Friday, September 29, 2017

Universal loves my work!

Apparently, Universal Furniture loves my design work. To be more specific, they really love my "Marcel" sofa design.

In fact, they love it so much, they decided to help themselves and copy my vision, design, and intellectual property without even as much as a post card from China! Take a look at their "Hartley" sofa. Even the pillow shapes and placements are exactly the same.

So what do you think? Do you think this is fair? This company happens to be one of the giants in the home furnishings industry. It's all too common to see copies everywhere in this industry, and it's just sad for the little guys like me.It takes food from my children's mouths. It hurts. Especially when a company this big, with such resources, just helps themselves to my life's work. As one of my social media friends put it, "They didn't even have the decency to change the colors!"

Universal Furniture, what say you? Will you do the right thing?

Artist friends and designers, you know all too well what this is like. Please drop them a note and tell them what you think.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A really fun year...

What a challenging year this has been so far. I'm so grateful I took my true path back into my own hands starting in the beginning of this year. It's been a powerful mix of liberation, growth, pain, healing, determination, and now a happy refocus on what's truly important. Back to a joyful close proximity to my children and happiness. Now, I'm so excited to walk each step through the rest of this year. 

There's so much to look forward to. Some highlights from the past months, I recently got another production design gig on a very powerful short film. We finished filming almost two weeks ago, and it should release as early as this Fall/Winter.

I also found my first tiny acting role on a new Sonny Vellozzi film called "Without You" coming in 2018. That was so fun! And it gave me my first IMDb credit for acting. Until this, all my work has been behind the cameras. I got to play a character named "Pete", a mafia wiseguy playing dominoes outside of a social club. Much to my delight, my character gets into an argument with another player, and my ad lib lines were full of curse words!

Now, it looks like there is a lot more production work on the horizon. I feel so grateful I get to follow one of my true passions in life. But, next month there's something even more exciting! I'm relaunching my seating designs at the High Point Furniture Market. The "never give up no matter what" business plan will finally begin to pay off this October, and I could not be more excited! This particular journey to my own collection started back in 2008 in Shanghai.
What a long road it's been. The miles nor trials could never break my passion!

My collection has been launched in High Point before. The initial launch was a very successful one for orders and placements. Over 14 retailers around the country ordered the collection for their stores. However, my manufacturing partner at that time took 33 weeks to process the first order. It was euphoria turned nightmare. Well, this High Point Market is very different. I have partnered with a very solid and long established manufacturer. Founded in 1959, Elite Leather Company is a trusted brand in the industry, and among consumers as well. Starting this Fall season my designs will come to life again, and actually be able to populate some very cool spaces out there.

The journey has been long and challenging to say the least. This year I learned about letting go. It's all about the journey far away from what just wasn't real. I'm living the confirmation that when we are truthful, (first and fully with ourselves) walking life's journey authentically becomes very natural, joyful, and peaceful. True soul peace. No blame. No validation necessary. I'm looking forward to these next few months and closing out this year of valuable growth. Continuing the walk forward. And, I'm wishing everyone truth and happiness along your walk as well.

Hey! before I go, if you're attending this coming High Point Furniture Market. Click here to let me know, and keep up to date on all the mod information. It's going to be a very fun Market! I hope to see you there!

October 14 - 18


Friday, July 21, 2017

It's about a passion!

My vision is going back into production and back to High Point Market

Stay tuned for many exciting details to come!

 See us at High Point Market, October 14-18


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"If you leave me, I'll ruin you" she said...

A post by Yasi. Source:

A very common aspect of psychological abuse and manipulation is for the abuser to claim that the victim is being abusive towards them. I’ve written about the abusers “victim complex”, and “gaslighting” in this manner before. But right now I want to address the specific scenario in which the victim snaps at the abuser. They endure and endure, they have been told that there is nothing to react to, they have been told they overreact to everything, so they are afraid to mention their hurt, and confusion, and cannot acknowledge they are being abused. They endure so much for so long, they snap. They scream at the abuser. Insult them. Maybe even throw in a low-blow or unfair insult. They may even physically attack, although this is very very uncommon in victims of abuse. 

The abuser jumps on this reactionary outburst. They claim it is “proof” that the victim is unstable. They claim it is “proof” that the victim is the abuser after all. They can hold it up, and hold it against the victim for as long as they can, and as hard as they can. They are not interested in talking things out. 

