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Ed Be & Jared Blake

Published

Jun 07, 2021

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The minds behind Lichen, Brooklyn-based interior design incubator on creating a community of lich-minded individuals.

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Tell us a bit about yourselves.

Jared: I would say first and foremost, I'm a student, I'm about study and reflection, and I attempt to communicate my findings in the few ways and platforms I know how.

Ed: I'm nomadic in thought and physical location mostly, but I'm slowly graduating to being grounded through design.

How about the story behind Lichen?

Lichen is a moss. By definition, it's a symbiotic relationship between multiple organisms. As a team and an ecosystem, we find items that live a second life in another home organically.

How would you describe your style of design?

Our style is eclectic with a mid century adjacent approach. We never want to pigeon hole ourselves in a particular era or style when all chapters of design offer insight into taste and individuality.

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Where do you pull inspiration from?

We pull a lot of our inspiration from our community. We spent a lot of time researching prominent designers and going down those rabbit holes in the early days, but then we realized that our friends are just as talented and creative with their concepts, and we hope to bring more of those ideas to light.

"It's very easy to say you don't like something and walk away, but it's better to elaborate on your own POV by understanding "Why you don't" and asking yourself, "What could make this item better.""

Do you have a philosophy when it comes to creating a home?

We believe that "Good design is empathetic." If it doesn't fulfill a need or make your life easier, we tend to shy away from it. Other than that, you can never have too many books! If you have too many books, find a creative way to showcase or store them.

When we first spoke, we talked a lot about keeping design accessible. Could you explain what this means to you?

The first way design becomes in-accessible is the price point. The second is a lack of education or awareness. Our mission is to make both make more sense. We can't charge $500 for a chair without telling you why it's worth that, and we can't charge $500 without having something for $50 for those who cannot afford that but want to support or learn more.

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What would you like to do next?

We're currently in the process of reopening our first(now second) location, and it's been equally challenging as it has been exciting! The experience will be different because the focus will be on smaller take-home items, books, stools, etc. Besides that, we're coming up with a new user experience online in the next few months that will change the world lol.

Any meaningful advice you've been given that you would like to share?

A wise friend once told us, "Investigate the things you don't like," which we've carried with us because we dislike a lot of things lol. It's very easy to say you don't like something and walk away, but it's better to elaborate on your own POV by understanding "Why you don't" and asking yourself, "What could make this item better." This is often the source of our custom pieces.

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