2020. WHAT. A. YEAR. so far…

TFW every month feels like a year.

WHAT a time to be alive. And… to run a small business.

This has been the global moment of taking a breath and taking stock.

Professionally it meant we had to work with clients to make sure we could still support their work without the trade shows they normally participate in. It meant rethinking how assets are made. It meant getting really good at working away from each other, still a team, just with many states between us. It means thinking about how a very small business like ours can continue to be committed to justice. It means taking stock of our impact, our industry’s impact, and where we want to go. If you know me, you know these questions are not new things that I’ve just started pondering- but I’m glad to reexamine, refine, get better. Do the work.

I do want to take some time to talk about the company news, and I will. But first I wanted to unequivocally say that Black Lives Matter. That personally and professionally we will always strive to create equality and representation throughout our overwhelmingly white, male industry. One of the things we’re doing as a company in solidarity is taking this Friday off to observe Juneteenth, and we hope that you do as well. If you want to learn more about what Juneteenth is all about, and why it should be recognized as a national holiday you can click here. We’re developing other ways this small shop can make a bigger impact, so stay tuned for further commitments from me and my team.

Sabai's sustainable sofa

Sabai

This year we started working with Sabai, a new direct to consumer sustainable sofa brand, founded by two young women who in their own words “aim to be the Impossible Burger of furniture!” By that they mean that the sofa looks great and is super comfortable (much like an impossible burger tastes great) without sacrificing sustainability. 

The BIPOC founders, Caitlin Ellen and Phantila Phataraprasit consider environmental sustainability in all aspects of their designs, from the frame to the fabric to the packaging. The two became experts on sustainable material manufacturers both domestically and abroad for each of the components needed, including wood, fabrics, fibers, and packaging.

Sabai's recyclable velvet in moss

In response to current events surrounding black lives in America, Sabai, hosted a fundraiser for Reclaim the Block, an organization which is pushing Minneapolis to move money out of policing and into community-led safety. They were able to raise nearly $3000. Their efforts were covered by AD Pro:

“Elsewhere, direct-to-consumer sofa company Sabai, which was founded by Phantila Phataraprasit and Caitlin Ellen, focused on their own fundraiser. Ellen stated to AD PRO: “At Sabai, we really identify with the notion that there can be a radical re-envisioning of our future….So we decided to raise funds for Reclaim the Block via a raffle for a brand-new sofa. Ultimately, we were able to donate around $3,000 to fund community health and safety. We’re a small business, but we’re hoping we can continue to help out how we can—including donating furniture to housing for the formerly incarcerated.”

Sabai’s photoshoots have always included a diversity of models, families, and relationships.

Sabai’s founders are not just incredibly smart and have values that need to be in the design world. Because of their leadership, Sabai is working with local, family run manufacturers right here in the US. Sabai is regularly reiterating on their design to make it better and better for the environment. They are constantly listening to customers and making changes to the company and the product to make it better. We need more Sabai’s in the design industry

Pair's space dividers, Toast

Pair

Working with an office furniture client during a time while there is no office has been truly interesting. Brian Wilson, Pair‘s co-founder, believes the office is here to stay– and said as much to Workplaces magazine:

“How we use the office may change, but we believe the workplace is here to stay. The office has always been a place for contemplation, collaboration and even water cooler chat. To get back to this place that effectively supports life and culture, the space needs to feel safe as much as it needs to be safe.”

You can read his whole essay here

Pair has also done very well during the award season, grabbing accolades from both Azure and Interior Design Magazine. Azure recognized Toast as a finalist for the Design: Interior Products category for their AZ Awards. It’s also part of the People’s Choice Voting, which is open through June 19th.
We especially like Toast because of its very topical use for creating space division, while remaining quite beautiful. 

Wolf Craft Logo

Wolf Craft

Like everyone else, my mind has been pulled in a hundred different directions. I’m scared about the months and years ahead of us. I’m so curious if any of us will even have a business in the future. So, of course, I doubled down. And did one of the boldest, exciting, invigorating (did I mention stressful and time consuming?) things in years. 

I launched a second business.

It’s called Wolf Craft and I’m really excited and proud of it. It’s a PR strategy firm designed to work with clients who don’t need ongoing PR retainers but do need PR support. It’s a way for me to work with companies I’ve never been able to work with in the past. I’m happy to say that this company is my first partnership with frequent Wolf PR collaborator (and best friend) Kirsten Larson. 

I’ve moved some of the services living on Wolf PR’s website over to Wolf Craft. We’re offering things like:

  • 1-1 coaching, because sometimes you need guidance, a sounding board, an editor, or a little extra push. This is the service I wish had existed when I was starting out. 
  • Audits and Reporting to better understand peer companies, similar products, and industry thought leaders, as well as the media landscape (ever changing always, but especially right now!). We give clear action items and recommendations at the end of these so our clients have clear next steps. 
  • One Time Analysis to answer to the important questions like where can my website improve? What about my instagram bio? Where do I need to improve my photography? What about my Press materials?
  • Courses, and we just launched our first one, How to Pitch Holiday Gift Guides! I won’t go into too much detail here because there is so much on the website, but we’re really proud of it and we think it will be endlessly useful to businesses who want to be in gift guides. 

Please check out our website and insta. I’m always endlessly thankful for your ongoing support, it means the world to me. 

