We are continuing our Tastemaker introductions today with model, entrepreneur and creative Venita Aspen, a Charleston, SC native. Venita’s journey has afforded her hands-on experience in fashion, modeling, and creative sectors including ad campaigns for Anthropologie, Target, Dillards, Nordstrom, Lauren Conrad, DSW, Old Navy, Frye, Le Creuset, as well as Seventeen, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Weddings and Marie Claire magazines. Her open-minded approach to life has allowed her a vast array of experiences, while her infectious personality has won her many friends and connections, even landing her appearances on the Bravo television show, Southern Charm.

For her Tastemaker Collection, Venita partnered with Dogwood Hill artist Riley Sheehey who created the beautiful watercolor artwork found in her Orchid Spirits holiday collection. According to Riley, her tropical inspiration came directly from Venita:

“I really loved working with Venita- I have been following her for a few years on social media, so I was so excited when I heard I was paired with her for her Tastemaker Suite! Venita wanted to do something colorful, and unique, and came up with the idea to do a holiday in Palm Beach theme. It was so much fun to use bright, summery colors on a holiday suite for a change, and I feel like the whole suite is very lively and fun, like Venita herself. My favorite part of the suite is the written recipe for Venita’s favorite cocktail, the French 95. Venita called it a “Where’s Waldo” moment, which I thought was so cute and creative,” Riley said.

Continue scrolling to see all the beautiful cards that our design team created with the gorgeous artwork Riley painted for this collection and to read our Q&A with Venita! To see the full collection, click here.

Which cards will you be sending out to family and friends this holiday?

The French 95 recipe cards.

What is your go-to holiday hostess gift?

I love gifting an experience, such as a trip, dinner on a boat, a wine tasting.

What kind of holiday shopper are you – Black Friday, Christmas Eve, or yearlong stasher?

Yearlong stasher.

What keeps you inspired during the busy holiday season?

The joy of having all of my family and friends together.

What (if anything) brings you a sense of calm during the busy holiday season?

Seeing everyone happy!

Are you team real tree or faux tree?

Real tree – love the smell.

Are you team white lights or colored lights?

White lights.

What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Holiday white chocolate bark! 2 (11 ounce) packages white chocolate chips, 12 peppermint candy canes broken into pieces, ¼ teaspoon peppermint oil. For cooking details, I like to follow this recipe.

Is there one holiday entertaining hack or secret you can share?

Don’t worry about the chaos – everything will be fine once you are surrounded by family and friends.

Who is on your dream holiday party guest?

Naomi Campbell @naomi, Michelle Obama @michelleobama, Sarah Weisbrod @sarahweisbrod, Lindsay Peoples Wagner @lpeopleswagner, Eva Chen @evachen212, Kahlana Barfield Brown @kahlanabarfield, June Ambrose @juneambrose

What are you most thankful for this year? And what are you most looking forward to in the New Year?

Most thankful for my health and well-being and I am looking forward to continuing to grow my brand and the fruitful relationships around me.

Photography by Mary Margaret Smith Photography


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