How A Boring Shopping Trip Inspired Quiet Town's Chic Bathroom Essentials
Photos: Quiet Town; homepage photo: Nicole Frazen/Parachute Home
When you're a parent, the bathroom isn't just a grooming and bathing space: It's also a sanctuary for escaping the chaos of kids, if only for 20 minutes (if we're lucky!) That's why it's no surprise that many of us invest in spa-worthy decor for making our wash room the ultimate home R&R haven — which may not always be inspired by the bright white hotel textiles that typically dominate the bath aisle shelves. This is where Quiet Town saves the day.
Founded by stylist Lisa Fine and her husband, Michael, the Brooklyn-based brand was created after uninspiring trips to big-box home shops left them wanting something more than generic bath rugs, shower curtain hooks, and plastic waste cans found in the bathroom department. After getting to know a local sail maker in the North Fork of Long Island, they began with their first product: A cotton canvas shower curtain ($148 and up) that's naturally water-resistant — meaning you can ditch that extra curtain liner.
The responsibly-made label takes inspiration from relaxing getaways from around the globe, from Tulum, Mexico and Topanga Canyon, California (both of which inspired their cozy bath rugs ($52 and up), which are handwoven in a GOTS-certified, REACH-standard factory in India) to Marfa, Texas and Narlai, India (which inspired their quilted U.S.A.-milled cotton curtains). In addition, the brand also teamed up with West Coast "soul sister" Parachute Home for a cool capsule collection, which includes coastal-inspired curtains and sleek stainless steel shower hooks ($52 to $148).
Here, we chat with Lisa to find what led her to team up with her husband to create Quiet Town, what she learned from "working" at her parents' store as a young child, how she creates her own personal R&R ritual, her best advice for those looking to start a business with their partner, and more. Read on below, then shop Quiet Town online here.
Tell us about your career journey: How'd you get to where you are today?
I have been a stylist for 20 years. The first half of my career was spent working for magazines and the second half was spent at Madewell as the Director of Styling. Not sure exactly how I parlayed that into shower curtains but I think doing something outside of fashion was refreshing.
Can you describe the "a-ha" moment that inspired you and your husband to truly pursue creating Quiet Town?
I was slowly putting the pieces for Quiet Town together while working full-time at Madewell and raising our two small kids. Michael saw how much it meant to me and knew I could use some help. Being a team made it possible.
What's a typical day in your shoes?
I still freelance as a stylist so I’m either on set or working on Quiet Town. If it’s a QT day I'll drop the kids off at school and try to get in a quick work out at the gym in our 'hood. Then I'll either spend the day at our office which is a few blocks from our house or just work at the kitchen counter, the sunniest spot in our home. Right now Michael and I are trying to launch a few new products so we’re doing a ton of research into manufacturing and materials. We’re also launching a new collection in March so I'm working with our graphic designer on the look book.
How do you balance motherhood with running your own company?
There’s no work/life line drawn in the sand. we try not to talk about money or anything that might stress our kids out but Quiet Town is a part of the family at this point. Our office, home, school, manufacturer, dye house are all within a a few miles of each other so the kids are used to checking on production or approving color at the dye house. I grew up in my parent’s store and I “worked” from an early age. I thought it was pretty fun to ring people up and go on buying trips with my mom. Maybe it gave me a strong work ethic. It also made me never, ever want to own my own business, so there’s a little irony there.
For many parents, the bathroom — specifically, bath/shower time — can be a much-needed kid-free sanctuary. What do you use in your own relaxation ritual?
I'm not a big product person but i’m pretty die-hard for a few things. I'm obsessed with these Japanese [exfoliating] wash cloths that are like an un-furled loofa only much more powerful. I also really enjoy de Mamiel’s Restorative Cleansing Balm. I love a super lightweight sunscreen and the Japanese version of Biore SPF 50 (you can get it on Amazon) is my favorite. The smokeless incense from Bodha is the best.
What else can we expect from QT coming down the pipeline?
The world of bathroom products still has us pretty excited — there are so many hyper-functional yet underwhelming items out there that we'd like to redesign. I don’t want to give too much away.
What's your top advice for those looking to start a business with their spouse/partner?
Do it before you have kids or other major responsibilities. If that ship has sailed then try and make it a fun journey for your whole family. And turn it off at a certain point, it can’t be all about work.