Jonathan Adler is now synonymous with the irreverent designs — pottery, housewares, furniture and beyond — that he sells around the world, but it all started with a college professor who didn’t believe in him. After receiving discouraging feedback about his ambitions to be a potter, Adler wandered around New York City doing odd jobs that usually ended with him getting fired. After some soul-searching, Adler returned to his true love, pottery, and learned the value of ignoring the expectations of others and following your dream. Here, he injects his trademark wit while sharing how he found his underlying message of “irreverent luxury” as his business evolved from pottery to pillows to rooms.Adler preaches that we should keep other people’s opinions out of our creative process and attributes his success to his disdain of focus groups and feedback.
Seventeen years ago, a little-known potter named Jonathan Adler was thrilled to receive his first order from Barneys New York. He couldn’t have dreamed that today, in 2012, he would lead an international design company offering decorative accessories, tabletop collections, bedding, furniture, rugs, pillows, lighting, and fabrics, all featuring Jonathan’s signature Modernist forms, bold colors and groovy graphics. Jonathan is obsessed with creating beautiful design mixed with impeccable craftsmanship. His motto is “If your heirs won’t fight over it, we won’t make it.”