When one of New York's most established, involved and beloved interior designers, Jamie Drake expands his business taking on a partner, it's worth taking note. I think design duos have a great advantage. Having another creative voice to share ideas with, an advocate in client meetings, someone to share the responsibilities and play to their strengths is what another designer can bring to a partnership. Drake, whose work is filled with color and grandeur, recently asked his former intern, designer Caleb Anderson to join him at the helm as a partner of the business he started back in 1978. With a partner comes opportunity to diversify, play to your strengths and bring in new clients. I recently discussed these topics with the newly formed design duo. Here is their take on an exciting new era.
This is an unusual and exciting move, to take on a partner. Why was now the time for a merger?
Caleb: Both of our firms were at unique and pivotal points that made it ideal for us to synergize, combine strengths, and embrace an evolution. For me, this is an opportunity to expand and work with a larger staff, to have access and ability to do more ambitious projects and a huge honor to collaborate with a design icon.
How do your skill sets complement one another? What are each of your design strengths?
Caleb: Jamie has decades of experience and incredible industry knowledge. He is decisive with his choices and has a brilliant ability to communicate with clients to help them see his vision. He is a design genius, with a compelling and genuine personality.
Jamie: Caleb possesses a young, suave modernity that feels so of the moment, yet classic. His eye for juxtaposing antiques with contemporary pieces is a perfect complement to my own aesthetic sense.
What does a partnership enable you to do Jamie, how will your focus shift?
Jamie: Having a partner will allow me to continue our work with existing clients with a partner’s support, and focus on growing the business and pursuing the incredible global opportunities that come through the door.
What can we expect in the coming year from this new dynamic duo?
Caleb: An evolved design aesthetic that represents the best of both of us, an exciting new brand identity and website, and more presence in the design community as a team.
You've been working in partnership for a week or so, what's it been like so far?
Jamie: Fast paced and exciting, and pleasantly organic. The days have flown by with client presentations, meetings with prospective clients, working with staff and planning for the future phase of our company.
Photo courtesy of Brittany Ambridge