Giuliana Rancic is known for many things. Being a top entertainment news personality, breast cancer survivor, mom, and entrepreneur. Now, she’s diving headfirst into the world of furniture and decor, launching a line called August & Leo on HSN.
“I started with HSN back in 2012 launching my clothing line, G by Giuliana,” she tells me. “Last year, I crossed into beauty bringing my clean skin-care line, Fountain of Truth, to the company. I am excited to now partner with interior designer, Lonni Paul, to venture into the home space with our new home collection.”
There are many benefits of working with the television platform, including price and accessibility. “Partnering with HSN allows us to introduce our collection to customers through both their digital and broadcast channels which provides a safe space where customers can come together and stay connected through this challenging time,” she says.
August & Leo launched with 25 pieces including furniture, textiles, and decor. As for the name, Paul and Rancic share the same birth month (August) and astrological sign (leo). So it’s easy to understand why the two women were perfectly paired to collaborate. “Lonni and I have worked together on many interior design projects over the years from renovating a rustic modern cabin in Northwest Idaho to homes in Chicago and Los Angeles,” says Rancic. “We have been fortunate enough to have a few of our homes appear in Traditional Home and Architectural Digest, among other publications, and are often asked about getting the various looks we create. That’s where we came up with the idea to partner together on a home design collection.”
Paul’s involvement also elevates the brand as a whole. “As an interior designer, creating a home decor line is something I’ve always been passionate about. Collaborating with Giuliana has been truly rewarding on so many levels. Not only do I get to work with someone who is an incredible friend but she has amazing taste and style too,” Paul says. “We’ve had so much fun over the years working on homes together it was the logical next step to create this line together. We have an amazing team [at HSN] who truly understands our brand and what we want to achieve; high-end chic design that’s functional, livable, and attainable.”
The quality and aesthetics of the line surpass what the price point would have most people believe. This was essential to Rancic and Paul. “We wanted to create a collection for customers that married our traditional and modern styles but at an attainable price point. This collection truly does that with every detail down to matte gold finishings and beautiful bedding.”
The Hemstitch 4-piece Sheet Set is a perfect example of this. The set includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases. The 500 thread count is something rarely found at this price point. Available in seven colors, the hemstitching is a stylish detail that is characteristic of luxury linen lines.
It was very important for Rancic that the sheets were 100 percent cotton and not made of synthetic materials. “At the end of the day, so many people love cotton because it’s cotton. It’s natural and breathable. Sometimes with synthetic sheets, they come out of the dryer less wrinkled, but at the same time, they aren’t breathable.”
Another noteworthy piece is the towel set which includes two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths. There is a choice of seven colors including White, Light Grey, Lilac, and Ivory.
“They rival any top tier brand of towels I buy for even my most discerning clientele. They are long yarn Turkish cotton which means they are soft, thick, and absorbent,” says Paul.
These towels are also a great way to give your bathroom a spa-like refresh. Rancic even has a towel rolling tutorial on August & Leo’s Instagram to showcase one of her favorite ways of styling them.
Rancic is a big believer in investing in quality pieces that will be used every day. “Our prices are great for the quality you’re getting, but aside from that, think about all the time we’re in our beds and spend in the shower. Even before I had a line, those were the sorts of things I believed in making sure were quality. They’re the things I notice every day.”
Another one of Rancic’s favorites is the The Hampton 3-piece Hurricane Collection. When it comes to hurricane lamps, she has a more is more approach. “You know how you get one hurricane lamp and you think what am I going to do with that? We wanted to make decorating really easy for everyone.”
The Set of 3 Moving Flame Candles by Luminara can be used on their own as an alternative to traditional candles or along with the hurricane lamps. “They look so real! They have a remote control and I put them on a timer. It’s so easy to program. They’re just fabulous because you never have to worry about if you’ve left them on,” explains Rancic.
She also suggests styling them on a high shelf, which isn’t something that you can easily do with regular candles.
In addition to decor, there are several larger pieces in the collection including ottomans, a bench, and nesting tables.
Home Is More Important Than Ever
If there is anything that the majority of people have noticed while we practice social distancing, it’s how our homes look. Our perspective on the importance of aesthetics has evolved in a very short period. “Spending so much time at home, as we’ve all been doing these past months, has given everyone a chance to take stock of how they are living, how their home makes them feel, and what needs to be updated or changed. Everyone is so busy with work, children, friends, and giving back that we tend not to see or even to ignore things that could make home a better experience” says Paul.
Rancic shares the same sentiment. “I think that we notice things about our homes that we didn’t before. I’ve gotten so organized and made a lot of changes just because I’ve been here so much. Will this last? The feeling of wanting your home to be a more comfortable place? I think it will continue on. We all want to make our homes as special as they can be.”
Putting The Home In HSN
While launching a new product line is always stressful, it’s particularly challenging during a pandemic. But the women are taking it in stride. “Like so many people working during this time, we’ve all had to adjust. It’s very different than starting a business a year ago. But because we’re on HSN, we’re able to still connect with people,” says Rancic. “We’re able to Skype in and we premiered on Skype. The host was on the set. We would have all been together but at the same time, it was nice being at home to present the products because it’s a home line.”
While the holidays feel like they’re years away right now, it’s always best to be prepared early, which is why the brand’s next launch is a holiday collection. Rancic describes the collection as “really modern” which is a truly unique spin for the category. “We tried to do things on a larger scale with interesting designs. Putting our own twist on things. Things for not just indoors but outdoors as well. Things you can’t find anywhere else— that are fresh and new.”
As for August & Leo’s long term goals— Paul wants the brand to grow into a household name by “continuing to design beautiful, quality pieces that make home the best place to be!” Judging from what they’ve already accomplished, this goal is something these two talented women are likely to meet.
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