For Corrin Arasa, founder of Patina, it’s always been about quality, not quantity. “We don’t have 1,000 different options, we have a really well designed collection,” she says of her vintage furniture and accessories. Her newly opened studio is located in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood and is full of her goodies—think 1960s sofas in super-soft teal velvet and a sweet pink Royal typewriter. When it comes to creating beyond-memorable events, Patina is where it’s at—be it a wedding, a corporate event, or a film or photo set. “I think about the customer experience a lot. It’s a huge part of how we spend our time as a company—constantly refining the whole experience from start to finish,” says Arasa, a 10-year veteran of the event planning business. Arasa took a breather to tell us more:
Sweet Paul: Tell us all about how Patina came to be.
Patina: I have a thing for vintage couches and chairs—always have. I bought a big old farmhouse upstate and filled it with cool vintage furniture. As I was designing events for my corporate clients, I started to pull pieces from my own collection to infuse some character into the event space. I realized that this approach bridged my own personal love for vintage design with my work as an event designer. It was a real “A-ha” moment, and Patina was born.
Sweet Paul: Who are Patina customers?
Patina: It was important to me when I set out to build Patina that we made it easy for people who have never rented furniture before, as well as provide great options for art directors and event designers who rent stuff all the time. Our customers are really some of the coolest and most creative people in NYC—we have made so many friends over the last year who will still come by for a beer after the event is over.
Sweet Paul: Describe a day in your life.
Patina: I could be brainstorming in the office with the girls on our next lookbook, working with our upholsterer on redesigning some new pieces, working on a retail design project, or hitting up an auction or estate sale—all things I really love to do!
Sweet Paul: Where do you find all your seriously awesome treasures?
Patina: The thrill of the hunt really gets me going, even though I’m always hunting. It never gets old. I love auctions—I’ve gotten some really cool and unique pieces that way. Brimfield is still a favorite of mine, and I’ve met a lot of good dealers who know my style and let me know when they have something I’d be into.
Sweet Paul: What kind of experience do you want people to have when they rent from Patina?
Patina: Rentals shouldn’t be a burden—there’s no reason the process can’t be fun. We want to take the sting out of the whole experience and make it memorable—inspiring even. There is also this weird and unnecessary snobbery attached to antiques, and we are working hard to get rid of that and to give it a more fresh, approachable lens.
Sweet Paul: Any event that you haven’t done yet but are dying to do?
Patina: We’ve done some pretty rad events, but the next event is always the one I’m most excited about.
TEXT by Aimee Swartz | PHOTOGRAPHY by Kristin Gladney