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March 2, 2021 40 mins

On avoiding diets and turning pottery into an empire.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
I kept getting fired from job after job, and finally
I was like, all right, you know, I'm just gonna
like chillax, make some pots, sort of see what happens,
and give up on my idea of a fancy career
in a jappie lifestyle and just kind of, you know,
become a pottery. We talked about fitness before. We talked

(00:31):
about spiritual fitness and couples who work out together, and
manic fitness versus relaxed fitness as it pertains to your personality. Uh.
You know, I do know a decent amount about diets
because I grew up in an unhealthy household as it
pertains to food and exercise, and the word diet was

(00:51):
something very common in my house. And you ripped out
every magazine from Cosmopolitan or whatever magazines were popular then,
and promising if you eat this food in one week,
and I had the pictures of everything you're supposed to eat,
then you're gonna lose weight. And back then it used
to be every single person was on a diet, and
every single diet had conflicting rules. So I remember there

(01:13):
was something that back then is called the Stewardess diet,
which is now would be the flight attendant's diet, and
it literally had like one whole day of all fruit,
and then one whole day of all vegetables, then one
day of beef and tomatoes, then a day you could
have a hot dog and two scoops of ice cream.
Like it was literally the constipation diet, the a d
D diet, the let's see how stupid people are. A

(01:34):
diet where I mean, if you ate fruit all day,
vegetables another day, and just if you ate pizza or
popcorn one day, you'd probably lose weight because you're not
gonna eat fifty pieces of pizza. Like all of these
crazy diets have the word die in them. D I E.
I don't believe in the word. I hate to even
say the word today, but I just having gone through

(01:57):
so many years and so many iterations of this multi
million dollar industry, it just brings me to believe we
are so stupid. So I listened to everybody. Now it's keto,
and I'm on the keto and I do keto. I
practice keto. And Keto is basically like a cousin of
Atkins and South Beach and Zone. So Atkins really started
where it was you can eat sixty five steaks, forty

(02:19):
pieces of bacon, thirty scrambled eggs, as much cheese as
you want, cobs, salad dressing, Caesar salad dressing. It starts up.
You ate a fucking stick a tried and gum, You
gained forty pounds, like it was literally you eat a
piece of watermelon and the carbon police are going to
come to your house and rest you. And you were
supposed to buy these like urine stix that you peet

(02:40):
on because you're supposed to go into ketosis, which many
doctors say is not a good thing for your body
to go into. Not to mention that really is the
constipation dehydration diet. Like you can eat four hundred pieces
of beef jerky, but you're not allowed to have an
orange slice. You're not even allowed to probably have you
might be allowed to have some lemon in your water,
but like, this is fucking crazy. And then years later,

(03:02):
the Alkins diet, the Atkins diet bars came out and
they just were like sort of okay, but they had
some carbs and god only knows. And then that diet
sort of changed a little bit more to be more
sort of human and the South Beach diet is a
distant healthier cousin of the Atkins diet. But it was
basically that you could just never like combine food. So
if you were gonna eat the steak with the vegetables

(03:26):
and the lettuce and the ten pounds dressing, that was okay.
But on the meals that you were gonna have holy pasta,
because white is not okay. Holy pasta is okay on
those meals because you're eating carbs, you weren't allowed to
have any fat. You can only have like the carbs
with the tomato sauce and the vegetables, but no fat.
Fat only goes with protein at those meals. Okay. So

(03:46):
this is how the crazy this This is how crazy
this was. Then there were other food combining diets where
you're not allowed to eat anything in the morning and
then you're allowed to eat fruit, but you cannot eat
fruit any part of the day besides the morning. You
can't eat fruit in between meals, you can't eat fruit
after a meal. You can only eat fruit in the
morning on an empty stomach. Incidentally, that makes some sense
because your body after it's been fasting all night, acid

(04:09):
in orange or citrus or fruit in the morning is
best digested on an empty stomach, and the food combining
thing does make some sense. It's why after Thanksgiving dinner
you are so exhausted. It's not because if the tiny
amounts of trip defend you're getting in your turkey. It's
because of all the different food groups that your body
is trying to digest at the same time, so the
machine is working over time, which is why fasts and

(04:31):
cleanses and juicing do have their health benefits if supervised,
if you understand them, meaning when your body the machine
is off and you're only eating let's say fruits and vegetables,
or you're not eating animal or sugar or caffeine or
meat which is harder to digest, or you've taken it
to the next level and you're doing just different types

