It’s all about the money, money, money… Or, to be more accurate, it’s all about Lisa Pastor’s “Money Bags.” Since we spotted the designer at Full Moon Fest wearing her “Money” clutch from her accessories line Two Eggs, we’ve been head-over-heels both for Lisa herself and all things Two Eggs. Luckily for us, we had the chance to spend several hours hanging out in the designer’s Williamsburg studio as she gave us a look into her workspace last week.
Decorated with pieces from Two Eggs’ “Girl Gang” collection (think: silk-screened denim jackets, chokers, tutu skirts, and clutches), designs for the upcoming collection, and perfectly-curated keepsakes, the studio was nothing less than inspiring. And how could it not be? As a designer who champions the successes and passions of other women and devoted an entire collection to the concept of a “Girl Gang,” your studio is bound to be the ultimate space to get real about everything and anything.
In the span of three hours, we traversed Williamsburg’s coolest digs as we discussed everything from our own girl gangs, the perfect NYC day, Lower East Side bros, and how to start your own business.
ON TWO EGGS & GIRL GANGS
I want to start with the name “Two Eggs”—what inspired it? You know when you make a cake from a box, and you have to add two eggs to the mix to make it come to life? That’s where Two Eggs comes from. It’s all about adding your own special “something” to your life. Your “Two Eggs” are what make you unique. It’s also what catapulted cake mix to success in the 1950s thanks to Betty Crocker!
Your first collection centers on the idea of a “Girl Gang.” Can you tell us more about the pieces in the collection? When I was designing, I thought, “What would a girl gang wear?” They would need matching jackets. At first, I thought about pink lady jackets. That would’ve been really cute because I was already doing embroidery on the CUPCAKE$ skirt. It would be very hard to do pink jackets well cause all the ones I’ve seen in the past have been kinda cheesy. So I thought it would be really dope to silkscreen on some denim jackets—even cooler—so I taught myself how to silk screen. The Money Bag is called a “Money” Bag because it’s supposed to look like a stack of bills you get from the bank with the white band around it with the dollar sign. I made it more cartoon. The necklaces were kind of a happy accident. My first idea was to do a triple chain, and I did that one and I really liked it. I was going to a birthday party, and I actually didn’t have a present so I thought, “Let me see how it would look with a metal circle,” and I loved it. I feel like it’s a power stand for feminism. Your neck is pretty sexy! The tutu skirt was the first idea that I ever had. It’s embroidered with dollar signs.
You mentioned that all the “boss ladies running the world” are your main inspiration. Can you tell us about some boss ladies in your girl gang? My girl gang is huge and spread out all over the world. I have so many random friends. I spent so much time networking. When I first moved here, I went out to networking events every night, and that’s how I met so many incredible women in the city. I would go up to the person I thought looked the most badass in the room, and I would say, “Hi! My name is Lisa. What do you do?” I would strike up conversation, and now some of those women are my best friends. It’s always the ones that are a little intimidating—they’re so easy! It’s the best. I’m really proud of the women I’ve met here. They’re my friends, and I really do feel like we support each other in everything.
ON BEAUTY, MUSIC & STYLE
If you were on a deserted island, what three beauty items would you bring with you? Uh, am I being too practical? Sunscreen, moisturizer & anti-aging serum. I’ve actually been VERY into taking care of my skin lately so that would be my #1 concern if stranded on an island.
Give us a quick playlist. What are some songs that you listen to while you work? “Back Up” by Dej Loaf, “Want to Want Me” by Jason DeRulo, “Time of the Season” by The Zombies, and “Dessert” by Dawin.
Can you describe your style in three adjectives? Who is a style icon? Since this is an impossible question to answer myself, I just texted my friend asking for help. Her boyfriend chimed in with “Chunky, funky, spunky,” which is actually pretty great, so we’re going with that—thanks, JD!. Style icon? Iris Apfel. Any woman who is committed to expressing herself through her style is my number one. I can only pray that I still am excited to get dressed every day when I’m in my 90s.
ON NEW YORK CITY
Here at TheLoDown, we champion all things NYC from the weirdest to the craziest (and New Yorkers know crazy…). What do New York City and Brooklyn mean to you? New York City and Brooklyn have been my home base for the last four years, and I still feel like I’m just getting acquainted. If I were to choose one word for each place… New York is HUSTLE… Brooklyn is SPACE… Word association at its finest.
