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April 08, 2010

Dear DWR Readers,

Wow! We’ve just mailed our first new catalog in months. Welcome back to the DWR world. I have been on the job since January, and I’m so excited about our beautiful company. For the past 11 years, I have been a fan of DWR just like you. I have purchased Bubble lamps, lounge chairs, a fire pit, a bottle opener ... you get the idea.

John Edelman at the DWR Studio in Westport, CT. Photo courtesy of Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times/Redux

I have spent the last 15 years working with my family and my closest friend, John McPhee, producing the finest leather in the world for interior design. After we sold the company to Knoll, it was time to move on, and the opportunity to become the leaders of DWR came at the perfect moment.

We sold Edelman Leather to Knoll® and now they are the guardians of the brand we built. My parents stayed on as advisors but it was time for John and me to move on.

Let’s take a step back. About 15 years ago I met a 6'2" beauty named Bonnie. We both lived in New York City and my older brother Sam set us up on a blind date. She was in fashion and I worked for my brother at Sam & Libby, where John McPhee worked as well. On one of my first dates with Bonnie, we went to the 26th Street flea market. Neither one of us knew what mid-century modern was, but we fell in love with it. We also fell in love with each other. As passion seems to work, we got married and started collecting. Bonnie has restraint, I don't.

We used to have to hire trucks on 11th avenue just to carry a day’s find home. One day it was 45 Saarinen office chairs, the next time it was six Wakefield dressers. Vintage bikes and 1950’s portable televisions were always in the mix as well.

Among the many things we collect are Weltron 2001 “space helmet” radios and vintage bikes by Raleigh, Evans Colson and others.

People thought I was crazy. I told them I was passionate. We became experts. We bought, sold and bartered. We did the same In France, Uruguay, Italy, Mexico and any other place that we found ourselves. As a child, I did not realize that my parents had done the same thing. I thought all kids grew up with Flos lighting next to custom made Chesterfield sofas, and that Andy Warhol gave many people paintings as gifts. (My parents’ life is a story I’ll save for another time.)

Back to passion. I did not expect that this perfect storm of a life would lead me to become the CEO of one of the coolest companies around. My closest friend, John McPhee is the COO and makes sure that we don’t make big mistakes, and my wife makes sure that I stay true to a curated aesthetic.  

The first thing McPhee and I did was meet our team at DWR. Not an easy task. In a nutshell, we were blown away. This is an educated, devoted and passionate group – and they love DWR. They have taught and motivated us. We could not have dreamed of a better team.

Our April catalog is in the mail and available at DWR Studios.

In the next few months, you will see refreshed Studios, new product and even art. Catalogs will be bigger and our website will be more fun to shop. Some of our lost old friends are embracing us again, and we welcome Flos, Modernica, Heller and Cherner back into our assortment. We are also working with new designers to bring them Within Reach, and our mantra is “authentic, enduring and heirloom quality” as the assortment of DWR exclusive items is curated and built.

We ask you to enjoy our April catalog, browse and visit our Studios to experience our passion for what we do. I almost can’t sleep anymore because I am so excited. We will make some changes quickly and some will take longer, but we hope you will join us in our adventure.

Thank you.

John Edelman  
President and CEO


Get all the sleep you need since Rome wasn't built in a day! The cover of the new catalog looks beautiful I must say & I want to get my hands on that. DWR from day one was always an exercise in beauty, function & aesthetics & nobody in my opinion came close to emulating that. Just a suggestion: keep the product line streamlined, a lot of companies make big mistakes in my opinion when they offer too many options or choices, it might even be similar to a house that has too much stuff in it. Keep it clean, straightforward, honest & simple & stick to a formula. Please don't deviate from this. Your humility sounds pretty sincere & I'm sure you'll do well.

Looking forward to the future!

Good luck, John.

DWR has a great team and great products. I'm looking forward to seeing the next evolution of DWR: a combination of the original inspiration to give everyone access to great products and a new commitment to discovering great designs that improve our lives.


Your blog reminds us that both digital marketing and print marketing create a brand image. I love how DWR uses both Twitter and Facebook to draw my attention to new products and innovative designs. Furthermore, I look forward to your catalog (and have kept each one of them) because they are art in themselves. Design Within Reach is an inspiration company that demonstrates how to connect with customers all while bringing the best designs into the spotlight!

Any chance you might make available some of the new catalog shots as screen wallpaper? They're some of the best color photos of Case Study House #22 I've ever seen!

Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, our agreements with our photographers prevent us from making the photographs available for screen wallpaper. Sorry about that -- the Case Study House #22 would indeed be a great screen shot.


I just opened the latest catalog of DWR and there you are, congratulations! However, I will always have nostalgia for the good old days of aviation, our chit chat and of course the forced pricing negotiations. Wishing you wonderful success in your new venture and who knows I am sure our paths will cross again.

K. Lindsay Boatright

Am intensely proud of you for all the reasons only we know.
Much luck,

When are you guys going to have an IPO. We are looking forward to the move of your HQ near us in Fairfield County CT. The east coast needs a big dose of modernism.

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