Tell us a little bit about yourself + how you got started with Pezzi!
I’m 26 years old, and I live in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. I studied architecture in school and realized around year three that I really just wanted to build stuff out of wood. I focused on furniture design for the rest of undergrad, and when I got my first apartment in Brooklyn and my budget for buying furniture was like ten dollars, so I just started making it myself. It sort of started as a practicality thing I guess, but it was a lot of fun so I kept doing it and eventually began to think about retail.
What’s Pezzi all about?
Pezzi, which means pieces in Italian, is intended to be a collection of really simple and minimalist pieces that are just a little bit weirder than what you might see at Ikea or CB2. In a perfect world, Pezzi would be a line thats accessible to everyone. I would love to make products that are affordable for younger design lovers, or families with young children who want playful furnishings for their rooms without spending a ton. Unfortunately, I’m not really a large enough operation yet to mass produce in big quantities, and thus the prices have to be a little higher than I had hoped for. I’m working towards expanding the line with the intent of marketing Pezzi as a fun, affordable option.
Tell us the rocket science behind your products. How do you go from an idea to a finished product?
Well, I usually start with a dumb doodle. I never sit down to try to draw, that never works. It only happens inconveniently, when I should be doing something else, or I don’t have any paper or something. I make about six iterations of the drawing, and that’s because I always want to delete anything unnecessary. I like the structural elements themselves to have a decorative tweak to them, but I hate ornamentation for ornamentation’s sake. I try to make the parts that are crucial for the item’s function look interesting and then no other parts get added. After that, I just have to build it, or have it built. It depends on the process, if it involves something I love to do, like cutting an insane pattern into wood by hand, I’ll do it myself because I’m a lunatic, but if it’s something that needs a CNC, I call up the factory.
Why do you make what you make? How did you decide on furniture and other home goods?
I had been an architecture student and once I took my first sculpture class to fulfill an arts requirement, I only wanted to be in the shop. I kept moving in the sculpture department, and finally got to learn how to use all the big stationary tools and the welding equipment and it really was just the most fun thing in the world to pick up a piece of wood or steel and make something out of it. I ended up just merging my interest in architecture with my desire to be around wood all the time.
Do you have a favorite product?
I would have to say the Soffi Shelf for now, although I recently finished a prototype of a bed that could take it’s place...
Is there a certain anecdote behind your favorite product? Is it inspired by memories, places? Actually-and this is SUPER cheesy-I named it after a good friend who lived in Brooklyn when I was just starting to make my first things. I had no idea how hard it would be to start trying to find factories, find studio spaces, lug lumber around, spend all my free time making samples and manage all the other small, difficult tasks that involve following your harebrained, un-planned dream. I kind of just looked around me at these super talented furniture studios in Brooklyn and decided pretty quickly that I didn’t have what it takes and I was okay with that. And thank god for Soffi, she made get over myself. I don’t know how, she just did. The shelf wasn’t designed with her in mind, but I was working on it at the time.
What are you inspired by, in general?
Lots of things, aesthetically and otherwise... I don’t know where to start! Let’s see, Fiorucci ads, Palm Springs architecture, the desert, Michael Graves, 60’s Connecticut fashion, the Bauhaus, my friends Izzy and Kaitlyn who have the best taste in everything ever, Lella Vignelli, Kartell... the list goes on.
I can’t say I’ve really achieved anything yet, hopefully because I’m still very new! Although recently an artist whose work I really love and admire offered to trade a painting for a shelf...that was really flattering and I got some amazing art!