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Amy Sedaris interview: "I used to sell cupcakes and cheese balls"

This funny lady wrote the book on entertaining—and now she’s designed party-ready servingware

The "I Like You" line from Amy Sedaris, at Fishs Eddy
The "I Like You" line from Amy Sedaris, at Fishs Eddy
By Kevin Aeh |
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Photograph: Danielle St. Laurent

Amy Sedaris, the Strangers with Candy actor, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence author and bunny activist can add another title to her résumé: housewares designer. I Like You, her new line of serving items for Fishs Eddy features dish towels covered in dollar signs ($17), gingham-wrapped glass bowls ($7.50) and other kitchen items. She gave us the scoop.

Time Out New York: You made housewares!
Amy Sedaris: How about that! Todd Oldham, a friend of mine, has a line at Fishs Eddy and showed them my fabrics—I have a line—and then we decided to do this.

What are your favorite items?
That big popcorn bowl. I can’t wait to just fill it with whipped cream. And the colors—I was inspired by that gum Fruit Stripe. I remember as a kid that beautiful, striped chewing gum.

What else inspired you?
Well, one time I ran into Parker Posey—she lives around the corner from me—and she told me that she and her boyfriend had just watched all 14 seasons of Dallas. And then I had to watch it, right? But what she didn’t tell me was that they had watched it over two years. I did it over two weeks and drove myself crazy. But there was a girl on there wearing a jumpsuit covered in dollar-and-cent signs, and that inspired the dollar-sign artwork.

Could a clothing line be next?
I know what I like, but I don’t know if other people would be into it. But I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

And you have a new show on Netflix?
I have a new show on Netflix and then am working on a show that’s on Amazon. The animated show on Netflix is called BoJack Horseman. It just started and we’re doing a second season. So, that’s exciting. I’ve been wanting to do something with Will Arnett for so long. And I guess this is what we’re going to do…voiceover. And then on Amazon is Alpha House with John Goodman. I like it because first I look like Robert Blake. I have a little short root-beer–brown wig that I found on the floor of a wig shop, and I begged the producers to let me wear it. It was $50.

You guest-star on a lot of shows.
I do. I like that.

So what’s a show that you want to guest on next?
Well, I really like Girls. I like Lena Dunham. The Americans would be fun, where I can play a spy. Louie, of course.

What are your favorite stores in New York?
Oh my gosh, I have a huge list! Aedes de Venustas, that fragrance store on Christopher Street and Gay. It’s one of my favorite shops. It smells so nice. And I still shop at John Derian a lot. I like Top Hat on the Lower East Side, that’s a good store. I like the smoke shop on Christopher Street because I can buy plain matches there. It’s the only place where I can find white matchbook covers with zero writing on them. And then I sell them. Of course, I love Bigelow’s. I have a list on my computer, but that’s what comes to mind.

You used to sell cheese balls at personal appearances, right?
I used to sell cupcakes and cheese balls. A lot of times, people come through and they want a picture or you to sign something. This way, I’m like, “You have to buy something!” It’s not about the money; it’s about the transaction. It’s not like I sat in Raleigh, North Carolina, and said I want to move to New York City and be an actress. But I did think about selling stuff. I was a Girl Scout, and I loved to go door-to-door selling stuff. So when I saw my display at Fishs Eddy, it was the first time I could really say out loud, “Wow, this is a dream come true.”

Meet Amy Sedaris at Fishs Eddy on Sept 13 at 3pm.
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