Browsing Tag

Product Development

Design

Celestial Style: How We Designed Our New Handmade Bracelets

April 25, 2018

Each bracelet represents one of the wonders of our solar system

 

I’m a life-long lover of outer space, and I love knowing that many of our customers are too. We’re always looking for creative ways to celebrate the wonders of the universe, so I was super excited when the rest of the team at UncommonGoods got on board with my planetary-inspired jewelry idea: our handmade Earth & Beyond Bracelets.

I knew from the start that I wanted to develop these bracelets in collaboration with Wakami, a company that empowers female artisans and their communities. Not only do they have an artistic vision that would help the idea come to life, but they also have a really great mission: connecting under-resourced communities to the global market.

 

Guatemalan artisans at work crafting Earth and Beyond Bracelets , production and design photo courtesy of Wakami

 

Through Wakami, women in rural Guatemalan villages are able to generate income and access services (like professional training) that help improve their quality of life. Knowing that, we felt like the story, design, and craftsmanship of these bracelets would make a meaningful statement to anyone who wears them.

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Design

Give Your Favorite Fruits a Boost with the Just Ripe Fruit Bowl

February 12, 2018

Just Ripe Fruit Bowl | available only at UncommonGoods

Thousands of years—that’s how old the concept of a fruit bowl is. In Pompeiian frescoes and the Met’s collections (and many places in between), you’ll find evidence of the delightfully basic vessel’s time-honored place in our kitchens. When something’s been around so long, though, why tweak it? We’ll let you in on a secret: Your beloved fruit bowl could be better. We’re talking way, way better. And with a little help from designer Myles Geyman, our Product Development team set out to make it so.

First, if you’ll permit the indulgence, allow us to set the scene. It’s a sunny Saturday morning, and you’ve just hit the farmer’s market in search of your favorite summer fruits (hey, it’s February—we can dream): peaches, cherries, plums, and nectarines. You arrive home with your tasty, tasty spoils, plop them all in your favorite fruit bowl, and wait for each to achieve maximum ripeness. But you’re foiled when one of your peaches turns mushy, unleashing a sea of sticky peach slop, and when you attempt to lift your spirits, you reach for a plum—only to find it’s neither soft nor sweet! If only you had some way of organizing your fruits, pushing the tough, unripe ones along, and keeping such disappointment at bay…

Enter the Just Ripe Fruit Bowl and its partner in crime, a little thing called ethylene.

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Maker Stories

Diagnosis: Talent. Dr. Martin Geller’s Pet Pedigree Poems

August 31, 2017
Dr. Martin Geller, acrostic poem king

Dr. Martin Geller, acrostic poem king

 

We’re proud of offering goods made by artists and makers from around the world. But we have a special, parental pride when a design’s DNA is 100% from the UncommonGoods “family”–like our Pet Pedigree Poem items. Unique from head to tail, these items, which are exclusive to UncommonGoods, feature an acrostic poem celebrating your breed’s special traits.

We have dog pillows, mugs, totes, and art for dogs and cats—including rescue cats.

The idea to mix paintings with acrostic poems came together serendipitously, and blended the skills and talents of the UncommonGoods Product Development team, led by Carolyn Topp (Director of New Business and Product Development), and Dr. Martin Geller, a retired psychiatric physician who is the father of UncommonGoods Senior Purchasing Planner (and not incidentally, organizer of our literary book club), Louise Geller.

Carolyn tells us how pets and poems came together in the creation of these unique items.

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Design

Designing a Force for Good: Behind the Scenes of Our Hope Shines Necklace

June 30, 2017

 

For 16 years, we here at UncommonGoods have demonstrated a commitment to supporting causes we care about through our Better to Give Program, an initiative that allows us to donate $1 from each purchase to a non-profit partner of your choice (and at no additional cost to you). Earlier this year, our Product Development team joined forces with one of our longest-standing Better to Give partners, RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, to craft a unique item of jewelry to benefit their organization. The result—our Hope Shines Necklace—is an elegant emblem of what RAINN stands for, symbolizing hope, reflection, and triumph over darkness. But how did we arrive at this design?

