Tired of boring sincerity in your slogan-based home décor? Us too! Which is why we were delighted to see former Curbed Hamptons editor Ian Ratner's new project, a collection of Hamptons-themed home décor and accessories dubbed "TRUTHAMPTON, NY – Telling it like it isn't." So of course we sat down with Ian to find out more and see what's been going on with him.
How did Truthampton come about?
Truthampton really started as an art project. I was looking for artwork for my apartment and couldn't find anything funny/chic on Art.com. So I took a stab at making something myself. I think that I made the graphic in Microsoft Word, printed it out at Walgreens, and framed it with something from Bed Bath & Beyond. It was pretty low-budget, but people told me that it looked great and that I should make more. So I did–and Truthampton was born. Since then, I've traded in Microsoft Word for Adobe Illustrator and Walgreens for some fancy printing studio in Chelsea.
As far as the beach towels go, it just seemed like the natural next step. It took approximately 5 months and 5,000 emails, but I am thrilled to finally have these towels available for sale as well!
How in the world do you come up with these?
I wish that I had a good answer for you. They usually pop into my brain at the worst times–like right before bed or halfway through a SoulCycle class or something. I keep a list on my phone so that I don't forget the good ones. To be honest, though, most of my ideas never see the light of day - even if they seemed hysterical at the time. "Southtampon" comes to mind.
Do you have a design background?
No, not really. Or at all, actually. I'm randomly a lawyer–or will be a lawyer come this fall. I just graduated from law school and took the bar and all of that fun stuff. For whatever reason, I just decided that I needed to supplement my legal career with a budding beach towel empire
You used to write for Curbed Hamptons!
Yes! I started the summer after my junior year of college and continued for a few years afterwards. I always found it kind of funny that I was just like, this little kid writing about high-end Hamptons real estate from his crummy dorm in Upstate New York. But it was a total blast–and probably the reason why I'm still able to find so much humor in the Hamptons.
Selling beach towels aside, what are your favorite things to do in the Hamptons?
I'm really just a fan of it all–going for a drive, going to Cyril's, going to bed at 9PM. At the moment, my favorite thing probably has to be Candy Kitchen in Bridgehampton. I'm essentially running a three-ring circus out of my house this summer–lots of guests, lots of opinions, and lots of dietary restrictions–and Candy Kitchen seems to be the only place that consistently leaves everyone feeling satisfied. It's a real crowd-pleaser.
What's next for Truthampton?
Now that we're in the heat of summer, my goal is to just continue to get the word out. I'm thinking about getting some sort of pop-up shop together before Labor Day–it's just a matter of getting the logistics nailed down. As far as next summer goes, two words: BEACH. BAGS.
· Truthampton [Official]