Andrew Deming Interview
Andrew Deming is one of the Co-Founders of Yield Design. He is a designer and strategist with a degree in graphic design and an MBA in Design Strategy. He currently oversees art direction on various projects at Yield. Yield designs and manufactures a range of bags, jewelry, and goods for the home. Its products are sold in over 250 retailers in the States.
Who are you?
I’m Andrew Deming.
What do you do?
A mix of graphic design, product design, business strategy, and accounting. I run the design label Yield with my partner, Rachel Gant. Together we design a produce a range of home goods, bags, and accessories.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the South, originally South Carolina and then Florida. I spent my most formative years in a city with a large engineering presence but virtually no designers. I think the sort of “design by default” quality of my hometown inspired, or rather, frustrated me into the field of design.
When did you take your first big risk in life?
When I first made myself vulnerable to criticism by playing music and singing in front of audiences. I found my first creative outlet in music, playing drums and guitar at a young age.
I was a shy kid, so the transition from playing in my bedroom to the stage was a scary one, but I think it enlightened me to the idea that success stems from taking risks.
Why have you persisted with the path you’re currently on?
Because I enjoy it and I cannot imagine ever outgrowing the challenges in front of me.
Who is someone you’d love to work with, but can’t?
Frank Lloyd Wright. Unlike most childhood fascinations, Wright’s work has maintained its appeal throughout my life.
I’ve traveled to visit many of his buildings and find it remarkable that his work is approachable and intriguing to a broad audience while remaining deeply inspiring to designers and architects.
He pushed boundaries throughout his life, wasn’t afraid of failure and he pioneered a warm, human approach to modernism that remains relevant today.
What are you working on now?
In addition to our ongoing product development work I’ve been working heavily on our new Yield Shop + Studio. Just a month ago I stumbled into a newly vacant spot in a historic building that would accommodate our first little shop in the front of the building and a two story warehouse in the rear.
It was an expansion that we didn’t foresee happening right now, but the space was too good to let out of our grasp. It’s an exciting step, but as with most things, the work of seeing it through is a bit more daunting than originally anticipated.
Where do you spend most of your free time?
If you asked me this question six months ago when I still lived in San Francisco, the locations would be very different, but the themes still the same. I’ve always been really into walking and being outdoors as much as possible. We recently adopted a dog, so we’re often taking her on lengthy walks throughout the city and on the beach.
When we moved from San Francisco, we went from a small downtown apartment to a much larger historic home with a yard and porches, so our house has become a much more inviting place to spend our free time.
What do you think is your biggest success so far?
The creation of a functional and growing company. In my past consulting work, I encountered a number of minor successes along the way, but I had never encountered the consistent barrage of overwhelming challenges that come with starting a business.
I hate entrepreneurship talk because it always sounds so cliché, but I have certainly gained more respect for successful business owners in all domains.
Why are you doing this interview?
I enjoy taking the time to answer questions and I welcome the chance to reflect.