They are not interested in listening to why this outburst has happened. They have their “proof”, and that’s all they ever needed from the victim. They get to say things like, “YOU’RE the one who frightened ME”, and “you are an emotional time bomb” and I have to walk on eggshells around you, and have the victim believe it. While the abuser is the actual time-bomb, and the victim is frightened and walking on egg shells, but dare not admit it or bring attention to it, or has been so deeply abused they don’t even see it themselves. The abuser turns the roles, and paints themselves as the victim. This leads the victim to believe they are in fact the abusive one in the relationship. They now believe they are violent and emotionally unstable, and may start describing themselves as such and seeking help for these problems.

If they break away from the abuser, they stand no chance at all against the Smear Campaign the abuser then launches. Partially because they believe they-were-wrong. This does not mean that the reaction was okay. It is never okay to treat another person with violence. However, it is understandable. And it is very important to differentiate this kind of reaction with the kind of ongoing abuse that causes it. I don’t think it’s fair to call Reactive Abuse “abuse”, because the word implies a severe violence that causes detriment to the mental and physical well-being of the victim. “Reactive Abuse” almost never actually harms the true abuser it was aimed at – in fact it is often exactly what they wanted, and only bolsters their sense of self-righteousness and fuels their power over the victim.

A good way to tell a victim who reacted to abuse, and a psychologically abusive person creating a smear campaign against a victim is their attitudes toward their own actions. Victims will almost always be able to admit their own faults. They will know they reacted badly and did wrong. This quality is actually what the abuser uses against them in the first place to make them believe they are the ones in the wrong. Part of healing from abuse is learning to point out which of the abusers’ behaviors are, in fact abuse, while still acknowledging what you handled badly. (And everyone reacts badly to things when under the extreme pressure of abuse!). 

Abusers will almost never admit they have ever done anything wrong at all. Their victims will be blamed for everything. They will hold every tiny thing against the victim, even things they could not possibly control, or they have never tried to talk to them about. They use social bigotries against the victim, and in their own defense. (Especially mental illness is used in this way – they believe their own illness excuses them from every wrongdoing, and their victims’ illness is proof they are in the wrong). 

The most dangerous, most intelligent psychologically abusive people will even try to fake being able to admit their own mistakes. But they almost always get tripped up in the details, by claiming “oh I handled that badly -” but following it up with “-but only because of (something that is the victims fault after all)”.

Via ReportFella

I've experienced so much of this in my life from my own father and two sisters, and even again in a recent relationship with a narcissist and someone who has borderline personality disorder, as well as acute victim syndrome. Finally breaking away from her was absolutely the right thing to do. While very painful at first, in the end that relationship was easy to walk away from with great peace and clarity. All her behavior in the end just confirmed it for me. In fact, the only truth revealed in the vicious smear campaign she's launched, is the truth about the person she actually is. 

In a final word to her, I'll quote Maya Angelou..."You can write me down in history, with your bitter twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt. But still like dust, I rise." 

In the case of my family, It took me many years to finally realize the core truth of it all. The pain and the emotionally healthy years lost were many, but I'm still grateful for the gifts of finally awakening to it all. It was so hard to imagine separating myself from my blood. My own father and sisters! And of course so many people ask you, "won't you regret it when they're gone?" The answer is Hell No! 

I'm so much more at peace with no contact. I wish them well. I'll always hope they go to their core and someday apologize. And I'll be there for them. But I'm finally at total peace not needing it for my happiness. And, it brings me such joy to be the one to break the chain of abuse in my own family. My children will never know that kind of pain from their own immediate family. This father will always fight to keep this family close and supportive of each other. It's Daddy's law!

Wishing everyone health, love, and happiness.



Monday, May 15, 2017

In the sea of the same...

Why is the base blue on this sofa? I say it's because everyone else puts a brown base on theirs, and my passion begins when the old rules get broken!

I often get asked, why don't we just do our version of what sells the most out there. My answer is always the same. That's why furniture is not important enough! There is a sea of the same brown couches out there! I'm about putting the passion back into relaxing and living at home.

Color changes everything! It stimulates us. It rejuvenates us, and elevates our moods. It's real simple. I believe that furniture should be and can be fun. And I'm setting out only to design some of the coolest places to sit on the planet!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A little bit about the journey...

High Point, NC 2014
When I was a kid I dreamed about growing up and flying rockets, or at least some job where I would get to push all kinds of cool buttons. Well, you know what happens - the real world and destiny reveal themselves. At least I get to push all kinds of buttons on my smart phone now!
My father was a sales rep in the furniture business. As a child of the industry who was writing messages on the chalkboard in the kitchen (right before answering machines) for my father from retail salespeople, my destiny was set very early.

My professional path started in the factories. I worked in every department from the lumberyard to the loading dock. Then I went onto floor sales in a furniture store. From there, I eventually became a sub-rep, a lead-rep, and finally a top ranked VP for the largest leather furniture manufacturer in the world.

