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new column: ask a designer

since i started d*s in august of 2004 i've tested out all sorts of ideas, columns and features. some have tanked (d*s snaps) and some have floated (the d*s guest blog) but i've learned that the deciding element for me is whether or not i feel like the feature is giving something back to the community as a whole. for me, the biz lady events sparked an idea i've been trying to expand on for a few months now- connecting real life "experts" with up-and-coming designers who could benefit from their advice. so i thought, why not make this a (semi) regular column on the site? so, starting next week, d*s will feature one designer for a week each and introduce their work, their success story and then open it up for questions. when their time is up we'll move to the next available designer. i've tried to invite people that i think represent various stages of running a design-based business so you'll see bigger names mixed in with smaller names- i think real designers running real businesses have the most practical advice for our particular audience. so, we'll be launching THIS MONDAY with textile designer JUDY ROSS. in the weeks to come we'll cover stationery, wallpaper, graphic design, jewelry, interior design, book deals for the small designer and any number of topics under the sun. but i wanted to open it up to you guys first:
i'd like to keep this indie for a while so please assume that for now i'm going to stick to people who aren't as big as say, martha stewart. so, leave a note below and i'll be sure to contact your requests and see if they're available to share their expert advice.

[the coral fabric above is hable construction's "bead" in clementine- a gorgeous new colorway]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good idea. Jewelry designers would rule. I'd like to see more of them on here for sure.


2:47 PM  
Blogger Leyre said...

Woah, this is a really awesome feature Grace!

I'd really like to see Camilla Engman, I'm sure I'm not the only one!

PS - THANK YOU for the sneak peek into Sweet Juniper's world, I have a wicked blog crush on Dutch and his little family ;)

2:48 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

thanks leyre!

i've emailed camilla so i'll keep my fingers crossed. we have karin eriksson confirmed, too. people always seem to ask about the two of them together ;)


*isn't sweet juniper the best? i was so nervous to ask them...

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent Idea Grace! A Graphic designer I would suggest: www.juliahoffmann.com

3:05 PM  
Blogger Julie at Belle Vivir said...

Hi grace- this is great. I know many of us are going to employ some key information from these successful designers. It might be completely irrelevant what I am going to ask for, but since my dream is to become a successful entrepreneur I would love to know a little more about Eva Jeanbart Lorenzotti-the brain behind Vivre and some others entrepreneurs. Thanks again for all the sharing.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

since when is martha stewart a designer?

3:19 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

thanks guys

i think i might add ask a...design shop/entrepreneur owner in the mix, too ;)


3:20 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

martha stewart has designed interiors, tableware, bedding, furniture and lighting for various labels, including her major line for kmart. may not be super cutting edge but the woman knows how to run a successful design-based business (and magazine)


3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about shop owners like Murray Moss and the Conran people? Maybe they have tips for small shop owners like us on getting a leg up on the competition?


3:26 PM  
Blogger Ms. M said...

I think this is a great idea! I would love to hear from Karim Rashid, maybe some top designers (not decorators so much). Thanks!!!


3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'd be interesting to hear from people who design for screen, for instance Chris Garrett of http://chrisgarrettmedia.com .

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kenneth Brown, Jonathan Adler

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Fellow Anonymous, we all have a right to our own personal taste and I happen to like Jonathan Adler. Let's keep things positive shall we?

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ilse Crawford

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wary Meyers, Erin Adams


5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not negative to say "NO JONATHAN ADLER". Some of us feel it's negative to keep reinforcing a designers that's already overexposed.

To each his own but I second the "NO JONATHAN ADLER" comment.


5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

angela adams would be nice. (sure hope she's not considered overexposed!)


5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

love the idea! some suggestions - miles redd, markham roberts, john robshaw, lulu dk, david netto

5:59 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

How 'bout Tyler Hayes?

6:20 PM  
Blogger Beklina said...

I'm really looking forward to this.

Virginia Johnson

Lotta Jansdotter, Jill Bliss, and Hable ladies.


6:31 PM  
Blogger Karen Barbé said...

I'd love to see Anne Kyyrö Quinn and Helen Amy Murray.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Melkorka said...

Wow, what a great idea Grace! I am really looking forward to reading the new column!

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to see some jewelry designers answer questions too...like passementerie or linea nervenkitt...someone indie who is well on their way to becoming established.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear from Kate at Three Square Design. I love your web site and her web design.

8:43 PM  
Blogger josephine said...

have a look at the stationery designers poppies for grace at www.poppiesforgrace.com their work is beautiful.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I'd love to hear from Maria of Port2Port Press! Her work is beautiful...Or/And D-Bros...

9:39 PM  
Blogger modish said...

