We had the good fortune of connecting with aviva stanoff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi aviva, what do you attribute your success to?
in a sea of monotony and products i have learned it’s best to march to your own drum. as a designer, i have learned that the most important factor to my brand is that we continue to bring products to market with intention. the intention to engage, educate, innovate, and delight. we hope that by setting trends rather than following them is what will continue to set us apart. there are ways to redefine what is in our home space – there are ways to bring products to market that does not impact our precious earth negatively, hurt animals, and be mindful of materials used and share the stories of who made them. the aviva stanoff brand has been successful because we have shared our journey transparently with our tribe of fans along the way. we have grown together with our community and have enjoyed every moment of it – through moments of adversity as well as moments where we all shine together.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
i am a textile designer with a niche in exotics in the home furnishings space. i have always redefined what was expected in that home decor. having started in high end runway creating textile design and trophy designs for fashion houses, i was constantly challenged to do something different, “make them swoon” the design director’s would say. my goal was to have the buyers say ” how did she do that?” when one works from the point of view of “innovation” and not in the safe zone of what is expected, it’s harder to sell. of course, i starved for the first few years of my career in NYC. i had more than a few moments of ” pay rent?” or “buy fabric”? more often than not, i bought fabric to paint on. It was not easy to be hungry in NYC, but in the end it was worth it to dig in, and be a bit stubborn. My textiles focused on engagement – like our mermaid pillow that went viral – i think people loved that because you could draw on it, write on it. this is my goal for all my designs, to get people to connect with the art of the design, not just have a decorative item that sits there and looks pretty. This practice of refining my art, has been a daily meditation for me for the last two decades. It is a relentless nagging that smolders in my spirit. that fire in my belly continues to burn today and i believe it is what has been the biggest influences in my brand. to listen to those small whispers of ferocity that remind me who i am, and what my goals are with the brand. it has been difficult to not take the easy route and join the sea of products that are made in big factories, repeated over and over with perhaps only price point in mind. the lesson i have learned is that first one must understand what you are fighting for. then you need to communicate that clearly to the world via your products. then one day, if you are lucky, you will see that you are not alone in a fight to share your message. if you are very, very lucky, you realize you have created a beautiful army, a beautiful community – a family of warriors that orbit together to create a movement to support spirited artful products. my brand continues to fight for hand made products that celebrates a deliberate luxury to this day. we continue to represent the makers of items that are “made in the usa” and we invite you to join us. thank you xox
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
i would start by taking everyone to ponto beach jetty near tower 21 before sunset to look for dolphins and watch the surfers – i’d pack a simple picnic – likely to be our favorite artisan cheeses, crackers, some fruit, maybe a bottle of champagne and one of our blankets in case it gets cold… we would watch for the green flash and then make our way to the pacific coast grill in cardiff where i have a favorite table outside. i would order the Hot Rock sashimi ahi with citrus-chile ponzu & orange-miso sauce, order the pink cactus cocktail with agave. next day we would make our way to the dessert – first joshua tree to go antiquing and cactus shopping, then on to palm springs to go sit in the hot springs.. on the way home i’d stop off in julian and bring home a bunch of pies after having lunch. our first meal at home would be ordering taco’s, and burrito’s from a little hole in the wall on the pch.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Caroline Hipple, president of Norwalk Furniture
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katherine kirchner all photos