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Collective Collage


This season, L&G teamed up with some of our JOIN friends, Grain and Iacoli & McAllister to test this concept of putting together a a micro catalog of gift ideas. 

We were lucky to have our friend, Charlie Schuck photograph our products while I styled everything....which I'm starting to realize the whole process of styling products can really satisfy my natural OCD tendencies of arranging/rearranging things!

Check out the full catalog below.  Clicking on the actual products on the image in the catalog to get directly to the product page.  




Here's the second half list of the participating studios!

13. Ladies & Gentlemen Studio:  That's us... Jean & Dylan (also co-organizer of the popup, Brite Collective, and JOIN)  like to keep a diverse array of things from chalkable piggy banks, to servers, to jewelery, to serving trays, and even lights.  Some might call it lack of commitment, but they prefer to call it diversification!

14. Material Good:  Founded on a vision that a company can include working for a cause in it's core vision, material good donates a portion of all sales to causes that promote curing and preventing cancer.  Their "Little Shirley" vases are an homage to founder Lauren Burman's grandmother, who inspired the idea for Material Good.

15. Meet Me Here: Jonas DeVerona creates simple well-constructed bags, accessories and clothes with quality materials and a keen eye for details.

16. Metrode: Caitlin collaborates with skilled small town hobbyist & crafters to create products in their craft with her creative vision and aesthetic.  The result is an elevation of traditional crafts beyond kitsch to the point of high design.

17. Object: Photographer Charlie Schuck is a man of many visions, but fortunately for us he has a soft spot for design.  Through the opening of Object, a Belltown design store and event space he champions good design with a minimally curated collection of furniture, lighting, home goods, jewelry, accessories, and vintage objects.

18. Paper Hammer: A paper studio/shop founded by Ed Marquand  (of Marquand Books - Seattle publishing company) that's all about bring back art of paper goods and book binding.  Their studio based in Tieton (a small Eastern Washington town recently revitalized as an artist town) creates their goods with the loving care that few care to give to papergoods these days.

19. Perhacs Studio: Founded by Brandon Perhacs and based on Bainbridge Island, the studio creates graphically playful products many of which can be customized by their users.

20. R&L goods:  Jean & Chika whip up a lovely collection of handmade wallets, notebooks, and other softgoods with prints in collaboration with Piano Nobile.

21. Studio Arno: A brand new company founded by Justin Lyle who makes sophisticated modern bolo ties using an array of exotic woods.

22. Ta+Ma:  We love Designer Tamae Satsu's eye for details and materials in her line of simple soft goods made from high quality leather and felt.

23. Urbancase:  Darin Montgomery of Urbancase is all about designing objects and spaces that contribute to a simpler, pared back lifestyle. 




On behalf of Brite Collective & JOIN, I'd like to just share what all this VALUE SHOP excitement is about!  We now have 20+ design studios which we'll feature at the VALUE (pop-up) SHOP for this coming weekend!!

We got some design "O.G."s, but also some new friends in the mix! Here's a sneak peak & a little something about each of the designers  alphebetaically ordered starting with the first half of the list....

1. Ample: Is a modern furniture & lighting studio founded by Andy Johnson.  The studio produces everything right here in Seattle, Washington with a strong preference for local materials and a deep conviction that furniture can and should be built to last a lifetime - or two 

2. Aleks Pollner: Ceramic porcelain artist who tests our perception of precoius porcelain objects and what it  means when things are just meant to be broken.

3. Ashley Helvey: the multi-talented textile artist, stylist, foodie, prolific blogger, and ultra-skilled thrifter. 

4. Blkpine Workshop: Christa Thomas & Nin Troung (also the co-organizers of this popup) have this amazing knack for juggling multiple creative businesses and roles at once. They are the founders/designers of Blkpine Workshop (Seattle-made bags),  Maiden Noir (menswear brand), Cafe Weekend (a delightful cafe), and on top of that Nin's a creative director for Stussy.  And we think we're busy with just one studio!

