Southern lifestyle tastemaker and interior designer, Gen Sohr, is the co-founder and colorful creative behind Pencil and Paper Development Co. After nearly 20 years of bringing large-scale retail concepts to life for Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Oiliy, The Body Shop, and Victoria’s Secret – and having lived in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago – Gen and her husband Benjamin set their sights on bringing their love of design to Benjamin’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Together they have created a celebrated design company and lifestyle brand specializing in residential, retail, commercial and product design.

Gen and her team are hosting their much anticipated and fast-approaching Creative Camp in Nashville November 1st through 3rd. Dogwood Hill is thrilled to be a part of Creative Camp as both a vendor at the pop-up experience Gen has curated of her favorite brands, and as a guest speaker where Jennifer Hunt, our founder and owner, will join a panel of women entrepreneurs and creatives for a lively conversation about building a business, interiors, fashion and social media. Creative Camp ticket sales end September 30th, so click here to purchase yours!

As one of our Holiday Tastemakers, Gen was paired with Dogwood Hill artist Gina Langford who created modern chinoiserie artwork inspired by a vintage print in Gen’s home. Gen then worked with our in-house Design team to design the chic, colorful cards you can shop in her holiday Tastemaker collection.

Gen has very graciously agreed to share with us more about herself including her holiday traditions and her take on the power of social media in sculpting a brand and using it to make connections.

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

After the kids have opened their gifts, my husband Benjamin makes the yummiest eggs benedict and we pop open a bottle of champagne to celebrate the day. Then maybe a late morning cat nap?!

Dream Dinner Date:

Hmm…..any of a long list of favorite designers or artists, or entrepreneurs. Clare Vivier or Jenna Lyons!

Favorite Last Minute Holiday Gift Idea:

Our signature Howdy Tote of course!

Most memorable read:

I’m going way back to childhood. I have always loved  “The Country Bunny and Little Golden Shoes” ….the perfect reminder that a woman on a mission can do ANYTHING!

Favorite hometown eatery:

Mas Tacos, Rolf and Daughters, or Picnic (for an old school Nashville lunch)

What inspires you most?

Travel, graphics, vintage textiles, stationery, matchbooks, art….you name it – inspiration is EVERYWHERE!

Most sentimental Christmas tree trimming:

Each year we decorate one of the children’s special gifts with a new Christmas ornament. I love remembering all the holidays past as we decorate the tree. I will also forever treasure my Christmas stocking (hand made by my grandmother).

Go-to hostess gift:

A beautiful bottle of champagne or our Christmas tree candle with our charming new gift tags!

Hidden Talent:

Probably not so hidden, but I love to find something beautiful at a really great deal!

Starbucks Order:

Latte, but really nothing beats a cortado in Italy!

What did you dream of being when you were a kid?

I always knew that I would do something that combined my passion for pretty things – fashion and interiors have been a long-time love!

What is your number one tool of the trade?

Be authentic to who you are and what sets you apart in an industry crowded with other creatives. Your voice is unique, use it – and don’t forget the power of social media in creating your brand and connecting with others.

We have featured some of Gen’s Tastemaker Collection below. You can access all our Tastemaker cards, including those from previous years, under the Holiday menu on our website

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