Please tell us a bit about yourselves: Ryan: I grew up outside Detroit, but I have lived mostly in Chicago for the last 18 years. I’m married to Jen and we have two kids that keep us on our toes. By day, I’m a Creative Director at an advertising agency. By night, I run my own design label, Star RM, which features various design projects, such as books, prints, t-shirts, maps and other less-easily categorized things. I’m inspired by the minutiae of maps, watches, skateboards, coastlines, flags, candy and wine labels.
Jen: I am a born & bred Chicagoan. Ryan is my husband and the creative side of StarRM. I guess you would call me the business-y one. I am an attorney but am currently focused on raising our 2 kids while promoting the StarRM brands. I strongly believe in Ryan’s talent so I’m lucky to be able to be at home with the kids during this vital time while promoting all things StarRM.
What is the story behind StarRM/ StarRM Baby: Ryan: I’ve always been into creating things, from books to blogs to maps and magazines. Star RM is the label that I created to formalize and market the best of those efforts. Once a good amount of baby and kid-related things started to materialize, Jen and I decided to bundle those items under their own label, Star RM Baby.
Jen: Ryan has been a “creator” since day 1…drawing & writing, then producing newspapers in elementary school, etc. I stepped in shortly after we got married because I knew the world needed to know his work. After we had our first child, Ava, and Ryan started to create more baby-centric things, it was a natural progression for me to also work on StarRM Baby. As a result, StarRM Baby has the point of view of moms as well as dads. Our strengths work well together since we are the creative and business side.
What does the brand stand for? Ryan: Curiosity. Creativity. Charm.
Who are you designing for? Ryan: Me. I like to work on things that I would wear, use, read, hang up, share, etc.
What do you find to be most inspiring? Ryan: Incredible originality in all forms. A Beatles melody. A Tina Fey twist of phrase. A Mark Gonzalez skateboard maneuver. A Lapo Elkann outfit.A Beard Papa cream puff. My daughter’s babbling in the morning.
How did “This is Your Book” come to be? Ryan: I made this book prior to the birth of my daughter in 2008. I wanted something lasting that would allow my wife and I to record all the fleeting information that was happening in the world during that momentous event for us both. I wanted to record basic information about our child, but I also wanted to remember many of the random facts that attempt to define that moment in time. Serious things like the number of democracies in the world and the value of the Federal Funds rate, and not so serious things like who was the world’s sexiest man and the price of a cup of coffee. It’s kind of like a time capsule for our kid, and I really look forward to reflecting back on these facts with my daughter when she’s older. I tried to find an existing book that offered to record this eclectic assortment of information, but none existed. And the children’s books that were out there certainly didn’t have the designed aesthetic that I was craving. In the end, I decided to make my own book.
Future plans? Ryan: A design sabbatical would be nice.
Jen: Watch our “business babies” StarRM and StarRM baby grow along side our real babies, Ava & Gus.