We sit down for a very insightful Q&A with the “Maker of Things”, Eric Trine.
Eric Trine, 29-years-old
Educational Background: BFA Sculpture – Biola University 2007. MFA Candidate (’13) in Applied Craft and Design – Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft.
How did you discover your passion for making furniture?
I discovered my passion for making furniture by actually making furniture. I have a passion for making – and with furniture it’s nice that the things I can make can actually be used in a functional way. So, I like the making of the item but I really enjoy seeing what happens to it after it’s made. I love seeing how people enjoy my pieces – how they put them to use.
What inspires you?
Thrift stores, garage sales, antique malls and flea markets. It’s not about finding old stuff or nostalgia for me, it’s about finding stuff that doesn’t have a name or a brand associated with it. I love finding weird one-offs. Right now I’m super into old crappy ceramics – the kind of pieces that students make in high school ceramics classes and they give it to Grandma as a Christmas present. You know, the types of things that sit in a garage until they have a garage sale, and then after no one buys it it gets donated to Goodwill, and then it sits on the shelf for years. I guess I’m inspired by the stories behind things but as you can tell I also like to make the stories up myself! I also love just walking around hardware stores or lumber yards. I like to look at raw materials rather than finished pieces.
As Merchandise Editor at PeopleStyleWatch.com, Catherine Dash works non-stop to find the best style steals on the web. She has an intense love for independent designer labels and seeks out the coolest up-and-coming brands—be it fashion, home or beauty—which she’s done for several publications in her career including Lucky magazine and StyleFind.com. When not scouring the web for must-have buys, Catherine is roaming the streets of Brooklyn with her 6-year old Papillon Lulu in search of her next food obsession.
Can one to two paragraphs and a good picture really be enough to interest an editor/blogger?
Catherine: Absolutely! Even a good photo and a couple sentences can do the trick. An email I can scan quickly to get only the most important info is best. I’ll ask for more if I need it. And no huge files–our inboxes fill up quickly.
What’s missing when a pitch is almost there, but not quite?
Catherine: Can we consider the look book a form of a pitch? If so, don’t forget to include PR contact info when sending them out (or on any printed promotional material, for that matter). On more than one occasion, I’ve gotten my hands on a gorgeous look book only to find no way of getting in touch with the brand (I’m not kidding. This has happened multiple times!) Take some time to step back and remember the most seemingly obvious things.
Biggest turnoff when someone is trying to get press?
Catherine: Being pushy. There’s a difference between being persistent and being aggressive. When a publicist acts like they’re entitled to coverage, I’m less likely to want to work with them.
What is the one thing that makes one pitch stand apart from the next?
Catherine: It seems like a little thing, but addressing your pitch to the editor specifically and making the message somewhat personalized can make a big difference. Also, research what sections/types of features the editor works on and giving them pertinent information (and quickly when it’s requested). We get tons of mass emails each day, so the ones that feel like they’re intended for you directly are more likely to get a reply/second read.
What is the same mistake all beginners at DIY publicity make?
Catherine: I often get pitches that have nothing to do with the type of features I work on. I imagine the publicist is casting a wide net and hoping someone bites. I’m sure that works sometimes, but those are the emails that start to feel like spam and the ones that I stop even opening. Taking the time to find the correct editor of the section/feature your product makes sense in at the very beginning will set a precedent that your emails are worth opening–it will pay off in the long run.
What’s the easiest and quickest way to an editor’s heart?
Catherine: Reply quickly when information is requested. When we’re asking for something, we’re usually under a tight deadline. If we know we can rely on you to get back quickly, you’ll be the first person we go to for features in the future.
What two things do you want to find in every pitch?
Catherine: A photograph of the product and a link to where you can buy it and/or find more information about it. You’d be surprised by how many people don’t include a link to what they’re talking about (even just the brand’s site). It seems like such a little thing, but it really does save time for the editor.
*Biz Advice is compiled & edited by Amy Flurry
Heading to the 6th Annual Unique LA Holiday Show this weekend, December 7 & 8? The largest made-in-America shopping event of its kind in the world, there will be amazing local-made shopping from over 350 vendors, a cafe, free snack and drink stations, free DIY crafts and lots more. If you’d like, especially for those seasoned-Unique-shoppers out there, download the Vendor Directory and Map ahead of time to plan your route. You don’t want to miss your favorite designers and artists! Have a great holiday season, we’ll see you soon!
Arts ReSTORE LA is a new initiative by the Hammer Museum that aims to re-energize Westwood Village with the creative force of local Angeleno artisans and craftspeople. From November 1 to 24, the Hammer will fill several empty storefronts in Westwood, donated by the property owners to this project, with an array of artisan vendors – many are our good friends such as Tanya Aguiniga, Iron Curtain Press, For Your Art, and Clarke and Madison. How are we involved?
UNIQUE LA is adding our perspective and hands-on touch by curating unique (and completely free) activities every weekend, which will be held at the Hammer Museum’s outdoor LAB. Every Saturday at 11:30am we are presenting an intimate Speaker Series called Meet the Makers, which is a great opportunity to come hear from LA’s top artists and designers such as the prolific Gary Baseman and the LA-based apron brand taking the country by-storm, Hedley & Bennett. We’ve kept space limited so the audience will be able to take part in the conversation, ask them questions and meet them! And every Sunday at Noon we will be hosting a fab DIY workshop, so please come get your hands dirty and enjoy the art of crafting something handmade!
Working from home can be hard at times… Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely perks – you can decorate anyway your heart desires and paint using whatever color you’d like, the commute is awesome, and if you get hungry, snacks are just a few steps away in the refrigerator. However having a home office can also be tricky. Home offices can easily get messy, there tends to be no definition between work and personal life, etc. We asked Rosa Beltran, founder of one of our favorite LA-based interior design firms Rosa Beltran Design, about her own home office. She not only works from home but has managed to create a chic, serene, inspirational space. Based in Silver Lake, Rosa draws inspiration for her interiors from the array of one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and incorporates them into her high/low aesthetic. We knew she would be a great person to ask about decorating a home office!
3. Your interior design style is eclectic, chic and unique… Who are your favorite designers?
I have a huge penchant for mixing high and low, modern and vintage, classic and eclectic pieces for that layered, collected look that makes you feel like a room is telling an interesting story. I don’t really like a purely modern aesthetic, but overly traditional is too stuffy and boring also, so you’ve got to strike just the right balance between the two. Some of my favorite designers doing this are Nate Berkus, Windsor Smith, and Nick Olsen.
*photography by BETHANY NAUERT