Archive for August, 2009

Revolutionary Interior Design Site Empowers Consumers to Spend Smarter w. A La Carte Design Services

August 26, 2009


Long Beach, CA (August, 2009) – Ava Living ( is an entirely new way for consumers to engage in design.  Consumers love to design their space and find their own personal style for their rooms.  But, sometimes the results don’t turn out the way you hope.  While, consumers may want to access professional designers’ skills, vision and product resources, most want to do it at their own pace at home, and often in an a la carte fashion.  Enter, Ava Living, with their “Help Me Do It Myself” platform.

The first of its kind, Ava Living was conceived as a trusted, community destination to provide affordable access to interior design resources, and designer-driven room evaluation tools / advice portioned a la carte. Ava Living provides consumers a resource to research interior designers, get free room reviews (from designers of their own choice) on their existing space, and purchase entry-level, specific design advice to improve their particular room.  With an international network, consumers now have access to select and choose their most compatible designer from anywhere in the world.

California consumer Synthia checked out Ava Living after some disappointing designer experiences and found Texas designer Terri Symington.  Synthia shares:  “I took my time reading the Designer profiles, viewing the photos of their work [they had posted], and reading their Room Reviews.  I noticed that most of the rooms…submitted for evaluation were typically…nothing special;   ;homes like mine.  I immediately felt less intimidated!”  In the initial DRR report, designer Terri Symington “took [my] dilemma seriously and offered objective, thoughtful, helpful suggestions”, which made Synthia feel more “confident”.  She decided to take the next step and paid a small fee for Terri’s “Designer Advice”.  Continues Synthia, “I knew that if I clicked on that button, good things would happen!  And they did!  Terri’s advice was specific and creative.  It had some surprises too, and was extremely helpful AND doable.  She provided me with an overall plan that I could prioritize and implement at my own pace and within my own budget.  … I now have Terri’s plan to keep me focused and heading in the right direction.

The revolutionary Designer Room Review (DRR) program was developed specifically with the consumer in mind.  Recognizing that many people are interested in addressing one-room-at-a-time, the DRR provides a venue for consumers to get a free ‘appraisal’ of an existing room. The DRR places members on a path to spend smarter, while tapping professional advice that can be researched at their convenience.  If the consumer likes the designer’s DRR, they may elect to pay a small fee ($39-110) and purchase specific advice through the Designer Advice program.

“Our goal is to democratize design, help consumers spend smarter, and grow designers’ global client reach,” states Ava Living co-Founder and CEO David Bassett-Parkins,  “Consumers are often intimidated by the assumed cost/risk factor of working with a professional designer.  We hope and expect to become ‘E*TRADE’ for interior design.”

The DRR is a simple, FREE three-step process accessed from the Home Page.  After reviewing designers’ work, the consumer selects a designer to review his/her room, names the room / room type, and uploads room photo(s).  Within three business days, the designer rates (1 to 3 stars) the room based on five design principles (Harmony & Unity, Balance, Rhythm, Emphasis, Proportion & Scale) in a template and states briefly what does (not) work in the room.

Consumers can have more than one designer review their room.  Upon receiving their DRRs, they may find one designer with whom they resonate and would like to know how the designer would ‘design’ their room.  This leads to the next level in building that client-designer relationship called Designer Advice, in which the designer addresses the “7 Most Important To Do’s For Your Room” in more detail.  The points are selected from a checklist that includes fabrics, furniture, space layout, wall finish, window treatments, etc.; but the advice is unique.  After this stage, the ongoing relationship continues offline between the consumer and the designer.

The DRR is a core offering of the site’s mission to serve as a meeting place for consumers to interact with designers, a marketplace, to source design, a designer showcase, and a first stop for all things interior design.

Ava Living also provides a social networking aspect to facilitate easy interaction.  Members may create a member page (similar to Facebook) in a fun and easy-to-use networking environment, and then post blogs, connect with other members, post their own and ‘inspiration’ images among other things.  Consumers, aka design enthusiasts, can view designer pages, become a ‘fan’, and search professionally designed rooms based on room type, color, or tags that are divided by ‘style’ or ‘mood’.  These engaged consumers tap their creativity and start to see which designers’ work they relate to the most, by reading their articles and posts, and by viewing the rooms they present through single photos or through AvaVision (loading multiple photos to a 360 degree view).

