We had the good fortune of connecting with Sam Cimino and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sam, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor for the success of CIMINO HOME is authenticity. When you do a search for the definition of authenticity under “similar” you will find: truth, originality and dependability. Staying true to my mission and belief that there is an audience of people who are looking for stylish bedding with unique patterns, colors, and textures is a guiding principle for CIMINO HOME. Although aesthetics are the key differentiator of the brand, it is never at the expense of the quality products or the quality of rest they provide. Authenticity is a key factor in picking my manufacturing partners, design collaborators, stockists, wholesale partners, and the people on my team. When there is genuine connection, care, and respect it’s so much easier to succeed and exponentially more rewarding for all of those involved. It’s easy to let outside forces influence… So by staying true to my instincts, and letting them continue to drive the development of the brand, I have learned a great deal about authenticity and truth. When designing my last home I found staying within these values allowed me to be more decisive. I knew what I wanted and I learned to give myself the permission to go with my gut and form the spaces using images and stories that existed only in my mind. It was liberating for me personally and my contractors appreciated working with me because I was able to make decisions quickly and I didn’t change course and disturb the flow which wastes time and resources. This mindset and perspective has been extremely important for the success of CIMINO HOME.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Back in 2008, while I was working at Google, I was able to purchase my first home and begin the creative journey that lead me to CIMINO HOME. House shopping was a daunting, frustrating, and at times, a depressing process. Weekend after weekend, I was walking through houses I couldn’t afford, thinking that, even if I could have afforded them, I wouldn’t want purchase any of these places. When I finally found the “right” home in the cozy, Carthay Square neighborhood, I was relieved and ridiculously excited. The neighbors were lovely and welcoming and the homes were largely restored Spanish and tudor style bungalows. My new home was basically a tear down but I was able to see it instead as a blank canvas that I could make my own. I channeled a ton of creativity through it’s design and gained a great deal of confidence in my instincts and ability to tell stories. It was a highly empowering and cathartic process. It began with the reimagining the spaces, opening walls, widening staircases, and adding bathrooms. Even though the layout was changing, I wanted to maintain the integrity of the existing architecture. Then it was the finishes, fixtures, appliances, carpets, and furniture. I started to really open up. I gave myself permission to purchase this Ferrari red Bertazzoni stove that I had been coveting and found a blue murano glass chandelier for the hallway powder room. I began mixing old pieces of furniture with new ones, adding vintage finds from shops or flea markets. Finally, the framing of art and displaying of so many things I’d been collecting during travels around the world while visiting friends or during work trips. It was so exciting watching these things come together, how they all seemed to fit and how they created an aesthetic that was uniquely mine. These pieces really completed the story telling and I loved how I felt when these details would come together to finish a room or a notion. People would come to my home and they would say things like, “Wow this place is beautifully curated and stylish but also feels cozy, cheerful and inviting.” The notions encapsulated in that compliment are embodied in the products I create at CIMINO HOME.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Itinerary go to’s, RESTAURANTS: Bavel downtown, Son of a Gun, Matsuhisa on La Cienega, EP & LP fun for dinner downstairs and drinks on the upstairs deck. Joans on 3rd, Natalee Thai on Robertson is really tasty and they have a speedy delivery team. Mozza to Go- any of their pizzas and the Burrata w tomatoes – wowsers. Breakfasts: CJs on Pico (chilaquiles please) and Sycamore Kitchen on La Brea. Venice eats- Gjelina and Superba Food and Bread’ ACTIVITIES: Paddle boarding in the Marina, Runyon hike up the West Ridge trail and down the East Ridge. Films at the Arclight Hollywood and hikes and sightseeing at the Griffith Park Observatory. Cruise Abbot Kinney, Silverlake. Dancing/Clubs when good DJs/parties in town. Hop to Laguna for West St Beach swim and sun, late lunch in town and some fun beach style shopping, esp Hobie Surf Shop. KCRW FIrst Fridays SHOPPING: Douglas Fir, Fred Segal, Paul Smith West Hollywood, American Rag on La Brea, Lake Boutique Silverlake. Heath Ceramics, deKor Silverlake, Dacha Interiors WeHo, Blu Dot, Orange Vintage Furniture, Ligne Roset, OK Store, Rose Bowl Flea Market The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There have been so many people who have helped me along this journey. I think about them often and feel a massive wave of gratitude towards them all. I envision them in a circle around a huge round net with me in the center. They’re standing arm over arm, holding the net up and throwing me up into the air. If I had to pick one person, it would be my mentor and friend, Reidar Hove. He has a bedding brand and retail shops in Norway and we were connected through mutual friends. Reidar was massively generous with his time and contacts. After several months of phone conversations and emails, he invited me to attend the Heimtextil show in Frankfurt- the largest textile show in the world. There he helped me navigate the show, connected me with a reasonable place to stay, introduced me to his manufacturers and allowed me to hang out with him and his friends in the evenings post events. He is also the one who pushed me to finally take the leap and make the first CIMINO HOME order. He said, “I think you’ve done enough research and vetting and it’s time to take the leap.” He was right.
Linkedin: Samuel Cimino