Monday, June 7, 2010

Behind the Design - Brooklyn Rehab

Good morning.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

This week's Behind the Design features Alyssa from Brooklyn Rehab.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I'm inspired by the city and the best of it's boroughs, BROOKLYN! I even have it as part of my name, "Brooklyn Rehab."  I collect, observe, and absorb all that surrounds me to create fun takes on modern souvenirs like the pigeon feather sealed in a test tube and fake bed bug labeled with its Latin name Cimex Lectularis.  I am also inspired by what is lacking here, NATURE.  The lack of wildlife and natural objects drove me to create them out of clay.  Simple creatures like birds, squirrels, owls and deer are transformed from mundane to high end when cast in fine porcelain with a perfect white glaze.  To some, these creatures are everywhere and even considered a nuisance, but to me they are exotic and almost mythic since I never get to see them in real life.  Tree branches and mushrooms also become immortalized in my ceramic menagerie.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
I feel the creative vibe everywhere I go.  I'm always picking up bits of this and pieces of that to later be transformed into something new.

Where do you do most of your work?
I do most of my work in the big open space of my apartment.  I do have a dedicated studio (extra bedroom), but it is so full of my supplies that I like to work in the larger space.  I also belong to a commercial studio where I fire my porcelain work.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
I wanted something funny since this started as my creative outlet, when I was doing fashion full time.  The fashion world can take itself way too seriously.  I wanted something fun but clever.  Since I constantly rework and appropriate existing objects, I thought of the word "rehab."  In some ways, I am rehabilitating objects in order to save them from the trash. 

What is your favorite thing to make?
There is never one thing.  I like being able to rotate from porcelain to jewelry to decal or graphic design work.  It keeps me fresh and on my toes.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
I would have to say my pigeon feather souvenir.  I think it is because people are surprised, awed, and sometimes even angered by it.  If you please everyone, then you are not going out on a limb enough.  I like to challenge and push boundaries.

You couldn't run your business without __________?
The sights and sounds of the city.

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Make your prices high enough to wholesale and afford to hire help when you need it.  I struggle with having to spend too much time producing, which takes me away from the creative work necessary to introduce new ideas.

Coffee or tea?
A double latte from Bakeri.

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
A 3-way tie between: sfgirlbybay, design*sponge, and creature comforts.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
Martha Stewart!

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
Hmmm, those went away when I started my own business a few months ago.  I hope to schedule some free time for next year ;)

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
Morocco, I'd love to go to the bazaars.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you take with you?
My laptop (I'd still have an internet connection, right?).
My sketchbook.
My jewelry supplies since I'd finally have time to finish my projects that have been on the back burner.
A thousand little test tubes and vials to fill with local finds to take back with me.
A little black dress to wear when I date the cute native boy.

Thank you Alyssa for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Alyssa, Brooklyn Rehab.

Alyssa can be found at:
Etsy shop


Interior Design Firm said...

Good Designs all are very nice

Alyssa Zygmunt said...

Thank you!!!! Such an honor to be featured here!

Unknown said...

Loving all the pics! Have a sweet day!