giggle Chat: Nursery Work’s Senior Designer, Matthew Grayson

Go behind the scenes with Nursery Work’s lead designer.

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Nurseries can look stunning and with the help of Nursery Works, they often do. Their designs are ultra-chic and look at home in any trendy and modern nursery. When it comes to raising the bar in design, quality, and functionality, Nursery Works’ collection really thrives. We sat down with Senior Designer, Matthew Grayson, to talk about his role at Nursery Works and what goes into his designs.

What’s something unique about Nursery Works?
We are able to employ materials and techniques that aren’t practical at a mass production scale. This allows us to design products in a much more liberated manner. We seek out local factories in the U.S. to fabricate our pieces and that proximity allows us to oversee production in a way that gives us much more control than a typical company in our industry.

What do you do for Nursery Works?
I design and develop products along with two other designers, Chelsea Park and Eric Lin. We handle everything from initial conception and CAD work to finding local factories and prototyping. Then we’re involved in safety testing, packaging, and branding, all the way to the showroom floor.

What’s your favorite part of what you do?
Having a new idea.

What inspires you?
I like to read and listen to podcasts about various things: history, food, politics, parenting, technology. I’m especially interested in the balance between our technological lifestyles and the more human side. I also really like to be outside and get a lot of energy from gardening, building things, cooking with my wife, and playing with my daughter in the back yard.

What’s your personal nursery style?
Our daughter is two so we’ve tried to make it as much her space as possible, keeping everything low, having toys in bins she can open and close herself, making sure she can access light switches, etc. She has a string with clips so she can hang things she likes by her table. The other day she and I made a post-it storyboard of her bedtime routine and put that on the side of her dresser so we can walk through the steps like a story and avoid the bedtime protests.

What is your favorite go-to newborn gift to give?
aden + anais bamboo swaddles. They’re incredibly soft and nobody minds having an extra set or two.

What is the must-have item you’d suggest for any new parent?
This is sort of an unsung hero, but we have a lot of step stools around the house so our daughter can do things independently like get water, wash her hands and go to the bathroom. They really help encourage confidence and a sense of control and I can also sit on it when it’s time to brush her teeth.

What was the best baby gift you’ve received?
We did get a crib and Nursery Works glider from MDB, so that’s hard to beat. We also have lots of parent friends who, in addition to giving us a steady stream of clothing, loaned us various products so we could try them all. There is just no way you are going to know which of the myriad wraps or baby carriers is going to be your favorite until you’ve tried them for real.

What is the one nursery item you can’t/couldn’t live without as a new parent?
A good mattress without any vinyl, toxic foam or flame retardants. It’s a tough purchase to research and there are only a handful of good ones out there. We loved our Pure by Babyletto Coco Core.

What surprised you most about becoming a parent?
Every week is something new, so it’s good to embrace change whether it’s a new fun exploration or a frustrating challenge.

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
I’m always looking for fun ways to challenge my daughter and get her to accomplish things for the first time. We spend a lot of time cooking, gardening, and making things at home, so if I turn around and she is using a screwdriver correctly with no instruction or she’s reciting the steps to make scallion pancakes, those are special moments.

And finally…
makes me laugh – my wife.
If I had more time, I’d … – sleep more.