By Tomboy KC | Photography by Alyssa Greenberg
It’s no secret that it’s been all interiors, all of the time around here for the last few months. So when we had the chance to sit down with Tori Jones, Schumacher’s Director of Creative Services, we jumped over bolts to make it happen.
A former editor turned in-house creative lead, Tori heads a five person team of young, beautiful and creative women. Together they conceptualize, design and produce all of the brand’s digital content – from their Style Dispatch email newsletter to their bi-annual printed multi page editorial outlet, The Schumacher Bulletin, to their Instagram. Just one look at the quality of content they are producing (it’s really inspiring, you guys) and we had no choice but to pick Tori’s brain. Keep reading for Tori’s full profile and be sure to sign-up to receive Schumacher’s weekly emails here.
TKC: You’re the Director of Creative Services at Schumacher. Fancy title. What does it mean?
TJ: I’m part of the team that has overseen the re-branding of this fantastic, storied 128-year-old design house. In my position, I work with Dara Caponigro (Schumacher’s Creative Director) to oversee all of the organization’s branded content and marketing materials, including our digital newsletter, Schumacher Style Dispatch (which is sent three times a week to a database of 45,000 subscribers) and all of our social media platforms (our Instagram alone has grown 220% in the past year). Our team is passionate about stylish, imaginative and authentic content and we produce lots of it—from special mailers sent directly to our clients, to illustrated brochures, behind-the-scenes videos, sourcebooks and our bi-annual in-house magazine, The Schumacher Bulletin. We love telling stories—and with a legacy like ours, not to mention our gorgeous product, there are so many creative and compelling ones to tell.
TKC: Why Schumacher? Why interiors?
TJ: I’ve worked in the interiors world since I graduated from college. Design is a big passion of my mother’s and I guess you can say I inherited the gene. Both of my parents are so good at creating a real home with good food, comfortable and inviting rooms, as well as objects and possessions that are thoughtful and meaningful. My interest in interiors really started with my family.
My first job out of school was working as an assistant in the Style Department of the original domino magazine. I packed a lot of boxes there and shipped a lot of furniture, but most importantly, I got a real understanding of how a magazine is produced as well as how to create and style beautiful imagery. I stayed in the editorial world producing stories and art directing photo shoots for Veranda, Elle Décor and House Beautiful until I heard about this opening at Schumacher. It sounded like a great opportunity to reinvigorate a beloved heritage brand. I was so taken by the company’s history of innovation (Paul Poiret, Schiaparelli and Lagerfeld were all collaborators at one point) and so excited by the idea of freshening it up and bringing it to a new group of tastemakers.
TKC: How has your time as an editor influenced your work now that you are in-house?
TJ: It’s funny, the transition was totally seamless. All of the skills I developed in the publishing world are completely transferrable to my role here. Just like when I was at a magazine, the focus of my job is about how to communicate an idea, package a story, determine trends, excite our following and remain one step ahead. I approach all of our marketing initiatives with an editor’s eye. We structure our digital Style Dispatch newsletter like the front-of-book of a magazine. It’s jam-packed with the latest trends, color stories, design happenings and fresh ideas. Our newsletter isn’t a template and it’s not dry, forced sales content. Our aim is to appeal to designers (people who have devoted their lives to taste and style) and we know that they know better. If we’re going to show up in their inbox three times a week, we want them to be excited about it. We want our subscribers to trust us, to rely on us for inspiration, to look to us to keep them informed and ahead of the pack.
TKC: Schumacher is such a well-known staple in the interiors space. So what does it mean to conceptualize, design and produce all of the brand’s digital content? There’s got to be some pressure there…
TJ: Yes, the pressure is definitely real! But for the most part, developing our digital presence has been really fun. Our Creative Services team (which is made up of the most talented, funny, kind and hard-working ladies in the business) has spent a lot of time thinking about the voice and personality of the brand: Schumacher is warm, confident, vibrant, friendly, and a real style authority. That’s what should resonate across all of our channels. We’ve grown our following organically, by editing great content and inviting a lot of stylish people to the party. Two years ago, we started a hashtag that has really caught on, #schustagram. It’s an opportunity for designers to share how they take what’s ours and make it their own. We always say, ‘It’s our product and your genius.’ Nothing could be more true and nothing excites us more than seeing how people actually live with our designs. Our Instagram feed (@schumacher1889) is a celebration of creativity.
TKC: What aspect of your work is the most meaningful to you?
TJ: Collaboration. I love talking about ideas and seeing them through.
TKC: We love Schumacher’s prints (seriously, the new Frank Lloyd Wright collection is SO GOOD). If you could only pick one, which is your favorite?
TJ: This is hard! Our design studio is world-class and everything they produce is gorgeous. I can’t possibly pick just one, but I can pick a favorite motif—stripes! We’ve added a whole roster of fabulous ones in the past year. Amour is my latest favorite (I dream of upholstering the walls of an entire room in it), right alongside our Coco Stripe (in the most gorgeous, confection-inspired colors), Maxwell and Kudu Stripe.
TKC: Alright, enough about work. Let’s talk clothes. What’s your work uniform?
TJ: I’ve loved denim since I was a little girl; a Canadian tuxedo always looks stylish to me. My latest jean obsession is AMO. I’m always in flats: in the winter, I live in Chelsea boots; when it warms up, I like ballet flats, sandals by ATP Atelier, and old-school loafers. And for tops, I like classic button-ups (preferably with a military look), an unusual cut and print from Marni and anything by Khaite.
TKC: In your non work life, is there a particular designer or look that you tend to favor?
TJ: I spend most of my free time horseback riding and visiting my family on Block Island (just off the coast of Rhode Island). My off-duty look goes from black breeches, black boots, and a button-up to bare feet, shorts and a bikini.
TKC: On the flipside, are there any trends that you absolutely loathe?
TJ: I’ve never been able to pull off a romper.
TKC: If you could only buy one item for your closet this Spring, what would it be?
TJ: I’d go with an accessory: Sophie Buhai’s Janet pendant.
TKC: Name one beauty product you couldn’t live without.
TJ: Without a doubt, Klorane dry shampoo. I’ve tried them all, Klorane is the best.
TKC: If money was no object, what’s one item for your home you would splurge on?
TJ: A table by Diego Giacometti and an apple or bird by Les Lalanne.
TKC: Favorite emoji?
TJ: The race horse.
TKC: Coffee or tea?
TKC: Mascara or Lipstick?
TKC: Instagram or Snapchat?
TKC: What advice would you give to 22 year old Tori?
TJ: Don’t worry. Let it all roll off.