(04:52):
of smoothies and soups, which also calms your system because
it's not working over time to digest that food and
take it to the next level. If you're doing green
juices or regular juices, or when people do the Master cleanse,
which is way more extreme, or people even do a
water fast. The point is people do heal themselves this
way because the machine, which is your body is focusing

(05:12):
on itself versus like the energy that the machine takes
to digest food. But we could do a whole other
thing on that. That could be an entire podcast in
and of itself, and I'd be willing to do it.
So after the Atkins diet came out, maybe ten years later,
they used to be the Beverly Hills diet. I forgot.
There used to be the California Diet, the Mediterranean diet,
the San Francisco diet. I mean it sounds like I'm

(05:33):
making all this stuff. It's all real. So Atkins is
like all fat, all protein, all animal, all like clogged
arteries and constipation and ketosis. On the other end, there
used to be this woman named Susan Powder who had
bleached blonde, platinum short hair. She used to go on
television with piles, and I mean piles for drama, piles
of pasta, piles of baked potatoes, piles of pretzels, anything

(05:57):
fat free. It's fat free. You can eat fat free
as long as you eat only fat free. It has
no fat. You can do as much of it as
you want. Steak, bad fat, oil bad Avocado was the
goddamn motherfucking devil. Okay, the devil. I used to take.
Avocado was a sin. Like back in the days of
when sushi came out, avocado was a sin. Now I
literally I bathe in avocado. I rubbed it all over

(06:19):
my body and then I lick it off. So back then,
avocado was the goddamn devil. But forty pounds of pasta
was okay as long as you didn't have a drip
of oil in it. So if you went to a restaurant,
you had to like literally take the way to buy
the throat and make sure that there was no oil
whatsoever made used in the process of making that pasta.
And then that was when everything became fat free, and

(06:41):
everything that used to be atkins and everything that was
whatever became fat free. So you'd be at food shows
and anybody who had fat in their products was a loser,
and anybody everything was fat free. And then people started
promoting bread fat free, pretzels fat free. We're like pretzels
were always fat free, you know what I mean. Like
they started being like, diet coke is fat free. It's
like no ship, it's always been fat free. Brown rice

(07:01):
fat free. We know it's fat free. So that was that,
and then later Happy Medium was the low carb diet,
so now you were sort of back to the South
Beach diet with another name. So everything is a remix.
I think it was like Bill Gates said it, everything
is a remix all of its bullshit. I don't know
what to tell you. I could go on for days.

(07:21):
I will go on another time, but I'm just saying, like,
be sensible, Okay, I have a decent relationship with food.
The one rule I could tell you is do not
binge and make good investments. Meaning if you are going
to eat plain grilled chicken, which bores me, you can
eat more of it. If you're gonna eat fatty ribby,
which excites me, you're gonna eat less of it. If
you are PMS or you need a piece of chocolate cake,

(07:43):
try not to eat the whole thing, but then don't
have bread and wine after and during dinner. Like you
know what, balance it out, It's checks and balances. It's
the same way you spend your money. Just just just
spend wisely. Try to get an r O I return
on your investment. And meaning if you eat thing healthy,
you're gonna feel good or it's going to fill you
up like a salad and chicken or soup or whatever.

(08:06):
And if you don't invest wisely, then make up for
it elsewhere. My guest today is designer Jonathan Adler, who
was at the top of his game. He has an
interior design brand of all these different products to just
make your house come alive. It's whimsical, it's fun like him,
and it's a signature style. I have several pieces of

(08:29):
his work in my home and I truly truly love
his work. It just it is a brand. So he's
here because he has absolutely, unequivocally built a brand and
also built an e commerce business, which is huge and
truly necessary in this day and age. So he started
out as a potter and now he has stores all

(08:50):
over the country. I am so excited to share our
conversation with you today as we talked about how he
developed his brand and he became a household name. And
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Hi, Hi,

(09:11):
how's it going. I'm good. Nice to see you, so
nice to see you. Also, I just finished a place
in Connecticut and you are ever present. My daughter has
those multiple color bubble bedside lamps, and I have those
sort of mixed metal sconces in my dining room. You
are the ones that like have the the lines and

(09:33):
gold and made brook. I've got the evil Eye table.
I mean almost airing on the side of buying too
much of your stuff that it looks like you're in
my house. I'm all in with everything, never enough, never
too much. All right, Well are you? I think you're amazing.
I literally I could go on. I have so many
things in my house and and and I think you're

(09:54):
so creative and so innovative. And you know, there are
many successful and talent did and a deep architectural digest
published designers, but you can't name that many that have
an actual brand. And this show the filter on this
brand is not about being famous, rich, or powerful. It's
about having built a brand or being a game changer.

