This week on the Business of Home Podcast, host Dennis Scully spoke with AERO Showroom founder, Thomas O’Brien, on shop keeping, fighting for the things you are passionate about, and his incredible education and experience with design at a young age that led to the honing of a keen eye.
As shared by Business of Home, Thomas O’Brien narrowly missed becoming a well-paid bean counter. He grew up in a small town in upstate New York, near IBM’s corporate headquarters in Endicott. His father worked there, his uncles worked there, and presumably so would he—until a chance encounter with printmaking sent young O’Brien to New York City to attend The Cooper Union. “It’s an age-old thing: Every student in art school hates the school, and I just loved it. I loved every moment of it.”
After graduating, O’Brien kicked around in various jobs—he bartended, worked for the then-fledgling Details magazine, and even had a brief stint working for Mario Buatta. It wasn’t until O’Brien ended up in creative services for Ralph Lauren that his career began in earnest.
In the early 1990s, O’Brien went out on his own to start Aero, a buzzy shop in then-underdeveloped SoHo. AERO has since moved into the New York Design Center (Suite 1500) and houses a hand-picked selection of refurbished vintage and modern furniture, lighting, antiques, fine art, tableware, textiles, accessories, and collectibles. In addition, AERO stocks the most complete offering of Thomas O’Brien brand home furnishings, both ready-made and made to order.
An antidote to the current domain of digital shopping, AERO’s assortment is seasonal and ever-changing with one-of-a-kind items in service of the interior design community.
Listen to Thomas’ interview on the Business of Home podcast here and learn more about AERO here.