I recently was featured on a Blog Talk Radio show hosted by Tony Wilkins and called “Small Business Forum” , discussing the interior design business and my take on how to make it, so to speak, in this tough economy (listen to show). During the show Tony suggested that
I speak to Jill Zarin…you know, the Jill Zarin of “The Real Housewives of New York” fame…about collaboration. Okay, I don’t know her but what the hey. As a designer, one is always looking for new and special ways to show off their talents so this idea sounded perfectly fine to me.
Truth be told, Jill was very responsive to my emails, something I was impressed with due to her unbelievably busy life. She put me in touch with David Zarin, who is in charge of the Zarin Fabrics store downtown in NYC. David runs the show at Zarin, and he is extremely knowledgeable about everything to do with his business.
For those of you who are not in the know: Zarin Fabrics is an institution in NYC, and a destination for one and all who want to do something with fabrics in their home and purchase both the fabric and the labor at a very reasonable price. It is also the go-to place for theatrical productions and commercial venues wanting such things as fabric for scenery and costumes or seating and drapery for special events and other such needs.
Having never been to Zarin’s, I scheduled a visit to go to the store and meet with David. There is definitely a no frills attitude in it’s presentation, but it is very easy to work with the friendly staff and get memos of the fabrics you want. AND you get instant information on how much fabric is in stock because it is right there in front of you. AND you will not believe the pricing! You will find many fabrics here that are available at uptown design showrooms for double the price!
I must say that I was really amazed with the extent of fabrics to be found there…the floor seems like an endless room packed to the gills with all sorts of beautiful fabrics just waiting to be selected for some project. AND they offer top level upholstery and drapery work for those, like myself , that are real pros at selecting gorgeous fabrics but have no desire to sew them up. Trust me, I definitely know my limitations as a creative person!
Here’s the plus+plus of the situation: Zarin’s is instant gratification at a very good price. Could you ask for more? It also occurred to me that in today’s economy, finding good value is an important aspect of the job description of a smart interior designer. Instead of going to large ordinary furniture stores like Crate and Barrel…which does have a purpose, I admit in certain interiors…I can now provide some originality in design to my clients when they don’t feel like breaking the bank in certain areas of their projects.
I’ve already dreamed up a dozen different aspects where Zarin’s services would be ideal for my clients: pillows, recovering chairs and sofas, headboards and beds, window treatments, benches and ottomans…the list goes on and on.
Important Fact: Everything is arranged by color or by type of fabric so wandering through the aisles is made easier for everyone to find what they want! AND when you want to take a piece of the fabric home to see it where it will be used, they simply cut you a sample then and there. Could it be easier?
Feeling smart and savvy today about my discovery of Zarin Fabrics and glad to pass this info on to one and all.
P.S. Just in case you were wondering, David and I are presently collaborating on a project involving Zarin’s Fabrics and my design company, Shields & Company Interiors.
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!