Video and Text by Alec Coiro
Jean Lin’s Colony grew out of her Hurricane Sandy charity, Reclaim NYC. Originally a design blogger, Jean began relationships with the Reclaim NYC designers that reformed her understanding of the plight of young and emerging designers working in New York City. Out of her conversations came the idea for these emerging designers to pool their resources to create the cooperative showroom that would become Colony. Under Jean’s stewardship, the designers share the costs and responsibility of the showroom. Among the advantages of this arrangement is that when architects, decorators, and private clients come to look at one designer, they are exposed to all of them. And because of Jean’s attention to curation, the rotating roster of designers all complement each other beautifully. Jean’s key insight is that “In Manhattan, space is power. Whoever has the space, has the power.” By creating Colony she a wrested some of that power from the middleman and put it in the hands of the designers.