 

 

The process was a long one—about four months—but our team began with a few ideas in mind. At first, they used text as a springboard, attempting to translate everything from statistics—like RAINN’s assertion that every 98 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted—to the number for the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline into wearable pieces of jewelry. Soon, however, they broadened their approach, exploring ways to highlight some of the more general themes associated with RAINN’s mission, like hope, forward motion, and the ongoing nature of one’s story.

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Design

A-Side Design: Jeff Davis’ Vintage Vinyl Bluetooth Speaker

June 16, 2017

*Editor’s note: Jeff Davis’ Vintage Vinyl Bluetooth® Speaker is coming soon to our assortment. You can be among the first to get this design by pre-ordering here.

Vintage Vinyl Bluetooth® Speaker | UncommonGoods

Side A

Fresh from its triumphant world tour on Kickstarter, Jeff Davis’ Vintage Vinyl Bluetooth® Speaker puts a new spin on old LPs, letting reclaimed vinyl play music in an innovative way: as the speaker itself. With a bemused smile, Jeff points out that you can’t drop the needle on these reshaped records, but they will play your entire digital music collection in analog-inspired style. It’s a cool way to give your smartphone an audiophile upgrade.

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Design

Nobody Puts Peanut M&Ms in the Corner: Meet the Candy Convertible

April 24, 2017

Candy Convertible - UncommonGoods

 

Perhaps you’ve never thought of the snack journey: That epic pilgrimage certain foods make from their cabinet confines to your coffee table. Find comfort in the knowledge, though, that Houston-based designers John Paul and Roya Plauché have.

“We were exploring the relationship of food and the snack journey from the kitchen to the living room,” John Paul said about the design process, which was a collaboration with the UncommonGoods Product Development team. “We had initially tried to identify the typology of foods that would be common for this type of transition, then build around them and their possible groupings.” The “typology of foods” they landed on: Sweetus Snackae. Street name: Candy.

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Design

Invitation Introductions: Meet Our American Valley Wedding Stationery

March 31, 2017

American Valley Save the Date - UncommonGoods

We know planning a wedding can feel both sweet and stressful, but we’re here to help you put the focus on the former. The invitations you choose are like a little preview of the big day, so finding just the right style, colors, design, etc., can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’re so excited to announce our collaboration with the absolute wedding invitation experts: Crane Stationery.

As a result of joining forces with Crane, our product development team has made five complete wedding suites available to our customers, each with a distinct aesthetic and production details that make them extra special. Follow along on the blog as we introduce you to each of these suites, and find the design that’s a perfect match for your own uncommon nuptials.

Earlier this week we gave you an inside look at our Anniversary Journal Wedding Stationery, and next up is our final suite of the series: the American Valley Wedding Stationery. It features an artful design that’s customized to reflect the natural scenery surrounding your wedding.

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Design

Invitation Introductions: Meet Our Anniversary Journal Wedding Stationery

March 27, 2017

Anniversary Journal Save the Date - UncommonGoods

We know planning a wedding can feel both sweet and stressful, but we’re here to help you put the focus on the former. The invitations you choose are like a little preview of the big day, so finding just the right style, colors, design, etc., can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’re so excited to announce our collaboration with the absolute wedding invitation experts: Crane Stationery.

As a result of joining forces with Crane, our product development team has made five complete wedding suites available to our customers, each with a distinct aesthetic and production details that make them extra special. Follow along on the blog as we introduce you to each of these suites, and find the design that’s a perfect match for your own uncommon nuptials.

Anniversary Journal Wedding Stationery - UncommonGoods

Last week we gave you an inside look at our Intersection of Love Wedding Stationery. This week, we’re happy to introduce our Anniversary Journal stationery. It features a classic design that’s rife with possibilities for customization so you can subtly show off your style as a couple.

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