For the past nine years, Dean Jeffery, Grand Rapids Chair Company’s Creative Director, has worked to transform a reliable, second-generation family business into a design-forward furniture brand. By bringing innovative energy and a contemporary edge to the hospitality and contract industry, he not only overhauled the brand’s portfolio but turned it into what it is today. The launch of a residential sister brand, Only Good Things, provides a unique Midwestern perspective to the global design community, shining a light on emerging creatives through quality pieces that elevate kitchens, dining rooms, and outdoor spaces everywhere.
As the head of branding and product development, Dean establishes and oversees collaborations with designers to create playful, minimal, and expertly designed furnishings that are built to last and center sustainability. From Grand Rapids-based Filter Studio to Australian design duo Dowel Jones, Dean has fostered relationships with creatives across the globe. Products he has helped bring to market now live in spaces belonging to some of the biggest companies in the world, including Google, Chipotle, Marriott, and Nike.
Today Dean Jeffery joins us for the first Friday Five of 2022!
Sleeping has never been my strongest life skill, and over the years I’ve grown to love my early mornings alone. There is this overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility that makes my heart so happy. Having a built-in morning routine has done wonders for my nervous system. I wake up early, roll out of bed before the sun rises, grab the dog, and head outside for a 20 to 30 minute walk. After that, I make some fresh coffee, put on a guided meditation, and just relax for a bit until my partner wakes up and heads to work. That routine helps me keep life in perspective. I have so many things to be grateful for, so I start my work days grounded in gratitude.
I didn’t think I’d ever be a lap dog type of guy, but this dog has made me a convert. We adopted Lewis AKA Lu, LuAnn, The Countess (that’s a Real Housewives reference for any other fans out there) from a rescue about three years ago. She’s the most laidback dog I’ve ever met, which compliments my personality. At the start of the pandemic, when I was just settling into WFH life, she would literally sit on my lap all day while I worked and it was the most therapeutic thing ever. Since then, we’ve created some healthy work/life boundaries and give each other some space, but she is a constant source of joy. Everyone loves her so much – we named a table after her!
As cliché as it may seem, few things make me happier than a great cup of coffee. Thankfully, I live in a city with a pretty robust coffee scene and a few of the best roasters in the country like Madcap Coffee. For me, good coffee is so much more than taste – it’s the whole experience, which is why my favorite coffee shop to visit in the city is Stovetop Coffee Roaster. Not only is their coffee delicious (and their café cute), but unlike a lot of craft coffee companies, they don’t come off as pretentious or too serious. They’re always up for answering questions. Even their decor features a neon sign that thanks you for being there. I also love their packaging. They took the road less traveled and opted for super fun doodles instead of minimalist color blocking. Similar to the work our team does with making great design accessible and enjoyable at Grand Rapids Chair, Stovetop takes a similar approach to the coffee experience.
Maybe it’s because I grew up going to health food stores in the early ‘90s or my background as a yoga/meditation instructor, but incense always makes me feel nostalgic and helps me feel grounded, present, and safe. My go-to is the classic stick of Nag Champa, but lately I’ve been obsessed with the National Parks Collection of incense cones from Good and Well Supply Co, specifically Rainier and Isle Royale. The scents are all so nice, like a mini mental vacation to help you reset and focus.
The Midwest is often overlooked, especially when it comes to design and nature, but Michigan’s lakeshore is honestly one of the most beautiful places in North America. Regardless of the season, the trails around Lake Michigan boast an endless supply of inspiration. Around every corner there is something new to discover. Color inspiration is everywhere, from the hundreds of hues in the water to the rocky shorelines to the stunning sunsets. Blue-green waves, quartz and shale stones, pink horizons, and the fall colors! Please Google a Michigan shoreline in fall right now. If I could steal the color palettes of the lake and put them on everything, I would. Plus, for a few months of the year it warms up enough to enjoy swimming with friends.
meet the team
We’re a band of women (and a dog named Evie) inspired by other women, design, innovation, technology, art, and the world around us. We live for the chance to create and disperse powerful, genuine messages that resonate.
