Lana Lawrence, Vice-President of Anthony Lawrence-Belfair (ALB) and founder of the women’s networking group, Bring it To The Table (BitTT), tragically lost her battle with lung cancer on Sunday, August 11. She was 51.
According to a statement put out by BitTT, Lawrence was surrounded by her loved ones at home in Greenwich, CT, when she passed. “She was a loving mother and touched the hearts of not only her family, but her friends and colleagues. We will miss her kind heart and desire to give back to others which she made possible through BiTTT,” it read.
Lawrence started the BItTT networking group in 2010 and recruited Sherri Skov to be co-founder. The group was organized specifically for women in the interior design industry, and most of the members are self-employed, high-end residential designers and their meetings bring them together to support each other, share ideas and network.
Lawrence and Skov at a 2011 fundraiser for BitTT
For ALB, Lawrence oversaw the prestigious Belfair Draperies division and she also initiated and was responsible for the ALB International Fabrics line. The company is a family owned and operated business specializing in custom furniture and high-end fabrics.
“Lana was not just an asset to the Anthony Lawrence Belfair Company, but to the whole design community in general,” shared an ALB representative. “She will be sorely missed.”
Lawrence touched the lives of many in the design industry, including designer Charles Pavarini III, who worked alongside her and BitTT to put on the annual Kips Bay Summer Cruise, which was set to honor Lawrence and ALB this year.
“I have known Lana Lawrence since I first began my career in interior design,” said Pavarini. “She was one of my very first sources, and it was immediately apparent that she and her family produced the very best work within our industry with an unrivaled spirit, kindness and impeccable attention to detail.”
Pavarini and Lawrence at the 2012 Holiday House opening party
“Lana’s work was carried-out through her loving friendship,” he continued. “Her light and energy will continue to live in all who worked with her and in all who ultimately fell in love with her. May her soul ascend to a higher plane of existence. Lana, I will continue my love for you until I see you again.”
"Lana was an exceptional friend and woman," said Iris Dankner, interior designer and founder of Holiday House, which Lawrence worked diligently on. " Her enthusiastic spirit and love of life was contagious! Lana led with her heart. Her love for her boys, friends and colleagues was always apparent. I am lucky to have gotten to work with Lana, and most importantly call her my friend. I will miss her greatly."
Dankner with Lawrence at the 2012 Holiday House opening party
“Her full commitment to Holiday House with this amazing organization (BiTTT), her sweet energy and joyful personality was always a pleasure," said interior designer Vicente Wolf. "She will be greatly missed."
“Everyone who knew Lana was touched by her laughter and fun personality," said Barbara Viteri, owner of Viteri Style Managment, blogger and BiTTT supporter. "I was one lucky girl to experience her genuine kindness first hand. To attend design events and be handheld to meet and great with her peers, friends and confidants showed how much she cared about the people who shared her world. Lana was gracious and beautiful and taken too soon. I will always remember her generosity and my deepest heartfelt thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time. I will miss her.”
Lawrence with interior designers Felicia Zwebner and Sarah Sarna at the 2012 BitTT Holiday Party
"Lana had a rare blend of attributes," said interior designer and great friend of Lawrence's, Alexa Hampton. "She was an artist and a people person. She had a sparkling personality, but didn't seek to be the center of attention. She was generous and giving but had a raucous sense of humor and endless wit. She was beautiful but wore it with ease, like it was an afterthought. Her friendship was rock solid. As much as she was a trail blazer and a mentor in our industry, she was also a role model in this lifetime role she offered to so many of us."
"She was also incredibly brave as she faced her death," Hampton added. "She was upbeat and determined to be positive, though none of us would have minded were she angry and sad; heaven knows, we all were. But Lana was just like that—a happy person who liked to spread love and support. She seemed to worry about how her cherished colleagues, friends and family were dealing with her sickness more than worrying about what that sickness was doing to her. She was mostly just happy to have any extra time to enjoy her gorgeous, devoted sons, who were by her side, brimming with love and pride for her. That I have ever known anybody like this has been an honor and a joy."
A wake for Lawrence will take place on Wednesday, August 14 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Bosak Funeral Home, 453 Shippan Avenue, Stamford, CT.
A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, August 15 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 566 Elm Street, Stamford, CT. Followed by the burial at Ferncliff Cemetery 280-24 Secor Road in Hartsdale, NY.
Floral arrangements can be made with Arcadia Floral Company by calling (914) 777-2800.
In honor of Lawrence, the ninth annual Kips Bay Summer Cruise takes place on Thursday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.