“One of the most important things that I think we do well, and this sounds so unglamorous, is knowing how to price a product,” Gabriel notes. “Ultimately, a lot of the things that we count as successful, that feel like they have a little bit of magic dust on them—like the fact we can offer a full suite of benefits to our employees, or that the business is profitable, and we don’t have any debt—comes down to making the right calculation about what something costs and how to bring it to the market.”
“You’ve got to fight for the things that you believe in and make the things that you want to see,” he adds. “The flip side is that you have to be very sober and serious about whether or not the world wants what you’re making.”
As business booms, the couple has learned to navigate the intense intertwining of their romantic and professional relationships. Work is never left at the office—particularly since Gabriel’s most creative periods tend to happen late at night after Jeremy has gone to bed. “I’m barely rubbing my eyes and waking up in the morning when he’ll be showing me all these things he’s already drawn,” says Jeremy.
“Now, I know how to read the signs—whether or not he’s interested in having that conversation at that time. The fights we get into aren’t about differences in ideas as to how we should do things. They’re about silly little behavioral patterns,” says Gabriel. “They’re couple fights!” adds Jeremy. “Yeah, we fight about stupid stuff,” Gabriel says.
Occasional squabble aside, the duo’s design perspective continues to forge a formidable presence in creative circles. They have rounded out the brand’s offerings to include furniture and accessories—an Italian marble coffee table, triangular bookends and a porcelain incense burner. In 2016, they opened a spectacular studio in Chelsea, New York, to showcase Apparatus products against a coolly restrained, ’70s-inspired backdrop that Gabriel describes as their “Yves Saint Laurent–Halston fantasy.” The new showroom is exactly how the duo intends their designs to be viewed: not within a vacuum, but as one component of a stylish space.
Last spring, Gabriel and Jeremy decided to throw a party to celebrate their new studio; 800 people showed up to dance the night away. If Apparatus still needed proof of its success, it was right there. “That was the moment that I felt like, ‘Okay, we just did it,’” remembers Gabriel. Or, as Jeremy puts it, “We arrived.”
This story appeared in The Kinfolk Entrepreneur in 2017.