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  • OUT OF TOUCH

    by Beata Henrichs-Lieb February 01, 2017

    OUT OF TOUCH

    So I first got into this business through my love of textiles. I’d spent two years at FIT in their textile design school and loved it. It’s an excellent program and practically free to New York State residents. Somewhere during that time I had two children and moved back to LA with my husband. So there I was in LA, a town I had a long history with, but a completely different town to me now that I had children. I was for sure at loose ends in Los Angeles. I had started horseback riding again, and was raising my kids trying to figure out my next move.

    I had zero interest in going back to Television, which is what I had done for many years. I tried interior design. DISASTER. My hat’s off to the men and women of that industry -- and I mean that with all my heart. That is one of the toughest jobs out there. What a shit show. Not for me. I was fortunate enough to have learned quickly that telling grown men and women what they need and want is not one of my talents.Another problem: there were not enough billable hours in a day to make up for the aggravation of driving across town at 3:00 on a Friday to bring some swatches to a client. I had nothing invested in whether they chose the Golden Sisal or the Pale Golden Sisal. I did not give a shit how many inches there were between the electrical outlets and the baseboard. UnfortunateIy, I was surrounded by people who did and I was mature enough to realize “it’s not them, it’s me.”  Once I understood that I hung up my tape measure. Pretty much instantly. But as it is with everything in this life, nothing is without purpose. Nothing is ever in vain. Despite my best self-destructive surly efforts, I had actually made friends with an upholsterer. She was lovely and we shared a lot of the same bewilderment with the world in general --  but mostly with the industry, and specifically the clients. It was Christina who suggested I start making pillows. So I did. I made tons of them! There was a closeout textile company out of Florida that carried Pierre Frey, Brunschwig, Scalamandre…

    It was incredible. The only problem was, how was I going to sell these pillows? I had no story. I had no brand. And mostly I had nothing new to add to the world of Throw Pillows. I was shouting into the wind. These were not textiles I’d found on my travels into the remotests parts of India or Turkey. I was no Brenda Antin. This was closeout chintz from a warehouse in Florida. Remote, perhaps, but not exotic, and unfortunately, there was no rhyme or reason to any of it. There was no collection. No consistent reason to come to me for your pillows. That was disheartening because I love Throw Pillows. I think they are a quick way to dress up a chair or couch that has seen better days. Safe and reassuring to hold onto if you’re engaged in an uncomfortable conversation. So once we got HEDGEHOUSE off the ground and established a Brand we were able to circle back to Throws and make a line of them, one that tells a consistent story and fits in with our signature products. I was able to think clearly about the pillow line and learn from my mistakes. For example, the covers needed to be removable. The inserts did not need to be 100% goose down -- a blend was ok! And mostly, that we can keep the prices low by repurposing cloth we were already working with, and accumulate little to no waste.

    It’s all a process, I swear to God. I’m convinced of it. You start out with a kernel of an idea, and where it goes from there always amazes me --even if you have a plan. Especially if you have a plan! And I also know this to be true:  There is no harm that will come to you from having too many Throw Pillows.

    Pierre Frey

    Brunschwig

    Scalamandre

    Yastik by Rifat Özbek

    Brenda Antin

    FIT NYC

    ABC Carpet & Home

    William-Wayne & Co

    Source 4 Interiors




    Beata Henrichs-Lieb
    Beata Henrichs-Lieb

    Author



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