STORIES CHANGE - THE EVOLUTION OF HEDGEHOUSE
When I started HEDGEHOUSE, I was renting a “Mediterranean” Style McMansion in the Hollywood Hills owned by an actor whose career was drying up like paint, slowly. Renting out his behemoth was his first step towards total obscurity.
I grabbed it because I was in a rush. I had two babies and the Frank Lloyd Wright we had been living in had a small rattlesnake problem, so we had to go. It was my husband Josh who made us move from there - my only true resentment towards him. I have never forgiven him! I would have stayed, because that house was the greatest. I’m not afraid of rattlesnakes. He was worried about the children. Everyone’s got their priorities, I suppose. But seriously, I only tell you this because I hated the “Mediterranean” style McMansion house so much that I think that was the initial motive for making the THROWBED. It was an escape from my surroundings. I created an entire fantasy in my head based on these beds. A life of long lunches on the coast or by a pool, surrounded by comfort and ease. A home which for some reason kept slipping through my grasp. I honestly just wanted a house that was mine where “everything was beautiful and nothing hurt”.
Around that same time, my cousin Mark came to town, and we got dinner. I hadn’t seen him in a while and it was nice to catch up. HEDGEHOUSE was in its infant stage. I think I had a website and was selling some beds, but HEDGEHOUSE was still basically an idea. My cousin is a smart man with loads of experience in textiles. He grew up around a mill. In fact, many mills, so textiles are in his blood. He’s a wealth of information, and not only from having grown up around manufacturing, but also as an adult - he’s had a prolific career in the denim market, making him the perfect person to talk to about my company. So, I announced to him that I had made these Linen “THROWBEDS,” and off them I was going to build a brand as big as West Elm. He did not bat an eye. He said, "OK, what’s your story?" I said "What do you mean?" He said, "you need a story – every brand needs a story, what’s your story?" I didn’t have one story - I had a million.
So, going back to my garage, I went with that thought in mind. What’s my story? I thought about that a lot over the next few months as I packed boxes of THROWBEDS alone in my garage listening to Led Zeppelin (usually in 104 temps.) Some days, I would work in shorts and a bra - it was that hot. Sabrina, who runs our LA warehouse, knows just how hot it can get.
The process of packing THROWBEDS is a somewhat repetitive, and meditative process. I thought about all sorts of things as I was stuffing inserts into their covers, smoothing them out with my hand, rolling them up, working them into their tote bags, pulling a yard of wax paper off a roll that weighed 400 pounds I was buying from some hilarious Persian gangsters in the valley who had a “paper company” – laying that paper out on the table, slicing it clean across with a pair of scissors, trying to do it in one clean swipe. Placing the THROWBED on top of the wax paper and pulling the paper from end-to-end around the bed roll, and finally sealing it with a sticker that said HEDGEHOUSE on it. The stickers never stuck to the wax paper but it still gave me total satisfaction every time I stuck one of those stickers on. Then I would take the whole thing that now resembles a giant egg roll and gently ease it into the 20x12x12 box, tape it up and print out the UPS label and repeat. So, I tell you this to illustrate I had a lot of time to think, to daydream, create scenarios, and fantasize about my empire, to create my "story."
So, the sticker, that one that gave me such satisfaction, has our logo on it which is a HARE, and the name HEDGEHOUSE underneath it. After smoothing my hand over it, a few hundred times, it dawned on me - I am the HARE! And, everything I want is behind the HEDGE. That big house, that easy long lunch by the pool, that tan, that comfort and ease that comes with style and affluence, that’s all behind the HEDGE, so how am I going to get in there? I can’t just walk into that world. It's not just the “stuff” I want - I wanted the legitimacy I fantasized that comes along with that world. The house wasn’t enough. I wanted to be from there, that was the trick. How do I do that? Then, I realized, I’ve been doing that all my life. I am from “there” sort of. I just never went through the front door. I always bounced into places through another doorway, a less visible one. I’ll get in the way I always do - I’ll sneak in under the HEDGE.
Just like the company, the story has changed. It's not about me anymore. I am no longer in the Mediterranean McMansion in LA, packing boxes alone in my bra. I have a business partner now; we have 4 employees and a summer intern. We just signed a lease on a new office space going from 400 square feet to 800 square feet. We have payroll, loans, P+L spreadsheets, quarterly target numbers, projections, inventory, insurance, laughs, tears, arguments, and lunch. In short, we have a business - a real one. It’s very different from the one I started. The goal is the same, but the road to that goal is not. With all this change, so too must the story change. The other day, while I was on a run, I was thinking about my partner Jodi and how she has taken this thing to another level - how she is the HOUSE. While the HOUSE represents a solid structure, it is also a home. What exactly is a home? According to Webster’s, it’s “The Place where one lives permanently as a member of a family.” That sounds OK, but does not quite cover it. A HOUSE or a HOME is a place where, while the house stays, things happen inside it and around it, growth and change define it. It's where families are raised, ideas expressed, values developed. It's a place to come back to after you stray off your path. In short, a HOUSE tells your story.
So, that’s the HOUSE. So, what’s the HEDGE now? Well, the HEDGE is no longer an obstacle between me and a good party. The HEDGE is easy; the HEDGE is just business.
And what’s the HARE? The Hare is our logo, because every great brand has a logo and that logo is whatever you, our client, want it to mean to you.
The HEDGEHOUSE story was founded on a day dream, but has since split and become so much more.
The HEDGEHOUSE story is about hard work and commitment. THE HEDGE + The HOUSE.
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