5. Brackish:  An up & coming furniture company founded by Forest Eckley & Andy Whitcomb.  Their thoughtful approach to design is based on a simple balance of carefully salvaged materials to create one-of-a-kind furniture pieces that are equal parts warm and industrial.

6. Erich Ginder: A PNW native who draws upon natural and traditional imagery from his youth to create fresh, playful remixes of classic forms.

7. fruitsuper: A seattle duo that puts the fun in fundamental with their simple, colorful, and functional products.

8. Glasswing: A collective founded by three roommates (Forest, also part of Brakish, Alisa, and Sean)who see eye-to-eye in all the little things that matter for living a quality life.  They have a shared interest which sent them on a mission to gather the best sources for delightful everyday essentials from scented homemade candles, honey from nearby farms, accessories, and more.

9. Grain:  Our Bainbridge Island-based friends whose thoughtful designs are dedicated to social and environmental responsibility.  Their goods are produced in small batches at their island studio or through special collaborations with expert artisans in the US and abroad.

10. Herman Yu:  A Seattle designer who creates beautiful printed cards and calendars featuring artfully manipulated natural images that are simultaneously graphic and ethereal.

11. Iacoli & McAllister:  A collaboration between Jamie Iacoli and Brian McAllister that yields an impressive line up of lighting, furniture, jewelry, and small products.  Their work never ceases to be an amazing intersection of materials and geometry.

12. Jessalin Beutler:  A collection of accessories and clothes that are feature bold geographic patterns HAND-painted by Jessalin herself!

So yah......quite a list already, eh? This is like rounding up all the super hereos with all their super making powers!

Well, guess what? we're only at the half way point! More designers to follow for part 2!



L&G at NYIGF Jan 29-Feb 2


We can't believe it's that time again! 2011 year ended and now L&G is TOTALLY pumped for 2012 and ready to share some brand new works!

L&G will be showing an exciting brand new line of table top items & jewelry along with JOIN and eight other Northwest based studios.

So come visit us at Accent of Design at the Jacob K. Javits Center, Level 3. We'll also be right next to other talented young designers from American Design Club and A+ Young Designers.

It's gonna be a par-tay! woot woot!




BLANC Rocked The House!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you Seattle for making the BLANC pop up a success!

We had a great time this week and were so inspired by people's enthusiasm about design! With this and the OBJECT opening a week earlier, we're feeling some serious momentum for Design in the Northwest. FINALLY!

Here's a little summary of the weekend:

It all started Friday with a preview party at Sole Repair...

...A perfect evening of TOTAL wintery white festivities filled with inspiring work from 30+ designers from Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver.

Everything looked pefectly BLANC.....Wintery white but warm and cozy all at the same time. There was special BLANC themed cocktails and snacks and lots of people dressed for the theme.  It was exactly how I enviosned...perfectly BLANC! I couldn't have asked for more!


(photos above by Eric Becker)

On Saturday, we braved the wintery elements opening the big garage door at Caffe Vita's Bean Room for the BLANC pop up. Using bags of coffee beans, discarded pallets and crates Jean led the crew of willing volunteers in merchandising a beautiful display of BLANC and non-BLANC design items. 

The crowd was consistent and diverse from JOIN followers to coffee-sipping walk-ins. By the successful end of the first day, we knew there was no other option than to extend the hours three more hours on Saturday and open up again on Sunday!

And of course we had to treat ourselves to some hot coco with homemade marshmallows that totally hit the spot!

All and all,  it was just so great to so many people who came to support and celebrate design! It's resounding clear that Seattle is ready to embrace design more than ever! We say this is the turning point!! and that deserves a group hugs & high-fives all around!

Phew! I'm totally exhausted and need to go hibernate for the next 6 months now!!

See the rest of the event HERE!



BLANC success!

