I am so thrilled to share my Q&A with the VP of Merchandise for Jayson Home, Devin Kirk. Devin’s own home was recently featured on Elle Décor. He has amazing style. The Q&A is the first of my two-part feature on Jayson Home. The second part will be posted tomorrow and will showcase a group of three very talented and stylish bloggers: Victoria Smith of SF Girl By Bay, Geri Hirsch of Because I’m Addicted and Cougar Hjelmeseth of Left Coast Fashion including their interior design style and personal picks from Jayson Home.
You may already be a fan but just in case you haven’t heard about Jayson Home, prepare to fall in love. Jayson Home, owned by Jay Goltz, is an artfully merchandised furnishings and home accessories store located in Chicago turned online shopping destination for professional designers and home decorating divas like myself. They’ve been in business for nearly 20 years. They offer modern and vintage items that are amazingly timeless but current at the same time. I’m definitely not the first blogger to feature them but I hope to bring some new insight into the company and the team that makes the magic happen.
Devin: Jay Goltz started Artists Frame Service in 1978 and it quickly became a wildly popular destination in Chicago for framing. With customers waiting on Saturdays, Jay put in a small gift section so people could shop while they waited. Our Creative Director Caroline Scheeler came along in 1994 and transformed the gift shop into its own store called Jayson Home.
L&R: How long have you been working for the company and what do you like best about working there? Can you tell us about the rest of the Jayson Home team?
Devin: I started here in 2003 and it was an exciting time to come on board since we’ve grown so much in that time – from the launch of our e-commerce site and catalogs to designing and developing our own product lines. Our evolution has really been organic and being a small company has afforded us the opportunity to take risks that larger companies wouldn’t have been able to take. We have an extraordinary group of people working here who are all relentlessly passionate about what we’re trying to do – giving our customers the coolest products we can find and the very best service we can. This is a very collaborative, creative environment and we’re constantly pushing ourselves to be better, and that makes it a very satisfying place to work.
L&R: What are you guys seeing as upcoming trends in interior design and home décor?
Devin: I think we’re going to start seeing more color, more metallics and more graphic, geometric elements. I never tire of crusty old antiques, but we’re going to be mixing in more modern elements to give them new life.
Devin: Last year we went on about fourteen buying trips in about nine different countries, so obviously there’s lots to plan. Caroline and I each have files of magazine articles and blog posts we’re constantly collecting on different cities, markets, and sources so it helps to have these at the ready when we are hitting the road. We plan our trips about a year in advance and spend lots of time researching online and talking to people we know about where we’re going. Because you don’t know what you’ll find until you get somewhere, being flexible is almost more important than planning. You’ve got to keep your eyes peeled and you never know when one place will lead you to the next great find.
Devin: We do a spring and fall catalog to launch our collections. Rather than showing every single item we carry, we sort of think of them more as look books. When it comes to introductions of smaller collections and sales, email, Facebook and Twitter are the best way to stay in touch on a weekly basis. We are also working on more of our Buyer’s Picks, where we tell the stories about how we found some of our favorite products.
Devin: There are so many! Of course I love Elle Décor and House Beautiful. The New York Times Thursday and Sunday styles are highlights of my week. The number of blogs I read regularly is too long to list, but it almost always starts with myfavoriteandmybest.com. Jenny cracks me up and has great taste too.
L&R: I recently began reading Jay’s blog “You’re the Boss” at NYTimes.com. I also see that he has written a book called The Street Smart Entrepreneur: 133 Tough Lessons I Learned the Hard Way. I’m sure many of us creative entrepreneurial types could learn a thing or two from him. After being in business for over 20 years there must be some keys for success that he lives by. Do you find he has been a mentor for you? What have you learned most from working with Jay?
Devin: Absolutely. I think Jay has been so successful because he’s been able to balance the creative and business sides. On my first day of work, Jay told me our store was like Disney World for grown ups and in that moment, I just got it. It means we are creating a place that’s inspiring, where you’ll find something unexpected and where the service is flawless. You can see it in the store on customer’s faces and I hope the same is true for our website – that people can sit at their desk at lunch and browse our site, get inspired and have a little escape.
Devin: We are launching our latest Petite Flea collection on Friday, March 16th in store and online. There are some super fun finds we picked up in Palm Beach and at flea markets down south. We’re working on our spring catalog now, which will be dropping in early April. I think it’s going to be our most beautiful catalog yet. We have so many amazing new products this spring – I just can’t wait for everyone to see them!
Thank you, Dirk! I am so happy to have had this opportunity to learn more about Jayson Home and their wonderful team. I wanted to also thank Abbe MacLise, Jayson Home’s Director of Marketing, for helping me pull everything together.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to read my post all about the the Jayson Home product picks and design styles of Victoria Smith of SF Girl By Bay, Geri Hirsch of Because I’m Addicted and Cougar Hjelmeseth of Left Coast Fashion.