why i blog: an ode to brizo.

I’m going to get a bit personal with y’all today, because this is my blog and I do what I want. Kidding (not really). Most of you know I started this wee little site almost four years ago, and it’s been growing steadily since. And now? Now there are 30,000 of you, and you’re all so sweet. And I love you. Is that too much information? Perhaps. But I love you. You’re cute, smart, witty and crazy successful. I like to think I fit in with you, but truth be told? You’re too good for me.

Anyway, I mentioned last week that I was headed to NYC for Fashion Week, and I didn’t give a lot of details. What happens when I don’t give details? The floodgates open and my inbox fills with questions marks: “Am I there on assignment for a big fashion magazine?” (No.) “Are you a model now?” (Heck, no, and ha. You’re cute.) “Are you taking over the world one city at a time?” (OK, maybe.)

So here’s the story…

I’m going to fill you in on everything right here, and then I’ll get back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow (and by regular scheduled programming, I mean totally crazy visuals and witty banter. You know, the usual).

I received an email a few weeks ago inviting me to the Brizo Fashion Week event, including product demos, crazy sneak peeks, an exclusive invite to Jason Wu’s fashion show, private tour to the Showtime House, and a fun, friendly interior design competition. And guys, I totally laughed a little when the invite swept into my inbox. Because I’m not an interior designer, architect, or the usual. I’m a writer with a love for all those things, sure, but when forced to sketch up a bathroom design incorporation dimensions, cabinetry and smart people things, my brain explodes. But we’ll get to that later…

[My favorite Jason Wu ensemble from Friday’s show sings when paired with this Lucyina Moodie space.]

Here’s where I have to stop and express my thanks to Brizo. Because I’ll have to admit, this event was impeccably coordinated. I (and I believe the other 18 attendees will agree) felt like a true part of the Brizo team, rather than another member of the press. Brizo shared inspiration boards behind each product (which were BRILLIANT, by the way), asked for feedback and explained their social media efforts in the most transparent way. It’s so very refreshing to meet a company that believes in the power of micro-niches, individuality and personal voice. Truly. I’d encourage all of you to make friends with the Brizo folks, as they’re kind, creative and hey! They live in Indiana. Which means that you can go visit them and make a side trip to visit me. B/c duh. I need friends here.

Wow. I get very tangential sometimes, yes? Anyway, I mentioned a fun little design competition. Something many of you might not know about me is that I’m crazy competitive. I have no idea why, but I can make a competition out of anything, i.e. how many ketchup packets are in YOUR kitchen drawer, what’s the longest you’ve gone w/out a shower, and how high does your stack of laundry get on any given day? B/c guys, I could totally win all of those.

[My favorite Brizo pot filler oddly coordinates beautifully with my favorite Artemide Tolomeo lamp. Great minds, indeed!]

So when the competition was announced, Maggie (who’s got a competitive streak in her, as well) and I looked at each other and decided it was on. One of us would win; the other would go down in flames.

The rules were that (a) this was an individual competition, and (b) the group competition would evolve from there. We had 10 minutes to come up with a concept for a bathroom that incorporated Brizo faucets as the focal point of the room. And in a room full of architects/interior designers, this meant the rulers and tape measures came out. Because I can’t draw, however, I came up with a cute little inspiration board like so:

And dudes. I rocked it. Could’ve been the mimosa I had downed, but my one minute presentation was enough to win me a COACH messenger bag and the top spot as a team leader for the day’s competition. And from there, the rest was history. Eric, Trevor, Gloria and I created the most beautiful ScandiGlam bathroom in the world, and I was sure it was in the bag.

Until Maggie’s team (led by Veronika) swiped the #1 spot right from under us with their cork curtains and blah blah blah. Eco-friendly wins, and of course, I should’ve seen it coming. But I thought for sure my charming stacks of House Beautiful mags (famed House Beautiful int. designer was a judge –along with Cannon!– so it doesn’t hurt to incorporate a bit of product placement, no?) next to the well-styled bathtub and Philippe Starck chair would’ve gained my team #1. Eh.

[Image credit: Jayme Thornton]

All jokes aside, though, each team presented a beautiful design (in the Showtime rooms, no less!). And I was really very proud of myself to lead my team to a great design (nabbing runner-up and a lovely iPod!), regardless of having no real experience in interior design. Which brings me full circle to the end of this post:

Blogging opens doors. It opens so, so many doors. Had I been told three years ago that my passion for beautiful homes would turn into a full-time job blogging for fantastic companies like HGTV, AOL and ReadyMade Magazine, I would have chuckled and then maybe fainted. But here I am, riding the wave wherever this wee blog may take me.

