Housing Works Annual Benefit-Design on a Dime
An Interview with James Huniford
“I started Design on a Dime in 2004, as a way to draw attention to the incredible treasures available at Housing Works thrift shops. Little did we know that it would become one of the biggest design events of the year!” ~James Huniford
James Huniford is the Founder of Housing Works annual benefit Design on a Dime now in its 14th year is rocking the design world. Huniford is also the founder/owner of the award-winning interior design firm Huniford Design Studio in New York.
Huniford has that magic touch, and a keen eye for blending found treasures with the new. It was that keen sense that led Huniford on a fabulous journey, his mission, to end the dual crises of homelessness and to eradicate AIDS. A tough challenge, but Huniford opened up that challenge to a world of designers from all over the country as each designer creates a fabulous vignette with curated and donated merchandise for such a worthy cause. The attendees can purchase, and all proceeds go to lifesaving services for the homeless and those with HIV/AIDS.
Q How many years have you been working for Design on a Dime?
A. It’s been a little over 14 years.
Q Who started Design on a Dime?
A. I started Design on a Dime in 2004, as a way to draw attention to the incredible treasures available at Housing Works thrift shops. Little did we know that it would become one of the biggest design events of the year! It’s grown from designers creating vignettes from Housing Works finds, to brands, and artists and manufacturers contributing incredibly valuable pieces. I started it as a philanthropic endeavor but didn’t realize that we would be able to raise such a significant amount of funding. It’s a homecoming for the design world.
Q Tell us about Housing works and their role?
A Housing Works mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS, and the latest mission is also to eradicate AIDS. Its played a very critical role in advocacy for AIDS awareness as well. My role as the founder of Design on a Dime is to continue to raise funds and bring attention to the mission of the organization. Additionally- we like to bring attention to individuals who care for our mission and celebrate them each year.
Q Can you fill us in on the inspiration behind Design on a Dime?
A The inspiration was and still is the incredible finds and treasures available at Housing Works thrift shop.
Q How many designers will participate?
A About 70 designers participate, and we have expanded to holding an event in Miami as well.
Q How many people do you expect at this event? How much do you think you will raise?
A Over the days the event is open- from the gala- to the ticketed preview and public days- we expect about 6,000 guests. We raise about 1.3 million each year- so have raised over 12 million since its inception.
Q Are you looking to expand this event beyond the US? If yes, can you share?
A Housing Works currently is a not only focusing on ending AIDS as an epidemic in New York State by 2020, but are looking to end it in the US by 2025, so there is certainly a national focus and opportunity to expand out conversation and efforts.
Q Can anyone attend Design on a Dime? If yes, can you provide a link so that they can purchase the tickets?
A Yes- anyone can come, buy a ticket and shop- it’s so much fun and inspiring. http://doadnyc2018.splashthat.com/
James Huniford is also the designer of a fabric collection for Lee Jofa and was selected by Architectural Digest as one of the “Top 100 Designers.” His work has appeared in American, Italian and French editions of AD, Elle Décor, W, Vogue, New York Times, Veranda, and House Beautiful among others.
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by: Vanessa Deleon Bournias
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