In the early 1980s, Lillian August, a talented interior designer and busy mother of three, launched a business selling crafts and patchwork quilts. She showed her line at New York’s annual bed and bath industry show, piquing the interest of Imperial Wallcoverings, which hired her to design a wallpaper line with an American Country look.
It was a huge hit, and the first of Lillian’s many entrepreneurial ventures, which have included numerous fabric and furniture lines for companies like Drexel Heritage and Hickory White.
After moving to New York in 1985 to build on her successful home textiles and wall coverings business, Lillian began a search for her first retail location. Lillian’s sons Dan and John Weiss were so inspired by their mother’s early success and abilities that they pursued the idea of starting a home furnishings, accessories, and textile retail store. Together, they opened their first storefront in Westport, Connecticut, in 1987 as a family venture.
“We all did a bit of everything,” says Lillian, recalling her early years in retail. Lillian’s son Michael also joined for several years, and helped design the company’s first signature furniture collection.
Since then, under the retail leadership of Dan & John Weiss, Lillian August has developed a global reputation as a trend setting resource for designers, homeowners and design enthusiasts. With a broad and eclectic collection of furniture, rugs, antiques and accessories, Lillian August now provides clients with inspiration and design services in many locations—the Norwalk Design Center and headquarters, South Norwalk Outlet, Greenwich and New York City stores.
Operating in the tradition of European design families, the brothers take pride in creating distinctive furnishings and discovering unique sources and one-of-a-kind pieces from all over the world.
In 2003, Lillian August opened their 100,000 sq ft. flagship design center in Norwalk. The store features hundreds of brands, as well as The Lillian August Signature Collection. In October 2008, Lillian introduced a new collection for Hickory White, which debuted in her Connecticut stores at the end of that year and at select dealers throughout the United States in early 2009.
“Our collection with Hickory White allowed us to spread our wings into new and exciting looks,” says Lillian. “By collaborating with my sons and our talented design team, we have been able for the first time to replicate our fabulous Connecticut showrooms for dealers throughout the world.”