Media inquiries and image requests, please contact Julie Du Brow ( or Agnes Gomes-Koizumi ( or at 310-821-2463 or 323-937-5488.


Ava Living ( is an international vertical social network combining interior designers, consumers, suppliers and advertisers from around the world.  Ava Living inspires and informs consumers while providing access to simple, professional-grade design tools to execute their a la carte design projects from inception through execution.  The mission is to serve as a showcase, marketplace, and ecommerce meeting spot to create more design consumers, increase the velocity of consumer spending in the design industry, and transform the international design paradigm.  Ava Living is founded by successful entrepreneur veterans and 15-year business partners David Bassett-Parkins and Hanh M. Ngo

Travelex Brand Message / B2B Payment Solutions Highlighted in US by Bold Arts Sponsorship

August 22, 2009




Washington, DC (August 2009) –TRAVELEX, a leader in international foreign exchange and payments for global business, took a bold step in supporting the UK National Theatre’s new NT Live initiative. As a longtime arts partner of the prestigious theater, TRAVELEX committed to helping deliver its performances onto screens in movie theaters and performing arts venues worldwide this 2009-2010 season.  The NT Live performances are streamed through satellite, which has successfully been done for New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The first play of the season, PHÈDRE starring the great Helen Mirren, was seen on June 25th by 28,000 people worldwide, and with additional screenings, audiences reached close to 49,000 across 19 countries.  The next play is “All’s Well That Ends Well” with an October 1st initial live broadcast.

Lloyd Dorfman, Chairman of Travelex, says: “NT Live is a major innovation in theater.  We’re enormously proud to be part of it – the result of a seven-year partnership with the National Theatre, one of the world’s most respected theaters.  Day-to-day, Travelex is committed to helping connect people and businesses across the globe.  We really hope that this initiative makes world class theater accessible on a truly worldwide scale.”

Innovation and forward-thinking is what has driven TRAVELEX to serve over 30 million customers every year, sending business payments to 230 countries & territories and managing over 35,000 business’ needs.

TRAVELEX Global Business Payments is an international payment and receipt specialist and focuses on innovation, and launching products and features that are one-of-a-kind.  Their new vendor management system, GlobalPay’s Payee Manager, is the first vendor management system that offers the combined advantage of an electronic payment enrollment system, vendor management tool and payment platform in one simple web-based application.  TRAVELEX specializes in implementing customized payment solutions that allow you to spend less time managing your payments, and more time managing your business.  TRAVELEX:

  • understands the complex needs of businesses and the challenges of managing international payments
  • is focused and successful because worldwide business payments are their business
  • has partnerships with over 4000 financial institutions worldwide
  • the online payment system means there is no need to download new software and you can be up and running quickly

This is the same thinking that created the arts sponsorship initiative of a £10 ticket for the National Theatre, which began in 2003 and has since helped hundreds of thousands of British enjoy theater-going, making the theater affordable for the everyman/woman. The idea of the low-priced ticket has naturally progressed into their commitment to “NT Live”, reemphasizing their brand values of leadership, forward-thinking, value, and service to everyone.  TRAVELEX strongly believes in consistent, key support of the high arts through emerging technologies and opportunities, especially in a down market, when people need their spirits lifted most.

The pilot season of “NT Live”–broadcasting live performances of plays onto cinema screens around the world—will next feature “All’s Well That Ends Well” (Oct. 1). “Nation” (Jan. 30, 2010), and “The Habit of Art” (April 22, 2010).  The average ticket price is $20, varying by venue. (

U.S. Media inquiries, please contact Julie Du Brow ( at 310-821-2463.


Travelex, one of the world’s leading providers of foreign-exchange and international-payment solutions. Accommodating more than 30 million customers annually puts Travelex in the top position as the largest international payment specialist.

