Successful business collaborations generally require clear objectives, defined roles, and a legal agreement. But in the view of self-taught designer, antiques expert, and Southern gentleman Furlow Gatewood, the key elements are “friendship and trust.”

Friendship and trust—coupled with innate taste and discerning eyes—underpins the successful five-decade-long collaboration between Gatewood and his business partner, John Rosselli, the husband of renowned interior designer Bunny Williams. It’s also the foundation beneath “Furlow’s Folly,” their new collection of decorative painted hall chairs, pedestals, tables, consoles, and jardinières half a century in the making.

These talented and influential members of America’s design community were New York City shopkeepers who became friends in the 1960s. “We were a close-knit community of antique and boutique shops then,” recalls Rosselli, “and we were all familiar with one another. Furlow had a shop on 66th Street near my own, filled with lovely things. He became discouraged by how business was going in New York and I suggested we combine our businesses. I was planning a buying trip to London and needed someone to take over the shop, so he moved his inventory over and that was that.”


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This story appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of MILIEU