Eric Sheinkop & Judith Levey, the founders of The Desire Company, will appear on “Homegrown” from executive producers Chip & Joanna Gaines. Their new outdoor space transformation show with Jamila Norman is set to air this August on Discovery +.
Airing on The Magnolia Network August 13th, 2021, you’ll see Jamila Norman transform Eric & Judith’s backyard into a beautiful oasis on the new outdoor space transformation show “Homegrown."
Eric & Judith are the power couple founders of The Desire Company - a content media platform featuring authentic, trusted product reviews, practical how-tos, and easy-to-follow online classes from a community of top experts.
Seeing a need for a trusted & reliable source for product recommendations and expert product reviews, Eric and Judith set out to help shoppers make more informed decisions through access to their community of top professionals
We met with Eric & Judith to learn more about their creative inspiration and what they would teach if they had to share an expert how to of their own.
Eric: My whole career has been dedicated to creating platforms for artists to share their talent. From running a record label to my music company where I created opportunities for artists to get their music in commercials, TV shows, and movies, it’s always been something that I’m personally passionate about.
With The Desire Company, I’m excited about celebrating people with true expertise and real talent and creating a platform to share their wisdom with the masses. These are people who have dedicated their lives to their craft to become the best at what they do, but yet they’re still humble enough to want to share their learnings with us.
Judith: Before starting The Desire Company, I spent a lot of years in the PR industry working on brand/celebrity partnerships. The thing that frustrated me the most with the traditional talent endorsement model was that the partnerships didn’t always start from a place of authenticity. What I mean by that is that the celebrity didn’t necessarily have to use the brand or even like the product to take their money and appear in their ads. There’s something deeply flawed about that approach.
What excites me about building The Desire Company is the opportunity to reverse the model and start by asking the experts “what products do you genuinely use and love”. This ensures that the story the Pro tells about the product is real and genuine which is so much more helpful for shoppers who are looking to decide whether or not to buy it.
Eric: Desire is the grown-up version of curiosity. When you’re a kid, you’re curious about everything and want to learn more. And as you grow up, those curiosities develop into deeper desires to explore further into a specific area of interest. That’s what our content provides. It allows people to dig into their passions and learn more from credible experts who are doing it every day helping them learn more about that which they desire.
Judith: People may, or may not, be shocked to learn that e-commerce is flooded with fake reviews. For all of us review shoppers, me included, we know the power of a good or bad review to influence our purchase decisions. Brands know that too, which is why the review industry has been infiltrated by bots and pay-for-play schemes that influence star ratings and review sentiment.
All the noise makes it even harder to cut through the clutter of thousands of product choices and is contributing to a massive amount of product returns - $550bn worth in 2020 alone. This all leaves the door wide open for a company like Desire Co. to give shoppers quick, high-quality, trusted reviews from real experts who can be relied on to share their honest opinions of the products we’re buying.
Eric: Since the age of 9, I’ve been building my own businesses. It started with running the monopoly on lemonade stands on the street corners in my Lincoln Park, Chicago neighborhood and continued through running a record label, a management company, a music licensing company, and now The Desire Company.
I’ve always loved building businesses from the ground up. When you come across something that causes you frustration, I always think I can’t be the only one aggravated by this old solution, there has to be a better way.
Judith: Truth is, I had absolutely no desire to create my own company! I’ve worked in agencies and the corporate world my whole career and being an entrepreneur always looked to be a hard path to tread. But when you see a great idea and your co-founder is an accomplished entrepreneur - and your husband - it’s really hard not to take the leap.
And I’m extremely glad I did. The satisfaction that comes from knowing you created something from nothing and that it is bringing value to the world is unlike anything I experienced working in a big company.
Eric: How to make a dining table using the shou sugi ban technique. During COVID I discovered that I have a passion for building things out of wood. I made an ax-throwing set-up, a 25x30ft garden, and a bunch of furniture. My favorite is the dining table that started as a piece of plywood and is now a true masterpiece of design - at least in my opinion. There’s just something so satisfying about seeing the grain of the wood come through when you turn a flame thrower on it.
Judith: Not quite as exciting as flame throwers and axes, I feel like I could give a good shot at showing how to make a great packed lunch. My kids' friends are always expressing envy at the selections I pack for them on a daily basis, and it's something I know isn’t as easy to come up with as you might think. That or hair straightening. As someone who was born with thick, curly hair but wears it straight. I’ve learned a trick or two over the years.
Eric: Switching things up is key. Trainers emphasize constantly changing up your workouts so that you don’t plateau. Dieticians say the same thing about supplements and vitamins so that your body doesn’t get so used to them that they stop being effective. Estheticians say the same thing about the face lotions we use. And even switching between coffee and tea because we all know the feeling when coffee becomes less effective and you have to drink more to get the same effect. But if you switch it up, your body will continue to benefit from its effects. Being on set with the Pros has encouraged me to try new products and techniques when previously I had been set in my ways.
Judith: I literally learn something new every time we film with a Pro. Since we started filming, I have changed my skincare routine, my supplements, my haircare, my travel products - all based on their expert guidance. And it just works. When you’re getting advice from people who really know what they are talking about it just makes shopping so much easier. If I was to pick one thing, it was discovering packing cubes. Reina Hidalgo, who is a dancer for Pink! and tours with her all the time, brought them to set one day as one of her must-haves and she wasn’t kidding. They make packing and unpacking so much easier. Game changer.
Chip & Joanna Gaines’ new television show “Homegrown” on The Magnolia Network features Eric and Judith in a gorgeous backyard renovation update.
Eric: During the lockdown, I spent a lot of time indulging my passion for gardening. I built a large space for growing vegetables and herbs but no matter what I tried, it didn’t thrive. I was documenting the process on my Instagram, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly - like the time I almost took out part of my house when I was cutting down a tree - when this incredible opportunity presented itself.
We jumped at the chance to be able to get experts to come and guide us to make our garden successful and create a new space for us to enjoy the outdoors.
Judith: While Eric’s efforts to build a garden were definitely admirable, the resulting bitter cucumbers and tart raspberries were a clear sign we needed help. And so first and foremost, we wanted to create a sustainable garden that provided us with tasty produce every day. We also had an area of the yard that was totally unusable and saw this as an opportunity to get some creative minds on how to transform it into a space we could enjoy.
Eric: It’s game-changing. The garden literally feeds us every single day. Instead of going to the store, we can walk to our back yard and pick the freshest ingredients for lunch.
Judith: We work from home and the team helped us create a space in the yard that we can use as an office. Taking our zoom calls with the soundtrack of birds in the background is quite wonderful. And we couldn’t have done any of it without Jamila and the show.
Catch Eric & Judith on Homegrown on August 13, 2021, streaming on the Magnolia App, or watch their Founder’s Story for The Desire Company below.