7/30/2010

(Interview!) Nine By Design...


 I know I've been teasing you with this for a bit over a week now.  How fabulous is it that my first post on Parlour is an interview with Nine by Design's, Bob and Cortney Novogratz?  Get comfortable as this is a loooong post!  So, before I start gushing...let me set the scene.

I'll start at the beginning.  I was invited to a "Day of Pampering" by CaesarStone and Snaidero USA, hosted by the Novogratzs'.  I received the email...saw their names listed as the hosts and immediately (we're talking nano-second here) replied that I would be attending.  Then I jumped up and down, clapping like a school girl in excitement because, to me (and I know to some of you,) these people are design gods.   Just the fact that I would probably get a chance to meet, and maybe even talk to them was enough to make my month. 

So, the day comes.  I get all gussied up, and set out into the city.  It's a million (seriously) degrees in NYC, and by the time I reach the street corner outside my apartment I'm dripping (I don't handle heat well...at. all.)  By the time actually I get there, I'm a hot mess...literally.  I looked for a bathroom to "freshen." Crap, none to be seen.  So, I just wiped my hair off my face, and headed up to the eighth floor where the event was, hoping they wouldn't throw the sweaty, homeless girl out.

This is where things got a little surreal.  Let me say first.  I had no idea what to expect.  All the invite said was that there would be morning cocktails, (love it!!!) breakfast appetizers, and manicures/hand massages. I didn't know if there would be a ton of people.  I didn't know if it was a come and leave type of thing, or something more structured like a sit down presentation.  I figured I'd get to meet them, but, I didn't know how intimate it was going to be.  Here is what I saw when I first walked in...

 There were maybe 15-20 people in a 1500sqft space including Bob and Courtney, the servers, the publicist, etc.  There were only like 8 - 10 other actual guests there at the same time as me, and one was sitting down interviewing them.  My stomach jumped into my throat, and I almost choked when I realized I would be having one on one (or two) interview time with them.  I'm getting butterflies again just remembering it.   I don't know why this possibility never occurred to me...it just didn't.  So, in order to peel myself off the ceiling I had...


  ...and decided to be brave and start chatting with a couple other guests.  Both from magazines.  I'm thinking to myself...HOW did I get invited to this?  Definitely not complaining...just a little baffled. Then Olivia from Caesarstone (she is who initially sent the invite) came over to chat and was crazy, super sweet.  Then the Novogratzs' publicist came over and touched base with us, and it was at this time that I was joined by the Novogratz's themselves. 

Like I said, I was not expecting this one on one time...AT.ALL.  So, it was a little touch and go.  I basically just had a very informal talk with them, nothing structured, and it went a little something like this...

I looked at them and smiled, and they looked at me and smiled, and my mind went blank.  Then I came back to my body, and told them (of course) how much I admire their work.  I also added, that they were design gods, at which they laughed and thanked me graciously.  From then on it was a complete gab fest between Cortney and I.  I'm sure that Cortney could charm the bark off of a tree, but I felt so at ease, like she was just my best bud.  She was so warm and unpretentious.  Bob, just sat back and observed for the most part, not in a rude way...but, it's obvious that Cortney is the talker, and PR person on that team.

Cortney asked who I was with and I replied I was from (then) Sparrow's Nest.  It was a design blog.  She thought for a minute and said...yeah.  I've seen you.  She got excited and said yeah, yeah, I've read it...don't you remember that Bob? Sparrow's Nest?  He looked at her a little blankly and was like...ummm...yeah, maybe.  It was clear that Bob did NOT remember.  Again, though...totally not in a rude way.  They just have so much going on...how could he possibly remember one little blog.  I then joked, saying "NO WAY! I'm tiny...you've seen it?"  Even if they hadn't seen it...it made me feel great that she thought she knew who I was.  I was truly trying to tone it down and come off as "bubbly" as opposed to "crazy." I was SO nervous and excited.  I remember at one point I actually informed them, that I had told my husband I was going to give them the option to either hire me or adopt me.  They both laughed, but, looking back now...I'm wondering how close I was to, "Security!"

Then we got down to it.  I asked what they have been up to since the show ended.  Business, and raising kids she beamed.  She smiled as she told me about how her oldest (Wolfie) was a camp counselor this year, and was in charge of summoning all the kids in the camp to dinner like a cavalry charge.  I guess there was a loud whistle, or a bell involved.  So, when he got home...he decided that little habit needed to continue.  Apparently, Cortney informed him it was not necessary to use the whistle when there were only 7 kids in a house, and not 100 kids in a camp.  Although she added on the side with a grin, that she wouldn't mind having the whistle herself.

I said, the last time we saw them, they had just finished a fabulous hotel in Jersey.  She said they are doing two more!  Another one in Jersey (at the shore, I believe,) and the other one in Mexico.  At that I laughed and said, "well, isn't that handy."  She and Bob laughed and a little guiltily both said...yeah.  Those "business trips" must be rough.  

She then informed me they were doing another book (woohoo!)  And then Bob piped in that they were also working on a furniture line.  That made me exceptionally excited, as the furniture and the art are typically my favorite parts of their designs.  I then inquired if they had been signed back by Bravo! for season 2.  They said they had not yet, but that they were hopeful.  I then asked them if they needed me to write a letter on their behalf, every day until Bravo! cooperated.  Cortney laughed and said, just write about us and get us out there. I replied... I still think we need to start a petition.  I got the impression they appreciated the sentiment. With that, the publicist came back and asked Cortney if she would like her manicure then.   She popped up to go, smiled warmly and told me "it was nice to meet you."   I shook both their hands, and that was it. 

Looking back now...there are so many more questions I would have LOVED to have asked and had answered by them.  I also would have liked to appear a little less psychotic and a little more collected, but, all in all, it was a pretty amazing experience.

Bob and Courtney...if you read this...seriously, it was a pleasure.  You are fabulous...keep doing amazing work, and raising amazing kids.  Oh, and if you have the need...call me, I will TOTALLY work for FREE.

Does that sound too crazy?  Oh, well...why change now?



4 comments:

Cheri said...

Great story... I'm sure you were just charming!!! Especially given the fact you were completely caught off guard... we all would've been a bit star struck! :) Love the new site! It's fab!!!

GiGi said...

FANTASTIC!!!
what a way to start of the new site!!
i can only imagine how exciting it was to meet them--and if that show doesn't come back there will be a ton of angry people!

Nichole @ Parlour said...

Awww, thanks so much for the kind words. Yeah, this is on my top ten of really cool things I've gotten to do.

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

I would have freaked out! What a cool story, you did great.

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