More details on the BLANC sale later but let's say it's been so encouraging to see Seattle get excited about design!

The past two days have been so inspiring that we decided to open the shop again today (Sunday) from 11-5! at Caffe Vita's bean room at 1005 e pike , Seattle.

Come visit us!


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Special BLANC Mailers

I'm excited to share these special mailers that Chelsea Heffner of plainMADE  and I collaborated on to reach out to some special museums / shops / press in Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and NY!

Each card is unique and it's just a little something that we hope will entice them to come check us out and/or support the event!

....but mostly I just wanted an excuse to get Chelsea to do some beautiful hand-painted artwork! :)

Her free-hand color washes is totally perfect for what I had envisioned for BLANC. She even got these beautiful slightly textured thick water-color paper to paint on. Then I did the layout for the text and printed it with just my printer!

I was more than surprised and happy to find that my ghetto Canon MP470 printer did SUCH a stellar print job, didn't chew up the paper or die!

 I really hope people will get them and keep these for awhile....I know I totally would!

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BLANC: a Winter JOIN Design Popup!! NOV 18-19

I'm SUPER excited for this design Pop-Up shop that JOIN and Brite Collective are organizing, which will be happening next week! eek!! 

Its been awhile since we've done an event for both JOIN & Brite in Seattle, and figured this is the perfect time to gather everyone and jumpstart the shopping season with lots of awesome work from independent designers!

We gathered 30+ designers and artists to do a special curated works under the theme BLANC.

Full details below!

JOIN Design Seattle and Brite Collective presents:  

BLANC-A Winter White Design Pop-up Shop

We're ready to ring in the winter holiday season with a one-of-a-kind market of great design. In celebration of winter, BLANC will feature a curated selection of limited edition objects that are white, blank, or otherwise achromous in color or spirit. Additionally, the pop-up shop will offer a cornucopia of other well-made goods from 30+ talented emerging designers from the West to the East.


DAY 1 / NOV. 18th / BLANC PREVIEW PARTY 8pm-12am 
Celebrate independent design. Special preview of "BLANC" curated items, BLANC cocktail menu, live music, and more. Wear something white! 

Time: 8:00pm - 9:30pm BLANC preview shopping event. 9:00pm - 12:00am DJ & special guest performance by NODDY

Location: Sole Repair Shop 1001 East Pike Street Seattle, WA.
Suggested Donation: $5.00


DAY 2 / Nov 19th / Design BLANC Pop-Up Shop 11am-5pm 
Support independent design by checking off your gift list early with items from the BLANC curated collection as well as other original design goods ranging from furniture, art, housewares, jewelry, accessories, ornaments, and more. Also enjoy special activities by Brite Collective holiday, hot beverages from Caffe Vita, pizza by Big Mario's, and more. 

Time: 11:00am - 5:00pm
Location: Cafe Vita Bean Room 1005 East Pike Street Seattle, WA.

Get a sneak preview here!






Featuring Works from:
&c. Jewelry / Aleksandra Pollner / Alisha Louise / Ashley Helvey / Blk Pine Workshop / Brandon Perhacs / Cairo / Chadhaus / COATT / Elizabeth Patterson / Erich Ginder / Fleet Objects / Fort Standard / Free Time Industries / Fruitsuper / Grain / Herman Yu / Iacoli & McAllister / Jessaline Beutler / Kiel Mead / Ladies & Gentlemen Studio / Meet Me Here / Piano Nobile / plainMADE / R&L Goods / Studio Gorm / Thomas ImZanna Printed Textiles / Handpicked items from OBJECT and more...



OBJECT Opening 11.11.11

This is a super exciting news for Seattle.

Charlie Schuck, the mastermind behind OBJECT, which first started off more as  concept popup shops is now becoming a real brick and mortar store in Charlies' new studio in Belletown neighborhood (next to Suyama!)

The opening is today, Novemeber, 11, 2011. Starting at 630pm. L&G will have some selective items in there as well!

