Neil and Vanessa both attended the Savannah College Of Art & Design, Neil majoring in Industrial Design & Vanessa in Fashion.  They met through mutual friends, yet on the several occasions that they crossed paths, they avoided each other, and to be frank, they despised one another.

Vanessa was a wide-eyed and curious freshman and Neil was a sophomore who was definitively in his own world. They conveniently went their own ways, but continuously kept running into each other.  Despite their dislike for one another, Neil seemed to go out of his way to bump into Vanessa and make a snarky comment to her. Vanessa, being herself, would say something right back.  After a few months, they became inseparable and shortly thereafter, moved in together.

Throughout the rigors of Art School, Neil and Vanessa kept it real. They graduated, Hurrah!  They still didn’t leave though. Their parents had to pry them out of Savannah, their love, their home, and their paradise!


They back packed throughout Europe for sometime and were as good with directions as they always were, Not! They did make it home though and settled in New York City on the Upper East Side where the job pursuit began. Of course Neil landed a job in record time as a kitchenware’s designer for Life Time Brands and Vanessa, after many interesting possibilities, landed a great job at Li & Fung where she was a textile designer and trend forecaster for major clothing companies. Happy days but then it was time to move on. The upper east siders got their passports, crossed the bridge and proceeded to Brooklyn.


They moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn, and settled in a charming garden Apartment. Neil became senior designer for Life Time Brands and Vanessa started her own fashion design company Vallarino-Saltonstall.

Again, moving forward, Neil and Vanessa bought an apartment overlooking Grand Army Plaza, rescued a puppy, a Catahoula Leopard dog, and named him Bodhi. Baby puppy pictures flowed everyday. Imagine when Vanessa has a child! By the way, Catahoula Leopard dogs are boar hunters. I guess there are a lot of bores in Brooklyn.


October 2014 was a land-marked year for both. Neil accepted a senior design position at the consulting firm, “NICE LTD”, and Vanessa’s dream of owning her own store, representing emerging American designers as well as her own line, became a reality. V Curated opened on Oct. 22nd 2014 on Bergen Street.

For all of you who have been following these adventures it has been 11 years from start to finish.

Everyone was waiting and waiting and waiting…..


Neil invited Vanessa to Tulum, Mexico, after her dreadful 30th birthday.  During their romantic getaway, Neil planned a private dinner in the jungle. Vanessa realized he was eating abnormally fast, and wondered why. When asked he responded, “ I like you. I really like you a lot.” Vanessa sighed and replied, “Well that’s nice.” Neil went into this grand spiel and Fell onto his knees and blurted out, “Will You Marry Me?” Before Vanessa could reply because, she was hysterically crying, a sudden flood of baby sea turtles hatched and paraded toward them. The Huaraches played and sang and marveled at the good luck the turtles represented and all was good. Vanessa forgot to say yes and went right for the ring. Then she realized she had forgotten to respond, but did remark, “ I am not changing my name”.

And there you have it!