(10:18):
Uh you know, created an industry. Uh A Maverick started
from the bottom. Now we're here. So that's why it
was important to me to talk to you, because I mean,
I really can't think of very many people that have
built a brand like yours. It is constantly changing and
that is obviously thriving, and it's just desirable and interesting
and quality and fun and you're kind of checking so

(10:39):
many of the boxes. Well, thank you very much. I'm,
you know, doing what I can, just trying to stay
relevant and you know, stay creative. Well, how long do
you feel that you have been relevant? Well, it's it's
actually a really interesting question. I started my business quite accidentally,
like twenty seven years ago hashtag old. And the idea

(11:03):
of relevance is kind of interesting because I feel like
I've been I've been very very lucky that I've had
a long run, and I hope I'm still relevant. I
mean it's not something I think about very much. I
really think about trying to stay authentic and true and
just kind of follow my creative muse wherever she leads me.

(11:24):
And I think that the idea of relevance, I think,
as long as you're authentic, you're relevant. Um, and that's
kind of how I and evolving and evolving evolving, Well,
I know what I like. But I think commercially, which
is ultimately what you're doing as a brand. I mean,
you don't want to just be niche. I think you
probably are more relevant than you ever have been. To me.

(11:46):
It keeps it. I mean, it's been the last ten
years that I feel like it's popped off. That's what
I think, but I may not know everything. Well, bless
your heart, I hope that's true. That's what I really
do think. So you started off by doing pottery, right,
like you're you're a potter by trade. Yeah. I started off,
as I said, a long time ago, making pottery, thinking

(12:07):
it was something I always wanted to do with my life.
But of course I'm a little bit jappy, and it
never crossed my mind that I would be able to
have a jappie lifestyle and be a potter. Luckily, I
failed at every job I ever had when I was young.
So when I got out of college, I tried to
work in the movie business, and I had a very
poor work ethic and very loose morals. So I would

(12:27):
show up late. I was sleeping with my boss and
everybody else in the office. You're like Jay Law in
Silver Lions Playbook when she said she got fired because
she slept with everyone, and Brad the Cooper says, well,
how many people? She said? Eleven? He's like, oh, that's
a number. Well, I couldn't. Unfortunately, I wasn't even. I
wasn't even as good as she is. I sucked everything.

(12:47):
So I kept getting fired from job after job, and
finally I was like, all right, you know, I'm just
gonna like chillax, make some pots, sort of see what happens,
and give up on my idea of a fancy career
in a jappie lifestyle and just kind of, you know,
become a potter. It was very like Brooklyn and Williamsburg
before that idea even existed. And then, you know, miraculously, miraculously,

(13:12):
over the years, I managed to be an actual Brooklyn
e potter and a JAP So I made it all happen.
It all came full circle for me. But yeah, I
started out as a potter long time ago and just
was in my studio all day making stuff and got
an order from Barney's and just filled the order and
very gradually continued to get more orders and never really

(13:35):
had a plan, never even really thought I was launching
a business or really doing much of anything. Considered myself
unemployed until about two years after I had gotten that
first order from Barneys. I was at a I was
at a party and my mom was there and someone
said to me, like, Jonathan, what are you doing? You know,
do you have a job? And I said, now, I'm
unemployed right now, and my mother said, no, you're not.