..and here's the first OBJECT newsletter!

 Check out full event details HERE!



All set up at IDSwest

Calling all Vancouverites! L&G is spending the weekend posted up at the IDS West show at the Vancouver Convention Centre through Sunday. We'll be accompanied by Iacoli & Mcallister, Grain, and Urbancase to represent Join Design Seattle at the show.

Along with our normal cast of characters (our piggies, servers, salt & pepper pawz, and megadoily rug), we're also unveiling a super fresh, top secret prototype of Rise Over Run our new collapsable wall-hung step-stairs. More on that soon but if you're in Vancouver come visit and take an exclusive first peak.



Time for Fun: Hand-Making Models for New Ideas

Finally feel like we're getting around to do something fun & creative in the studio!

We'll be going up to Vancouver to be part of the Interior Design Show West (Sept 29th-Oct 3) along with JOIN. This will be L&G's first time showing some of our furniture pieces, but also it will be the first time for all of us to show in Vancouver! Very exciting...

I didn't realize how much I missed hand-making models with color pencils, chipboard, balsa wood, and all that. Totally felt like a kid again.   

More to come, but here's a lil' sneak peak...

Some sample look books

A prototype of our new concept...can you guess what will be?



Aug 2011 NYIGF Wrap up!

Here's a recap of the JOIN at the NYIGF for the 3rd time!

This time with us being in the lobby outside of the Accent on Design area turned out to be a MUCH more pleasant of a space to be in...especially when the sun is out! Just look at how everything shines on the table!

Above: New server colors and cake servers from L&G, and colorful big Silicone ring by fruitsuper....and NO they're NOT eraser rings!

Here we got Chelsea H. from plainMADE getting a little sun tanning sesh at the Javits....

Photos above by Grain

New frame light colors from Iacoli & McAllister.

Also this time being next to AmDC made it 100 times more fun, too!

photo by Steph Mantis

Here are some highlights from AmDC's booth:

Bracelets made with mix marble cuts celebrating the colors & patterns of the various types of stone. By Chen Chen & Kai Tsien Williams.

Chika & I got to trade with Patrick Kim for one of his clever wooden tons and these lovely cutting boards with a simple rubber band at the end to keep it from slipping around.  Clever AND thoughtful...

Beautiful & sleek glass vessels from Felicia Ferrone based out of Chicago. 

Playful two-headed animal necklaces in various metals by Steph Mantis! (and yes... exclamation mark is required when referring to Steph!)

 ...and of course, we wouldn't feel complete at the NYIGF until we have some sort of birthday celebration! and this year is no exception...

Here's Chika with her doughnut birthday cake composed by me and Christa (of blkPINE bags). This is second time celebrating Chika's bday at the Javits and we went all out and made a doughnut tower with yummy doughnuts from Doughnut Plant....surrounded with coconut macaroons, strawberry Pocky sticks, and flower pom pom with napkins provided by the Javits.

Yes...I know...only a master mind & a true artist can create such master piece such as this. Christa and I took MAD pride in carefully piling the doughnuts up and sprucing it all up...and all the  grease spots on the box only shows how much thought went into this...



L&G and JOIN friends at NYIGF Aug13-Aug18

We can't believe it's already been a WHOLE year since we debut our work at the NYIGF last year...the year went by super fast and we don't really remember what really happened...but all I can say is that this whole experience of having our own studio so far has been more than amazing, and it's been reassuring for us that we can actually make it work!  

...and in finding the need to give ourselves a little pat on our backs, we decided to celebrate a little by getting a cake! I love that I can write off things like this as an business expense!

We even used the cake to shoot along with our new items that we'll be bring to the NYIGF this August: New pastel Superior server colors, Vintage Superior cake servers, ceramic Salt & Pepper Pawz, and Terracotta Piggy banks!

