Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Tom Medwin

May 2, 2016


Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Tom Medwin, creator of our new Donut Warming Mug.

Donut Warming Mug | UncommonGoods

Donut Warming Mug | UncommonGoods

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
When I was 13 years old I picked up a guitar and never put it down. My first music obsession was with the Beatles and I played in a cover band with some friends from school. We called ourselves “The Electric Eels,” which we later renamed “The Blue Moons.” I loved John Lennon and even wore round gold-rimmed glasses to school. I remember watching the Imagine documentary and making my parents take me to an art exhibit in Baltimore to see John’s artwork. So that’s when I knew I wanted to do something music and art related.

What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
There’s something deeply satisfying about creating something new. Whether it’s new sounds, art, products, or even children (we have 3 little ones, although my wife did the hard part on that one, haha). So to behold and delight in these little creations that are new and interesting is just amazing. It’s satisfying to the soul, and that’s the best part.

Donut Warming Mug | UncommonGoods

Did you know a regular mug loses 10 degrees of temperature right after pouring?! Temp loss = flavor loss.
Donut Warming Mug | UncommonGoods

What does your typical day in the studio look like?
I get up early and have coffee. Sweet, sweet, coffee. I help get kids to school, and if there are waves, I take a morning surf. That starts my day off right! I then get busy managing my business, replying to emails, working with suppliers, doing marketing, etc.

I get a bit OCD when working on my business so I have to shut it off by dinner time so that I can enjoy time with my wife and kids. We eat, spend time together, put kids to bed, and my wife and I finally get time to ourselves (which is usually spent watching a favorite show currently “The Bachelor;” shhh, don’t tell!).

My wife crashes early and I’m a night owl so I stay up working on the business and brainstorming new ideas. That’s when my brain gets creative and I often get a lot of inspiration for new things. Creating art, new designs, or new products takes some business sense to really get it out there for the world to enjoy. So that’s what the next morning is for!

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
My daughter just turned 6 and is very artistic. She’s always making little drawings of her and I holding hands, and practicing her writing to write out “I love u dad.” I keep all of them on my desk and take one on my business trips to look at regularly. Also, this sounds old-fashioned, but I keep a Bible nearby. It helps wash away my agitating, worrisome thoughts and replace them with peaceful ones, whenever I read it!

Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
Well, my daughter, the artistic one, is in kindergarten. I just asked her to pretend she’s never seen it and tell me the first thoughts that come to her mind. She just smiled and said, “Draw on it.” So she sees a blank canvas. I did present the mug to my son’s 3rd grade class when they were learning about inventors. They loved it and sent me cards later with invention ideas of their own. That was pretty awesome!


What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
Life is short, so live it to the full. Enjoy every moment right here and now; that’s why it’s called “the present.” Go in the direction of your dreams, take steps of faith, and don’t look back one day and wonder, “What if?”

Buy our Donut Warming Mug

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