Each year, payments are handled for more than 38,000 businesses and 4,000 financial institutions. And beneficiaries in more than 230 countries experience the advantages of Travelex’s offerings. From retail travel money to cross-border business payments to travel insurance to traveler’s checks, customers around the globe are assured exceptional service complemented by value, simplicity and efficiency.

Acknowledged worldwide as foreign-exchange specialists, Travelex is committed to providing business, retail and outsourcing customers with a multitude of innovative products and services. Travelex is recognized as a trusted brand with the unique ability to serve clients virtually anywhere, in any trade currency.  For more information, visit In the United States, commercial payment services will be provided by Travelex Global Business Payments, Inc. or Travelex Currency Services, Inc.

Visit for a complete list of U.S. state licensing.

Barclay Butera Chosen by Renowned Artist Ray Turner for Select Group in Portraiture Series

August 8, 2009


Turner_Page 94a_SMTurner_Page 94b_SM LOS ANGELES, CA (August, 2009) – National lifestyle designer Barclay Butera was selected a few months ago by artist and friend Ray Turner to be one of his portraiture subjects for the artist’s “Population” show, which opens in Santa Fe, NM, on August 7th at the Skotia Gallery.  The 12”x12” paintings portray the designer in Turner’s signature bold style.  Two paintings of Butera—Turner chose only a few subjects to capture twice–will be part of 125-150 portraits shown.  Skotia Gallery is “Population’s” first stop in a traveling installation that will subsequently be exhibited at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (Oct. 2009 – Jan. 2010), in San Francisco at the Toomey-Tourell Gallery in January 2010, then on to Beverly Hills and Europe.  The show will have an accompanying 12”x12” hardcover book, reflecting the exact size of each likeness, and with essays by Rick Gilberts, James Scarborough, and Roberta Carasso, PhD.

“In doing business with Barclay, we immediately became friends and I knew I wanted to include him in the series,” muses Turner.  “I find him to be one of the complex human beings that many of us are and that I seek out, and I painted toward the soul in him that I perceive…a snap shot that tells part of his story. I have painted a few people more than once out of interest in capturing a different facet of their personality.  Barclay is one of these, and I consider him both friend and subject.”

Painted on panel and glass, each portrait in the series evinces a slightly different approach by the artist, while inheriting the same topographical quality seen in the brooding, epic landscapes he is known for.  A prescient interpreter, he is able to capture his sitters during “privileged instants” with skill and intimacy, using impasto (a la German Fauves and Expressionists), and violent color and exaggerated features, which recall influences as Vincent Van Gogh and Francis Bacon.

“I am very honored that Ray asked me to be one of his subjects,” says Butera, CEO and President of Barclay Butera Inc.  “I’m a big fan of his, and often recommend his work to clients.  The layering of colors and strokes he delivers moves me and appeals to my own sense of depth in layering and texture.  I also love that there are two different portraits—one being more lighter and ‘real’ to my eyes, and the other more dark with exaggerated features.  There’s also a bit of a Warhol flavor to this exhibition concept, which I enjoy.”


Barclay Butera, Inc. is based in Newport Beach, CA, and entails the Barclay Butera collection showrooms in Newport Beach and Los Angeles, CA, and Park City, UT.  Barclay Butera Home, Inc. products ( are distributed through over 300 showrooms, his own collection showrooms, and To the Trade nationwide. Butera designs and manufactures his bench made upholstery products in Los Angeles, CA.  The book Living In Style (Assouline, 2008) presents a collection of Butera’s work since 2003, divided into five lifestyle themes: Beach, City, Desert, Mountain, and Town & Country.  The designer’s first line of textiles and trims for Kravet Collections is available now, also presented through four of his lifestyle themes. Please visit for a full introduction.


Born in California in 1958, Turner attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he ultimately taught.  Turner has progressively crafted a versatile and acclaimed body of work of growing scope and importance.  Turner is included in many publications including American Art Collector, Art Times, and Artweek magazine. Turner’s work is exhibited, in solo and group shows, in New York, California, and New Mexico in the United States, and Internationally in Berlin and Montreal.  (