So yeah...It's been a crazy year where it felt like so much has happened yet I can barely remember it all.  Does that make sense?....and is that normal?

I think perhaps it's the fact that we're still learning the art of juggling everything and learning how to be our own bosses...and do everything be a designer, product developer, maker, project manager, blogger, photographer, sales rep,  accountant, PR, creative director, packer, shipper, and the person to wash dishes, etc.

Less assure you that i'm NOT trying to brag....seriously...

Nonetheless, we're still totally psyched for this August NYIGF where 8 of us design studios under JOIN will  be next to other talented peeps from American Design Club and “A+: The Young Designers’ Platform.” We'll all going to join forces and showcase our work outside the entrance to Accent on Design in the lobby area. 

Yes...nothing like partying in the lobby at the Javits Convention Center!! Woot woot!

Check out what everyone gots to bring!

New print from  R&L goods.

Hex Opener by Iacoli & McAllister 


Hung by Grain 


Canoe Canvas Pack by Blk Pine Workshop


  Bows Scarf by PlainMADE

2012 Naturalist Almanac by Free Time Industries 

SBiR Rings by friutsuper designSBiR Rings by friutsuper design

More info:

The New York International Gift Fair ( is located at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W 34th Street in New York, and will be open 9:00 am - 6:00 pm August 14 - August 17, 2011 and Noon - 6:00 pm August 18, 2011.




We got our pieces in the show!! Woo Hoo!
This will be our first time participating in a design show in NY!! We're stoked!!  But sad that we won't be able to be part of the excitement in person.. bum bums....

Some JOIN peeps like Iacoli & McAllister, Grain, and FTI will also have stuff there!It's gonna be a pretty amazing group of designers and I'm 101% sure there will be pretty amazing stuff, there, too!
...but here's our crazy shipping mess & packaged items before shipping them out to NY...which took me all night to makeshift a custom sized box from scratch.....who does that??
I think I ended up using every types of packing material possible for this box.
It was seriously a total piece of work in itself. :P
...but i think the people at AmDC will probably forever hate me because it's probably going to be a total hassle to unwrap it.....saaaaawweeeee~!!

We'll reveal the pieces under all those mysterious foam, bubble wraps, and cardboard pieces soon!!



Fun Remodelista Market

Last Saturday's Remodelista Seattle Market went super well! We're so excited to be part of it, and meet all the talented people...and lovely ladies, Sarah & Allison of Remodelista! It was such a nice to spend the Saturday....hang out & catch up with peeps from I&M, yummy coffee & treats from Christa of Cafe Weekend....met lovely Heidi Swanson and got her new book...and then got REAL hungry looking at all the beautiful photos her book....
Below are some photos from Michael Jardine, since I still need to edit mine. heh...

We were in the Henrybuilt production space, thus explains the vinyl strips behind Dylan.
And there's him selling some our goods.Christina of Studio Patro
Mato Creative (amazing denim/indigo dyed accessories!)
Hattie Bird
Amy & Katy Carson of Bitters Co.
For those who couldn't make it to the market, don't get too bummed. Starting today, Remodelista is doing a 48hr special online sale with some sort of discount on all the things that were there (10-15% off or free shipping)
there you don't have to feel so sad for missing it!

Also we're hoping to do the next one in Portland beginning of June!! Can't wait!
photos from Michael



Seattle Remodelista Market, April 30th!

We were excited when we first heard about Remodelista coming to Seattle to organize a local design market, and will be at the Henrybuilt production/office space in Georgetown!
But then got even MORE excited when they contacted us asking if L&G would be interested in being part of the sale....we replied them with a "YES! TOTALLY!!" and way too many exclamation points after that.
Event detail:

Remodelista readers of the Northwest take note: on April 30, we're hosting our second Local Market in Seattle at henrybuilt's Georgetown location. On offer will be an array of goods from some of our favorite Seattle artisans, with an emphasis on wares for the home (as well as a dash of fashion); for good measure, we've imported a few of our favorite Northern California vendors. 