(13:57):
You're a potter. And I thought, oh, yeah, I'm a potter.
And I thought, I have a career. I'm a potter. Well,
how are you supporting yourself during that time? Did you
come from a privileged background because you said jab like
Jewish American princess, which mattered when yeah, Jewish American princess.
I came from sort of a a nice, solidly upper

(14:18):
middle class but not rich family. So I went to
fancy college and for some reason or other, all my
friends were these like heiresses and they never really had
to think about working. And I thought, for some reason,
I just sort of took on their identity and thought, well,
why why would one really have to work? And cut two.
I got out of school and I was like, oh,

(14:40):
one has to work because one has to pay the bills.
So yeah, so I was very lucky. You know, my
parents paid for college and they were always there to help.
But it wasn't you know, dynastic wealth that uh that
my friends had. However, I think that one of the
benefits of being friends with a lot of kind of

(15:00):
like fancy design e stylish people from college was that
I never really developed a practical streak, and I think
that served me well as a as a designer because
I've really approached my work not from the level of like,
not from a real sense of practicality or business, but

(15:22):
more from sort of an airy fairy artistic approach, and
that's something I've managed to stay true too. Well. I
think what's great about your brand and what you've just
said though, is so if I design something, I like
it to be not to taste specific, so I then
can accessorize with things that you make and have those
be the moments versus like every single thing I have

(15:45):
being like making a loud statement. So I think that
that's where your brand is amazing, because if you just
need something to just make something look fun, lighthearted, special designed,
it kind of comes in with a lighting fixture, with
a with a vase, with a piece of furniture or a
a pillow. So I think that's really something that's amazing.
I know you you have obviously major piece of furniture

(16:07):
and I own them, but I think that's a cool,
a cool element about your brand. Well, you know what
that really comes from. I had a I had a
very groovy grandmother who was sort of an anti main
type of person. And I remember I would go to
her house and she had fabulous taste, and I would
pick up an object and it would be completely riveting
and inspirational and transformational. I would like pick up a

(16:30):
sculpture off the table and say, where's this from? She said, oh,
it's in Denmark and I found this jeweler and he
made this thing. Or you know, I was in Mexico
and I went to a an iron smith thing and
moments she just had fabulous inspirational moments. And I think
that I've always strived to be the dude who makes

(16:51):
the stuff that the next generation of mes will pick
up and be like, oh, this is cool, this is inspiring,
This makes me want to make stuff. So, you know,
I hope I'm making the stuff that will sort of
be weird and provocative and trigger people's imaginations. And my
real goal in life is to sort of battle the

(17:12):
basic that's interesting. Do you retire things or limit productions
so people can't get it anymore? And do you still
have like this the basic classics that everybody wants. Do
you strategically do that? I'm the absolute worst. I wish

(17:35):
I could say that I was more varsity in my strategy,
and I know I should be at this point, but
you know, I kind of just I do a lot
of stuff intuitively and what feels right. So I might
retire some stuff if I'm sick of it, or if
I still love it, I keep it around. It. Really,
I'm sort of the the arbiter of what stays and goes. However,

(17:57):
talking about my company, in my business, what my brand,
whatever you want to call it, makes me realize what
a kind of junior varsity person I am in that
I never really have had a business plan. I've never
really been as strategic as I should be, and perhaps
that's what I hope keeps me authentic. I didn't ever

(18:20):
have really have a business plan, but I am very strategic.
And what would you say your brand is? In the
elevator pitch, you know, we call our brand kind of
modern American glamor, and it's really it's a reflection of
the fact that my design is I hope modern, you know,
I always I'm trying to push the envelope, makes things
that are new and forward thinking. I think that my

(18:44):
work is very American in that I am a very American, dude.
I love this country. I love this sense of optimism
and possibility that is uniquely American, and it's a modern American.
And glamour because I think glamour, I hope, is at
the core of everything I do. And glamorous one of

(19:05):
those funny words that people throw around but can't ever
really define. It's sort of an ineffable thing. But I
guess to me, glamour means being memorable, you know, so modern,
new American, optimistic, glamorous, memorable. I love it, I get it,
and it's true a little retro. I feel like so

(19:28):
many designers, many very successful designers, have made mistakes. I'm
talking more in fashion the way when I'm thinking about
in my mind and who I'm thinking about have made
mistakes in that they're amazing, brilliant designers, but not amazing
business people, and that they some of them have made
the mistake of thinking they're good business people, and some
have made the good choice to have amazing business partners

(19:49):
who are literally just business guys or gals and they're
the designers. So do you It sounds like you know
what you know and you know what you don't know,
because before you were explaining that your g a v
in certain ways, so it sounds like you know what
you know? Do you consider yourself to be a business
person in addition to a designer or really just a
creative and you need to have the right people around
you to do the business. I've become an accidental businessman,

(20:13):
you know. It's not something It's not something I even
understood at all. Going into this, I didn't even know
what an invoice was. I was an extremely airy, fairy,
imperhatsical person, and over the years, I've of course had
to learn how to navigate the world. I'm the same,
by the way, shocking to people, I'm the same, by
the way. I'm sure I think that's as it should be.

