The loft of Sophie Demenge and Michael Ryan’s has been featured in quite a few magazines. You might remember the swing in the living area, the slide in the kid’s room and the collection of vintage object, including wooden school desks and class maps. Founders of the brand Oeuf, Sophie and Michael live in Brooklyn with Mae (10) and Marius (8). Happy in their lively neighbourhood, that allows them to walk to work and to walk to school.
I remember visiting the Demenge-Ryan family in their loft three years ago. I was then working on a family reportage for Milk Magazine. Sophie showed me around while Mae and Marius were drawing on a little round chalkboard table. I kept the image of a poetic and playful place, a kind of “cabinet de curiostites” promoting sense of adventure and exploration. The incarnation of children’s paradise.
Since then, the lifestyle brand Oeuf created by Sophie and her husband Michael in 2002 has continued growing smoothly as their cribs, toddler beds, changing stations, kid’s attire, fun toys, decor objects are sold in some 400 sales points around the globe. Oeuf was the first brand to combine intuitive design, ecological and sustainable production with simple & clean style. Their furniture changed the whole home panorama, allowing for kids’ equipment to blend in a modern stylish house.
If Oeuf is one of the most respected and beloved independent brands in the market, it has a lot to do with Sophie and Michael’s sharp vision, with their life ethics and with their strong family values : “you are in business if the same you are in life”. With their green, safe and clever product designs, Sophie and Michael teach us to buy less and to buy better. Children are their main source of inspiration, to which they add a generous dose of love, passion, respect for life and for the planet.
Today Oeuf continues to surprise us with fun ideas, playful design, brand collaborations and support to their community of Bolivian workers. And the wonderful loft continues to change, adapting to the family’s evolution and to the children’s fantasy.
- Three reasons main reasons why you love living in Brooklyn ?
Reminds me of my childhood in Paris, we walk everywhere, to school with the kids, to the office, to the farmers market, etc. It’s urban/village living. My neighborhood Park Slope in Brooklyn has the wonderful Botanic Garden , Prospect Park, Brooklyn Museum and huge Library, a cute old fashion movie theater, and a bunch a good friends + it’s only 4 stops on the subway in case I have a Manhattan urge.
- And the three reasons that that could make you want to move out (if so!) ?
I would like for my kids to be expose to different cultures. Sometimes I just want to speak French all day and walk around Paris. To live closer to my sister and her family, they are in HK right now.
- If you would have to live elsewhere, what would be the ideal place for the whole family and for the business?
I wouldn’t mind spending in few years in the south of France, around Uzes.
- Any place that would appeal to you even if not really practical ?
Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Burma
- Which qualities do you value the most in life and that you are trying to pass on to to your children?
To be authentic, not to be scared, to trust their intuition, to be able to say what they think and feel and need and want. To be their true self. To love life and its curveballs. It’s all good, doesn’t mean easy though.
- A memorable moment, that made you so happy in the past year?
I love reading in bed/hammock with to my daughter for hours with our legs intertwined and a bag of dried mangoes. I love too spoon my son at night while I sing “le jardin extraordinaire” de Trenet until he falls asleep. My favorite thing in the world is holding their hands. it warms my heart everyday. What makes me the most happy is seeing my kids unfold into kind and empathetic person.
- Something that you are really really looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to spending some good family and friend time in our little lake house in the catskills this summer.