With a new collection of bedding and accessories for the Home Shopping Network (HSN) and a new showroom and studio in High Point, Madcap Cottage seems to be primed for decorative world domination.
Now headquartered in the furniture capital of the world, owners Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke, who launched their interior design firm in the early 2000s and crystalized the brand as Madcap Cottage in 2010, already have a second collection for HSN in the works, set to debut next year.
The co-founders dream big; in addition to their own line, they hope to someday have a collection of dog products, tote bags, design a small hotel and be recognized across the globe.
Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke
With a lot on their plates, including a live debut of the HSN collection this past Sunday, this reporter chatted with Nixon to find out more about the burgeoning brand and what’s next.
Can you share some details about the new shop/studio in High Point?
The goal is to transform the “historic” McLarty Drug on Church Avenue in the heart of downtown High Point into a design meeting space—an office-meets-showroom-meets-design lab—that will be open YEAR-ROUND, not only during market. This will be the Madcap Cottage design laboratory, a place that is always percolating with ideas. The floor-to-ceiling plate-glass windows will be dramatic and theatrical and will change monthly. Expect INDIA! one month and ISTANBUL! the next. We want folks to be excited to see what madcap antics the Madcaps are up to! Plus, we want to play a role in High Point’s revitalization and craft something that is open downtown AND not tucked away behind walls. We want to engage the local design enthusiast, as well as the national and international.
How did the HSN partnership come about?
John and I had reached out to HSN a few years back through a work connection, and we had several discussions about bringing the Madcap Cottage brand to life. Finally, it all gelled, and HSN asked us to create a bedding, window treatment and decorative pillow line that captured our global travels as well as our color and pattern sensibility. We spent a year working with the terrific HSN team to create the magic. John and I traveled through England and the USA, and we sketched flowers with our watercolor paints and then worked with the HSN team to bring our far-flung floral vision to life. We were speaking in Pantone colors for months on end. HSN really gave us free reign on the collection and pushed us to incorporate as many details and special ‘moments’ in the collection as we possibly could. Hopefully, our collection transports you to a sunny afternoon free of cares and worry.
Madcap Cottage bedding for HSN
How many pieces did you create for this collection?
The Madcap Cottage collection for HSN includes a six-piece comforter set called Meadow Flowers; a three-piece quilt collection, Bed of Roses, in three stunning color ways; fabulous, 500-thread-count sheets; window treatments; decorative pillows; and amazingly soft Garden Trellis throws. Everything is reversible and glorious. Mix, match, and make your home marvelous. And make the Madcap Cottage collection your own: Why not use the quilts as tablecloths, or wrap your dog in the fabulous throws?
How did you take the Madcap Cottage signature look and translate it into product?
The Madcap Cottage vibe is all about color and pattern piled high with fun. Our sensibility is also about far-flung glamour inspired by our travels and experiences. And details are all important! I think we captured this cocktail perfectly in our Madcap Cottage for HSN collection. It’s a knockout.
Madcap Cottage sheets and throw pillow for HSN
You have a second collection already secured with HSN. What will that be like?
We can’t reveal too much, but let’s just say that the collection is inspired by a fabulous film that will hit the silver screen next spring. Bring the fairytale to life. There will be butterflies and plenty of whimsy. The collection is sophisticated, but it is also fun and dreamy. Fall asleep to fabulous, and wake up to wonderful.
Why did you move the Madcap Cottage headquarters to High Point, NC?
John and I recently left New York City after 25 wonderful years. We were ready for a new chapter. After coming to Market for over a decade, John and I enjoyed the small town-meets-medium-sized-city charms of HP. Before we chose High Point, we considered Los Angeles and Chicago, but we liked the idea of being part of a city in flux, and we hoped to play a part in that dialogue. And help make an impact. We wanted to put down roots somewhere that we could call home, build a viable business, and give back. We believed in the promise and the endless possibilities. Look what Greenville, South Carolina; Des Moines, Iowa; and Hudson, New York have accomplished thanks to an educated, insightful road map. High Point: The hub of American design. Come and join the conversation.
Madcap Cottage formerly showed product at the Antique & Design Center in High Point
You both had successful careers in magazines, how do you bring an editorial point of view to your business?
John and I are so thankful to have grown up in magazines. The Madcap Cottage duo develops an overall storyline that guides our clients’ interior design process. We curate and edit your vision. The result is you, just you with a capital ‘Y,’ and with some brush fringe on the side. We look at the process very much as crafting a gorgeous editorial. What are the points of entry, is the headline inviting, and are there wonderful sidebars. The result should be fun, engaging and perfectly tailored to your wants and needs.
How has the Madcap Cottage brand evolved since its incarnation?
The Madcaps are always open to new opportunities, and we are so excited to be moving into the product-development realm. Think terrific product paired with educating the consumer. Our Madcap Cottage for HSN collection is the perfect marriage since we want to create terrific merchandise and then educate the consumer on how to mix, match and make something marvelous. We are all about having fun and creating democratic design, and those brand pillars are becoming even more visible as we move forward. Our brand is not so much about “John and Jason Oliver” but rather about capturing a sensibility and experience that the consumer wants to emulate. Other products or lines that we work on will have to incorporate a “trunk show” component: We don’t want to do anything unless we can actually work with consumers to educate them and push their color and pattern boundaries. We want to take anything we do on the road.
What was the brand originally conceived to be?
The Madcap Cottage brand experience is all about fun and taking design and making it accessible and approachable—and also aspirational. ‘Give the lady what she doesn’t know she wants,’ is a favorite tag line. As well as ‘traditional with a twist.’ The Madcap Cottage design sensibility is grounded in history but then we add a contemporary spin with plenty of whimsy, and lots of antique and vintage pieces that have been given a refresher. We have stayed true to this brand philosophy and are excited that others want to be part of the parade. Everyone is welcome, come and join the fun. Just watch out for Horace, the Madcap Cottage brand elephant, as he likes to steal peanuts.
What else do you have coming down the pipeline?
There’s so much afoot! Perhaps a book, perhaps a collaboration with a company that really understands color and pattern. Wallpaper? Dog beds? Accessories? A pop-up in London? A dance party? So much fun...