Tuesday, January 8, 2008

my love/hate relationship







i have to say to was a little POed when i opened the new pottery barn kids catalog. there on the glossy pages in front of me was an oval crib just like my daughter's....one that i searched long and hard for, going to another state to b.braithwaite in order to order a "unique" crib. i love my stokke crib and the unusual shape and the fact that only two companies offered oval sheets. i wanted to be slightly different, on the cutting edge b/c after all i am a designer and people expect things. pottery barn is a massive design source for the general public and a leader in design trends. it's even a style that my clients describe themselves as wanting..."the pottery barn look". i continued to flip through the magazine when i arrived to a giraffe propped against the wall...another sigh of disappointment. my husband and i spent hours painting this giraffe (we rented an overhead projector, i had the giraffe bodice printed onto clear projection paper, and we sat there at night and traced and painted it onto the wall). now there is a wooden cut out available... finally, i arrived to the fabric page, there sat all of my designer Hable fabrics now available on upholstery offered through pottery barn. i cannot compete with pottery barn prices and Hable fabric is in the upper $100 a yard w/ a minimum order of 3 yds. huge sigh....

so you are probably wondering what the "love" part is in my relationship w/ pb after all of the hates i just listed....well, i think it is a great source of ideas and they do a really good job of creating a look that appeals to the general public and designers alike. they just make my job a little harder at times when they pounce of something that is usually offered "to the trade" only. but that is my job, to be on the cutting edge and constantly searching for the latest and greatest...

7 comments:

Caroline said...

I too opened my PB kids catalog this week. I see the positives as you pointed out, but I'm suspicious of their look at the same time. I think the end result of a whole-hog Pottery Barn room is contrived.

Without having seen it, I am certain that your giraffe is much lovelier and infinitely more meaningful than a mass-produced one from the catalog. At some point you'll think back to the night you and your husband spent lovingly painting that wall. I don't believe Pottery Barn can put the same "meaning" in design, only the individuals putting them together can. So cheers to you for taking the time to create a beautiful space through an inspired, intelligent, creative effort.

Carolina Eclectic said...

I understand completely. I feel frustrated at how difficult it is becoming to have anything unique. As soon as someone designs a unique product, the large chain stores are there to make a knock-off. Personally, I make it a goal to buy as few retail products as possible.
(Vintage,antique,handmade).

style & grace said...

Ahhhhhh, don't despair! When it comes down to it, any one can copy a page in a magazine and order away, but then they get it home in their OWN space, they freak out because they have no clue what to do. Your talent and personal relationships will win in the end. It's just like fashion, you have to mix high (designer) with low (mass retailers).
Embrace the enemy! Hee hee :)

ALL THE BEST said...

I understand and feel the same way. I (and many others I think) are tired of sameness and mass production.

Brilliant Asylum said...

I am so with you. Pottery Barn (and the like) are getting too speedy with their knock-offs. It is so unfair to the originators of these designs and makes it difficult for designers to convince clients to spend more on higher quality items. It actually makes me angry to flip through PB these days.

erika said...

shannon,
i'm really surprised by the Hable... it's larger than the usual, I was even skeptical that it was a knock-off, but no... ?
thanks for sharing! no babies in my life, but friends with babies will appreciate this post - i'm gonna send it their way.
e

Laura said...

I couldn't believe the Hable either--I guess it's good for them? But not so good for those of us who want to be a little different than the rest.