Daughters of Others: Erin Murphy Doan
We recently spent an afternoon with our dear friend Erin at her Beacon storefront Reservoir. The shop is a beautifully curated selection of sustainable, American-made home goods and clothing. She features local makers and designers, including her own personal line EM Reservoir, which recently debuted a willowy autumnal collection. Like Erin herself, the shop is a perfect marriage of a minimalist yet colorful aesthetic. In addition to running the shop and designing her line, she’s also a new mom. Of course we love her little babe Carmella, who you can see plenty of over on Erin’s personal instagram account @houseonhudson. Finally, don’t skip a visit to her personal blog houseonhudson.us where she shares recipes, intimate vignettes of her life, and interviews with local artisans. We hope you enjoy this little window into Erin’s world!
Nina & Stephanie
D: Give us a little history on your business.
E: I started Reservoir as my own apparel label after working in designer fashion for 8 years in NYC. I soon discovered my love for other brands that shared my values of sustainability and American made. So when my husband and I moved to the Hudson Valley, opening the store in 2012, was a way for me to bring all these incredible maker stories together under one roof. I wanted to create a place where customers weren't just purchasing products, but rather discovering a story and taking it with them.
D: Where do you find your inspiration?
E: I have always been heavily influenced by nature. My seasonal color palette will emerge from a cluster of wildflowers I find on a hike or the shades of wood grain in a fallen trunk. Even the name, Reservoir, which means a "collection of,” ultimately is a reference to one of my favorite places in New York, the Ashokan Reservoir.
D: What is your biggest business challenge?
E: Knowing when to put my phone down. For example, it's 10:54pm and I'm still working! Lol. But let's face it, if I didn't love what I do, I'd already be asleep versus flipping through men's fabric swatches and listening to Bob Marley!
D: What has been your most profound lesson in running your business?
E: That some days you are going to feel like a total failure, but tomorrow is a whole new day! Retail doesn't always follow an algorithm, so there can be definite highs and lows. Knowing that and not giving up when you have a bad day, can be the first step to successful longevity.
D: How do you balance being a mother and an entrepreneur?
E: Haha, I'm still figuring that one out! Right now they just go hand in hand. In fact, I'm pretty certain Carmella will be running the show some day, she's always with me! I wouldn't have it any other way. Starting my own business was truly a blood, sweat and tears accomplishment and I'm so grateful for its continued success, but I'm not sure anything I do in life will be quite as magical as when I became a mother. I feel quite lucky to have done both.
D: How do you re-center?
E: Honestly, re-centering is something I need to work harder at these days. I've always been a yes person, always go go. And owning your own business means your brain is on overtime, all the time. I think just recognizing I needed to give myself more time to focus on my family, meant I also needed more time to focus on myself. Lately I'm all about taking long walks to clear my head, but if I can ever give myself a full day to disconnect, fly fishing always does the trick too!
D: What’s next for Reservoir?
E: I'm really excited to be working on a home goods line for the Reservoir label! We'll be launching the ceramic collection first, because, you know me, I love a good mug, bowl & planter! You'll be hearing more about it soon.