(20:35):
I don't think you can be you or you know
where you're like, you're weird. You know, you're this one
off thing. You can't become that weird, one off thing
by being a business person. You have to just be
you and then learn the business as it unfolds, or
else you wouldn't be able to be you. You know.
But over the years, of course, I've had ups and downs,
and I've had fabulous business partners and unfabulous business partners

(20:58):
and businesses evolved, and there's sort of like living organisms.
And if you were to take a snapshot of my
company at any given time, it might be I might
have the perfect team or I might have the imperfect team.
Right now, we are killing it. We have an amazing team,
probably like a hunting that's a lot. I'm not surprised
because you have a massive business and where is everybody, um,

(21:19):
and right now because of the pandemic, where is everybody?
We're in far flung locales doing everything virtually and you know,
managing to keep it all together and ps as it
relates to the pandemic. I am an extraordinarily lucky person
to be one of the few who hasn't been destroyed

(21:40):
by the pandemic. And you know, I certainly don't take
it for granted. And I really don't know what I
would have done had I been, say, fifteen years younger
and earlier in my company, where like I didn't sort
of have the scale or the support to whether this'.
You know, I don't know what I would have done
if I was like a all business owner during this time,

(22:02):
I probably would have been like if I was like young,
younger and um, at that stage. To be honest, I
think I probably would have been like going in every
day and like and defying all orders just to keep
my business alive. I have tremendous sympathy for small business
owners who are not going into their store. You know,

(22:26):
it's a really it's a really tough position. And I
think as a small business owner, I really understand that
businesses war. It's really meaningful. Building something is extraordinarily difficult.
I feel awful for all of the small business owners
who are being decimated, and I'm happy I'm not in

(22:49):
their shoes. And I really honestly don't know how I
would have handled it. I think I probably would have
been pretty bold and defiant. I think I would have
been I think I think that's a reflection. Yeah, business
is war, you know, And I think I think that
if you have a small business, you know, whether you

(23:10):
have insurance, whatever you have, you're still kind of a
little bit of a warrior. And I think that that
was an important part of my journey. And I feel
awful for people right now. It's so well said. I'm glad.
I'm honestly, I'm glad you said I we haven't talked
enough about it. Do you have partners in this business
and this brand I do? I do? And that was

(23:30):
something that I kind of developed over time, you know,
I sort of I've had the good luck and smart
luck to find people and resources that I need to
continue my journey. Funnily enough, the main focus though, for me,
has always just been creativity. So I kind of see
my whole thingy as a as a very selfish endeavor

(23:53):
in that my goal in life is just to make
groovy stuff and keep doing it as long as I can,
and um finding the resources and ways to make it
all happen. So you know, I see my business as
more of a means to an end than an end
in and of itself. Well, there's so many people that
listen here for brand building and business. Do you feel

(24:16):
that you still have control? And you know you've got
If you have partners, you've had to give some either
control or some obviously percentage money I pe away, And
what advice do you have to people? What what sort
of mistakes have you made? What has been good about it?
Because what's odd is that I get a lot of
emails and messages from people asking me. They tell me

(24:36):
how much money they're making and they tell me the
piece of their business that they have and what they're
paying themselves a year. But someone wants to come in
and take part of it, and should they take some
money off? You know, then you get a pile of
money and get some money off the table. And you
know the drill. It's like a mini like the mini
shark tank all the time. So how has that affected you?
Because I I own a hundred percent of the Skinny
Girl I p and the brand, which surprises people because

(24:58):
I only sold the cocktail Porsche And now my non
compete is up and so I'm going to launch another
cocksom not with Skinny Girl, because I don't own Skinny Girl.
And for a decade I was still involved because uh,
I was still a spokesperson. I had a back end deal.
So um in owning, it's been a conversation. I actually
had the conversation with Mark Cuban, who's been on here,

(25:19):
if I would sell part of it and what the
reason would be and what I would use the money for, etcetera.
So do you have control and how do you feel
about having other people involved in What was that decision
like in that journey to do that? Oh my God,
I was so happy to get other people involved because
I hated having all the responsibility myself. So I started
off it was me a lump of clay, which is

