Jenny Vance, the president of Astoria Compass, came to the company in 2007 as a project manager, bringing with her a background in residential interior design. Since then, she has risen through the ranks of the company—one of the leading manufacturers of custom furniture and casegoods for the residential and hospitality markets. Today, we get her thoughts on design and why animals make excellent co-workers.
What direction do you see the profession heading?
On the manufacturing side I continue to see a desire to keep production in North America. As a company, we have invested both time and talent into nurturing our relationship with our Mexican factory. This past summer we purchased the factory so that we could have ultimate control over our products. I think the designers and purchasing agents that we work with are more comfortable with their pieces being made domestically where quality control and timelines can easily be managed.
Where do you find inspiration?
My five-year-old Charlotte is a constant source of inspiration. She keeps me curious and reminds me to laugh.
What are your three favorite objects?
My gold locket—I wear it every day. An old wooden paint brush box given to me by my grandmother—she taught me to paint, love art and opening that box reminds me how important the simple things are. My first edition Catcher In The Rye, it was the first expensive thing I ever bought for myself.
Who are some of your favorite young designers?
There are several that we work with on a regular basis who just get it. They want to be part of the process and allow us to be an additive component to bridging the gap between design intent and actual manufacturing for a contract setting.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
A decade from now, what furniture trends will be cringeworthy?
Overdesigned clever pieces, which try to be ironic and whimsical.
What current trends will stand the test of time?
Incorporating technology into everyday items. I also think the trend towards utilizing mixed materials will continue. It’s visually exciting and the creative opportunities are endless.
Color – yes or no?
Yes, but balanced with a palette of neutrals.
What are you reading?
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Diddon. I bought it a while ago. It’s deeply sad but so beautiful.
What are you wearing?
J Brand jeans, a striped top and ballerina flats…its my uniform. I wear a version of this everyday.
What are you eating?
Just like my clothes choices, I eat the same thing every day—homemade soup, spinach salads and binge eat peanuts when stressed!
Do you listen to music while you’re working?
Of course!! I couldn’t function without it. I listen to my music loud as it’s the only thing that drowns out the snoring and snorting of my French Bulldog Jack.
Are you a sketcher or computer person?
I sketch, doodle and make notes and lists on every scrap of paper I can find. Nothing is sacred.
Social media – yes or no?
Yes, but only to a limit. I have a short attention span and can only take so much.