Delta designers are more than just the creative masterminds behind the fantastic faucets and shower systems in your home. Fascinated by the lives of those who spend their days creating beautiful home products for your kitchen and bath, we reached out to T.J. Eads, senior designer at Delta Faucet.
Delta: Let’s get to it. Where are you from?
T.J. Eads: I am from Wabash County, Indiana.
What does it mean to be from Wabash?
We are just country living here. There’s a decent-sized city, but in no comparison at all to Fort Wayne or Indianapolis or anything like that. I was born and raised in the country, and my wife and I live here still. We built a house here two years ago.
What did you think your future job would be when you were younger?
I visited Purdue and thought maybe something in landscape architecture because I love being outside. When I was sitting in with my adviser, she asked, “Have you ever heard of industrial design?” Of course, I hadn’t. Most people aren’t aware of it. She said, “We have an industrial design program, and you can design anything from sinks to snowboards.” That’s how she worded it. My mom, who was with me, of course blurted out, “He loves drawing and is good at it!” The adviser said, “Well, how does industrial design sound?” I said, “Sign me up.”
Are you involved in the Delta+ Cooper Hewitt event?
I designed the faucet that’s going to be displayed and showing. The pet name for it was C5 for Concept 5, but we’re going to be calling it Sphere.
You were one of the designers on the Trinsic Pro, one of the best-selling faucets. Is there something sexy about faucets that the average person doesn’t understand?
You’re designing things people are installing in their homes and keeping there for long periods of time—it has to look nice. The new finishes, that’s where the sexy part is. Also in what’s next: My favorite project is always the next project. You want to work on the next thing, and that’s what is appealing to me—how fast-paced Delta is and the variety of projects.
What are the hardest and easiest parts of designing?
I like concept generation, and I can just crank out concepts. I would say that’s the easy part. The hard part, which I do enjoy, actually, is the details, the nitty-gritty, research and refining. I wouldn’t categorize a certain product as hard. I’d say getting everything just perfect to where it makes sense, it’s ergonomic, it’s sexy, it’s right on trend with all the details proportioned correctly and in the right place.
If you weren’t designing faucets, what would you be doing?
I did enjoy the process of working with my wife and others to design our house and to build it. I could see myself maybe not necessarily focusing only on architectural design, but some aspect of designing houses. Maybe interiors. Maybe both. Bouncing around. Kind of like a Chip and Joanna [from HGTV’s Fixer Upper] type of thing.
Any pastimes and hobbies?
We snowmobile in the winter. My grandma owns a cabin in Michigan, so most of the family goes and we ride snowmobiles and we’ll ski or snowboard. We enjoy riding four-wheelers. My wife started making baby bibs and selling those. She’s super creative, just naturally talented. Design, in general, is a hobby for us: creating logos for friends or helping them with their house plans or building our own things. We built most of the furniture in our house. I built all the vanities.
You guys sound like homesteaders.
Yes, but modern. I don’t use old tools and stuff, but some would disagree with me on doing that. I use a lot of modern tools. We just love designing our own things. We can’t really turn it off. We just can’t stop thinking about design as a whole.
What’s your favorite color?
When I was young, it was purple. But then it was hunter green. Now it’s, I would say, black.
Of course, now that you’re a designer it went to matte black.
I love how you got specific there, because it is matte black. There you go.
What colors do you find offensive and why?
Based on our house, I love neutrals. Our whole house is white, black, brown, gray with some greenery here and there to warm it up or make it feel more like home. Neutrals are my thing—I’m not really into bright colors. They don’t do much for me. Bright pops of color—I don’t know that I’d say they’re offensive—are not my cup of tea.
What’s your favorite city in the world?
I’ve been fortunate to travel to a lot of cities, but I would say I don’t have a favorite one. I love being away from cities. I like going out West. I just love the openness and untouched elements of it. I love going to cities as well, because it is inspirational in seeing the man-made element of it. I would say one of my most enjoyable trips so far was traveling with Delta to Singapore, because one of the designers here was born and raised there. Whitney, my wife, was able to go, so we had an excellent time because we were getting a tour from someone who grew up there.
Is there a certain culture that inspires you?
Just being aware of everything, I think, is just naturally what I do. I don’t necessarily follow certain people, foods, places, things or cultures. I just like variety in my life.
What is one thing you would tell consumers about Delta Faucet that they probably don’t know?
We are very proud and fortunate because of our [Delta] culture and the care that we have for each other as a company and for our consumers. Just the culture, the soul behind our products. We truly do care, and we care for each other. The reason I drive an hour and 20 minutes every day [one way, to Delta headquarters in Indianapolis] is because I work with an awesome team.