(25:41):
essentially just earth, water, and fire. You know, it's like
a like making pots is extremely elemental and basic. It's
primitive even, and I was quite primitive. And to go
from that world in which it was just me mud
firing water, uh, to this world, I'm I feel incredibly

(26:04):
grateful in every step of the way. The more people
I've brought in and the bigger my company has become,
the happier I am to give up um a piece
of it and and sort of acquire a merry band
of co conspirators in this journey who all share the
responsibility and the passion. You know, I felt when it

(26:26):
was me, firewater and clay, I felt really overwhelmed by everything.
So the journey of having people who are as invested
in this and as invested in me as I am
in this has actually been incredibly fabulous emotional journey. Not
to get all like whatever, but you know, when I

(26:48):
first started it was it felt very overwhelming and very
fright suffocating. Yeah, So I'm thrilled to have to be
a part of a team now rather than to be
a one man band. Okay, so it's been positive because
you're as a designer, it seems like you've made the
right moves and the right choices or got lucky or
a combination of Also, it's been positive, like you're happy

(27:10):
with the partnerships and you are happy that you gave
away a piece of your business too for the greater
cause and to really blow it out and build it.
Oh my god, totally. And I think that's more reflection
of who I am as a person, Like I'm not
a gambler. I don't really like I hate gambling. In fact,
I don't really I'm sort of risk averse. And my
genuine like priority in life is to make groovy stuff,

(27:34):
like that's what occupies my brain and to be able
to be free to do that. And this gives you,
got it? I get it. Yeah. And so if I
if I was spending all day and night worrying about
like business and banks and risk, and I think it
would really impede my ability to do what I do.
I agree. I get it completely too, because it's something

(27:55):
that takes up so much bandwidth. Is take me away
from what you really would like to be doing, and
it's been that's I've had that experience too with having
now having good business managers, doing a show on HBO
Max called The Big Shot with Bethany and finding someone
that I would like to be me. I don't want
to have to have all these ideas and think about
all these things. I want to sometimes be the talent
and not be the CEO sometimes be just free to

(28:15):
be doing my podcast talking to you, and not be
thinking about the seven thousand things that I'm thinking about
because I'm anyway. Who needs who needs the Michiganus. You know,
there's enough Michigans in the world that, like, you know,
for me, it's like do I what I do? I
want to be Jeff Bezos or do I want to
be me? I'm sure he's like loving being that rich,
but like that ain't my focus. My focus is on

(28:37):
making groovy stuff. And yeah, you know I'm also lucky dude,
and that like I'm gay. I don't have a huge
amount of responsibility. It's just like me my adorable husband
Simon and are cute dog Fopsy, and you know, I
don't I just don't have that much responsibility. So I
think that my focus can be being creative and probably

(28:58):
being really selfish. I'm awful. I was going to say,
there should be a product of yours that like says
the word selfish on it. I don't know what, right, Yeah,
I have a signature. I think you should have a
selfish signature piece. What is your favorite piece of all
of your work and what is your favorite thing to do? Oh?
My god, probably probably whatever I've made most recently. It's
my favorite thing. But if I had to say, perhaps

(29:22):
it's like, I make this groovy vase called a Doram Marves's.
Thank you for your custom I appreciate. I have the
one that also that has painted on it, not just
the one where it is the face, but you have
the faces painted on it. That was an again H
and M moment. Yes I did that, Yeah exactly. I
think that piece is a real reflection of me at
my best, which is I hope I make things that

(29:46):
look kind of like they were always just meant to
be and like I really sort of channeled them rather
than created them. And I think that's what that vase reflects,
Like it's you know, it kind of just came out
of the world and I was merely there to unearth it. Yeah,
I mean that's why I think things should look. I

(30:06):
think things should look completely effortless, like they're just there.
But unfortunately, nothing is ever that simple. But so yeah,
I think I think my work at its best looks
like so obvious that you just think to yourself, like, oh,
how could the world have ever not had that? You? Oh? Yeah,

(30:33):
are you decisive? Because the way that I look at
design and the way that you design. When I looked
through a lot of the pictures, it's like cooking. You
could easily use cilantro basil or parsley in a fish
recipe with olive oil and garlic and it would be
great all those ways, and you just have to make
a decision and keep it moving. And so when I
look at the design, some of it seems like crazy

