So my partner in HEDGEHOUSE, Jodi Lahaye, was asked to participate in Maker's Row, a group that highlighted a few designers that manufacture in NYC. It's quite an honor, and it's always nice to be acknowledged for your work - especially Jodi! If you read this blog, I know it seems to be an awful lot about me me me me, but the truth is, I'd still be messing around in my garage if it weren't for her. She's the brains of the operation. I'm just the narcissist who's always late to work.

Anyway: the honorees were all hanging around a photo studio having their portraits shot for The Maker's promotional campaign. The group was small and - as usual with these things - everyone was super friendly, but slightly guarded. I think that's normal, right? I always walk into parties convinced the whole room hates me. Don't you? No, well OK.

Here's where we get to Jodi. Jodi never walks into a room thinking they all hate her. In fact, when Jodi walks into a room she lights it up, and that light usually shines most brightly on the one person that looks the most uncomfortable to be there. If that person happens to be you, well, whether you want it or not, she's going to get you laughing. She's going to, I guarantee it; if it kills her to pull you out of whatever self-centered fear you've wrapped yourself in, she'll do it. She's going to break you, and the more you resist, the more she chips away.

She doesn't do this to be a dick. She does this because she knows that everyone - no matter how shut-down or self-conscious you are - no matter what your issue is, everyone has something to offer, and that's what she interested in. She wants to see the best that you have, the best in you. Mostly she wants to see you succeed,  and how can you succeed if you're all stuck up in your head? You can't.

So, there she is when she finds him. Scowling, uncooperative, and let's just say not super-receptive to her charms, at first. But she went to work on him, and by the end of the day, this guy was laughing and joking around, disarmed and - dare I say it - actually enjoying himself. They became friends. Isn't that marvelous? One of my partner's many extraordinary qualities.

That's Jodi, that's why I love her, and that's why she's my partner; because I walk into rooms terrified, paranoid, and negative, and she does the opposite. She's taught me over the years that a smile goes a hell of a lot farther than a scowl. If you spend your life thinking about what other people are thinking about you (which is totally insane) you might just miss the best thing that ever happened to you.


Snake Bones | Anton & LIya Startsev

Mi Ola | Helena Fogarty

She's Got Papers | Tanea Smith

Krammer & Stoudt | Michael Rubin

Rune NYC | Emily Santamore

Spotify | Playlist