Q: How did this happen, this multi-media avalanche? Where was the LE born?
A: It all started with my Vivavi furniture showroom in Washington D.C. Back in 2003, I opened the showroom to focus on contemporary green design, with the idea of combining beautiful design with environmental responsibility. I was saying, “”Dude, this is the best there is, the best design out there and it’s healthier for you and the planet.”
That’s why I started my company in the first place… (to help people who wanted to do green things, but weren’t willing to sacrifice style or lifestyle). I’d moved to D.C. for a PhD program in political science, studying global environmental politics.
But eventually I was like, screw this, this is too much theory and not enough action, so I started this (furniture showroom). … Later I decided we needed to be in New York City, because a lot of the best sustainable furniture design was taking place in Brooklyn. … So the last day I was in D.C. and was moving. I had one employee who worked with me full time in DC. She was an office manager. She propped up my life. And she wasn’t moving to Brooklyn but she’d helped me move. … So, on the way up there, we’re on the New Jersey turnpike; it’s about 10:30 at night. It’s been a really long day and we’re both tired and a little (grumpy). And she says, “Josh, I have to get this off my chest. I really need to ask you something.” So I, being the kind of guy that I am thought, “Great! She’s attracted to me, I’m not her boss anymore.” … Then she says, “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but ARE you really an environmentalist? I mean, you’re always in the shower.” (In his multi-incarnations, Dorfman unapologetically declares his 30-minute showers critical to his creative process; but after the fateful Turnpike convo, he converted his shower head to extremely low flow).
She says, “You were going to just toss your bed out instead of give it to a charity. You’re a hypocrite. You’re selling a green product but – you know, you suck.” Two days later, I wrote this blog entry called the Lazy Environmentalist (still posted on the website.)
Q: Why lazy, expound? And how did you convert so quickly?
A: It really comes from my personality. If it’s convenient for me, I will be much more likely to do the right thing. And I feel like I (speak for a lot of people). Friends from college, friends from business school, my parents. It’s a stretch for us even.