With all eyes on NYC this month for ICFF (May 20 – 23), I thought it would be a good time to introduce Franklin, who looks after Business Development from our North America office.
I would have loved to chat face to face whilst eating a double mushroom Shake Shack burger in Brooklyn – we can only dream – but for now we must continue as pen pals. In this #TeamTala blog we learn about a day in the life of Franklin, the best coffee spots in NYC and his journey here so far opening the new Tala North America office.
So it’s official, Tala North America has landed.. HOW is it going over there!?
It’s going well! We have been incredibly busy getting our feet on the ground and making sure we are taking the right steps to introduce Tala to as many people as possible in North America. With ICFF on the forefront of our daily conversation, we are all very excited for the fair to arrive in a few weeks and really get things moving.
I bet it’s so exciting to be a part of this new journey. So what’s your role and how did you come to hear about Tala?
My role at Tala is overall Business Development for North America. I’m working to establish a strong wholesale distribution channel, as well as foster our specification relationships throughout the United States and Canada. I fell in love with Tala and the idea behind the brand a year ago at Euroluce in Milan – the people were great, the design authentic, and the overall message surrounding the mission really resonated with me. Fast forward a year later and here I am helping open up the North America office!
What does a day in the life of Franklin look like?
Coming from a background in the lighting industry, my main role here at Tala is to really get the product out there and in front of the right people. Right now, as we are so new to the market, I’m doing a lot of outreach every day. I’d say the majority of my time is spent researching the market and developing our strategy for North America. My day to day varies widely with meetings, phone conferences and, whenever I can, lunch by the water near our Dumbo office.
Are the people you speak to surprised to learn about the environmental impact of lighting?
Many of our clients don’t seem to necessarily approach projects with sustainability in mind – in fact, they have voiced that finding sustainable lighting solutions has to date been very limiting in aesthetic and design. So yes, while many first fall in love with the product, the positive environmental impact of Tala really brings each project full circle!
Are you originally from New York City?
No actually, I’m not. I was born and raised in North Carolina. I’ve studied classical dance since I was very young and would spend time in NYC during the summers for workshops. I officially moved to New York after graduating high school to attend the dance program at New York University – while there, I double majored in Art History, thus building my interest in the design community. I started working right after college and haven’t left the city since.
What’s the best coffee spot / hang out area in the city?
I live on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village so I’m quite partial to Puerto Rico Importing Co. for coffee – It’s literally steps away from my apartment and has the best (and cheapest) coffee I’ve had in the city. If I’m going out on the weekend, I can be found at The Other Room on Perry Street – It’s a low key bar with excellent cocktails and they spin rare LP’s all night.
What’s been your best moment so far while working for Tala?
I think the best moment at Tala so far has been witnessing the reaction of the many people I’m meeting with once they see the product. Our bulbs and quality are really so astounding – it’s a pretty amazing experience to be able to share it with the people I meet every day.
Thank you so much for your time Franklin; it’s so interesting to hear about your journey so far.
Meet Franklin and the rest of the team at ICFF, May 20 – 23.
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