The Hot Seat: Egg Collective


Welcome to the Hot Seat, where we interview folks involved in Brooklyn real estate, architecture, development and the like. Introducing the ladies of Egg Collective: Crystal Ellis, Stephanie Beamer and Hillary Petrie. Egg Collective is a Brooklyn-based design company that builds furniture and home objects.

Brownstoner: What neighborhood do you live in, and how’d you end up there?
Egg Collective: Our shop and studio are outside of the Navy Yard in Clinton Hill. We wanted to be within walking distance of work, so we all live in the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods.

BS: Can you talk about the beginnings of your firm, and the initial concept and goals of Egg Collective?
EC: We started designing together when we graduated from Architecture School at Washington University in St. Louis in 2006. We met over Tuesday night dinners as a way to keep our creative minds stimulated. Our goals have evolved from having a creative outlet to establishing a company that builds on the ethics and skill sets we have gathered over the years. Egg Collective was officially formed in 2011 with the intention of designing and producing contemporary heirloom quality furniture that is made in America.

After the jump, the design scene in Brooklyn, Egg Collective’s latest work, and tips to maximize a small space…
BS: What are you working on in Brooklyn currently?
EC: We are currently working on producing the collection we launched at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May of 2012. We are also in the process of developing new designs to debut this Spring. Here’s an image of our Oscar dining table with a nickel base and silver travertine top.

BS: What’s happening in Brooklyn right now, design-wise? There’s definitely a shift toward hand-crafted, local workmanship, which is Egg Collective’s focus. Why do you think we’re seeing this shift?
EC: There has been a resurgence in buying local. It is a natural derivation of the sustainable movement. Consumers are becoming more aware of the effects of where they buy their products. The story of everything from food to furniture gives the consumer a direct understanding and appreciation of a product’s provenance.

BS: You recently opened a showroom in Wallabout. This area, especially so close to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is home to lots of artists and designers. Why’d you pick this neighborhood and what’s it like working there?
EC: Stephanie had worked in this area before forming Egg, and suggested that we think about getting space here. Even in our short tenure, we have seen the area change quite a bit. As older warehouse spaces have turned over, they have been converted into artist studios housing a diverse group of creative types. We feel fortunate to be a part of that community.

BS: Many people in Brooklyn are not working with lots of space when they go about designing and decorating their apartments. Do you have some simple tips to maximize your space through design?
EC: Less is more. Keep the things you really love, and try to let go of those you don’t. A mirror goes a long way in a small space — reflecting light and visually increasing space.

BS: Finally your favorites: Favorite Brooklyn neighborhood, favorite interior space in New York City, and favorite building in Brooklyn.
EC: Neighborhood: Fort Greene/Clinton Hill — it’s our home! And we love living here.
Interior space: the interiors at Lincoln Center — specifically the ballet and the Met.
Favorite building(s): the mansions on Clinton Avenue between Gates and Willoughby.