • Garance! I’m so happy I read this post — sometimes I miss things now that there’s more regular content, and (as I’m getting older) life is getting busier. I’ve been following your blog for 8 years now. 8!!!! You are one of my only true crushes/heroes in life who lives in any “celebrity” space, and your blog is one of the few that I’ve continued to read from high school to college to “adult” life. (Out of a choosey total of 3 by the way).

    I so relate to your changing relationship with ‘the art of living.’ You can see and feel these shifts in the work you guys do, the content you produce, the vibe of your site. It’s almost relieving and totally revitalizing to hear you acknowledge it so clearly, and then put forth that intent into the future of your blog. I just wanted to say that I believe in this transition, and that as a longtime reader, I love following this journey. It’s just as inspiring as following your journey 8 years ago. Oftentimes blogs stay stagnant and go stale, or the people shift and the blog consequently wanes into the distance. Thanks for being committed to this blog as an honest reflection of you and your team. It’s pretty badass. Much respect and love. xoxoxox Andrea

  • Great shot! And with that said I think those sweaters are total It-pieces. Would want one, too!!!

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