Date & Time: April 30, 11 am to 4 pm.
Location: Henrybuilt in Georgetown, 4634 Ohio Avenue South, Seattle, 98134

List of participating vendors: Bitters Co., Bainbridge Blues, Goods from the Hood, Gallant & Jones, glassybaby, Hattie Bird, Heidi Swanson, Iacoli & McAllister, Ladies & Gentlemen, Mato Creative, Marie Veronique Organics, Paper Hammer, Red Ticking, Rough Linen, Studio Patro, Sefte Living, Seabold Vintage Market, Twiggypop Ranch, Urbancase,.....

Exciting, right?!
We can't wait to see everything, get Heidi Swanson's autograph on her new book, and hopefully sell lots of L&G goods!



L&G and JOIN on Fast Company Blog

Check out this great write up on Fast Company blog about our friends from JOIN, us, the Design scene in Seattle....and Georgetown of all places... :P
I do have to admit that I did not expect them to talk so much about Georgetown since I did mention other areas when John interviewed us over the phone...I swear! But perhaps Georgetown stood out the most sounded more "unique" & "special"...with their summer art fests, drunk power tool-races, steam-punk trapeze schools, vegan bike powwows, and so on....
Ok....Seattle IS pretty darn special...sigh...



Designer Profile No.2: Urbancase

Is it October already?! I guess that means it's time for another JOIN Designer Profile interview!

On a quiet dead end off the main strip of Seattle's working-class South Park neighborhood sits the dynamic hub from which Darin Montgomery of Urbancase spins his creative web of multi-faceted design efforts. The Urbancase studio is well organized and compact, smaller than we expected for a predominantly furniture-centric studio. As we learn more about what goes on there we were convinced more and more that we've quite possibly stumbled upon a Utopian design studio.

Here creativity is kept fresh by experimentation with materials, ideas, hands-on prototyping, and occasional contract work, but kept a sustainable business by smart, selective outsourcing to skilled local craftspeople and manufacturers. In a format reminiscent of Italy's post-war designers, Urbancase has managed to use it's local resources to create great products with minimal in-house manufacturing capabilities opting instead to use the services the Northwest has to offer. What was so striking was the ease at which Darin delegates his production work to others while keeping the critical creative functions firmly centered within his company. When asked if trusting others with the critical task of executing his vision was in any way problematic, Darin shrugs it off "I pick people who care about what they do. I try to work with others in a similar position to my own."

He went on to explain his belief that keeping production local and small scale has allowed him to replace a rigorous QC process with a level of trust and confidence in his suppliers. "I was inspecting every box they gave me and realized at a certain point it wasn't necessary. They cared about their work as much as I did." This absolutely shows in the work: curved cabinet edges executed seamlessly, beeswax candles (in the shapes of classic cameras) casted with precise details, finishes carefully applied and rubbed by hand. Can't wait to hear more:

Studio Name: Urbancase

Member(s): Darin Montgomery

Location: Seattle, WA

Started in: 2002

What's the story behind your company/studio? What made you finally realize that you wanted to start your own design company? Take us back to that exact moment when you thought "I'm gonna start my own freakin' design studio!"

I was in Vancouver, BC for a weekend getaway with my girlfriend Rachel. I left a job several months earlier with the intention of starting my own business but was still trying to figure out what direction to go. Rachel finally suggested I should just do what makes me happy. It seemed so obvious. Design makes me that's what I did.

What's your design philosophy and approach?

My philosophy is pretty basic and I try to apply it to every aspect of my life. Whatever I do...whether it's design, cooking, or interacting with should be simple, functional, thoughtful, and beautiful.

What are some highlights (life changing events) you've experienced that influenced your current work or design?