As someone whose lived in both the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, can you describe the vibes of each neighborhood? Does one rule the other? Every single neighborhood has its pros and its cons. I lived in the LES first, right on Orchard and Grand, which is, in my opinion, the cutest block in all of lower Manhattan. The LES is steeped in artsy history and has some of the best restaurants, cafes, bars, and shopping in the city. I loved wandering around during the day, making friends with shop owners. It’s nestled in such an awesome location because in less than 5 minutes you can be transported to another country or find yourself in the heart of SoHo. The only downside to the neighborhood? Bros. And lots of them—mostly at night and mostly North of Delancey. Oh, and the rent is too damn high. Williamsburg has a similar vibe to the LES to me, which makes sense since the two neighborhoods are only separated by the Williamsburg Bridge. There are too many incredible bars, cafes, and restaurants. I still haven’t tried all of them! Williamsburg to me is home – it’s the place where I can hardly walk three blocks without running into a friend. Basically, the whole neighborhood is my own personal “Cheers.” As long as you can deal with the much-hated L train, Williamsburg is a great place to be. Oh, and the rent is still too damn high.
What’s your perfect city day? This is basically what my best friend and I did one day last week when she came to visit. It may seem like a lot to do in one day, but that’s what’s so freaking exceptional about this town. All of these things are within arms reach, so why not go for it? I love to start the day being productive in some way, being mentally or physically active. If I’m feeling physical, I’ll take spin class at Sync studios with Ashley. She plays the best music and is the only person who can make me actually smile while I’m bouncing up and down on a bike. For a mental jump-start, I’ll grab my sketchbook and laptop and head to Devocion. From there, I’ll meet up with friends for brunch or lunch depending on the day. I’m really into Diner lately. They make even vegetables taste incredible. After brunch, we’ll wander around the neighborhood stopping in all my favorite shops: Concrete + Water, Space 98, Sandro, Mociun, Amarcord, and Narnia. At this point, we definitely need to take a breather, so we head to Maison Premiere for cocktails and oysters in the garden. After a few bevs, we want a real meal deal, so we decide to venture to Mission Chinese in the LES. The wait is long per usual so we chill at 169 Bar next door for a while. At Mission, we order one of everything and lots of drinks. After dinner, we grab ice cream at Morgenstern’s and walk over to Attaboy for even more cocktails. Feeling a fine buzz after Attaboy, we head back to Williamsburg and hit up Output to see some music and hang with friends on the roof. After Output, we chug some water and eat some carbs before settling into bed for a good night’s sleep. That is my perfect day.
ON BEING A LADY BO$$
What advice would you give to people who want to start their own business, especially when that means leaving a secure job? I feel like when most people answer this question they always say, “Don’t quit your day job!” That is damn good advice, but I didn’t do that so I can’t really co-sign. My number one tip would be to network. Start building your community now so when you are ready to launch your business, you’ve got a solid support structure in place. Seriously, talk to everyone and treat everyone with respect. You literally NEVER know who you’re talking to. Even if they can’t “do anything” for you now, they may turn out to be one of your best friends (it’s happened to me), introduce you to your boyfriend (it’s happened to me), or hire you in a few years (it’s happened to me). You can do all the prep work while you build your network. You’d be surprised how willing people are to help. Don’t be scared to ask questions and get feedback even if your idea is still just an idea.
What has been the most challenging part about building a business? The easiest? I’ll start with the good first. The easiest part has been coming up with ideas! As a creative person, my head is always swirling with 5,000 ideas. For instance, for the new collection coming out, I came up with about 30 different items I wanted to create in a matter of a few hours! The most challenging part has been basically everything else. I don’t mean to scare people away from starting a business, but it is hard work. It’s also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. To be able to see something through from concept to real-life tangible thing is incredible! Having a great product that people love is one tiny part of the greater whole. The most challenging part might just be having patience and being nice to yourself. In our fast-paced internet-crazed world, it’s easy to think that all these other people out there have had “overnight success”. That’s what the articles say so it must be true, right? But it never is. If you start digging deeper into each one of these stories, you’ll see that the founder of the company had probably been working for years and years to get to where they are now. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others and get discouraged. Be patient and keep working. Good things will happen.
Photography by Josh Romero