Q&A Sessions: Erin Murphy

Photo credit Kristin Anne Photography



About Erin Murphy

Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, designer Erin Murphy worked with some of the most distinguished designers in the industry, including Vera Wang, J. Mendel, Alexander Wang and Narciso Rodriguez, and has developed a talent for draping and an intimate understanding of fabrics. Erin started her independent collection, {EM} Reservoir, that traverses from city-scene to countryside and comfortably transitions from tailored to whimsical.

Erin’s designs are for the modern woman on-the-go, and are inspired by her own experience of bouncing back and forth between NYC and her homebase along the Hudson. The result is a focus on creating high-end style with unrestricted trailblazing versatility.

She also started Reservoir & Wood, a lifestyle boutique in Beacon, NY that is carries a beautiful collection of USA made independent designers with a modern, mid-century, rustic inspiration. The designer came up with the name Reservoir and Wood after a trip to the Ashokan Reservoir in the Catskills. She was inspired by the word “reservoir” as a supply or collection of an item and applied it to her own personal fashion line.

Beacon is a perfect day trip out of the city is just an hour and a half by train to the stunning old Nabisco factory turned museum, Dia:Beacon.  She chose Beacon for her shop’s home because of the community-oriented atmosphere with a thriving music, art, and entertainment scene.








460 Main St., Beacon, NY 12508


To vicariously follow Erin’s city/country lifestyle:


Erin Murphy

{EM} Reservoir, Reservoir & Wood

numb1_sm Who was key to influencing you to get into Fashion?

My grandma Carmen was always sewing and she was my idol as a little kid. As long as I can remember, my favorite place to be was in a room full of spools and overflowing in fabric.

 Did your Michigan upbringing influence your personal & artistic style?

I’ve always been a lover of nature and being outdoors. I imagine that stems from the vast number of adventures you can have in the beautiful Great Lakes state.  My clothes, while luxurious & sometimes embellished in beadwork and embroidery, are always comfortable.  They are designed with as much function as they are fashion, and I think that practicality comes from wanting my collection to be relevant at an art opening in the city or on a shoreline in Michigan.

 When you launched your fashion line, what was it like to take that leap and start your own business?

Scary! But worth it:) I would always wonder if I never tried and I’m very lucky as to how far I’ve come.

 Most pivotal moment of your career so far?

That’s tough–my first print in an editorial, when the iconic Christy Turlington wore my dress for a photographer’s portrait collection, my first fashion show for {EM} Reservoir or the first day I unlocked the store & flipped the sign to open. I don’t think its one pivotal moment, its many.. and they tell you you’re on the right track.

 What does a typical day look like for you? Do you have “normal business hours”?

The beginning of my day always starts the same when I rise at 5:30, let the dogs out, feed the chickens. And always ends the same with a glass of red wine sitting in the Michirondack chairs on our porch with my husband.

Other that, no day is really typical in this business! I could be in my store working with customers, I could be draping & sketching the new collection, on set for a photoshoot, connecting & viewing with other USA made designers or pattern consulting at another brand somewhere in Manhattan.

Store hours are:

Mon , Thurs, Fri. & Sun. 11am-6pm

Sat. 11am-7pm

 What inspires you when designing new pieces?

While NYC energizes me daily, the Hudson Valley submersed in art & nature really inspires my mind and allows it to breathe.

 There is a real push for locally-made products at your store Reservoir and Wood. How has the made-local movement influenced how you curate the items in the store?

In my own line, I wanted to keep it local & American made. I wanted to support and showcase designers & craftsmen who equally value a commitment to their community and keeping the quality of USA made products. Its been very motivational to meet & work with so many talented & sustainably conscious people.

 What are some of your favorite local products?

Honestly its really hard to mention just a few when there are so many…

We just started carrying this incredible husband-wife furniture brand, Rexhill. Their designs are stunning–I’m currently obsessed with their Jax table!  Besides being one of the sweetest ladies I’ve met in the industry, Mandy Kordal’s knits are equally beautiful and edgy. I also don’t go a day without lighting my basil scented Good Candle or using my Craftsman Soap Co. breakfast scrub!

      How has moving out of the city changed your work?

I give myself time to relax and get back to basics. I turn down the hustle & bustle, I garden or I fish or go on a trail hike. And when I return to my work, I’m rejuvenated, fresh and inspired.

  Where do you see your company in 5,10 years?

I’d love to expand into new cities and reach more customers! The designers I carry and myself have a story to tell…that should be shared.

 What was the best advice you have received? (or a bit of advice for the reader)

Those that don’t jump will never fly;)



3 thoughts on “Q&A Sessions: Erin Murphy

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