Growing up, my Father owned an auto body shop and for many years it was the gathering place for my Dad and his buddies. He had a group of extremely talented friends and I spent countless hours working on projects with them. They would engineer everything from suspension systems for hot rods to enclosed motorcycle trailers with fold down seating and eating areas. Material and budget limitations were common and more often than not they would solve problems by committee. It was a great environment to grow up in. The experience of working with them influences every project I approach. The level of craftsmanship and functionality they achieved is something that is with me every day.

What's your favorite place to visit and get inspiration?

We took a trip to Berlin two years ago and it had a huge impact on the way I look at design. Unfortunately, I can't pop over every time I need inspiration. But...I have the photos to which I refer frequently. Any industrial or area in disrepair is a great source of ideas for me as well.

What do you like to do when you need a break from design?

I try to keep a project in the shop that I don't have to think too much about. Something that requires sanding or polishing. If I'm having difficulty resolving an idea or I've been on the computer all day, repetitive motion can be very relaxing.

Every Sunday Rachel and I have a ritual. We make breakfast, have coffee and listen to records then walk through Freeway Park on our way to the library. Even though I'm surrounded by incredible architecture, it's routine and comfortable so I don't even think about design. It's a great way to recharge my batteries.

We recently started learning French. I'm not very good so it takes all my brain power. I don't have the energy to think about anything else. I also play guitar and even though I don't practice often enough, 10-20 minutes a day is a real treat. In the winter I play hockey. When I'm on the ice, design is the FURTHEST thing from my mind.

What do you consider your most successful and or rewarding project?

The projects I rush through or don't resolve completely are the most successful. I learn so much from them and usually have one lying around to remind me of what not to do. Perhaps the most rewarding project was a wine glass rack I made for my parents when I was eight. I built it from scraps found in the garage. It was hideous. My Dad cried when it got knocked off the shelf and shattered.

What are the strengths of design in the Northwest? How do you see it becoming stronger?

I love that design in the Northwest has a feeling of honesty and sincerity. It's not arrogant or pretentious. I believe if the design community in the Northwest continues to communicate, share information, ideas, and resources, it will only get better. JOIN is an awesome organization and the people involved are unbelievable. It's a great feeling when you pick up the phone or e-mail someone in the same discipline that you work and know they will share whatever information they have. 


What's your favorite, well-designed food? why?

I would say a seed of any kind. They're perfectly designed for their environment and have a little secret tucked away inside. Salsa is a pretty close second.

What's your favorite object? Why?

A micrometer that belonged to my Grandfather. It's beautiful, functional, and very satisfying to use. It doesn't give you a sense of how much effort it took to design. I love objects that conceal their complexity.

Tell us about your very first experience when you did ICFF. What was it like? How did you prepare yourself? Any tips or words of wisdom to share about ICFF?

It's funny to look back now, but I remember being very anxious at the time. My friend and I shared a booth and it was the first show for both of us. I arrived at the Jacob Javits Center bright and early with a box of postcards, order forms, and comfortable shoes. I was set. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the booth I found a big hole in the side of our crate. I have no idea what happened, but needless to say...I freaked out. I couldn't open it because my buddy had the cordless drill and was nowhere to be found. I ran around frantically trying to find a drill. Workers at the Javits Center won't loan tools and it seemed as though EVERY other exhibitor was wandering aimlessly looking for a cordless drill. It felt like complete mayhem. I called my friend continuously for the next two hours. Eventually...he answered the phone and the first thing he said was..."do you know the bars stay open until 4 AM?" When he finally arrived at the Javits center he'd forgotten to put the drill on the charger. All we could do was laugh. Once we got the crate open all was good. That was my first three hours of ICFF.

I was naive enough to think my product would sell itself and underestimated the importance of booth design. I'm still learning because there's a science to the dynamics of a trade show. The booth layout has a huge impact on how people approach you. It's sort of like being alone on a dance floor waiting for the music to start. All it takes is one person to join you and others will follow.