(30:53):
accidental ends up looking good. And I feel like it's
a little bit like cooking, where decisions pick pick a
decision and keep it moving. It could have been blue, green, yellow,
doesn't matter, just think up to the next thing that
goes with that. That is like the smartest thing you've
ever said. That's exactly what it is. And yeah, I
am super decisive and One of the fabulous things about
being a an applied artist versus like a fine artist

(31:16):
is that I have just a ton of things on
the go all the time. I have to make decisions
constantly about you know, anything from a sofa to a chair,
to an interior to a pot. But it's not like
I sit there and you know, contemplate the next brushstroke
I'm going to take. And I think that pace of
decision making and being decisive, I hope gives my work

(31:38):
a feeling of freshness and clarity. And I think things
shouldn't be overworked. I always think about hairdressers and how
really good hairdressers are pretty quick and they understand that,
like you kind of just got to like start cutting
and go and not think too hard about it. And
I think the same applies to design. It applies to cooking,
to business, to life to everything. I agree. I agree,

(32:03):
and people at home are listening. And I'll say that,
for example, my girlfriend, she's been obsessing over what to
do with her kitchen for like a year, and then
obsessing over went to organize her closets and' like, just
pick something and keep it moving. It ain't that deep.
There could be seven things you can pick and then
nest around that, move stuff around, use things you have.
Like I took a bench that's outdoor furniture in my house.

(32:23):
It's been outside for six months and I just took
it and I like wiped it off, Like that would
be good behind my couch, just to hold a candle. Like,
a lot of different things work. You have to start
looking at things differently. When I used to go to
Ikea and find these planters, I was like, oh, they'd
be good for kitchen utensils, like, and everything you already
have in your house is something you probably could use
in some different way. I use zip block containers for
my daughter's crayons and markers and buttons and extra pieces.

(32:46):
And I use the clips from buyinger clips for chips
if I'm out of it. Like everything can work in
different ways if you just open your eyes. I think
it's especially zip block bags. Oh my god, I can't
even talk about it. My adorable husband, Simon, his dad
had a great saying. Would was about just how you
have to make a decision. He said, look, everything has
to be some way, so just make a decision and
move on, Like, don't be paralyzed, you know, it's gonna

(33:09):
be what. You just have to make a decision. Everything
has to be something where if you've ever done a
co brand, I would like to do whimsical permanent zip
block bags that have like where that snap thing is
neon or something and says on it makeup and so
it's like a more durable zip block bag to put
inside for your toil ues or things like that. That
would be just like you know something we could come

(33:31):
great idea, want it? Love it right? Well there zip
block containers. We can make our own containers and I
could sell him an h s in anyway. So think
about it. Think about it. What does someone get you
as a gift? People must be so intimidated by getting
you a gift. I hope nobody ever gets me anything
because I'm like, dude, I have enough stuff, Like if

(33:52):
like just give it straight to housing works. But I'm
like that, But I don't like not getting I'm a gifter.
You are. If you need to buy a gift, you
can just go straight to Jonathan not the dot com.
But if you need to buy a gift for me,
don't bother. I don't want more stuff, not even if
it's food or something like that except for food of food. Okay,
so we'll get a different gift food, okay, grit. Yeah.

(34:14):
All I do. I eat and eat and eat, and
I work out and I work out and I work out.
I'm like a Hamstern a wheel eating an exercising and
eating and exercising. It's a disaster. What do you that's noisy?
That's food and exercise noise. If you exercise just a
little bit less, then you wouldn't want to eat as much.
But that's a different conversation for a different day. What
do you give as gifts? Do you get your own brand?

(34:35):
You give Jonathan either always always, okay, good, yeah, of course,
you know. I sometimes I'll encounter like a designer who
doesn't wear his own clothes or you know, who doesn't
live with his or own stuff, and I'm like, well,
then why are you inflicting on the rest of the world.
If you don't love it, don't make it right. That
was like a Housewives moment when the woman she Buy
Charrey wasn't wearing she by Schrey. Not that is I

(34:58):
talked about she by Charay every single day of my life.
And I'll tell you why. When she by Say was
launching her first collection. She like hired yeah, collection, she
hired designer. She got like all the samples made, and
she was getting her samples the day of her show
and she got them and she was like, she was like, wait,

