I caught up with my friend Patrice Farameh at the New York International Gift Fair over the weekend. As founder of Farameh Media, an independent book publisher, she had set up booth within the Accents on Design section at Javits Center. It is not the first time she set up shop at the NYIGF however she told me that this particular edition of the show was a success on that very first day, something I found reassuring even if I believe there always will be an audience for beautiful books (and books of any kinds really). Interestingly enough Patrice started her career in the digital media world, in Europe, where she spent years developing an online procurement platform for international publisher Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. From there she went on to work on a multitude of book publications and resource guides for well-known international publishers such as TeNeues Publishing Group, Daab Media and Tectum Publishers and lifestyle media projects with major international corporations such as Harrah’s Entertainment, American Express Centurion Gifting Services and Intercontinental Resorts. Eventually her love of books, the printed kind, led her to create Farameh Media. Each book is a true labor of love, each printed in Italy on high quality paper and the range of topics is broad: architecture/interiors, art photography, design and fashion. On display at the show, and one of her best sellers, is a book that launched earlier this year with a fun party at Clic Gallery entitled “SKULL STYLE TRADE EDITION: Skulls in Contemporary Art and Design”. The limited edition is customized by artist Peter Tunney who hand-painted each individual cover for a very limited, no-two-books-alike edition. There are only 1,000 copies available, each numbered and hand-signed by the artist and it was a big draw at the booth when I visited. Get yours while you can!!! Aside from talking about our mutual passion for books we caught up on every day life stuff especially her latest, very personal project. Indeed this was a particularly busy summer for Patrice who gave birth to her first child earlier in the season. As she told me “This summer went by so fast between Farah’s birth and preparing for the show. It was quite a challenge to juggle it all but it was definitely worth it!” Right now Patrice is looking forward to take a well deserved break in Europe with her family on the heels of the trade fair.
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1. What do you love most about your job?
First and foremost freedom. I do not mean freedom from the 9-5 thing since it is a fallacy that when you are a freelancer or have your own business you have freedom of time. At this stage of my life I barely have any time for myself. I work 24/7! But I mean freedom of creativity. Before I had so many constraints working for other people and now I love the fact I can create the projects I feel passionately about. I love the creativity outlet from making beautiful books, working with creative people and featuring the most creative people on the planet. What better way to spend my days (and sometimes nights!)
2. If you did not live in Manhattan where would you live and why?
London. There is something so sophisticated about life in London, but at the same time there is creativity and art flourishing all around. It happens to be another great mecca for publishing.
3. When not working what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy so many things, life is full of so many great adventures and possibilities, from travel, art, cooking, yoga, there was even a time I was riding a motorcycle! I like to do new things as much as possible, things I wouldn’t think I normally would like to do, so I know exactly why I don’t like it. Such as surfing. I tried it, and when I had to shuffle my legs to avoid being bitten by a stingray, I immediately knew why I wasn’t so fond of it. But at least I tried.
4. What is your best memory from childhood?
Making scrapbooks. My mother has boxes of my old scrapbooks I made as a young child up until teenage years. Funny now I do almost the same thing but digitally with InDesign (book production software).
5. What is your favorite holiday destination and why?
Right now I am really fond of Tulum. First it is a super close flight from New York and a short ride from Cancun. It is still this paradise untouched from commercial tourism (until now when even the NY Times has written about it recently!). There are these really beautiful and quaint hotels such as Casa Violetta, where you live in your very own precious bungalow just mere steps from the beach. There is nothing to do but read, sleep and eat fabulously local food in restaurants where your feet are deep in sand.
6. Book or e-reader? Why and what are you currently reading?
Definitely a book reader. It would be blasphemous as a book publisher to consider an e-book (sarcasm!). But seriously, I guess I am old-fashioned but I love the feel of holding a good book and flipping the pages. Recently I became hooked to the first book in the Games of Thrones series, and now reading book two, out of seven books, so I have a way to go. I usually am not into this kind of genre but his characters are so well-developed with the most fantastical storylines, the author’s creativity just amazes me.
7. Which social media platform do you use and how did they impact your business?
Facebook is the only social media platform I use, and I don’t feel it really impacted my business at all. I feel my books are gift items or someone really is passionate about a certain subject and then finds the book and buys it. I don’t really see it as having a major following. I think it could be useful one day for connections or just getting information about my brand and get a sense of what we are doing.
8. What is a true luxury for you today?
Time is a number one luxury, time to do the things you really want to do. Or the time to sit and do nothing at all without being bored or feeling guilty about it. As far as materialistic side of luxury goes, in New York I would say the greatest luxury is space. For the pleasure to live in the middle of Soho, I have to give up the luxury of space.
9. What is your biggest accomplishment to date? Why?
Launching a luxury publishing company in the middle of a recession and making it work somehow regardless of all the obstacles I face day-by-day. There are so many times it would be so much easier to give up, but I am most proud that I still battle on and keep my confidence and strength, and most of all, the faith.
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