I would strongly encourage anyone who feels their product(s) are suited for ICFF to figure out a way to make it happen. There are opportunities you won't find anywhere else. And...if you go one year, plan on going the next. It's an incredible experience, lots of energy, inspiration, and seriously cool people.

For anyone thinking of going I would suggest:

1. Hook up with someone who has done the show. They can help with simple things like finding a hardware store, shipping facilities, and ways to cut through the red tape at the Javits Center.

2. Set aside plenty of time to design your booth and presentation materials. Some people want postcards, some want electronic communication. You should have several options.

3. Most of the rumors you've heard about the staff at the Javits Center are true. They're not on your schedule, you're on theirs. It's all good if you roll with it. Fight it and you'll be miserable (it took more than a year for me to figure that out).

4. Try to have two people in the booth. It's exhausting to do it by yourself. And...somehow it makes your booth more approachable.

5. Eat right, brush your teeth, and don't run with scissors.

What other design shows have you done or would like to do in the future?

ICFF is the only show we've done. Milan is on the radar. We're shooting for 2011.



JOIN at NYIGF 2011 Report

We were excited to see the friendly folks at the American Design Club (AmDC) and check out what new exciting works was at their booth.
Started by Kiel Mead around the same time as when Jamie started JOIN, AmDC is like the East coast version of JOIN; A grass root design collective with a common goal to promote and showcase emerging US design studios and designers. A wonderful collection of silver cast jewelery & accessories by Kiel Mead. I love his new "Pennant Flag" necklace where each flag is movable!
Simple & clever wooden tongs by Patrick Kim / Charming wooden "Merit Badge" necklaces by Fort Standard. Elegantly modern "Tool" pendant & rings by Silvia Bradhsaw / Faceted "Octagon Face" hanging lamp by Brendan Ravenhill.
Beautifully grotesque "Swell Vase" made with insulation foam & produce mesh by Chen Chen / Playful faceted wooden "Balancing Blocks" by Fort Standard / Flocked "Coatknob" by Brian Persico / "Tendril" lamps by Chen Chen. It's always so fun to connect with the delightful folks from AmDC and learning about them, what they do, and all that fun stuff. It made me realize that we actually have more in common than most people's perception about the east & the west coast...
As emerging designers, we have a lot in common in our situations, goals, values, and interest....and can totally geek out over tools, machines, materials, and other random topics like how the sound of falling wood blocks is oh so satisfying....

So really..we're not that different at all...we're all just people trying to make the best out of ourselves, pursue our creative dreams and live a fulfilling life...we're like a bunch of little fishies in the big ocean!...or in this particular the big Javits convention center with way over-priced mediocre food & at least, we can all bond over that....
Then on one of the days, we got to celebrate Chelsea from Grain's Birthday! ..or should I say...Happy Boozeday!
Hey...we all needed a little break for having to be at the Javits for 5 days straight!! This shall be a good bi-annual tradition from now on. :)
After a long day at the Javits...there's nothing like shoving good ol' greasy comfort food in our faces at the crazy Hill Country BBQ (This is as far to Texas as I'm willing to go....) along with the folks from AmDC.
and this was how it all went down.... greasy bbq ribs, cornbread, collard greens, and couple of sweet vodka with ginger ale...
....aaaaand I'm out.



JOIN us at NYIGF 2011

For our second national show, JOIN has combined forces once again along with 6 other Northwest design studios to launch a series of new products and accessories at the New York International Gift Fair January 30th - February 3rd, 2011.

JOIN will be located in booth #3916 in Accent on Design.

We're stoked to see some exciting new things from our friends!R&L goods' new linen button scarves. (That's Dylan & I...ha ha)

Iacoli & McAllister's brass & suede adjustable necklaces,

Meet Me Here's recycled banner bag with a nice finishing touch of the leather handles.

plainMADE's perfect spring silk scarves

Grain's new hand mirror handbound with natural twine.

BLK Pine's new canvas bag line.