A curated life on the Main Line, PA. Wait – Bucks County, too?

Apr 12, 2021

Ok, so we did a thing. A really big thing! And we’re beyond excited about it. Our family portrait photography studio has been in Wayne for 10 years, and we’ve been Ivory Tree for three (almost four!) years. And now we’re adding a second studio! Hey Bucks County – and more specifically, Newtown PA – here we come!

cu·rate /ˈkyo͝orət,ˈkyo͝oˌrāt/ : To select, organize, & look after the items in a collection.

We believe this is what newborn and family portraits do. They look after your most precious memories. You hear us say curated all the time – Your Family. Curated. Fun. Curated. Personality. Curated. Your Life. Curated. Your Memories. Curated.

Who We Are. Ivory Tree. Curated.

The cornerstone of who we are as Ivory Tree and as individual people – Lara, Cherise, Kaeleigh, Lexi, Marcy, Michelle, Julianna, and Randi – is family.

It’s literally the meaning of our name. Ivory Tree stands for the pure light we use in all our imagery. You’ll also notice that we always have at least one ivory element in all of our photo backgrounds! Yup, that’s not a nod to our name. Our name is a nod to our style. And what’s kinda cool about that ivory element is that it allows you to tie images together and display them right next to each other cohesively, year after year. OMG, you probably never noticed that. But for us, it’s all the little details that make your experience.

And the tree is for the family tree, the tree of life. Connected and intertwined just like mothers & daughters, fathers & sons, our team, and your family. We believe it is our job, or more accurately our calling, our passion, our mission is to help you curate your most precious memories through portraits. Portraits you are going to look back on in 1 year, in 5 years, in 10 years, or in 30 years.

The Origin of a Curated Life.

Don’t settle. Don’t settle for “not bad”, for “okay”, for “easy enough”, or for the familiar. Surround yourself with things that inspire you. Everything should fuel your passion, your happiness, and give you energy – your people, your clothes, your food, your home, your music, your travel, and of course your family.

If you don’t know my hubby, Nick, you’re missing out. He’s literally the most fun, ever. He’s sarcastic. He’s generous. He’s loving. He’s fiercely loyal. He’s wicked smart. He’s direct. And he’s the best dad. And he happens to have muscular dystrophy. Oh, and he happens to be in a wheelchair.

We’ve been together since we were 21. And learning about a pretty big disease at such a young age gave us the incredible gift of knowing what’s important and what’s not. We kinda developed this philosophy that we just do things differently than other people our age.

That’s what fuels my energy to surround myself by only things that make me happy. So, I curate my life.

What Makes Me Happy.

Things that make me happy must be unique and have a deep meaning. Literally, everything in my home has a story. A pew from my grandparent’s tiny church. My living room furniture (recovered, obvi) was my other grandparents’ wedding present from their parents. And shadow boxes that display the dresses Nick picked for Caitie & Lorelai to come home from the hospital. Burberry because it’s my nana’s family tartan.

It’s all in the smallest of details. Just like how any gifts that you get from Ivory Tree are almost guaranteed to be from another artisan or small business. Our mugs are hand-thrown by artists out of Waco, Texas. Our candles are created by a small business in South Carolina with beeswax in our signature scent. The cookies are from another local bakery handcrafted in small batches. Even the stickers you find on our packaging are printed by the print shop next door. The little things matter because they add up to big things. And in these crazy times, supporting another small business, another dreamer matters.

The Impact of COVID on our Main Line Portrait Studio.

The studio has been rocking on West Ave for the past 3 years and we not only survived the COVID-19 shut down of 2020, but we also thrived. And we adapted. I won’t say pivot because I’m soooo very over that word but we did adapt.

We’re by appointment only and have reduced the staff that’s in the studio at any given time, moving to work remotely where we can. Obviously, we can’t photograph a session remotely!

Randi has been with us for years and is now delivering all the custom frames to your home. What I love love love is that we began deliveries to reduce the number of people in the studio. But we’re going to do it forever because honestly, why have we not been doing this for years! One of the key reasons you come to us is because we’re full-service. We do it for you, we make your life easier. Obviously, we should be delivering products to your home!

We also started Zooming all ordering meetings to reduce time in-studio. And you are loving it. You can schedule the call at your convenience and you be in the comfort of your home. You can also be in a different room than the kids so, you know, you can actually concentrate!

So I Did a Thing. A Very Big Thing.

So I did a thing. In the middle (hopefully near the end) of a pandemic, I decided it was time for Ivory Tree to grow! In May 2021, Ivory Tree’s second location will be in Newtown, PA! And we literally couldn’t be more excited!

When I was thinking about a second location, I spent a lot of time and energy thinking about all that we love about Wayne, PA. What I love about the studio in Wayne is the amazing vibe. It was important to me that the second location had the same sense of community, the same amazing energy, and of course the same amazing light.

Bucks County. Curated.

So we searched Bucks County looking for all the things that make Wayne great. And we found Newtown, PA. We found the cutest studio space. It’s on a cherry blossom-lined street in the historic district. It has the most amazing windows. And we fell in love.

We’re in the process of making it truly our style. Fresh drywall, new floors – light to reflect light – of course, a new bathroom. It will be light and airy, just like our Wayne studio. But here’s the best part, it will have all of the same backgrounds as our Wayne, studio. Right down to the window seat.

Some fun deets – answers to your burning questions!

Ok so this is just a little list of things you might be asking, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE comment on this blog with all of your questions and what you find most important in our Wayne studio!

Please share what you love about the Studio!

Who will be the photographer at the Newtown studio?

You all know Kaeleigh. What you might not know is that although originally from Long Island, she’s been a Bucks County resident for years. It’s her hometown and she’ll be the primary photographer in the Newtown studio.

Not to worry. She’ll be in Wayne every Wednesday and one weekend a month for the next little bit as we transition and of course after that you can visit her in the Newtown Studio, if you’d like!

What will the backgrounds look like?

As mentioned, they are all going to be the same as Wayne. We’ll have our Creamy Ivory, Whitewashed Brick, Backlit, trending wallpaper (switched out seasonally), and our interior design trends wall. Of course, we’ll add holiday touches during the season!

What’s going to change?

Nothing. Nothing will change in Wayne. And in Newtown, it’s super important to me that Bucks County folks have the same exact experience that we offer in our Main Line Studio. It’s the same products, the same pricing, the same experience, the same backgrounds, even the same team.

Final Thoughts

Life is short, it should be amazing. Literally, you should love every aspect of your life. That doesn’t mean life is easy and it doesn’t mean life gives you the lemonade. To me, it means, so much is out of our control. But what I can control is to surround myself with what I love. Things that make me happy. Things that give me energy. It’s how I curate my life. It’s how I curate the studio, and it’s how I’m going to curate that same feeling in Newtown!

From our family to yours – we are so beyond excited to bring you along on this journey of opening our second studio!

Your life. Curated.


Lara, Founder and Owner of Ivory Tree Portraits

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.

comments +

  1. Ginny says:

    Congratulations! I love all the ways you make every client feel special and I know this will be the case in all your locations!!

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