Jonathan Adler: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

Jonathan Adler

Is there no end to the talents of the amazing Jonathan Adler? He’s come a long way in his lifetime and has done a lot of good in his corner of the world. For the past five years he has been busy with the expansion of his John Adler boutique located in the Soho district of Manhattan. He may have started out small but at his point in his life, Adler has grown his business to thirty retail stores and has climbed to the top of the design industry. This distinguished entrepreneur has made some remarkable contributions to the design world by simply sharing his talents and putting his business know how to work. We’re going to take a closer look at the life of the man who is behind John Adler design and highlight the ten things that you probably didn’t know about him.

Jonathan is a potter

Few people have done the research into his past to realize that Jonathan Adler has been a talented potter since he was age twelve. Some may be familiar with his ceramic collection which was proudly displayed at the famed Barneys of New York in 1993. This is just one of the ways that Jonathan allowed his extremely creative talents to flow into the world around him.

Adler is educated in the arts.

He is an alum of Brown University. He studies art history and semiotics. While he was in college, he divided his time between Brown U and Rhode Island School of Design. It was during this period that he expanded his knowledge base and skill in developing pottery. He put forth pieces that included teapots and urns. His design style was an interesting meld of hip hop bling, pop culture and contemporary.

Adler’s professor told him he had no talent as a potter

It appears that the cruel remarks which were made to Jonathan as he started his career were incorrect. The criticism was harsh and the teacher told him that he should pursue a different career which meant giving up on his dreams. Adler pushed forward in spite of the remarks that could have discouraged him. Instead of being set back, he moved ahead and became one of the most talented artisans in his field.

Adler began his career working in exchange for office space.

Although you wouldn’t know it now, the successful artisan started with nothing. He had to work for free in order to acquire the space that he needed to make the pots he would later display at Barney’s, which was the launch of his famous pottery line. The name of his business was Jonathan Adler Enterprises LLC. This was just the beginning of his now illustrious career.

Jonathan is an interior designer

In addition to being a potter, Adler has been involved in some high end interior design projects. These include both residential and commercial ventures. The Palm Springs Hotel is one example of his work in this genre of fashion and design. The hotel is a top to bottom property revamp and worthy of a notable mention in the long list of Adler’s accomplishments.

Jonathan Adler is also a talented sculptor

He surprises us yet again with another display of refined artistic talent. During a 2016 revamp of the Parker Palm Springs Hotel, he felt an inspiration. He explained that the seven foot banana made of bronze was something that he felt strongly about making and that it would serve as a timeless reminder of the “age of Instagram.”

Jonathan started out making his pottery by hand one piece at a time. He didn’t have a large production crew working with him. That would come much later. This shows the dedication of the man in patiently creating his masterpieces without the help of others.

Adler is an active promoter of gay rights

Although he has expressed his support publicly, he is more well known for his rapidly expanding furnishing and decor empire. Jonathan has participated in an effort with a variety of support organizations to promote LGBT rights. He has been involved in the filming of videos to offer support for the LGBT community. He also worked to help legalize gay marriage within the United States and is credited with his progress in furthering equal rights for all. His work with Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better Project” is one to be proud of as it is geared towards support and acceptance.

Jonathan Adler is married.

He and his partner Simon Doonan were married in Septembber of 2008. The couple had been together for fourteen years before they tied the knot. They spent the earlier years of their relationship in California and have since relocated to New York City. The couple have an addition to their family. Foxylady is a pup that they adopted to complete their family, from the Northshore Animal League of America. Adler was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

Jonathan Adler is a prolific speaker in the design industry

Unless you are a professional in this arena, you probably didn’t know that this high powered designer frequently speaks at industry events. His education and experience have given him a wealth of knowledge that he willingly shares with others. He has appeared in several national programs including the Oprah Winfrey Show and Good Morning America. In addition to this, he has served as special guest speaker at design museums including the Mint Museum, KDBI, IDS West and IDS.

Final thoughts

Although not everyone has heard of Jonathan Adler, there are many who are quite familiar with his work. He is in high demand as a speaker for the design industry as well as a champion for the cause of LGBT rights. He finds time in his busy schedule to care for his family while continuing to expand his already vast design empire of thirty retail stores. It’s amazing how one man can cover so many different bases. This is one of the reasons why we wanted to highlight this talented entrepreneur and share a little more about him.

Photo via Instagram

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