Tuesday, January 20, 2009

James Knudsen

>> Who: James Knudsen
Wife: Deborah Stein of Bonbon Oiseau

I met James at Deb's sample sale party back in December. He was such a gracious host making sure all her guests were taken care of -- coats hung, wine glasses filled, pictures taken... you name it, he was there. I knew he'd be a perfect candidate for The Other Half...

+ I'm from Iowa.
+ I love motorcycles.
+ I mix a mean drink.
+ I have a 6th degree black belt in karate.
+ I might be lying about the last one...

1. What would you say are the three most important things that you do to support your wife in her creative endeavors?

I would say the continual emotional support for Deb's design firm is first and foremost. Running a creative business in New York City is a very difficult assignment, and I try to be there for the trying times, as well the good. Deb is always bouncing ideas of of me, and we continually discuss ways to grow the business, while retaining her creative vision. She lets me participate in her creative process, but that is the easiest (and most fun) way to support her. Oh, and I've also been doing some of her fashion photography, so it's really cool to be able to work together during those times.

2. Supporting somebody in their passion can be both exciting, exhausting and time consuming? How do you squeeze everything in?

Deb has a very organized workflow, and her typical work day is very structured. I am a freelancer with a crazy schedule, so we approach time management very differently. In other words, she's much better at it than I... But this helps me to help her when she needs something. Like most, we need to schedule things like photo shoots, and the trade shows get a lot of planning in advance. We always try to make time for each other but sometimes it's a little hard. We love to cook together (and eat together) so it's always nice to try to plan something like that where we can leave our work stuff behind and just hang out with each other and enjoy ourselves at a table. We also love to travel so we try to plan a few good trips after the trade shows are over.

3. Working closely with somebody you love can be tough. Any tips on how to avoid throwing ornaments and other sharp objects at each other?

We aren't in the same creative discipline (I am a lighting designer) so our egos rarely clash. And we actually like each other! A lot.

4. What was the strangest thing you've done to support your wife in what she does?

The fashion world is pretty alien to me, so helping her with the European trade shows was pretty strange for me at first. Dealing with all of the international buyers has its own etiquette and protocol, so that has been an interesting experience. Her work kind of sells itself, but it's been cool to be behind the scenes and show her work off. I love the Paris trade show, and can't wait to go back in March. Besides all the interesting people I've met, it's just really nice to meet her in Paris, see her efforts pay off in such a beautiful way. Its kind of romantic really. And we eat and celebrate like crazy and always plan a little trip for after its all over somewhere in Europe. This time we might go to Budapest or just rent a car and drive around Brittany or the Loire Valley. We still haven't decided.

5. What's the easiest and hardest things about working with your wife?

It should be the hardest thing, but photographing the Bonbon Oiseau collections is the easiest and most enjoyable thing we do together. Deb always knows exactly what she wants from a photo, so she is great to work with on shoots. This is where we truly collaborate, and she is always brings out the best creative side of me. The hardest thing about working with Deb is getting her to stop working.

6. Finally, what are your current Bonbon Oiseau favorites?

These are all from the Spring 2009 Collection called "Le Cirque Aux Papillons" (Butterfly Circus). From top (clockwise) 1. "Le Miel des Bisous Necklace" or Kisses Made of Honey... a little romantic piece..., 2. "Les Cerises Pendant" and "Swing Chain", 3. "Riverstones" Necklace with "Anemone Charm" (all photos by James Knudsen)

Thanks Jim!!

Do you have an incredibly supportive partner that deserves a little attention?? If so, email me over at hearthandmade@gmail.com


Anonymous said...

I love this new series! It is *so* good to find out what the significant other has to say about their partner's creative endeavors. I hope that whomever I end up with will support me and help me out with my crafty stuff. Perfect, keep them coming! :D

Marichelle said...

Thanks Bunny, I'm glad you're enjoying the new column... they're so much fun to put together and yes this is definitely a regular feature and looking forward to sharing more stories!

Bonbon Oiseau said...

Thanks for interviewing Jim, Marichelle...it's such a great series and reading this , so nice to read his thoughts on my crazy work-life and I feel so lucky to have him on my side! I especially love seeing his photos here--trying to talk him into doing more fashion photography--I think he's pretty good if I do say so myself!
Thanks again..xodeb

Melissa de la Fuente said...

So lovely to see Jim and Deb here! We had so much fun at their house, didn't we? Jim WAS so gracious and their home is so lovely and warm. It is so fun to hear about the other half's perspective...I love this feature too! Great job Jim and how much do I adore Deb's new line? Yowza! swoon, swoon,swoon!

Cindy said...

this is such a wonderful idea for a series, marichelle! i love deb's jewelry, which is photographed so beautifully by jim. it's great how they can work together so seamlessly professionally and personally. i'm not sure every couple can say that ;).

P said...

Jim, you are adorbs. I loved meeting you and Deb (with Marichelle and Melissa). Not only do you pour a mean glass of wine, but you are such a lovely complement to Deb. Yay for supportive, creative partners!

cindy* said...

this is great! i love bonbon (and am waiting patiently for a chance to purchase one...) and a little peak into the way the other half sees it is a treat.

Marichelle said...

Deb/Jim, thanks again for being a part of the new column!!

Melis, agree! I'm totally drooling over the new collection.

Thanks Cindy! Glad you're enjoying it.

hi P!!!

Cindy, I know how you feel. Unfortunately I too have been admiring from a far. Well not too far...my good friend Melis owns one of her bracelets and it's a definite beauty!

onesilentwinter said...

so wonderful!

Marichelle said...

hello onesilentwinter - love your profile pic... the red shoes against the slate, moss/lichen is just perfect!

Helene said...

What a great interview! I love Deb's work and I am not surprise she has such a great partner supporting her...and handsome to boot!