And it’s a really beautiful thing. We are so, so lucky to live in a generation where jobs and passion can become intertwined. Sometimes, it takes an impromptu trip to NYC, a fashion-forward faucet company and some lovely Jason Wu dresses to teach you that.

Thank you, Brizo, and more importantly — thank you, readers. You are all so charming. See you tomorrow!

In the mean time, I’m brushing up on my eco-friendly design skills for a rematch, Veronika. ;)

  • i got your email and just had to see what you were up to. you’re amazing and it sounds like the trip was more than successful. congratulations! can’t wait to see what lies ahead…

  • what amazing links and creative forces behind each one. a humongous congratulations to you – and good luck on the rematch!

  • Erin,

    Congratulations on doing such a great job, something to be proud of really. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was that you didn’t win the top prize but I did tell you ahead of time that it would my my team to win the top slot. Oh well, at least you got that sweet Coach bag! The glass is always half full isn’t it …

  • Erin – you rock! You made the event so much fun and “true designer” or not, you are incredibly talented. Keep up the amazing work and I love reading your blog. …Your Coach bag is on its way.

  • Congrats! That’s so great that you were invited to fashion week and all the cool extras, you totally deserve it!! I also love that pot filler and didn’t know such a thing even existed! Where have I been?

  • I just want to read your post over and over. Congrats to you and all your talent Erin! xx

  • There you go again: putting the ‘awesome’ in awesomesauce! That sounds like a really fun experience and now I like Brizo even more.

  • Love your blog!! I had so much fun with you and will forever adore Brizo for their artful approach to fixtures and for introducing us. You’re a rock star and I thought your design was gorgeous. Xo.

  • You are so awesome! Congratulations are in order, even if you didn’t get the grand prize.

    And you can give all the credit in the world to that mimosa, but I think you were on a high from meeting me!! :D

  • oh you all are so, so sweet. although it should be noted that the so-called “eco-friendly” team of (ahem, bob and maggie) didn’t even have a toilet.


  • Such a fun and creative adventure! It goes to show that people have many talents they might not have realized. I have hope that even at my advanced age of over-39 (up to you to guess how “over”) I may be lucky enough to have my passions coincide or at least cross with how I earn a living.

    Oh and I am totally a tangent-talker (term my cousin and I came up with for our tendency to start out on one topic and end up about a million miles away from it within 10 minutes)!

  • You see…it took only a chance browse that i found someone like you. I love that you are approachable but speaking to thousands. You prove ‘humbly’ that you don’t always need to be classically trained to have a wonderful skill. I have a science degree and now look what i’m doing! HA! who’d have thought. If we open our eyes and appreciate, we can learn. This is what you are doing for all of us….opening our eyes. Everyone needs a mentor to give them direction and inspiration. I think you’ve just become one of mine :)

  • Erin, What an amazing, fun time you must have had.
    Love Brizo. Love your blog.
    And congrats to you for opening so many doors through blogging. My wee blog does not have 30,000…so it’s a lot more wee than yours. But I do it because I love it! Isn’t that how everything really wonderful starts in life?

  • First of all, this is beautifully written. I too stumbled upon your blog and am becoming daily more entrenched as a loyal follower!
    It’s awesome that you’re taking advantage of the opportunities that come your way–and it sounds like, milking them for all they’re worth. (Photos of the Coach bag when it arrives, please!) I love that you placed House Beautiful mags in your design :)

  • so fantastic for you erin because you’ve worked hard to achieve all you have. the brizo event and competition sounds like it was so much fun and challenging. thank you for making social networking such a nice place to be; it’s full of endless possibilities. xo, c

  • What a great post!! It was such a pleasure meeting you and getting to know you. It is amazing how computers and the internet have allowed us all to have a bigger voice than we could have ever anticipated…and have allowed us to meet wonderful people who might have never entered our lives. I look forward to reading more about all your reno adventures and hope our paths cross again soon!

  • Hooray! Good times. Thank you for thanking me. But really, thank you for the daily story time that gets my mind moving and my hands creating.

  • Since are friends now I have decided to read your blog…and subscribe. You write exactly how you speak, and I think that is the greatest talent of a writer – especially a blogger! It was great meeting you in NY, and I hope we can write together someday!

    And yes, I love you too. Never too much information. ;-)

  • Love your blog! So much fun to read! Hope to see you at another fun event like this one. Or if your ever in LA give us a holler.

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