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Exclusive Interview: Jennifer Sitko Part 2

Categories: Exclusive Interviews, ICFF 2011

We’re back with part 2 of 2Modern co-founder Jennifer Sitko’s interview! In this part we learn what she loves about working at 2Modern, why she thinks 2Modern is so successful and touches on her amazing trend spotting abilities. She even gives some pretty great tips on how you can always stay on top of the latest trends.

As we mentioned in her part 1, it’s true we wanted to do an interview with her so you could get to know her, but we also wanted to publish her interviews this week because she’s headed to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair! That’s right; 2Modern will be bringing you AMAZING posts all about the new and exciting trends, products and designers that we find at ICFF 2011. Jennifer, along with the delightful Danielle Hirsch and supplemented by the talented Michael Yates, will help make 2Modern THE source for ICFF news. Read more about what we’ll be covering at ICFF here.

Check out part 1 of Jennifer’s interview if you missed it. And, of course, we’ve lovingly transcribed the interview for all you reading fans. If you’re loving those products we showcased in Jennifer’s photo above, check them out in our what’s new section.

2Modern: Well one of my favorite things about 2Modern is the huge variety of awesome modern vendors that you can find on the site. How do you find vendors? Do you seek them out or do they seek you out?
Jennifer Sitko: It’s a little bit of both. We have a lot of new designers that contact us and would like us to showcase or sell their pieces. And that is wonderful. We’re very fortunate to be able to have so many people that want to be apart of 2Modern store and the community. But we also go above and beyond and seek out those designers who haven’t contacted us. Trade shows, magazines, web, if I see something in magazine that I like I’ll track it down and find out who made it and see if it’s a good fit for our brand.

2M: Is that your favorite part about working at 2Modern?
JS: I think my favorite part about 2Modern is bringing new ideas and new trends to people. Showcasing different designers or a creative contest or a creative homepage. Or bringing two objects together that you might not put together.

2M: What about the hardest thing about trying to run an online furniture retail website?
JS: Well there are of course so many behind the scenes things that you have to do as a business owner, as a small business owner. You end up wearing a lot of hats, and some of the hats aren’t as fun as the other hats. A lot of the business details. Shipping is a huge part of our business. And customer service, although we love customer service.

2M: So what’s a typical day for you like?
JS: A typical day is actually as glamorous as you might think. What’d I like to be doing isn’t typically what I am doing. You know, I’d say the majority of my day is kind of being organized and making the business run smoothly. And that creative part of me is sometimes exhausted when I get through all the details of running the business. A lot of times the weekends are my time for creative time where I can think about and brainstorm where we want the business to go and brainstorm about new creative things we want to bring to people. So most of the time during the week I’m taking care of paying bills and taxes and then I have creative outlets…little pieces of it, that are my little gems that keep me going [laughs].

2M: Is there anyone in particular or any brand in the design world that’s just knocking your socks off right now? Is that too tough to choose?
JS: Any designer that is doing something with reused or repurposed materials—materials or objects—and doing it in an interesting way really capture my attention. A building that is using something that was something else in the past. I remember a class in college where we went to this famous dump. Called the Gerber Dump in Sacramento. I don’t even know if it’s still there. We had to create something that was an object that was made from another object. So we dug through old things, like fishing lines…and created really beautiful pieces. That really stuck with me. And I think that anyone who’s using an object in an interesting way really captures my attention.

2M: Can you give us any hints of what you think are going to be “hot” in the upcoming months?
JS: A good indication is our homepage. It’s kind of the moment…and now I don’t if it’s me seeing those pops of wildflowers or little pieces of grass popping up in the snow. Right now on the homepage there are pops of neon. And that’s just really what I’m feeling right now is little pops of color. And I know if that’s what I’m seeing in my environment or if that’s what I’m seeing in fashion or on TV or in what other designers are doing. But a good gauge is to look at our homepage and see what we’re feeling at the moment.

2M: You’re going to be headed to New York City soon for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. You’ll be seeing all the new things from new designers to new things from older designers. What are you going to be looking for when you go there?
JS: We’re looking for new hot designers. Maybe a smaller designer that has really amazing ideas. Our existing designers that have new collections coming out in spring; we’ll be giving you sneak peeks of that. I’m going to be taking a lot of photos, some video. And we’re going to looking for trends, and trying to scout out what is hot; what new materials people are incorporating, maybe new color palettes, fresh fabrics, fresh material combinations—we’re going to be scouting out all the nooks and crannies of that show and bring them to the 2Modern blog.

2M: Well thank you very much for me today.
JS: Thank you, it was great.

2M: Please check back to the 2Modern blog to find more podcasts, more design advice and also look for the ICFF coverage.


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