Cobi Ladner, House & Home EIC from 1993 to 2008, launched her own website last week.
More than a year after stepping down
as editor-in-chief of Canadian House & Home
, Cobi Ladner has launched a new website
promoting her own personal brand. The aptly named brand, Cobi ("a collection of beautiful ideas"), will allow Ladner to promote her own style through a number of design projects.
Ladner spoke to Masthead
about life after House & Home
from her family cottage in the Kawarthas in Southern Ontario.
“I so respect the brand of House & Home
that I didn’t want to put my own views on that brand; it’s not about any one person,” Ladner says. “It’s a really solid Canadian brand that should be reflective of what’s happening in Canadian design, but I wanted to say something myself. Part of the reason I left is because I wanted to express that.”
According to Ladner, she’s hoping to provide people with “something they can fall in love with that isn’t just plain and safe.” Part of Ladner’s business plan includes consulting for commercial and residential clients. For $650, clients can hire Ladner herself for a two-hour design consultation; for $550, they can hire someone from her trained design team.
Ladner is also developing a line of vibrant home and lifestyle products, including everything from tableware and furniture to fashion accessories. Although she has not yet found an investor, her reputation in the design and media industries has led to a lot of positive feedback about her ideas.
“Your reputation, at the end of the day, is all you’ve got,” Ladner says. “Jobs come and go, but if you’ve built good relationships throughout your career those people will really be there for you. I’ve had terrific support, and that means a lot when you go out on your own. You don’t have the safety net of that company behind you, and you start to realize who you are.”
Ladner has big plans to expand her brand, including several speaking engagements this fall (details have not yet been released). She has even been in talks for a potential design show, although she’s “not really interested in contributing to the downward spiral of reality TV.” Although she’s unsure exactly what the future holds, she feels she’s moving in the right direction.
“We all like to be able to say what we’re doing, and if things are in development it makes you a bit nuts,” she says. "But it’s been very encouraging. This thing is starting to roll, and if I can be patient enough, it will pick up momentum.”