Jennifer DeLonge, creator of a fast growing line of children’s furniture, and wife to Angels and Airwaves frontman and former Blink-182 singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge, recently spoke to us about her furniture, her background, and life with Tom and daughter Ava, 4, while they await the arrival of a baby boy, due this week. She even tells us if they’re really going to name him Rocket!
Read the interview by clicking Read More.
Visit Jennifer DeLonge’s site, where you can shop online, or use their store finder to see where you can check out the goods in person.
Currently Jennifer’s two main pieces are the Ava chair and ottoman and the Grace table and stools. The Ava chair comes in your choice of cotton, microsuede, or vintage fabrics,and matching ottomans are available. Here, Jennifer and Tom’s daughterAva (in rear) and friend shows off two of the cotton chairs, intangerine and powder blue. Also pictured, Ava in front of a one of akind vintage fabric Ava chair – you can shop the site for current vintage fabric selections.
The Grace table and stools are stylish pieces that come in a choice of five colors – you can even mix and match the stools! Courteney Cox-Arquette and her 2 year old daughter Coco are fans – they just ordered a Grace table in White Out, which you can see pictured left. Also, Ava and friends model the Grace items in Splash.
The following are excerpts from our interview with Jennifer – it continues into the extended post.
Q) Manyparents create children’s product businesses after they have theirchildren. What inspired you to design children’s furniture specifically?
A) As a designer by education and trade, it was a naturalprogression toward product design. As a new mom, I really became awareof the need for hip, modern children’s furniture that would befunctional for kids, but still cool enough for your family’s home.
Q) What other types of children’s products can we expect from the line?
A) We just launched the Grace Table, which we’re really excitedabout. Courteney Cox just ordered one for Coco in White Out, andBarney’s preordered the Grace table in order to be one of the first tocarry the new product. We’re getting ready to launch a line ofaccessories. The first products are the Audrey collection: caddies andstackable storage boxes with clean, modern lines. They’re made inwalnut or birch. The stackable boxes are great for kids but look reallycool in your living space. Also the Charles collection- cylindrical toystorage that comes in tall or wide options, also in birch or walnut.These can double as side tables in your living space as well.
Q) What is your work schedule like right now?
A) I get most of my work done while my daughter attends school.
Q)What do you think it will be once your son is born?
A) After some time off with the family, I’ll take him with me andkeep working when Ava is in school… it’s a great schedule. I have timeto lead a professional life while Ava’s in school, but I’m always thereto pick her up. Tom and I take her to school, to dance class, etc.Fortunately, both of our careers allow up the opportunity to have someflexibility in our scheduling to make family a priority whileaccomplishing what we set out for on a professional level.
Q) Do you tour with Tom? If so, what is that like when you have your own business?
A) Yes, we tour as a family. I have an incredible team back athome that I can always count on. This way I can travel with my family;I even work from the road. And with a production office at each venue,it makes it easy to stay connected. We have our own tour bus as afamily so I set aside space for work related tasks; Ava has her spacethat we always make sure is as much like home as possible.
Q) How do you handle childcare?
A) Our approach to childcare is very “do it ourselves.” Tom and Ishare responsibilities, on the road or at home. On tour we have lots offamily and friends that visit, which also keeps the environment fun forAva.
Q) How long do you plan to take off from working?
A) When you own your own business, I don’t think you ever really“take off” from work. I will slow down and not be so involved forawhile, plan my days back accordingly. I am not giving myself a setdate of when to go back. Being a mom is my most important job! So Iwill take it day by day.
Q) How are you dealing with your business gaining popularity at atime when a good part of your energy and attention will be focused onyour new baby?
A) Balance– and taking in day by day. I have an incrediblesupport system of friends and family, and professional colleagues thatgo through all the same trials and tribulations I do playing mom andbusiness owner. So it helps me to have a sense of humor with everythingand know that if something isn’t completed, it can wait until tomorrow.Taking care of the new baby is so important; you can never gain thattime back. It’s important to be conscious of your family priorities,and know where work fits in from there.
Q) Can you confirm that you plan to name the baby Rocket? What influenced this name?
A) Rocket is a nickname that my daughter came up with shortlyafter we found out I was pregnant. It is not the baby’s nameofficially, but everyone seems to love it. We have called the babyRocket for several months…
Q) What does your daughter think about having a little brother?
A) She is so excited…..can’t wait to teach him all the goofy things she does. She says she “wanted a boy.”
Q) Do you have a background in design?
A) Yes. I’m an allied ASID member; earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. By the time I earned my degree I had already launched my own interior design firm— Jennifer Jay, Inc. — and began designing model homes and remodels. By 2003 I moved from interior to product when I opened Papier Moderne— an eclectic stationery shop in Solana Beach’s Design District.
Q) What are your design influences?
A) Everything from icons such as Coco Chanel, Dorothy Draper to funky 70’s artwork…even patterns on toothpaste tubes. I see influence everywhere. Traveling with Tom, great hotels we stay at are a big influence too. London is an incredible influence for thinking forward.
Q) Your Ava chair is so cool- any plans to introduce a version for adults?
A)We’ve had many inquiries, and we are thinking about it.
Q) Tell us about the new pieces you are working on and when we can expect to see them in stores….
A) The pieces described above will debut in August in New York, and you’ll see them in stores by holiday time.
Q) Why do you think the wives of Blink 182 are so entreprenurial? (Skye Hoppus, Mark‘s wife, owns Childish Clothing – and Shanna Moakler Barker and Landon model for them).
A) I think in general women have really embraced the entrepreneurial spirit more over the years. Instead of taking a back seat when men are at the helm of design agencies/lines, women are branching out on their own and making a name for themselves. I’ve loved design and have had that drive for as long as I can remember. Even back in Jr. High School – I would design and sell my own “scrunchies” to the girls at school 😉
Q) What do you think will be your next hot product?
A) The Charles storage line. It’s super clean, very functional for kids and parents.