When Scarlett Johansson and Kate Foster, co-founders of The Outset, set out to design their clean beauty brand's office space in New York City there were a few things they kept in mind. They wanted the space to reflect the ethos of the brand and reflect the importance of female collaboration.
With those missions in mind, they set to work finding the prefect location. In order to secure a space that worked for Johansson, who resides in Upper Manhattan, and Foster, who calls Brooklyn home, they turned to a close friend who understood exactly what they were looking for.
"My good friend Gabrielle Rubin Deveaux is in real estate, and she was able to find us this space which already had some furniture and an aesthetic we connected with," Johansson tells MyDomaine. "It felt less daunting to come into the space and give it a second life."
And once the space was secured and it was time to officially breathe that second life into the space, they once again turned to the kindness of their friends and other female founders to bring the vision to life.
Namely: Nicole Gibbons, interior designer and CEO of the paint brand Clare.
"I was her first client when she opened her interior design shop," Foster explains. "And now, several years later, she came through for me by providing the paint and introducing us to her friends at Room & Board, Lulu & Georgia, Hygge & West to help outfit the space."
Johansson also called upon her friends at ABC Carpet & Home, a brand she's worked with in the past, and they contributed a gorgeous rug to the space. Working with so many established connections helped the duo make The Outset office a friendly and collective effort that represents the best of female collaboration.
"It felt like we were supported by friends every step of the way who believed in us and wanted us to succeed, which is so heartwarming," Foster says.
And while the collaborative design effort made the process an enjoyable one, it wasn't without its challenges. The duo cites supply chain issues as one of the biggest challenges they encountered. With custom furniture delivery times ranging from 6-12 months at best, they had to get creative.
"I actually had a gorgeous dining room set in storage that I offered up. It fit like a glove," Johansson tells MyDomaine. 'The chairs were cobalt blue and worked so well with our brand colors, and then the glass top was kismet with the acrylic sign we had made for our temporary office space. As it came together, the conference room became this glam, chic spot in our otherwise homey space."
Outside of the glam, chic conference room, The Outset's office radiates an inviting, collaborative vibe that even pulls in some inspiration from Johansson's family background.
"It’s got a bit of a Scandinavian vibe as a nod to my heritage—simple and minimalistic, yet warm and cozy," Johansson says.
Foster agrees, describing the space as warm and comfortable, while still maintaining that New York loft style.
"The general feeling is calm while being very warm and inviting—we’re a collaborative bunch so it was important for us to have a space that was open so ideas could percolate naturally," she says.
The brand itself also came into play while designing the space. Both cofounders describe The Outset as a simple, modern brand that embraces the concept of "less is more."
"We were inspired by our chic, simple, and utilitarian approach to packaging and design," Foster tells MyDomaine. "Rather than making everything stark white, the earth tones and natural textures make the space feel more intimate."
Looking around the space in its fully designed state, it's clear that the founders succeeded in their missions: the design process was collaborative and celebrated female founders in the design industry and the process resulted in a space that's at once simple and inviting, but still exciting.
"Simple doesn’t mean boring," Johansson shares. "You can go a long way with mixing textures while keeping a simple palette. We feel that how we decorated the office was just enough—all pieces are intentional and bring life into the office.'