“At the end of the day, we are just a group of people who really love interior design,” says Dan Weiss about his family, the people who together run the home furnishings and design company known as Lillian August. Dan heads up the business as President and CEO, working alongside his brother John Weiss, who serves as Chief Operating Officer. Their mother, Lillian, designs all signature furniture, textiles, and accessories as Director of Licensed Design.
Design is clearly in the genes: Both brothers credit their mother with inspiring them to turn their passion for design into full-time careers. It was Dan and John who hatched the idea to build on their talented mother’s early success in decorating and textile and wallcovering design, turning the small business she created into a noted lifestyle brand. Dan wrote the initial business plan in 1987, while he was toiling on Wall Street. He found financial backing to start a catalog and lifestyle boutique in Westport, Connecticut, and the rest is family history. Today, they’ve expanded to five stores, offering a soup-to-nuts experience, where clients can find everything they need for their home in dozens of styles, plus the bonus of design, delivery, and restoration services. “I trusted them,” says Lillian of her sons’ vision. “They’ve really invented a new way to do retail.”
John manages business operations; Dan takes charge of merchandising. While Dan handles most of the buying, sourcing products throughout Europe and Asia, John gathers art and antiques, scouting often in Brazil. “One of the many pros of working with family is that we are all 100-percent committed,” Dan says. “We’re all passionate about making Lillian August the best that it can be.”
Frank Lloyd Wright once said that if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life. It’s a notion that resonates strongly with Lillian August’s COO, John Weiss, and his brother Dan, the company’s president and CEO. “We really feel like we’re adding value to people’s lives,” says John.
The Weiss brothers see their outposts as more than just retail stores. “We’re really in the lifestyle improvement business,” explains Dan about their vision. To that end, they want every experience you have with Lillian August to be a positive one—from the friendly and unintimidating sales staff that will give you as much or as little help as you want, to the in-house designer who will help you pull together a room or your entire house, to the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are getting the lowest price for the best quality, to the lasting effect your purchases have on your life after you bring them home.
The great sectional you find at Lillian August becomes the place where a bustling family convenes to talk, read, watch movies, play video games, nap, snack, and laugh. The dining table will be the setting for your family’s most important moments over decades—dinner parties with friends, kids’ birthday parties, Thanksgiving dinners, or maybe the best spot in the house for doing homework. “The design of your home is so linked to your life and the changes you are going through,” says John. And Lillian August wants to be there every step of the way.