A Brooklyn-based couple with a penchant for keytags (or keyrings, as they’re known in the UK) turned that passion into a money-making venture in 2013. Here, they talk business and Monday mornings…
Brian Janusiak and Elizabeth Beer live in Brooklyn, New York, and have three daughters: Ona, 7, Orla, 15, and Nuala, 20. We spoke to Brian…
“Our Monday Morning Mantra is ‘Stop Fucking Around’ or (a more tame version) ‘Start Now’…”
Who/what wakes you up each morning?
Typically… on weekdays, my alarm is what tries to wake me up every morning. Sometimes I am up before it though, and sometimes it has little or no effect on me. On weekends, our seven-year-old, Ona wakes us up with a long list of things she wants to do that day.
How do you feel?
Tired usually. And then I remember coffee, and there suddenly seems to be a way to begin.
What’s the first thing you do after getting out of bed?
Pick out my clothes and head to the shower.
What one thing helps to get you from Monday through to Friday?
Coffee and deadlines.
My wife and I have been collecting keytags from around the world for years. They are typically small and approach design in an honest way that ends up describing a place very well. One of our favorites, we found in France. For many years we produced these small keytags in France, through several layers of go-betweens, and sold them in our shops: Project No. 8. They were an instant hit, but strangely difficult to produce in a timely, or even quality way. However, we loved the spirit of them and the personality that was evolving.
Eventually, after much time spent struggling to produce them, we decided to investigate how to bring the manufacturing of them into our studio in New York, and create a product that would be much more immediate, much higher quality, and made entirely in the USA. We launched a website in September 2013: variouskeytags.com, it got a bit of press… and suddenly we had a hit on our hands! It’s been a crazy amount of fun.
Various Keytags is a product for design-minded people who enjoy organization, happiness, and fun. It was born out of a sense of humor and the sheer necessity of finding a simple key tag that isn’t too fussy. They give us constant joy; they are useful; they make great gifts; and we have been astonished by the overwhelmingly positive response to them by so many different people! So much so that we decided to make an entire website dedicated solely to Various Keytags. Our genuine hope is that people enjoy them, and our only warning is that people be careful… They are a bit addictive.
If you could wake up anywhere next Monday morning, where would it be?
Iceland, and on the way to the Blue Lagoon.