As the energy builds for the opening of our first boutique in Harbinger’s new Harbinger by Hand space, we caught up with Joe Lucas to get his thoughts on curating his showroom and mixing his East coast roots with his West coast lifestyle. Having started his design firm in 2005 and opening Harbinger three years later, Joe has a wealth of experience, fresh style, and an appreciation for quality and craftsmanship that make Harbinger one of the hottest shops in LA. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Joe and to be a part of Harbinger by Hand.
How do you mix East and West Coast style in your aesthetic?
I try to balance my East Coast roots with my West Coast influence in each project as well as with the look of my showroom, Harbinger. I tend to mix more traditional shapes with modern textiles and carpets. The size of homes in California allows us to play with scale and gives you more freedom to get creative.
What is the role of social media in your business?
I am hooked on Instagram for sure. Both my personal account @Joeyluke, which I use for fun and for my design work, and my @HarbingerLA account that is focused on the products and style of the showroom. Instagram is not only fun but gives me a great outlet to share what is inspiring me or just my favorite things and my travel with people. And it’s a great way to show clients what’s new and exciting.
How do you discover new lines to carry at Harbinger?
I’ve found new lines so many different ways. I have discovered a few small boutique collections via Instagram, from fabric and wallpaper to smaller decorative pieces like Concrete Cat and Cody Hoyt Pottery. There are certain vendors that I know aren’t represented in LA and I go and beg them to come with me because I love their product so much. Some fabric designers come to me because they have heard great things about Harbinger. It’s such a treat when someone calls and says “Harbinger is the only showroom I want to be with in LA.” Who could ask for anything better?
What lead to the creation of Harbinger by Hand?
When the small space next door became available I knew I had to jump on it. I was running out of space and really wanted to add a space that focused on a more curated collection of hand made product to highlight the craftsmanship and talent of the vendors we see everyday. I wanted a major player to be the anchor of the new venture and Merida was at the top of the list because of the company’s innovation, creativity and focus on product handmade in America.
A Merida loom in Fall River, MA
Who or what is inspiring you right now?
I am always inspired by the craftsmanship of small product designers. I think that is what made me want to open Harbinger By Hand. Seeing want can be done at the Merida mill in Fall River was amazing when I toured the facility. The more I learn about the endless possibilities with my other new partners like Lance Wovens, Moore & Giles and Fromental, the more I am inspired to be more creative in my design projects.
What is one thing you cannot live without?
It would be hard to make it through the day without coffee, I’m not going to lie. But I think I would take my dogs Fred and Harry over coffee any day.
20 years ago if someone had told you this is what you would be doing, what would you have said?
I wasn’t born yet twenty years ago! Oh wait you said twenty…ok fine. I would probably say “Really? Ok I can deal with that. As long as I can be creative and have fun everyday then I am good with it!”