I started designing product over a decade ago. But, before I'd even taken my first crack at it, I remember asking my longtime manager Kristin Giese, "what happens if I run out of ideas?" She didn't really answer so much as she asked, "Are you kidding me?" The subtext of that taxi cab conversation as we sped through New York City on our way to a meeting, was this: ideas shouldn't be a part of your to-do checklist. When they are, they tend to stop coming. I was worried about the work when instead all I needed to be was inspired by the possibilities. To this day, that's still how she and I work, joined now by Tara Shade and Meredith Smerchek who make up the rest of my fearless product design team. As a group, our creative conversations never end. It's an ongoing stream of consciousness supported by iPhone photos snapped wherever we are and a pile of magazine tears of things we fall in love with along the way. Whether that's a belt on a model or a fringe on a scarf, we pull inspiration from every direction to unearth what we just can't stand to live without in the hopes you'll feel the same way about it too.
This summer I added a whole new facet to our development dialogue...FABRIC, and this month the fruits of our labor rolled out into Calico stores nationwide with the launch of the Nate Berkus fabric line. I'm so excited for you to see it! First, my design process always starts with fabric. It's the best source of inspiration I know. There's color, pattern, texture...everything you need to start forming ideas for any interior space. Second, because now you get to join our product design team. By that I mean, when we sit around our design studio in Chicago and New York, we're assigning the function of the items we're designing. A tray is a tray and a frame is a frame in the store and at home. Which are things I love, but with fabric YOU get to decide what it will become. YOU get to peer inside your space and decide how that yard (or ten) will have the greatest impact in your room. YOU get to pick up where we left off and decide to make that fabric a pillow, headboard, lampshade or stool...YOU get to take the leap with us at making something you will love. So, welcome to the team; we can't wait to see all that you dream up!
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