Things I Can't Live Without: David Netto
BY John Fried
The CEO who makes baby rooms look hip shares what makes him go gaga.
Occupation: Founder of David Netto Design and creator of the NettoCollection, baby furniture with as much attention to a clean, modern aesthetic as to easily cleanable surfaces. Netto's sleek cribs, changing tables, and dressers, which cost about $1,400 each, adorn the baby rooms of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jerry Seinfeld.
Annual revenue and employees: $4 million; 6.
Age and home: 35, New York City.
First steps: After starting his own interior design firm in 2000, Netto decided to develop a product that would help him shift from the service industry to manufacturing. Around that time, while shopping for a crib for his daughter, he was struck by the lack of stylish baby furniture. In early 2002, the NettoCollection was born.
Birth announcement: Instead of hawking his cribs to standard baby furniture outlets, Netto decided to pitch to high-end maternity stores. The NettoCollection is now sold in Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, and San Francisco boutiques, as well as in Netto's store opening this month in New York City and at DavidNettoDesign.com.
And when baby grows up? Netto created many of the pieces to slip seamlessly into other rooms. The changing tables become cabinets, the crib converts to a bed for a small child, and the child-size wardrobe -- a new offering this spring -- doubles as a home entertainment center. "I wanted to minimize the disposability factor," Netto says. "It's part of what justifies the price."
Things I Can't Live Without
JetBlue ticket to Long Beach, Calif. ($199 one way): "I travel on JetBlue every two weeks to see my daughter. The planes are new, and I can use it like the bus and buy one-way tickets at the last minute."
Stabilo Micro 8000 soft sketching pencils ($1 each): "The lead is soft and smeary, so you can be more designy and impressionistic. In minutes I can sketch something that may occupy my full attention for years."
French Moderne dresser ($8,000): "It's the kind of furniture that makes you feel. Some of the NettoCollection sprang from this piece."
...and What I Covet
Pablo Picasso's Friendship (estimated value $100 million): "I like that it was bought and dragged to Moscow in 1913 by a department store magnate. It makes me think of keeping your eyes open to other things."