Textiles run deep in the Gans family. Stuart is a third generation entrepreneur in a family with a long history in textiles. In 1946 his grandfather opened a successful fabric store in NJ. His father followed in his footsteps and expanded the operation. While working summers with his father, Stuart’s love for sourcing and manufacturing luxury fabrics developed into a full-time career. With a focus on trimmings and decorative hardware, he ventured out on his own to start Tassel Time Inc. before co-founding Classical Elements with his wife, Leyla.
As the ying to Stuart’s yang, Leyla is co-founder of Classical Elements. An accomplished artist, Leyla combines unique materials, cultural influences and indigenous artisan skills in ways the industry has never seen before to create trendsetting decorative trimmings and hardware. Driven by an intense desire to innovate and surprise, she leaves no stone, fabric, glass, wood or metal unturned in her quest for inspiration. Leyla is a graduate of the Art Institute Ft. Lauderdale with a degree in photography.
For over 25 years, Wesley Mancini has been one of the dominant forces in American fabric and trim design. With a focus on interior textiles, Wesley Mancini, Ltd. designs upholstery, decorative trimmings, bedding, drapery hardware, and most recently, furniture.
Through Wesley, Classical Elements is able to offer custom designs with short turn around and realistic renderings prior to costly prototyping.
Liesl Braun, joined Classical Elements in 2009, she was formerly the design manager at Castellano Beltrame. Liesl relocated from South Africa and now enjoys North Carolina as her adopted home. Liesl brings years of experience and excellence in design.
Jana Platina Phipps
Based in New York, Jana launched the successful Home Division of Gelberg Braid and served as its Creative Director from 1997 – 2006. She is currently serving as President Elect of WithIt, (Women in the Home Furnishings Industries Today), and has just recently launched her blog at trimqueen.com