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Personal Inventory: Bob Williams

Bob Williams

Co-founder/president of design, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Greenwich

Where are you from?
I grew up in Texas, when to school in NYC, and have been living in North Carolina for the past twenty-five years.

How did you pick Connecticut for a store location?
It is an area known for great taste.

What were you doing before this?
I started my career in NYC at Seventeen Magazine in the Marketing and Promotion department.   For my next stint, I worked at a small Advertising Agency in North Carolina and then Mitchell and I decided to go into business together and started MG + BW.

What passions do you have outside of design?
Gardening.  It’s like decorating with flowers instead of fabrics.

Describe your style in three words.
Clean, Modern, Familiar. 

What are you reading right now?
The Innocent by David Baldacci.

What can’t you live without?
A toolbox (more like a 6-foot-tall cabinet!).  After twenty-five years of fixing things around the house, I think I have all the basic tools one would need for a home.

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
I would hope they would cast Adam Levine but…a shorter Will Ferrell would be a better choice!

Who is your favorite fictional character?
Johnny Quest.  As a boy, I thought he was so cool and he got to travel around the world with his little bulldog named “Bandit.”

What was your first car?
A 1962 Austin Healy Mark II 3000 and I still have it. I had it completely restored ten years ago. 

What influences your style?
I travel a lot and am always paying attention to every place I go–whether it’s a retail store, a restaurant, a hotel, an office. When I’m in a nice clothing store, I tend to pay more attention to the fixtures, lighting, carpet, and furniture. I always try to read every magazine – especially the foreign ones—for inspiration and ideas.

What’s always in style?
Fashion is constantly changing and evolving, but good manners and kindness are always in style.

Favorite iPhone app?
Wee Spiders. It is just a card game, but it makes me think about the best way to solve problems and strategize my next move.

Years in the biz?
Twenty-four years.  We’re getting excited about our twenty-fifth anniversary.

What was your favorite trip you ever took?
A long weekend in Asheville, NC. It’s so breathtaking and beautiful there.

What is your favorite song?
“Tainted Love” by Soft Cell.

What makes a house a home?
The people who live there!  And… a sofa from MG+BW doesn’t hurt either!

What is your favorite restaurant in Connecticut?
Gabriel’s.  It's a great steakhouse literally around the corner from our Greenwich store on Church street (behind the store) and has the most amazing truffle mac and cheese ever.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Seeing our company grow to over 700 employees.  Mitchell and I never imagined when we started in business that we would be this big, but it makes me happy to know we have helped the lives of so many.

What is your motto?
What is the worst thing that can happen? (Not trying!)

What makes you happy?
Being at home with my partner Stephen, and our two French bulldogs Lily and Violet, and our cat Mr. Kitty.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
My boyfriend Stephen, better known as “Pumpkin.”

When was the moment you decided to start this company?
It was Mitchell’s idea as he was in the furniture business, but he gave me the confidence I needed even though I knew very little about furniture design in the beginning.

Favorite indulgence?
Sweets. I could live off cookies every day.

What are three things we don’t know about you?
My bark is worst than my bite.
TV commercials can make me cry.
I love going to the Container Store and looking for ways to help organize my home.

You can invite three famous people to your dinner party. Who are they?
Beth Ditto from the Group “the Gossip.” Her voice is amazing, and the articles I have read about her make me think we could be great friends.
Michael Connelly; I love his books and I would love to hear him talk about where he gets his ideas.
Brooke Shields; She has met just about everybody you could think of in the past thirty-five to forty years and has been on my dinner party list for the past twenty-five years.