Meet Michael and Lisa Fine, the husband-wife team behind Quiet Town, a Brooklyn-based brand committed to making everyday items more beautiful – starting in the bathroom. The highly creative couple (he’s a photographer, she’s a fashion stylist) were bummed out by the bathroom category’s lack of inspiring decor, so they decided to have a go at making a few functional items themselves. With the help of their design network and friends, they sourced the best and most ethically manufactured materials to offer striking, minimalist shower curtains and accessories. Get to know these work/life partners on a tour of their studio in Gowanus – and discover how this limited edition Quiet Town for Parachute collab came to be!
How would you describe Quiet Town?
Lisa Fine:Quiet Town is a Brooklyn-based brand dedicated to making your bathroom feel as thoughtfully styled as the rest of your home.
How did the Quiet Town for Parachute collaboration come together? How did you approach the design process?
Lisa:Amy Hoban, Parachute’s Creative Director, is an old friend of ours. In fact, we went to her for advice on fabric and manufacturing when Quiet Town was just starting out! Plans to collaborate really came together when Michael and I did a house swap in Venice last summer. We experienced the Parachute brand and hometown firsthand. We tend to use equal amounts of color and neutrals in our work, but for this collaboration, we took a more minimalist approach. Our Venice Shower Curtain Rings were literally inspired by Venice in that we created an angular “V” shape with the bottom hook.
What makes the Quiet Town for Parachute Canvas Shower Curtains unique? How are these items different from others you’ve made in the past?
Michael:Quiet Town mixes bright color and natural fibers, while Parachute’s aesthetic is informed by nature and neutrals. So instead of blasting this collection with color, we really focused on a beachy, driftwood look where our brands sort of meet in the middle.
Quiet Town is a collaboration in itself. What do you love about your part of creating objects together?
Lisa:We still can’t believe that we make things. I know that sounds weird coming from a product design company, but we’ve always worked for other people that made things – and then we just made those things look pretty. Now everything that we do is because we made it happen, together. I personally enjoy the entire process, from concepting a look, to sourcing the most ethically sound materials, to styling it how I’d always imagined.
Tell us about your professional backgrounds. When did your careers start to overlap?
Lisa:Michael is a photographer and I’m a stylist (I was the Director of Styling at Madewell for 11 years), so we’ve always had a creative relationship. On the weekends we would produce shoots for fun – simply to make something together.
How has Brooklyn influenced your design aesthetic?
Michael:I think living and working in Brooklyn, as much as it’s a city, really feels like a small town. The buildings are lower so there’s open skies (our office has a great view), and we’re right on the Gowanus Canal, which feels like a hidden urban utopia. Sometimes we cruise down the canal in a canoe, and because it’s such a tight community, we inevitably see friends crossing the bridges on their way home from work or the ice cream shop around here.
Any tips for other creative entrepreneurs?
Lisa:Start when you’re young! Try to take risks before you have a family and serious responsibilities. And if you start when you’re 40 (like us), then you better believe 1000% in your idea and be okay eating, sleeping and breathing it (but forget the sleeping part – there won’t be much of that).
How do you separate shop talk from pillow talk?
Lisa:It’s really hard. We’re so “in it” that Quiet Town is part of the family now. We’ve become good at sensing when we need to “put it down” – especially for the kids’ sake – and then we do. Quiet Town is really is a labor of love, though, so we see time working on it as time well spent.
[Ed. note: This collection has sold out.]