Cool Friends: Cold Picnic

Meet Peter & Phoebe, the designers behind one of Brooklyn’s most coveted textile and rug companies. Their modern rugs and cheeky boob bath mats are ubiquitous in many of the city’s coolest apartments & design stores.

What led you to your careers as designers?

It was a long road! We were both working in fashion, or missy fashion, when we started Cold Picnic, which was initially just a name for extracurricular projects we were trying out. More than anything I think we just liked working together and being our own bosses. We started Cold Picnic in 2010 but the product didn't even remotely resemble what it is today until 4 or 5 years later. At first, it was anything we could teach ourselves to make from vintage craft books, or stuff the guy at the Tandy Leather store taught us. We made leather jewelry, embossed belts, essential oil room sprays, macrame, and wall hangings. The wall hangings were so time consuming they led us to finally outsource production. When we did that we were able to start operating more like a business, instead of spending all our time making the product and weeping every time we got an order!  

What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?

The NY creative community is big but weirdly intimate, and there are always people you know and don't know everywhere. That's comforting right? That everything new is somehow connected to something familiar, but there's still room for anonymity and discovery.

Could you tell us about your blanket design competition for black college students pursuing a career in art & design?

We were trying to think of ways to support young Black artists and designers and a blanket competition seemed like a good start. We definitely want to do it again if everyone's up for it. Our knit blankets are the only items we design which are manufactured in the United States, and their minimums and lead times are exponentially lower than the rest of our products, so they work really well for a capsule collection. The winners will get to have a design produced and sold, which we hope will be exciting, especially considering they're just starting out. And since they'll be getting the profits for their blanket designs we thought we should be as transparent as possible and keep them in the loop on ordering, quantities, cost and shipping, and wholesale vs ecomm pricing. So a cool aspect for us is giving a crash course in releasing a product as a small business, which is something that would have been really helpful when we were starting out!

Follow along:
@coldpicnic on Instagram

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Made in Brooklyn, NY