How deVOL got invited to make an 8 episode TV series in the US
23rd April 2020
We opened our New York showroom in April 2019, it’s in the coolest and most casually hip part of Manhattan, the Lower East Side. We picked Bond Street, a wide cobbled road linking The Bowery with Broadway so really in the heart of it all – in an area known as Noho. The street is home to some pretty fabulous buildings, it’s not flashy or over the top, it’s a place for people looking for something a little more alternative, no high street brands just independent retailers and eateries with a low-key style and quality that lures in all the beautiful people. It was the perfect location, just right for deVOL, in fact it was almost too good to be true and reminded us of our much-loved locations in Clerkenwell, East London. Beautiful old buildings that give a feeling of chic grandeur rather than glitz. No one dresses up in the Lower East Side, they just live life to the casual max and that really suits us and our philosophy on life and homes.Our New York showroom on the legendary Bond Street.
The day before the opening party we were busy with last minute dressing, fine-tuning and touching up and very excited to be at the end of a project, which to most would seem nigh on impossible, but we had done it. It was getting on in the day and we had a message via social media (Instagram) that a couple called Chip and Joanna Gaines wondered if they could pop by as they were flying into NY for a meeting and it was their only opportunity to see the showroom. We didn’t know who they were, had never heard of them, but they had a few million followers on Instagram so we thought yes, OK we can wait a while and give them a little pre-opening tour. They followed us on Instagram and apparently were huge fans of deVOL and couldn’t bear to miss out on seeing this new showroom, little did we know what an impact this would eventually have on our lives!!
They were a little late, they had flown into JFK and got a car to bring them directly to us. They pulled up outside number 28 Bond Street with their son, Crew, and a few friends or family, I’m not quite sure, but they greeted us with a big Hi Yallll!! Oh so they are Texan! Chip had a big cowboy hat and cowboy boots on and was full of life and chat, Joanna was low-key, charming and elegant, we were instantly taken by their infectious enthusiasm and their Texan drawl, which made us feel like we were in the movies, or an episode of Dallas from the eighties!Joanna posted a behind the scenes glimpse of a very special show for the launch of their new network this Sunday.
They were fun, chatty and passionate, they had no airs and graces, just natural, warm and very sincere. We chatted for a good hour or so, showing them round and feeling pretty chuffed that we had such an amazing new showroom to show these people, who were clearly celebrities and very into their interiors. I wish we had seen a show or two, ‘Fixer Upper’ I think it’s called. They take a property and do it up from start to finish, together. It is viewed by literally millions of folk all over the US and also in the UK on cable I think. We seemed completely clueless to their huge and devoted fanbase but they were not phased at all by our nonplussed reaction to their fame.Magnolia’s amazing HQ in Waco, Texas – image via magnolia.com
They were keen to look at everything, had lots of questions and were genuinely interested in everything we do, from the cupboards to the tiles to the lighting. It was a treat to meet these lovely people who were clearly driven by interiors and certainly knew a thing or two about it, they were definitely not blaggers, they knew their stuff and it was their life. The visit went so well and we were really happy to be able to finally gauge the reactions of the first people to see the finished showroom in all its glory. It is safe to say we were all knackered but happy by the end of the night.
Just before leaving, Joanna mentioned they were buying a TV channel (as you do!!) and would we be interested in appearing on it? They adored our style and our look and the beautiful diversity of what we have become, she appreciated that we are so much more than just a kitchen company. Of course we said yes, that would be fun (gulp) imagining it would most likely never amount to anything, however, they were not the type to make false promises so we did sort of wonder if anything may come of it. We were pretty scared at the thought of being on a US TV show for 30 mins talking about deVOL, let alone an eight part series of one hour episodes!Joanna posted this shot of our showroom on Instagram and we had 20,000 new followers overnight!!
A few weeks later we were contacted out of the blue by an English TV company called Betty TV. Chip and Joanna had finally bought the DIY branch of the Discovery Channel, they had big plans and wanted us to be included. The channel was to be re-branded and renamed ‘Magnolia’, which is their personal brand name and includes a massive catalogue of interior-based businesses from an interior superstore in Waco, Texas to cookery books, gardening books, TV programmes and a monthly magazine. They are huge, they have the US in the palm of their hands when it comes to engaging with the public and giving them achievable, friendly and sound advice on homes and lifestyle. They have a beautifully curated home, a handful of children and a lifestyle to show off their talents and inspiration. Fun and loving, Chip and Joanna make a great couple with a rapport that has made them household names.
The Magnolia channel promises to be filled with stylish hand-picked programmes that offer unique advice on all things for the home and garden. Joanna has approached her favourite companies from around the US and also deVOL! The channel will have filmed series from all the wonderful people that Joanna admires, from flower growers to renovators. Small businesses with a unique talent for what they do, not mainstream or run of the mill but really special people with premises and products that you see on Instagram and Pinterest and wish you could see more of. Well now you can, you get your fill of glorious imagery and interesting backgrounds on processes and how these people achieve their authentic and very special way of making things look beautiful. What a fantastic idea, none of us can get enough of quirky, talented people who have built up businesses born out of passion, desire and hard work.Styling one of our oldest and most-loved displays, The Loft Kitchen at Cotes Mill.
deVOL will be extra special, as it’s English and we all know how much the US love English style. We will take you on a journey through Cotes Mill, seeing our furniture and all our beautifully handmade products being made by young designers and craftspeople. We will introduce you to some of our customers and take you on a journey, from designing their kitchen to installing it and all the creative choices that happen along the way. You will meet us all and be able to look inside our world and see that it really is a place where things get designed and made by real people in real workshops and studios. Young graduates making products that sell all over the world and have become iconic. You will see beautiful interiors and how they are achieved, you will come on journeys such as antique hunting trips to source the items from all over Europe that have become an integral part of our styling and our showrooms. You will see our artist hand-painting cupboards and we will introduce you to deVOL’s newest products, you will see them first and how we make our ideas become reality.Behind the scenes filming at our favourite antiques fair.
So, that’s how it all started, that’s why deVOL are going to be on a US TV show, that’s why Chip and Joanna were so keen to meet us and that’s what they had up their sleeve! The first time in history that a kitchen company has embarked on a series that allows you to look into the world of kitchens. We are truly excited by this and know it will be amazing for you all to see this unique insight into the world of deVOL.
You can watch ‘Magnolia Presents: A Look Back & A Look Ahead’ this Sunday 26th April at 5pm ET on the DIY Network.