AN INTERVIEW WITH THE MAN BEHIND THE DÉCOUPAGE
We’re inspired by the Ben’s Garden collection and we’re awe-spired by the backstory. There’s quite a history behind these delightful handcrafted découpage treasures, paperweights, room décor, and artwork. Since the line’s inception when Ben was eight years old, his designs have garnered the attention and appreciation of home tastemakers and trendspotters.
Rue La La: Tell us about the early years.
Ben: You could definitely say I was not an ordinary child. While other kids were at summer camp, I was picking flowers to dry – or putting together a new article for my quarterly magazine.
Rue La La: You have an incredible story – how has Ben’s Garden changed over the years?
Ben: I have a lot more help! You can imagine my babysitters weren’t quite fond of being put to work making pressed flower coasters! And my mom no longer drives me to stores to sell the line. We currently exhibit five times a year at different trade shows, and sell to stores across the country – in addition to the two retail stores located in Oyster Bay and Huntington Village on Long Island. It’s wonderful to have people who love Ben’s Garden as much as I do as part of my team.
Rue La La: Considering the emphasis on the garden, is it more difficult to generate ideas during the winter?
Ben: Gardens can grow at any time of year! I am constantly inspired by the perpetual movement of the city that I love and live in, and how the scenery changes from my morning drive from that city to the serene location of the studio – located in one of the most fabled places on Long Island’s north shore.
Rue La La: How do you decorate your own home?
Ben: I really adore the old vintage maps I’ve collected over the years. Many of the pieces hanging in my home are the originals that were inspiration for pieces within the line. And I’m always picking up some vintage odd piece that will most likely make its way from the studio to my home and back again.
Rue La La: Tell us about the significance of the quotes.
Ben: I love searching for the next best quote, and we have a lot of fun in the studio deciding which will be the next favorite. Generally, with the sentimental quotes, if more than one person sheds a tear while reading, it’s a keeper! We like to be our own guinea pigs because the quotes that we find make us happy, and we just want to share a little bit of that with everyone else.
Our Ben’s Garden Boutique starts Wednesday, March 26, 2011 at 11AM ET.