(35:19):
this doesn't look like I thought it would look. And
she got all upset, and I was like, Chay, obviously,
like the samples is the very first step in a
very very long, arduous analytical massaging process. It's the edit.
It's the book that's now in the edit. Oh dude,
it's like the develop It's like people say, writing is rewriting,

(35:40):
Designing is redesigning, Like, get the first sample sucks that.
The tough part isn't coming up with the design. The
tough part is getting the first sample, seeing how much
you hate it and how that feels and taste and
who everything gets wrong with it exactly. And you're a
person who comes from a place of yes, but still
you know that samples are shipped their ship, and you
need to like you hate yourself, You think I screwed

(36:02):
everything up, and then you've got to roll up your
sleeves and say like, all right, how can I fix this?
How can I make the proportions better. Why don't the
materials look good? And she by Scharrey is emblematic of
a current challenge in our culture, which is everybody thinks
they're brand, everybody thinks they're designer, nobody wants to do
the actual work. Oh that's totally true. And I guess

(36:25):
I was going to say she by Sharre has never
been emblematic of anything until this moment. And yes, she
by Sharrey is emblematic of that. I literally talked about
she by Sarre every Housewives brand ever ever launched. Well
many wow, Well, uh, it was so good talking to you.
I think you're wonderful and I'm so proud of you,

(36:45):
and I think your success is well deserved, and I
honestly congratulate you and just wish you the best of everything.
I appreciate you coming on here because you're an amazing company,
I will tell you that with good good stuff going
on right back at you. Ditto on all of the above, Um,
your faguus. And this was like such a great chance
to like really brow down with you. It happens where

(37:07):
I know people but never really get to talk to
them about these things. And I love that part about this. Yeah,
like I've known you forever. We haven't had a proper browdown,
so I'm glad we did, and I hope more to come.
So Jonathan ad was really interesting because he just kind

(37:27):
of created a job, a career, and a business and
a brand out of a passion. And I can relate
to that because I'm a person who tried to be
an actress, wasn't really that good at it, didn't feel
natural at it because it wasn't me just being me,
and being a host wouldn't be me because that also
felt sort of stagy and scripted. So just being me

(37:50):
ended up how I started my career on television, and
I just like that. He loved doing pottery. He didn't
do well at working and so he thought, you know,
he was sort of possibly going to fail. He didn't
know how he would succeed, which I can relate to
and many of us can. But when you just are
good at something and find a way to hone that
skill and find a way to market and monetize that skill,

(38:13):
it's amazing. And you know, he really just took a
passion and then just was selling those items and realize
that they have some value, and then what you do
with that is really important. So he just went one
step at a time in his trajectory and really created
a signature brand. You understand exactly what it is when
you see it. He knows exactly how to describe it

(38:34):
in an instant. He really doesn't stray from the line
to which all things adhere. And I mean that when
you have a brand, you should be able to describe
exactly what that is in an elevator something to somebody
and and and you may want to layer, uh, elaborate,
but I know that my brand and Skinny Girl is
practical solutions for women. And in the Bethany brand that

(38:56):
I'm just launching, uh and I Wear Soon is l
elevated solutions for women. So you kind of get it.
And with his brand, he could describe it to you,
but I would say it's a fun, whimsical, not taking
yourself too seriously design and you know, high quality and colorful,
and uh, he could describe it better than I could.

(39:17):
But with each business that we talked about, and with
each person who is definitely a success in their own right,
in some way, you can piece together your own puzzle
for your own business and your own brand or your
own life. Just everybody has these life hacks and life
tips about uh, just their journeys, so that's kind of
what this whole thing is about. I appreciate you listening,

(39:39):
and um, I hope you enjoyed it, So please remember
to rate, review and subscribe Just to Be with Bethany,
because it's kind of how we get feedback and stay
at the level we're at and get these amazing guests
and have these interesting conversations and it just really helps.
The interaction is helpful to us and to find out
exactly who you are. That gives us an insight into

(40:00):
who you are and what you want. So thank you
so much, as always, have a great day. Yeah. Just
Be is hosted by me Bethany Franko. Our managing producer
is Fiona Smith, and our producer is Stephanie Stender. Sarah
Katanak is our assistant producer, and our development executive is

(40:22):
nayantar Roy. Just Be as a production of Be Real
Productions and Endeavor Content. This episode was mixed by Sam Bear.
To catch more moments from the show, follow us on
Instagram and Just Be with Bethany
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