Growing up in Seattle, Amy was always exploring the great outdoors but she found a particular thrill in traveling. During a visit to New York City at age 10, she knew that was where she wanted to live. After high school she left her home in the Pacific Northwest behind for the great unknown to attend Fordham University in the Bronx. Upon graduation, Amy received a phone call from CNN offering a job opportunity of a lifetime working in television ad sales at Manhattan's Time Warner Center. When a job opportunity in Los Angeles opened up a few years later, Amy couldn't say no to a new adventure back on the west coast. But Seattle eventually called her back home and Amy returned to pursue a Master's degree in Business Administration with the hopes of learning the skills she needed to feed her entrepreneurial spirit. Before graduating, Amy co-founded Paxson Fay with Tessa Andrews in 2015. Amy focuses on marketing strategy, public relations, social media, and partnerships.
Tessa graduated from Fordham University in New York with a dual bachelor's degree in Communications and Political Science. During her time at Fordham, she worked for an interior designer and at NBC News where she developed her love for both design and communications. After graduating, Tessa managed marketing at 3form, a pioneer in the sustainable building products industry. During her tenure, 3form was repeatedly named one of the most recognized manufacturers in the design industry among architects and designers, and the company won multiple awards for its innovative product launches. After 3form, Tessa consulted on marketing efforts with leading product manufacturers in architecture and design before starting Paxson Fay with Amy.
Claire Butwinick specializes in marketing and social media strategy, copywriting, and public relations. Formerly the Assistant Editor at GRAY Magazine, an international architecture and design publication based in Seattle, Claire brings to Paxson Fay her editorial background and a passion for all things design. In addition to her writing experience, Claire is a seasoned public speaker, moderating a number of panel discussions with IDS Vancouver and Be Original Americas, and hosting the 2019 GRAY Awards. Last year, she took her speaking skills virtual, conducting several Instagram Live interviews with designers amid the pandemic. A graduate from the University of Washington’s School of Communication: Journalism, Claire was honored with a Pioneer News Group Excellence Award for Visual Journalism, selected for the Communication department’s prestigious Career Exploration scholarship, and nominated for a Hearst National Journalism Award. Her work also appears in GRAY Magazine, Office Insight, SagaCity’s Jewish in Seattle Magazine, and more.
After graduating from Fordham University in New York City with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a handful of marketing and PR internships, Colby moved to Boston to manage marketing for a small, women-owned, creative consulting agency. While in that role, Colby managed public relations and marketing efforts for some of Boston's most prominent events and public art initiatives, including the Boston Pickle Fair and The Bulfinch Crossing Projections in downtown Boston. Colby gained experience crafting brand stories and identities through social media marketing and creative copywriting, seen through the successful launch of a premier Massachusetts adult-use dispensary and the revamp of her agency's own website. After two years, Colby decided it was time to figure out what the West Coast was all about. Looking to blend her marketing experience with her passion for design and architecture, Colby found Paxson Fay, where she focuses on social media strategy and management and public relations.
Chloe Edwards is a PNW native and recent Summa cum laude graduate from the University of Washington, where she studied Communication and Anthropology. While interning with the strategic communications firm Parsons + Co. Chloe developed skills in messaging and branding development, media outreach, and social media management. Chloe joined the Paxson Fay team as an intern in the fall of 2020. At Paxson Fay, Chloe creates social media content for a variety of client campaigns and profiles and leads engagement on several accounts, coordinates internal communications efforts, and assists with media outreach. As Paxson Fay's full-time Communications Assistant she uses her experience to achieve social media marketing, content strategy, and media relations success for clients and for the Paxson Fay brand.
what we do
We are a communications firm founded in our passion for good design. Our unique approach to marketing and public relations in the architecture and design community has elevated our clients work to the next level. We’re backed by a talented community of creatives. From copywriters to social media experts, we provide a complete package of customized services. We strive to create a personal experience with each client, integrating teams and tackling your biggest marketing and public relations challenges from a high level. Then we help execute those plans ensuring lots of reporting along the way, with lots of coffee breaks in between because we’re from Seattle and that’s what we do.
partnerships acquisition and management
media communications and outreach
awards: strategy, content development and submissions
platform strategy and management
results + reporting
budget strategy + negotiation
website and e-mail marketing
video: sourcing, storyboarding and scheduling
photography acquisition + curation
sponsorships + partnerships
Here is a little taste of who we love to work with and what we love to do.