A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit longtime UncommonGoods artist and former How To Make It panelist, Jenny Krauss in her new Manhattan studio. Jenny’s space is a combination between a warehouse and mission control, where she sends out her vision to artists in Peru who turn her ideas into reality. Her designing happens all over – at her desk, at home on the sofa – wherever she feels inspired. Her pieces are a combination between the traditional weaving techniques of the region in Peru that she employs and her modern visions of design.
I was there just in time to see her package up a shipment of her new Hand Embroidered Pillows to send to UncommonGoods in time for the holidays. Take a look inside of the work space of this incredibly talented designer and entrepreneur.
Where do you find inspiration within this space?
Inspiration comes from thinking and seeing; the space where that happens can be anywhere. This is an office, warehouse, and studio. I wouldn’t say the space inspires me. I do the work here.
What was the toughest lesson you learned as a young designer starting a business?
Making and selling things is a lot harder than designing them.
How do you set goals for yourself?
Entrepreneurs are often people who need a challenge. I’m always thinking about how I can make the product and company better.
How and when do you decide to celebrate a victory?
I’m not a big celebrator. Maybe I should become one!
What quote keeps you motivated?
I heard this when I was a kid and have never forgotten it. “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” Since I work with impoverished women who live in remote areas without opportunity, I am grateful for everything.
What are some new skills you are trying to acquire to perfect your craft?
Instead of sending drawings to Peru to get samples made I wish I could make the samples myself. I’m not exactly making progress though.
How do you recharge your creativity?
I don’t get to be creative all that much. We introduce new product twice a year so I have to meet those deadlines. Most of my time is devoted to running a business, so when I have to think up new designs, I’m thrilled that I can sit down and draw. My dream is to be able to design full-time, but it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon.
Where does collaboration come into play with your craft?
I’m always bouncing ideas off of Janet, my co-conspirator. She has a background in fashion and a great eye.