A New Wolf PR Service- Gift Guides

Not only did I launch a new business, but we launched a new service as well. Something we’re really, really good at is placing our clients in gift guides. So we thought we’d make it a capsule service. We’re looking for clients who ONLY want gift guide support. It will be more affordable in price (just a one time fee) and it will last through the rest of the year while we support those clients until Dec 24 with the main focus of placing products into gift guides. If you or a company you know would be interested in this service, please get in touch!

Gift guides make a big impact for our clients. We’d love to help make a big impact for you too!

This Cosm is definitely *not* by Herman Miller

While I’m relatively new to it, I suspect it’s rare that furniture PR winds you up in a psychedelic church that worships “visionary art” and all the world’s faiths. But, in large part thanks to Herman Miller, I just had a much needed night away in the Hudson Valley at a 40-acre estate.

As you probably saw, Wolf PR helped Herman Miller launch their new chair, Cosm, this past April in Milan for Salone del Mobile. While I was dutiously doing research to see what press was out there after the product  launch, I happened upon cosm.org, the very first Google result. And it had very little to do with an office chair.

Standing for the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, it’s a registered church and 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by Alex and Allyson Grey to celebrate “visionary art.” The couple, who have been together since first meeting (and dropping acid) in 1975, ran an art space in Chelsea until 2009, but decided to take a break from the city and moved upstate to grow their sanctuary.

Upon visiting their website what struck me the most were the renderings of the Entheon, an under-construction 12,000 square foot sanctuary for art, converted from an old carriage house. While currently bare concrete, it will eventually be a covered in a baroque, creature-covered design inspired by the Greys’ own cosmography and experiences informed by various experiments with psychedelics and entactogens—such as DNA dragons snaking up the roof, which is dotted with a pattern of eyes called “collective vision” which were witnessed during one of Alex’s experiences with DMT. It will also feature figures and symbols from the world’s many religious and spiritual practices, or wisdom traditions as they call them—like a door which features Adam and Eve returned to the Garden of Eden.

When I’m not at Wolf PR, I’m freelance write and edit, covering things across art, architecture, and design. I mentioned the Entheon, sort of jokingly, to my editor at The Architect’s Newspaper and his unexpected response was “Do you want to cover it?”

So I did.

The article appeared on the frontpage of The Architect’s Newspaper’s June edition and was popular online, likely due to the striking renderings of Entheon made by Oscar-winning animator Ryan Tottle (he lent his skills on Frozen among other mainstream films). After the article went up online, I was thrilled to receive an email from Allyson thanking me for the article and also inviting me up for a visit.

And how could I say no? I took the train up from New York City to the Wappinger Falls estate—which is laid out on a projected goddess, “the kabbalistic sephirot of justice”— for a night away.

The main structure, the Grey House, is a sort of psychedelic B&B and gallery, filled with art by Alex and Allyson and featuring all manner of surprising details—like multiheaded sconces with spinning purple lights—a fixture I’ll be sure to ask my roommate if we can feature in our own home.

I stayed in the Rose Room, a spacious bedroom replete with a four poster bed, dining nook, and large windows overlooking the wooded estate—a far cry from my cramped Manhattan apartment. It not only had the northern-Renaissance style art pictured, but Allyson’s “secret language” paintings, zigzagging indecipherable characters of an unspeakable language.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enter Entheon, that imposing concrete chapel (or get to witness the reliquaries of psychedelic evangelist Timothy Leary’s ashes or the spectacles of the Swiss scientist who first synthesized LSD Albert Hoffman). But, being that I don’t think I had been among “nature” in nearly 9 months, I spent most of my day exploring the wooded estate— following the Wisdom Trail, which was dotted with art by artists and artist volunteers. One of the most striking sculptures was the white three-tiered, climbable metal gazebo set in a circular meadow, Altered States. The structure was designed by artist Kate Raudenbush, who describes herself as “New York-based, Burning Man–bred.”

Also nearby were nests by Nature Hogan, a mural by Chris Dyer, other painted sculptures, a labyrinth, and some bee hives for harvesting honey. There was also a large decorative gate which didn’t seem to lead to anywhere. My friend who visited with me claims it was gone when we left to catch the train the next morning. And I can’t say after my visit that anything would surprise me.

– Drew Zeiba

We’re hiring!

Wolf PR is looking for an ambitious, energetic and creative individual to join our small PR firm in a role focused on home, design and consumer products. Candidates must have 2-5 years public relations experience.Strong media relations, attention to detail and strong writing skills are a must. Candidate will work directly with the owner. Must be well organized, be able to take initiative and work well without supervision.

Responsibilities include:
-administrative duties such as managing and filing press clippings and updating master contact lists

-writing press releases and media alerts
-creating digital press kits
-writing email blasts for clients’ new works, new arrivals or events
-writing pitches to digital and print media outlets for client profiles, announcing new collections, etc.
-copy editing releases, emails, etc.
-finding new outlets or editors to pitch clients to
-maintaining editorial relationships through social contact (lunches, drinks) and digital communications
-keeping up with frequent email correspondence with clients, editors and writers
-assisting owner in day to day tasks that arise when running a small business

Must be comfortable working with:
-Google Drive
-Dropbox
-Wordpress
-Photoshop
-Cision
-InDesign

We’re a fun office, with lots of room to grow and take own your own projects. The more ambitious and excited you are about growing your role, the more room for growth there is.
For consideration, please send your résumé and a letter detailing something you worked on recently that you are proud of to nora@wolf-pr.com. It can be related to PR, it can also be about a race you ran, a trip you just finished, or a life milestone. Get us interested and excited!