Hey Grace! I think some other wonderful, successful indie artists and textile/goods designers we could learn from are susie ghahremani from www.boygirlparty.com, arounna from www.bookhou.com, alena hennessy, lisa congdon, tracy from happyowlglass.com, stephanie from http://littlebirds.typepad.com/, mav of port2port press, Alicia of http://rosylittlethings.typepad.com/ and my one of my favorite jewelry designers- jenny vorwaller aka: www.queenthings.com and http://www.jennyvorwaller.com/blog/...
oh my goodness, I could go on and on!
:) jena

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, especially because helen amy murray was getting 3000 quid per square meter for her leather work 4 years ago....

1:30 AM  
Blogger Tess said...

I'd love to see Susie Ghahremani of www.boygirlparty.com!

2:13 AM  
Blogger amy said...

oh! brilliant idea :) deanne cheuk?

4:03 AM  
Blogger Ellen said...

I'm not in the business but am interested in how trends become trends and how designers pick up on trends and so I would be interested in designers who are leaders especially in the material print design. It must take a great leap of faith to go all out on your hunch that what you design would sell. I'd be interested in print and fabric designers. This is a great idea.

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea! I'd love to see jewelry artisan Michelle Bellanti of www.bellantijewelry.com

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would love to hear from Meg Mateo Ilasco about her design business and her books. and maybe the people who started cloverfield press {small edition books}. love the idea. thanks g.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this idea but don't see how it's all that different from the podcast interviews (which I downloaded to my iPod and which were great multitasking creative/entrepreneurial inspiration while working out!). I particularly enjoyed hearing business advice delivered in the context of the different personalities (Maria at Port2Port came across as so modest and kind; the Fred Flare guys as super-playful, etc).

The two potential interviewees I'd like to know more about might not be considered indie enough but there's just not enough info about their creative process out there and I am utterly entranced by their aesthetic: Linda Fargo/David Hoey and Eugenio Recuenco. So fabulous!

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea! How about some Brooklyn Designers like Wud Furniture or Zia Priven? Those are some of my favorites from Bklyn Designs.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Linda Fargo would be great to hear from.

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess those of us that like Jonathan Adler's design arent welcome here

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any of the domino 10

9:34 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


no one is lumping anything together. design is an industry encompassing many different areas and to leave or single one part out of a project like this would be a disservice to up and coming designers of any type.

feel free to create something similar for only graphic designers if you like. i'm trying to make this program benefit as many people as possible, not only one type of designer.


11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh please, Carol. I'm a graphic designer and I'm not offended. When I majored in graphic design I do believe I went to a DESIGN school. Don't be so offended by your own industry.


11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kenneth Brown, Kenneth Brown, Kenneth Brown.

When I'm thinking about any project, I always think WWKD? (what would kenneth do).

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sherwood Hamill

11:42 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Nice idea Grace! You dodon't mention furniture, but I'm always hopeful.

Here are some designers I'd be interested in hearing more about:

Rie Egawa and Burgess Zbryk
Egawa + Zbryk http://www.egawazbryk.com/

Chris Lehrecke http://www.chrislehrecke.com

Liz Galbraith & Ephraim Paul
Galbraith & Paul http://www.galbraithandpaul.com

Joe Futschik of Jef Designs http://www.jefdesigns.com

Marie Christophe http://www.mariechristophe.com

Unto This Last http://www.untothislast.co.uk

Studio Louise Campbell http://www.louisecampbell.com

Michael Iannone

Susan Bradley http://www.susanbradley.co.uk/

GAMplusFRATESI http://www.gamplusfratesi.com/

11:57 AM  
Blogger orchid lover said...

Love this idea. I notice fashion designers are not on your list. I would love to see Rachel Roy featured, she does mostly clothing with her husband Damon Dash, but also some jewelry, I believe.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to see some furniture too.

How about:

Desiron, www.desiron.com


Wud Furniture Design, www.wudfurniture.com

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear what the designers over at Portland's Egg Press would have to say... I've always been a huge fan of their letterpress work.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Passementerie said...

I would love to see some furniture designers...and maybe some vintage/antique furniture store owners to discuss what to collect now, what will be "hot" in the future, etc.


8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about what designers think is good design who aren't so trend oriented.

6:52 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


names would be awesome. please feel free to share.


7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miles Redd - brilliant NY interior designer.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy Butler, textile designer; Heather Bailey of Freshcut, textile designer; Hable Construction.

Great idea!!

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to hear from jewelry designer, Sally Brock of Fancyjewels.com.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Jan Halvarson said...

how did i miss all this excitement? great idea. can't wait to read these. thinking if i can add anything...

10:57 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

This is going to be exciting! But I'm drawing a blank at the moment as far as designers. Tricia Guild always pops into my head first.

I have a question....What font did you use for "ASK A DESIGNER"? I love it.

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about Tord Boontje...

7:15 PM  
Blogger Bright22 said...

Dear Patrick M, I'm not offended by my industry, if anything, I am proud of it!!! I've been in the field 30 years. And I see us as a separate field. Why do people like you see only the negative!

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd say a top choice would be Wary Meyers. I love the stuff they're doing for Time Out New York.
Also Eley Kishimoto. Although they may be too 'big' for your concept.
Good idea though!

10:23 AM  

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