 I had found financial success and a really cool title. Traveled the world and learned more about the industry than I could ever imagine. There were two problems I discovered within all that I was learning: 1) People hate buying furniture; 2) None of my work had much to do at all with my real passion in life.

Altamura, Italy 2003
People in just about every financial bracket clamor for the latest new technology, automobile, or new gear, but not furniture! Sorry but the truth is, we as an industry do a terrible job of exciting people. It’s been my passion for many years now to do my little part to change that. Now I actually get to do that!

Over 10 years ago when I ripped off my tie, and left the world of sales to follow my true passion in creating things, the journey to the Mod Life Collection began. Now, the mission is very simple, to break every paradigm that makes sense to break. To follow a new vision of fun and exciting new products that people will clamor for. We live on our couches. And yes, we do call them couches!

So now the long wondrous journey has brought me to the beginning of a whole new one. Mod Life Collection launches in less than two weeks. I can't believe it's finally here! Let's Rock!


Saturday, January 31, 2015

No Girls Allowed! (Nor any outsiders for that matter!)

Whenever I hear it said that the “Boy’s Club” still rules and “women need not apply,” I feel compelled to share my experiences in this industry. It’s true, if you walk into most showrooms in High Point during the beginning of the Furniture Market, you will find a huge group of older men in their new market ties getting ready for the sales meetings. Soon the company leaders (mostly all men) will get up and address the sales force.  He will tell them why these products will sell and give them the marching orders for the upcoming season. Some of those leaders will even talk about how more women are needed in influential positions in our industry. I’ve heard the same empty rhetoric for 30 years now! The problem is, some say it because they believe it, and some because they think it’s the right thing to say and it makes them look more progressive. However, they’re still saying this to a huge group of aging men.  Some in really great ties, too. But the truth is there’s no plot against women or anyone else. The only plot is to desperately keep their jobs.
To begin to go to the core of the problem we have to back up and understand how this industry was built. I, myself, am a perfect example of how the industry has evolved. I’m a pure nepotistic traveler into the wide world of furniture. My father is a retired 50 year veteran of the industry, and he brought me in through the worm hole called “who you know.”  Here’s the dirty little secret.  In the good ole days, you didn’t have to possess the truly applicable talent nor education to make a lot of money in the furniture business. You needed to have a father in it! Then you needed to learn to talk the talk and take the right people to lunch without saying something stupid. And to this day, the same crop of individuals cultivated over the decades is still in many of the same positions. The only difference now is they are holding on for dear life! So few are there because of their training or deep connection to what really applies to today’s home or the real consumers’ design sensibilities.

Women of the industry please listen carefully. You are the primary consumers of our products. These jobs are there for your taking! The “Boys Club” is weak. Actually, it doesn’t really even exist at all. A club implies organization and a team working together for a cause. Trust me, most of their wives still pick their ties! They can’t compete with you head to head. You got this! The biggest obstacle today is the fear, insecurity, and the misunderstandings stemming from the years of the smoke and mirror show perfection.
The reality is, the industry is ripe for takeover on every level. And, it has to be on every single level.  If we really look around, there are some amazing bright spots and real progress is happening. Take a look at Meredith Younger at Younger Furniture. She’s leading a great upholstery company and she’s kicking ass and taking names! Watch Julia Rosien leading the charge at Restonic
Along with the obstacles to women (and just as lethal to our industry) is the complete disregard of real recruitment efforts. Only through interior design does this exist at all. Over the years I’ve been in hiring positions for meaningful jobs. Early at one point, I worked for a very well known furniture company and I advertised a very high paying sales position. I was flooded with resumes from those same men in ties and their sons from the same showrooms I mentioned earlier. Not one resume was from a woman. Not one from someone in retail or a design firm or anywhere else. In hindsight, I also did a terrible job of targeting my recruitment efforts towards a new and innovative direction. At the time I was young, scared, and inexperienced. I hired from the safe stack of resumes in front of me. And the list go on!
Wait it gets even worse! To even begin changing recruitment efforts we have to address another huge core problem. It’s the investment in Research and Design. When money goes into R&D, students and young talented women and men have something with which (and for) to work. But that’s a whole other critical subject. Bottom line is, the world has changed. We need a real gender, age, cultural, and investment balance. We need new talent and new blood in our industry and we better hurry! We’ve been behind for decades and the world is only moving faster and faster. So, women, men, gays, straights, and green Martians, let’s go to the core and make things happen one bite at a time. Because if we don’t our kids will soon be sitting on their new Apple and Samsung sofas!