Gimlet = opinion? Or wild ploy for commentary?

I'm sure by now that you all die over my super late night posts.  Of recent my new drink has become the French Gimlet (2 parts vodka, 1 part St. Germaine... shut up if you don't know what this is!... and a 1/2 part lime juice... join me in getting sloshed) and aside from the fact that I've had to literally give the recipe to three different New York bartenders (those young bartenders by night, baristas at Starbucks by day types) Brizo has managed to plaster me with multiple iterations. It's true... Brizo is contributing to my public drunkenness.... though I'm certain they've figured it out and want to keep me in a state of inebriation. [caption id="attachment_140" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Brizo knows the best way to solicit honest opinions on their products!"][/caption]

Yes yes... my loyal readers know that I'm a big old drinking queen (hopefully Brizo's Twitter Queen on Friday... wish me luck.... ) and as a result they've unlocked the door of secret opinions. Well, maybe not so secret but I guess you could say they inserted the truth serum where it belonged. HA!  So anyway.... most of you know that I try not to push specific brands without showing their counterparts. Whether it is via Twitter or via the educational novellas (more lemon pledge?) that I post I like to make sure my readers have a choice.  An educated choice but a choice none the less.

As many of you have read via Twitter, I'm in New York City this week at the kind graces of the wonderful people at Brizo. 19 of us (now formally known as the Blogger 19) made the trek to the Big Apple at the request of Brizo's development team (the disclaimer is that yes, Brizo footed the bill.... those Gimlets were on someone elses' American Express.  My favorite gimlet is a free gimlet!).  I know that Brizo really wanted to give us a first hand look at their products since we all know that the best way to really get to know a product is via all five senses.  I won't spec anything over $500 without touching it first... or at least a really good bribe (vendors are you reading this?!). I don't want to recap my entire visit to the Big Apple in tonight's post (more later) but I wanted to touch on one thing.

We as designers are continually striving to select products that meet the needs of our clients.  Unfortunately, oftentimes we're making compromises whether it is price or design or features.  Although I understand the trek that a product takes from initial concept to actual "in the box, on the shelf", I always hate hitting that brick wall when you are trying to find the perfect product for the maybe not so perfect price point.  Happens so often.  So often in fact that I have brick imprints on my forehead as a result. I've learned to accept that.

So what's my point?  (Seriously if you're asking that you really  haven't been reading my blog... Step one: I talk A LOT! Step two: When do I ever have a point?)

The point is that today, Brizo hosted a design charrette. And not one of those "Please kiss my ass

[caption id="attachment_139" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Brizo's Charlotte collection - The result of collaborative efforts. (c Brizo)"][/caption]

because we paid for you to be here" type of charrettes where we all ooh and aww over the new products.  I'm talking down and dirty, tell us what you really think type of events.  Hell, Meredith Heron and I warned them ahead of time that they were asking for trouble if they wanted honest opine. Any vendor asking for my honest feedback is really looking for a kick in the balls because I just don't hold back. Hey, it's their own fault.

The reality though, is that today's design charrette showed a great committment to the design community.  You see, Brizo only introduces one to two suites of products per year; tiny in comparison to big name companies out there that force feed five or more new suites (those overseas designers must work nights) of not so perfect products.  It's not often we actually get asked from a great mid-range vendor (and almost never from a lower price point vendor) "What do you really think?" and then  actually take that information and work with it. See it's one thing to ask but another thing completely to really run with it.

Anyway, I wanted to send my kudos (publicly... here's your chocolate chip Kudos... wrapped in a nice white wrapper) to the design development team at Brizo for taking our big ball beating and asking for more. Seriously, I can't wait to see some of the new products hit the market!

And by the way... Go Team Vuelo!

KitchenBrandon Smith