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Inside Steven Alan

Apartment Visit: Goods We Love

  • We recently spent an afternoon hanging out with Goods We Love founders Camilla Vest Nielsen and Ricky Nordson at Camilla’s Tribeca apartment. Goods We Love reps some of our favorite Danish home goods brands, and Camilla’s home also serves as their showroom. Some highlights from our conversation:

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    Where did you each grow up, and how long have you been living in New York?
    Camilla: I grew up just 30 minutes north of Copenhagen and started my model adventure in New York when I was just 19 years old, so I have been a true Tribeca resident since 1996 . . .

    Ricky: I grew up in a small town in Denmark, but have spent most of my adulthood living abroad (Copenhagen, Detroit, London, and now NYC). For the last two years I have been living in Tribeca with my wife and 8 year old son.

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    Camilla, what do you enjoy most about your apartment, and how do you like to spend an evening at home?
    I LOVE my neighborhood – it’s Manhattan’s little oasis – and I enjoy the natural light that shines through our apartment. Our style is very simple and probably very Scandinavian-looking — not too much furniture but I enjoy collecting home accessories from all over the world and just a simple cute drawing from my children can give a shelf a little boost. Due to lots of traveling I prefer hanging out at home and enjoy my evenings on our outside deck with all our plants, relaxing in an old butterfly chair, waiting for a barbecue.

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    The two of you met while picking your kids up at school. How did you become business partners?
    Camilla: I was very lucky to run into Ricky one day after picking the kids up from school. We started talking and for sure connected well — I think it’s a Danish thing. We both had been playing with the idea of being more involved with home goods and finding great brands based in Denmark and introducing them to the US market so we started Goods We Love!

    Ricky: Even though our design tastes are similar, Camilla is much more bohemian in styling her home, with many small displays and objects everywhere — but it works, very well. I on the other hand am totally minimalistic when it comes to home decor — everything in its right place. Both Camilla and I spend a lot of time styling our homes and looking for that one thing to make it perfect. We are both very social people and often have friends over, who always comment on our homes. One thing led to another and one day Camilla was saying, “My friends keep asking me to bring objects back for them when I visit Denmark. If they like it that much, maybe others do as well.” She asked me if I wanted to be part of her idea. After 20 years in design, I really needed a change and here it was. That was the start of Goods We Love.

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    Have you always had this interest in home goods and decor, or was it something that developed over time?
    Ricky: I think my career taught me that. As I learned more and more about the advertising and graphic design masters, a link to furniture and decor felt natural. I remember my first design purchase was an original 1950 Charles and Ray Eames RAR Rocker (still have it).

    Camilla: My modeling career brought me to New York and I have always had a passion for flea markets around the world. My mom used to always take me to the local beach flea market and it was always surprising what you could get your hands on. Also, my older sister is a very recognized interior stylist in Denmark and she has definitely been a great inspiration for me, and I just really enjoy looking out for home goods that have a story and give your home a little twist.

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    Ricky, you’re an accomplished advertising industry veteran. How do you think your background prepared you for what you’re doing now?

    In my field you constantly had to make creative decisions or the clients’ product wouldn’t sell. I think it’s very similar to what Camilla and I do with Goods We Love. The world is filled with objects for the home that are okay, but very few are designed well and have proven themselves over time. Very often a person will buy a vase because it’s trendy – but trends constantly change and what you bought last year, you might not like this year. That’s why we have chose to represent classic objects and objects that are amazing because of their craftsmanship. Objects you will treasure year after year.

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    Do you have a favorite piece from any of your vendors at the moment?
    Ricky: Without any doubts mine is the OGK Daybed and OGK Chair, designed by Ole Gjerløv-Knudsen, back in 1962. They are true mid-century design classics that work as well today as they did back in ’62. There are several things about the designs that are brilliant — both the Daybed and the Chair can be used indoors as well as outdoors. For indoor use I would accessorize them with some beautiful pillows, a throw, or maybe a sheep skin. For outdoor use they are fantastic as a sunbed or extra seating. I like the idea that you have to put the furniture together yourself (with a bit of practice, it takes two minutes flat). Even today the design feels modern and in my book, that’s a true classic!

    Camilla: I’m also a big fan of the Daybed — it’s a great summer lounge daybed and so easy to store. I even use it as an indoor daybed for my kids to relax. Also I am very proud to represent KasperKasper, a true young artist who makes these beautiful mobiles — it’s just a simple, beautiful piece to hang in your home and gives a modern feel with oak, brass, and paper all together. A must have.

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    What are some of your favorite spots in the neighborhood?
    Camilla: My every-morning spot for a great latte. I go to Laughing Man on Duane Street and meet up for a few minutes with great parents. On a beautiful night I love to take a walk on Pier 25 and go for a volleyball game or just enjoy the summer breeze. For a nice easygoing place for drinks I go to Weather Up on Duane Street, and if you crave steak frites, Odeon on West Broadway is a must. It’s classic.

    Ricky: All Good Things on Franklin Street is an absolute must with everything you need for a perfect home cooked meal, great coffee, and beautiful flowers. Should you not feel like cooking, there’s a fantastic restaurant downstairs where your taste bud will really go exploring. Best Made Co. on White Street is another favorite of mine. It’s a real “Man’s Man” shop with everything you need for the perfect hiking trip, not that I hike! Also, I always feel like I’m in a Wes Anderson film when I visit the shop. Pier 25 – not a shop but one of my favorite spots in the summertime. I love going there just before the sun sets and the view feels like the biggest Tequila Sunrise ever.

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    How should we spend a weekend in Copenhagen?
    Ricky: Late summer is the best time of year. Having only one weekend I would rent a bicycle, that being the easiest way around town. Copenhagen is the size of Manhattan. There is an abundance of design shops, so a stroll down Strøget is a must. Tivoli Garden is the oldest amusement park in the world and right in the center of town. It’s a place where families go, especially at night where the whole Garden is lit up with millions of lights. If you are a true design lover, the Design Museum is the place to go. They have a permanent design exhibition, from mid-centur to present, and a perfect cafe in the courtyard.

    Camilla: Copenhagen is one of my favorite cities in the world! So much to offer I could write a book. Stay at Hotel Alexandra – a retro boutique hotel situated right in the heart of Copenhagen and you can walk everywhere. Rent a bike and for sure visit Christiania, and old hippie place, and it’s a must to take the boat on a canal tour and really see the city. Visit my favorite store, Stilleben. They carry great home goods. HAY is also a great concept store to get inspiration. If you have enough time, take the train north and visit one of the most beautiful art museums called Louisiana – it’s on the water and really worth going! And if you can get a reservation at NOMA then go for the delicious food. Before you depart from Copenhagen Airport, get a Danish hotdog with toasted onion . . . mmm.

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    Many thanks to Camilla and Ricky! You can find Goods We Love brands, including Aiayu and Skovshoved Møbelfabrik & Co. (who produce the Ole Gjerløv-Knudsen Day Bed and Chair) at our Home Shop.

    - Photos by Connie Wang
    This entry was posted on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 at 5:32 pm and is filed under Home, In Stock. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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