Hanging with Empty Wall Committee
As some of you may know, art has been a part of my life since before I can remember. My grandparents (and later, parents) used to take my sister and I from gallery-to-gallery, encouraging us to spark up some level of conversation about a Damien Hirst spin painting, when in reality, our feet were just so tired. Years later, I found myself becoming more and more interested in the art world, the art market and art history - prompting me to study art history at Columbia.
With a similar story and a shared love for art, Morgan and Stephanie Moinian, first cousins and best friends from New York City, recently teamed up on a mission to save empty walls. Combining their passions for art, furniture design, and business, the college duo recently launched Empty Wall Committee, an online marketplace for prints that will take your walls from empty to chic at an affordable price. Relying on each other’s strengths to bring something different to the table, Morgan, Stephanie, and now Abby (their most recent addition), have created a one-stop-shop for wall decor that everyone has been waiting for.
Last week, I sat down with Morgan to chat a little bit more about EWC and what’s in store for the future.
Scroll down to read the full interview!
Q: What inspired EWC and how did you get started?
I’ve always been obsessed with art and decor so moving into my first apartment was probably the highlight of my college career. When I moved in, however, I surprisingly had a hard time finding art to hang on my walls. After searching endlessly online for artwork, I either came across tacky cliché prints that too many of my friends owned, or expensive paintings that were way beyond my budget. That was issue #1 for me.
I started finding prints that I could afford in obscure places--flea markets in Williamsburg, sketchy websites online, and small museums in Europe. I eventually accumulated a unique collection of prints that I hadn’t spent too much money on. However, when I took those prints to the framer I’d have to spend double the price of the print just to frame it, which was ridiculous! That was issue #2 for me.
Once my friends saw how gorgeous my walls had become, they started begging me to sell them some prints. And, since I had such an excessive collection, I ended up selling pieces to them. I reported this to Stephanie, and, being the businesswoman she is, she immediately tackled all business-related aspects of the company. Together, we solve issues #1 and #2 for Empty Wall Committee clients, who purchase unique prints that are delivered with custom frames. We’re a one-stop shop for wall decor.
Q: Have you run into any challenges since the launch?
Shockingly, the company’s Instagram has been a challenge to manage since our launch. There’s a lot more thought that has to go into an Instagram feed than I had expected. What was once a passive, leisurely activity has turned into a very challenging task!
Q: Who are your favorite artists and what role has art played in your life growing up?
My favorite artists are George Condo, Salvador Dali and Tom Wesselman, all of whom have a similar, colorful palette and vibrant aesthetic. These artists, and art in general, have always been important to me. I was on the acquisition committee of Dartmouth’s Hood Museum during my Freshman year and became a docent at the Arthur Ross Gallery once I transferred to the University of Pennsylvania. I also worked at CNN’s digital photography team and was a tour guide at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Art is my fuel! It inspires me academically, personally, and in business.
Q: Spaces that inspire you?
The Palais Bulles in Cannes, the Sheats Goldstein Residence in Los Angeles, and the Prada Store in Soho, designed by Rem Koolhaus.
Q: Now for the real question, what are your favorite prints currently on your site?
“Rothko Court,” by Josh Wang - Shop it here.
“Yellow” by Kyle Jeffers - Shop it here.
“Peach Punk” by Mandy Sham - Shop it here.
Q: Lastly, what’s coming for EWC?
This fall is a really exciting time for EWC. We’re launching a collaboration with Dormify very soon, for all college students in desperate need for wall decor! Later in October, we’ll be opening up our first pop-up shop at Canal Street Market. See you there!
* Photos by Morgan Moinian*
Have comments or questions? Drop them in the comments box below or head over to my ASK page!