Everything You Never Knew You Wanted

Kitschy needlepoint pillows and brass banana hooks: There's a lot to love in Jonathan Adler's house of pop on McKinney Avenue

Kitschy needlepoint pillows and brass banana hooks: There's a lot to love in Jonathan Adler's house of pop on McKinney Avenue

One fine day recently, I went to the Jonathan Adler store on McKinney Avenue. When I arrived, I noticed a huge moving sale at the store next-door. I had to go there first, because if there’s one thing I love more than Jonathan Adler, it’s a deal. (Just kidding, JA! I love you the most.)

I didn’t find any deals I couldn’t live without, so I skipped — literally — over to Jonathan Adler. On the exterior windows, there are little expressions like “Liberate your inner hippie.” These sayings continue inside the store, and here are three of my favorites, so all of your future visits will be spoiled:

  • Our pot is legal.
  • Let’s spend the night together.
  • Dress like a back-up singer.

When I threw open the door, I expected confetti, balloons and group hugs. Instead I was greeted with pops of color and so many awesome things my pupils stalled out like a computer. Once they reset, I noticed a picture of Phyllis Diller on the cash wrap. (That’s the place with the register. I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve totally worked retail.)

 ​I honestly believe that Jonathan Adler is the only person who can put boobs on a vase and totally make it marketable.

As I walked through the store, I noticed other pictures of Phyllis Diller sprinkled throughout. Now, I’m as nosey as I am spastic, so I had to ask. The associate said, “Oh, yeah. Jonathan likes to honor anyone who has influenced society or pop culture.”

Is that not the most amazing thing you’ve ever heard? It was a corporate mandate that each store put up pictures of Phyllis Diller to honor her passing. Like it came from the top. Seriously, how thoughtful is that?

While I was talking to that associate, I also made some don’t-I-sound-smart statement about how Jonathan Adler is more than ceramics; he’s a brand. The associate agreed, and then I then asked the goofiest goofball question: “So does Jonathan do all the designs?” The associate resisted the urge to say, “Ah, doy.” Instead she said, “Yes, he creates the original slipcast, and Aid to Artisans makes the reproductions.”

Basically, JA is a better human than you and me combined. He does good deeds even when he doesn’t have to.

Now where was I? Oh, yes. Gushing. I honestly believe that JA is the only person who can put boobs on a vase and totally make it marketable. He’s also the only one who would think to make a peeled-banana brass hook or vices canisters that read “Kitty Krack” and “Prozac.”

Jonathan Adler also has the ability to make even needlepoint pillows look cool. He’s a freaking mensch. (I’m not Jewish, but I’ve heard that word before, and it fits.)

In my eyes, Jonathan Adler is the world’s premiere ceramicist. And because I’ve never actually studied ceramics, I’'m pretty sure I’m right. This guy and all of his designs rule. Do yourself a favor, and skip on over there today.

Jonathan Adler Acapulco needlepoint pillow
Jonathan Adler whimsical needlepoint pillow. Courtesy of Jonathan Adler
Jonathan Adler Camille vase
Jonathan Adler "Camille" vase. Courtesy of Jonathan Adler
Jonathan Adler brass banana hook
Jonathan Adler brass banana hook. Courtesy of Jonathan Adler