There is a gentalman I know who wears many hats, both literally and figuratively (a black Supremehat with the logo stitched in gold over tanned gator skin comes to mind [let it be known I am out to steal that hat]). His candor and honesty put people at ease; though some may not see his charm right off, they all eventually warm to his brand of humor. His dedication to his work is inspiring, his loyalty to his friends and his city humbling… basically he’s pretty damn great.
Benjamin Edgar aka Ben, is the man (often) in black that I am referring to. Before I let him take this interview over, I give you “Ben at a glance”:
-Lover of naps
-Snack food fanatic
-Lives in jeans, white (or black) tee’s and black (or white) sneaks
-Diet Coke loyal
-Sits in his car just to listen to music on the regular.
-Entrepreneur in Residence for Start Garden
-Designs his own clothing line, Benjamin Edgar , or whatever (the tee’s are to die for!)
-Founder of Boxed Water
That is all to say, he has done more in his (young) life than most!
Now that I have buttered you all up and shmoozed the shit out of Ben, I will let him speak for himself.
Q. Current Musical Obsession-
A. Mixes! Sucker for any thing diplo does – those hour long mixes are my favorite. But I listen to so much random stuff. Some random 70s rock stuff, Rick Ross, lots of trap music still, reggae, whatever. Lots of Rolling Stones.
Q. What, to you, defines “good” design?
A. It solves a problem. Feel like I was late to the game with that realization. You have to be solving a problem. Even a tiny one.
Q. Outside of work, what is your favorite past time?
A. People watching with friends. It’s the form of education I love the most – watching all sorts of different people and how they go about their life.
Q. How old were you when you started The Brilliance with Chuck?
A. Hmm – 24?
Q. Who would your dream date be with? (Romantic or otherwise)
A. Ha – hmm. Someone I find super attractive but don’t know a ton about – then we’d have plenty to talk about.
Q. Why Grand Rapids?
A. Cause “everywhere you go, there you are.” It’s where I am right now. And I love a city, a close beach, 2 hours to NYC on plane, 2.5 back to Chicago.
Q. What is the most innovative product released in the last 15 years?
Q. New York Fashion Week or Paris Fashion Week?
A. Never been to Paris. NYC was cool – was awesome to partner with a couple shows/designers I look up to. It’s weird though – it’s kind of just a roaming pack of the same maybe like 1000 people going to all the shows – starts feeling small in even just a week. I guess it’s about the clothes not the people? Or is that possible? Parties were fun.
Q. Why Coors Light?
A. Diet Coke of beers!
Q. Who inspires you and why?
A. Kids who hustle. Who don’t fret over total perfection but instead keep it moving forward! For some reason this has gotten harder for me to do as I get older. I want stuff to be perfect – which of course is impossible. There is this quote I saw “shipped is better than perfect” – at first seems like maybe it’s sending out something to the public that isn’t finished – but you simply cannot improve something that’s never been used. Nothing to build on if you never get it to market I the first place.
Q. Best piece of advice you ever recieved?
A. “Chill out Ben.”
Q. What is your favorite ritual? (getting coffee, going out for drinks, dinners, facials, you name it)
A. Cold diet coke in the morning. Downloading a new song and basically dropping everything you’re doing to sync your iPod and go drive around and listen to it. I love really good car audio systems and not aftermarket ones. Ones that are designed with the car. My current car has a Bang & Olufsen sound system – it’s amazing!
Thank you Ben, for being the first in the series and for always being such a great friend.