Flavor Paper’s digital-print endeavors add spice to fashionable wallcoverings.
Sometimes, it only takes a gentle nudge from serendipity to have great things happen.
Back in 2003, Jon Sherman was a private-equity and real-estate developer. He was contemplating an interior redesign of an apartment he hoped to flip, when a friend showed him a book filled with artfully crafted wallpapers. The friend had tried to track down the designer – an Oregon-based “Ted” – who happened to call back while Sherman was there.
When Sherman relayed his enthusiasm for Ted’s distinctive patterns, however, the designer told him he had moved on with his life. Wallpaper, he said, was part of his past. In fact, pressed for room, Ted was planning to completely shed that skin and trash his designs and all of his screenprinting equipment.
It was then that serendipity entered the picture – and Sherman’s future turned with what Ted proposed next.
“He literally offered to give me everything he had, just to get it out of his space,” Sherman recalls. “I got 200 screens, a 50-foot-long vacuum table, and his entire catalog of designs just for cleaning them out of his warehouse.”
Sherman’s career as a provider of wallcoverings extraordinaire began when he moved all that stuff to a warehouse in New Orleans. There, the saga of what would become his new company – Flavor Paper –officially begins.
“I had already started a design company called the Flavor League, so I thought of ‘Flavor Paper’ as a way to add flavor to peoples’ lives,” he says.
Sherman and a small staff learned all they could about wallcoverings as well as hand screenprinting. Just one year later, Flavor Paper (flavorpaper.com) officially made its debut at the 2004 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF, ifcc.com), the main event in interior decorating.
From the Big Easy to the Big Apple
“We realized seven patterns based on Ted’s designs,” recalls Sherman. “I tweaked them a little, played with the scale and color to make them more modern.” The look was so fresh they couldn’t be ignored, he says. Flavor Paper garnered the kind of coverage money can’t buy, with high-profile mentions on the front page of The New York Times and in Newsweek’s coverage of ICCF.