Downtime with Erica Lurie

Photo: Jason E. Kaplan
Erica Lurie, owner of women's apparel maker Garnish

Live, work and play with designer and owner of Garnish

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What I am reading

I’m reading Fuckery by Lori Eberly and Jonathan Sabol. I’m also reading How to Be Less Stupid About Race by Crystal M. Fleming. Neither are exactly light reading, so I do sneak some Vogue magazines in the mix.

What I am watching

I don’t usually have much time for TV, but during COVID, my family and I have been relaxing at the end of the day with a couple of shows or OPB programs: My Octopus Teacher (excellent!), Islands of Wonder, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, and we just started Schitt’s Creek

What I am listening to

I keep wanting to jump on the podcast train, but my time to listen would be when I hike or run, and I like to keep my brain available to either zone out, work through a work challenge or design.

Must-have gadget

I’m not a gadget gal. In fact, I wish I were born 50 years earlier. There are too many distractions these days.

What I do outside of work

I love to travel and be in nature.  Anything that gets me outside fills my soul, be it hiking, biking or simply exploring a swimming hole.

Earliest ambition

I wanted to be a naval architect when I was little. And in high school, I had a polar fleece hat business that definitely planted the seeds for Garnish.

Favorite place to vacation

Anywhere slightly off the beaten path. For example, my then-boyfriend, now-husband and I went to Morocco 20 years ago, and we were certainly not on a guided tour. I love how this leads to more interesting (and sometimes questionable) interactions and experiences. I rarely go to the same place twice as there are so many places to explore.

What motivates me to come to work

I love to be creative. I love to make my clients feel like their best selves. I like to be able to interact with the community and provide jobs. And I like that every day is different. 

Professional role model

As of late, it’s Lori Eberly as she is such a great leader.  

Future ambition

I would love to find the time and mental space to really create a super fashion-forward collection alongside our more approachable pieces. I want to try pushing myself and my clients to be more adventurous — it’s just finding the time that is tricky.

The most lasting impact of COVID-19 on the manufacturing sector

Smart manufacturers will rethink their supply chain and will also consider how they can be nimble in their product offerings. We were able to weather this storm by shifting gears quickly and making high-quality masks before the market was flooded with them.

This allowed us to retain our employees and revenue at the onset of the pandemic. Once the market became saturated, we were able to shift back to what we do best (and are most passionate about) with a stable amount of business savings and the same great team.

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