An Interview with Claire Manganiello-the Artist Behind the Pizza Bed

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In May of 2013, after a long, cold night of bar hopping, Brooklyn resident and art director Claire Manganiello went home and created an image of a Pizza Bed. When asked why she created this image, Claire said that on that night in May she wished she could crawl inside of a giant piece of pizza. “You know, pull back the cheese and rest your head on crust?”

A year later, in the summer of 2014, Claire’s Pizza Bed photo appeared on Buzzfeed. Soon after that, Claire’s Pizza Bed began popping up on Facebook Newsfeeds throughout the internet. Today, Claire is finally bringing her Pizza Bed photo to life.

With the launch of a Kickstarter campaign that runs until December 29, 2014, Claire is offering pizza enthusiasts the opportunity to purchase their own pizza bedding. For $100-$200, depending on the size of your bed, pizza lovers will soon have the chance to sleep beneath sheets that resemble pepperoni pizza, pizza sauce, and pizza crust. To keep your Pizza Bed experience as close to enjoying a real slice of pizza as possible, the bedding will even arrive to your doorstep in its very own pizza box.

Having only launched a week ago, Claire’s Kickstarter campaign is well underway and gaining the attention of media outlets like Huffington Post and The Los Angeles Times. With all of the Pizza Bed craze, Encyclopizzeria was lucky to get the chance to chat with Claire about her infamous Pizza Bed and learn more about her love for za’.

Pizza Bed Delivery Box

Pizza box by Claire Manganiello

EP: Where did you initially distribute your Pizza Bed photo?

Claire: I was creating my portfolio in ad school at the time so I thought it could live there. Other than that, I just sent it to a couple friends.

Why do you think it took so long for the photos of your Pizza Bed to go viral?
I’m not quite sure how it happened! I was scrolling through Instagram and saw it on someone’s feed and was initially pretty confused! I assume Tumblr is to thank.

Can you pinpoint a pizza enthusiast responsible for the Pizza Bed’s internet fame?
I saw that Diplo was one of the earliest to post it before it got big. Other notable enthusiasts that contributed to its fame are The Fat Jew and Elliot Tebele.

Why did you decide to bring the Pizza Bed concept to life?
I’ve just wanted one for my bed! Unfortunately, it would be pretty expensive as a one-off. After it blew up, I received a ton of emails from people who also wanted one so I started looking into having it produced for mass consumption (pun intended).

Why create a Pizza Bed and not a hamburger or hot dog bed?
Come on. It’s pizza!! Need I say more? I would gladly forgo hamburgers and hot dogs for the rest of my life in the name of pizza.

I noticed on Kickstarter that, when you donate $15, you receive a sheet of temporary pizza tattoos. Do you have any real pizza tattoos?
No, not yet! I almost offered that as a reward tier; as in you donate $1000 I will get a pizza tattoo, but it felt a little like I was selling my body so I opted for $500 for a pizza fade.  My hair is already blue so I figured a small shave in the back would be alright.  Now I’m really hoping someone picks it! I will for sure send in pictures if either the tattoo or the fade happens!

Are you hoping to sell your pizza bedding outside of Kickstarter, either in stores or on Etsy?
If the Kickstarter gets funded and I have leftovers from the initial run, I would love to sell them in stores or on Etsy.  I had some pretty good success with my Etsy in the past. I panic-bought the domain www.pizzabed.cool. Maybe the store will live there?

What is your favorite pizza place?
Wow, you’re asking me to pick favorites? That’s like asking me to pick my favorite child! My family has been going to Colony Grill in Stamford, CT for over 25 years and they have some of the best thin crust pizza in the world. My favorite there is a stinger and onions well done. I’m literally salivating while writing this. I recently moved within walking distance to Grandma Rose’s and have not regretted that decision.

What is your go to pizza at Grandma Rose’s?
My favorite there is the eggplant and ricotta slice.

Do you have any pizza swag that you’re particularly proud of?
One time I painted my nails like pizza. That’s probably number one—until I get a tattoo or that fade of course! I am also pretty proud of the other rewards I’ve created for the Kickstarter and will definitely get a large canvas of the “Birth of Pizza” to hang above my bed.

Claire-the artist behind the Pizza Bed show off her pizza nails

Claire’s saucy pizza inspired nails.

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About Author

Erin Nederbo grew up in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood. Her writing has appeared on UpChicago.com and in New City. Her favorite pizza topping is sausage.

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