2011 May 31
The Assistant Files, Vol. 13: Alainna Lexie Beddie, WSJ.'s Deborah Needleman
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Given Deborah’s shelter mag stints, does she discuss design much?
She was the keynote speaker on a discussion of “What’s Next in Decorating” at the Decoration and Design Building a couple weeks ago, and she’s currently finishing up a book called The Perfectly Imperfect Home, which is due out in October. Now that her personal garden in Garrison is in bloom, gardening comes up more and more often. She’ll stop by the Union Square market on her way in or out of the office and collect plants for Garrison, and it makes her so happy. She obviously knows just what she’s doing and has excellent taste when it comes to all things green thumb-related. But she has this charming and self-deprecating way of discussing herself as a “patient but not very successful gardener.”
Does Deborah talk much about her time at the helm of domino?
Actually, others bring up domino more often than Deborah does. During fashion week, someone got on the phone to confirm Deborah’s attendance at a show and described the venue as: “Well, domino had a party here for such and such so many years ago, so Deborah should know just where it is.”
What was your most exhaustive day on the job?
Rihanna and Drake shot part of a music video at Deborah's apartment, and I played site rep for the shoot. I had to be there at 7 a.m. and didn't leave until after 2 a.m. the next day, all while playing WSJ. assistant from my BlackBerry. My personal cell and Blackberry both died about 30 minutes before I left for my apartment, and I almost fell asleep on Deborah's couch when I sat down for a minute before leaving. Deborah and her husband Jacob wouldn't have minded, but I would have been mortified.
What is the biggest surprise about working at WSJ.?
That it's perfect for me! I expected to be happy there, but now I really don’t want to ever leave.
How about the oddest part of the gig?
Having very accomplished, very well-known, very important people greet me with a kiss and know me by my full name.
Who are Deborah’s industry pals?
They are so cool. I want to steal them! Rita Konig, David Netto, Sara Ruffin Costello, and Charlotte Moss are always on Deborah’s design-y friend radar. They speak their own language, and I can barely keep up. Alice Ryan in PR is also a favorite of Deborah’s. Since her background is so diverse, Deborah knows people all over the map, and I’m constantly surprised by who she casually sees for drinks and lunch.
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