Six American Design Entrepreneurs You Should Know

Relying on solid hands-on skills and the e-commerce market, a young design studio can now strike out on its own.

All images courtesy the designers

Gone are the days when designers struggled to find producers to manufacture their wares. Relying on solid hands-on skills and the e-commerce market, a young design studio can now strike out on its own. These six American entrepreneurs have done just that, offering handcrafted products and custom services to designers and consumers all over the country. Think of them as your local, go-to design talent.

Graypants

Seattle, Washington

Founded in 2008 by architects Seth Grizzle and Jonathan Junker, Graypants is a full-service design studio with an online shop, offering handcrafted wares like the new Kerflight series that delights with its playful spin on table lamps,hanging pendants, and sconces.

Juju Papers

Portland, Oregon

Artist Avery Thatcher started her artisanal wallpaper studio in 2010, when she launched her first collection of hand-painted designs for retail. Like all of Juju’s products, its latest release, Sisters of the Sun, is made in small batches using sustainable pulp paper.

Workstead

Brooklyn, New York

In just five years, Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith have established themselves as a premier industrial design studio, thanks to their finely wrought, minimalist-yet-folksy designs. Their Brass collection poses lamps, pendants, and chandeliers as artworks.

Color & Mirror

Detroit, Michigan

Since 2012, this glass studio has specialized in custom Art Deco–style mirrors, combining period fan-shaped geometry and crystalline color to order.The Detroit-based company manufactures all of its mirrors in its factory just outside the city.

Hennepin Made

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Glassmakers Joe Limpert and Jackson Schwartz partnered in 2011 to form their independent studio. The Parallel Series of pendant lamps, which debuted at this year’s ICFF in New York, combines hand-blown glass with machined aluminum in a spirited manner.

WFour Design

Minden, Nevada

This small furniture company is run by maker Chris Walsh, who designs and builds every order using locally sourced hardwood. Walsh’s midcentury-styled tables and cabinets—like the Mix Match Cabinet, whose color palette can be customized–have an air of authenticity.

Categories: Makers

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