Happy Birthday Ivory Tree

Apr 25, 2019

The journey of a boutique on the Main Line, Philadelphia.

Happy Birthday

And here it is! I can’t even believe it’s been a year, kinda like I can’t believe I turned 40.  But as with any milestone, especially firsts, it’s a time to reflect. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get mushy I’m going to get real – so you can keep reading. 

This journey, for me, started not even three years ago yet it feels like a lifetime. I fell in love with a brand and what it represented to me. The birth of my daughters, Caitie and Lorelai. I waited a lifetime for them, going years not thinking we could have healthy children and residing myself to that fact. And then all of a sudden we discovered we could but two miscarriages turned joy at the pink stick to worry. So much worry. The kinda worry only a mother truly understands. And then Caitie arrived in all her perfection and I wanted to capture that moment, that memory, her story. And then my tiny 4 pound Lorelai arrived 6 weeks early – fierce and just as perfect. 

And so my journey began. 

I walked into the studio in this cute town of Wayne and fell in love. I love the town. I love the vibe. I love the people. And I love Michelle. Michelle our Creative Director has been with the Wayne studio for almost 8 years. As with any journey, not everything is easy. But Michelle and I had an unwavering vision of what we wanted for a studio and for our clients. We wanted a fresh, modern yet timeless vibe. So off we went to Waco, Tx home of the ultimate consumer experience, Magnolia Market, on a creative retreat. We sat in our jammies at the Mainlander House, a far cry from my past corporate retreats, drank coffee on the floor and brainstormed or should I say dreamed. And as hard as we tried the answer kept coming back to one thing, we needed to be an independently owned studio. We know you, our clients, we know what you like and we know we needed to do a better job in servicing those needs.  ( BEST.  TRIP.  EVER )

And Ivory Tree was born.

Why Ivory Tree? It stands for, the Tree of life, majestic and intertwined. Most of all connected, just like mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, Ivory Tree Portraits and your family. The family tree. Ivory stands for the pure light – all natural, natural poses and natural materials. 

And we became more.

Becoming Ivory Tree also gave us the opportunity to dig deeper. Yes, of course we’re a family portrait studio, a boutique on the Main Line dedicated to providing amazing serve to our families. But it’s more than that. We have a fundamental belief that no two families look alike. Every family has their origin story, how each member intertwines and is connected. We’re capturing those stories, those memories, the very essence of a family. We have the unique ability to showcase and bring awareness to families. We’ve partnered with Main Line Fertility and with Gays with Kids. I love to tell the story about a client who thanked us for bringing awareness to infertility. It’s not just about awareness, it’s about creating a culture of inclusion within our community. It’s about celebrating the family – all the variations of how it looks, came to exist and engages. If you know Nick, my hubby, or I, you know we don’t not do things – we just do things differently.

The Dream Team

While this amazing journey began with Michelle, Kaeleigh soon joined the team – fresh out of photography school.  She’s the oldest soul I’ve ever met and has this amazing connection with toddlers. Her energy is contagious. Lexi joined the team at the same time, although she’s a main line native she brings a design esthetic and vibe from her  amazing time in Cali and NYC.   You will always find her laughing or dancing.

But it’s when we become Ivory Tree, I had the amazing pleasure of having Marcy join the team. I worked with Marcy before when she was in Glen Mills, but Marcy was also the photographer who shot my ladies for the first four years of their little lives. And kinda like when my family was complete after the birth of Lorelai (if you’ve had your last kid, you know what I mean), our Ivory Tree family was complete.

What I love so much about the studio is that we’re always laughing. If you pop in you’ll always find me barefoot with a cup of coffee. But you’ll also hear the laughter. And yes, it’s cool to work in a fun place. But once again it’s more than that. Baby’s, toddlers, kids, and teens are so in-tune – they feel the energy and feed off it. Our lighthearted vibe creates an atmosphere where they are comfortable and can have fun. I love nothing more than when a little one walks in, takes off their shoes and grabs a snack. They feel at home and that means you’re going to get the images of them totally relaxed. 

So at the same time that we became Ivory Tree we moved. So many folks asked why the move, we loved the Suburban Building. And then they walked into 21 West and understood. The move was for one simple reason – the most amazing south facing light. We are literally basking in light. But the other benefits are better parking (which in Wayne is huge), a private bathroom with a dressing room, no stairs (super important for our c-section moms) and there is the extra something – I can’t put my finger on it but the vibe is just so much more. 

And a new vibe!

Then we set out to refresh our signature look. Here’s the thing, every family is unique. That means every family has a unique vibe that we capture. So it’s not super easy to have a signature look when our signature is that everyone is different. So call it a signature look or call it a vibe, it’s about looking at someone family portraits and saying you went to Ivory Tree! To craft our vibe we pulled from our creative retreat to Waco Texas, we pulled from local boutique, from local architecture, from current fashion trends, from favorite dishes, from nature, from Instagram inspiration, from our clients, and from our lives. We curated a look that’s clean, fresh and modern while ensuring it’s timeless. It’s about telling your story, not about how many props we can fit in. 

Ok, so a year ago we got a new name, new studio, new brand, new look and new vibe.

You know what didn’t change? Us. And You. I’m blown away by the fact that clients are loving what we’re doing. Our holiday session sold out, our limited editions sell out, our weekends are now typically sold out up to 6 weeks in advance. We feel the love and are loving you right back! 



#xoxoivorytree #1stanniversary #firstbirthday #cakesmash #mainlin #mainlinephotogrpaher #philadelphiaphotographer #growwithus #mainlinephotogrpahy #philadelphiaphotography #familyphotography #familyphotographer #newbornphotography #newbornphotogrpaher #miscarriage #rainbowbaby #waynepa #radnor #glenmills #garnetvalley #magnoliamarket #silos #thesilos #fixerupper #happybirthday

About the Author

Lara Aman Mattey

Founder I Owner I Ivory Tree

Lara is the coolest person alive, according to her husband, Nick, & two little ladies, Caitie & Lorelai. But she thinks her time is limited on that statement as they continue to grow older. Lara comes from a large family, with whom she is still very close with & you’ll often see shared through the blog and on social media. She went to Penn State (We Are…) where she met Nick.

Ivory Tree's very own photographer, Marcy shot her newborn photography sessions & Lara was hooked! Lara is not a photographer, super weird, we know. But lives for the experience, creative direction, and meeting all the cool folks who come through the Ivory Tree Portraits studio!

In addition to studio awards, Lara was also recognized at a Women of Influence on the Main Line in 2023.

Follow along as she shares studio antics, personal antidotes, & fun stuff going on in the community.

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