American Made Stocking Stuffers

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Good things come in small packages. At least that’s what my mother always told me to feel better about my short stature. – Later on I came to realize my mom was right in more ways than I knew.

These little American Made gifts are perfect stocking stuffers for the modern lover in your life. Go ahead, and get two – so you can stuff your own stocking. We won’t tell Santa.

1. AXO Bowls by 100xbtr - These bowls are a stylish way to stash coins and keys on your nightstand. The AXO Bowls come in a set of 3 diamond shaped bowls, that you can arrange in a number of different configurations. Made in California.

2. Cork Teardrop Bud Vase by Melanie Abrantes – Hand-turned cork bud vases are designed for a single flower or two, each one is unique and one-of-a-kind. Made in California.

3. SBiR Gem Ring by Fruit Super – It’s bold, it’s beautiful and it’s shaped like a huge gemstone! This chiseled ring is flexible, durable and shockingly comfortable. Wear whenever you’d like to call major attention to your hand. Made in Washington

4. Hex Bottle Opener by Iacoli & McAllister – This bottle opener is made from solid brass hex bar. Simple in form, elegant in execution, this opener is something you won’t want to keep hidden in a drawer when not in use.

5. SoftBottle by Platypus - Nothing’s cleaner, greener or more flexible than a Platypus SoftBottle. Whether you’re running an ultra-marathon, waiting for a flight out of Bangkok, or hitting the yoga studio after work, the SoftBottle is your source for hydration on the go.

6. Lift Coaster by Fruit Super – Reduced to elegant simplicity, FruitSuper’s Lift Coasters are designed to elevate and present your glassware—celebrating the relationship between hand, glass, and table.

7. Peppermint Hand Sanitizer Spray by EO Products – Hand sanitizing on the go. The natural plant-based alternative to chemical laden hand sanitizers. Organic Peppermint Essential oil is cooling and sanitizing. Fragrant and soothing.

8. Cava Pouch in Champagne by Monserat DeLucca - A perfect pouch made of  shimmering cow suede with a braided zipper pull.

9. Ebony Blade Letter Opener by Davin and Kessler - This handcrafted ebony and lacewood letter opener will make tearing into bills so much more satisfying. Feature a proportionally shaped and sized handle allowing for accuracy and comfort in letter opening. Made in Rhode Island

10. Medium Tooth Comb by Chicago Comb Company - Made by the finest comb makers in the world, this iconic comb is made from laser-cut stainless steel, hand finished for comfortable daily use.

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American Made Gifts for Kids

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Every year, Christmas seems to sneak up on me quicker. No matter how hard I try, I’m always scrambling down to the last minute. And especially when it comes to kid’s gifts. I struggle fulfilling their wish list and not compromising too much on my Made in USA values. I know I’m a little late in the game to post this Holiday Gift Guide, but I was busy! It’s a crazy time of the year! You can understand that! – Keep this book page bookmarked for when their Birthday rolls around. These American Made kids gifts can be enjoyed any time of the year.

1. Boomerang by Catch The Spirit available through Pure Play Kids – Boomerangs – it keeps coming back to fun! The “Spirit of the Wind” Boomerang has a traditional shape and is designed for 25 yard throws, making it a great starter boomerang.

2. Heritage Balance Bike by Loll – Minnesota company, Loll teamed up with Chicago based handcrafted USA made bicycle manufacturer, Heritage Bicycles, to make this little balance bike out of recycled plastic. Perfect for little tikes learning to ride.

3. Owl Clock by Decoylab - This beautiful mid-century inspired Owl Clock will watch over your little one while he’s snoozing away waiting for Santa to come.

4. Skull Crew Neck Socks by Point 6 – OK, we know kids aren’t really excited about opening up socks on Christmas morning, but these cool skull socks will soften the blow a bit.

5. Aminal Block by Studio Dunn - (it’s not a misspelling) Crafted from sustainably harvested maple, cherry, and walnut, the “Aminal” Blocks set contains 12 unique animal pieces: owl, hippo, kangaroo, polar bear, squid, chameleon, rhino, panda, eagle, sloth, whale, and elephant.

6. Hisss Game by Gamewright available through FatBrain Toys. – I can personally recommend this game to keep your little one entertained for AT LEAST 20 minutes! – And if you’re a parent, you know 20 minutes can mean everything to your sanity at the end of the day.

7. Organizational Tote by Loll – Keep it tidy with the Loll Organizational Tote. 8 sturdy storage compartments will separate art supplies, toys, kitchen utensils, or whatever your loose ends may be. The large handle keeps it as mobile and it all cleans up like a charm.

8. Barrel of Monkeys available through Norton’s USA – Create a chain of chimps with this classic game. Just like you remember from your youth!

9. 8 Compartment Cafeteria Tray available through Schoolhouse Electric – Evoking the old days of navigating the school cafeteria with a lunch tray in hand, this eight-compartment tray offers versatile utility with a playful vintage feel. Manufactured in the United States from a vintage mold.

10. School Bus by Green Toys available through FatBrain Toys – When my little guy (who is now 13!) was 2 years old, he was obsessed with buses! He had 2 buses he carried everywhere. Big bus, and little bus. Of course, those buses were both made in China back then. I want to get him this bus from Green Toys just because I think he deserves a do-over. Or maybe it’s me that wants a do-over? Ahh Christmas, makes us all feel like kids again!

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American Made Gift Guide for Her

American Made Gifts for Her

This Gift Guide ain’t for everybody. Only the sexy people. This one goes out to all the ladies out there. We dedicate this gift guide to you. – Actually we dedicate it to anyone that’s unsure of what to get that modern lady in your life. We got you covered. So all you fly mothers, get out there and shop. Shop American made.

Sorry… I’m feeling a little goofy today as I write this. I have Salt and Pepa, “Push It” stuck in my head. Because of the fabulous Salt and Pepper shakers made by Seattle company; Ladies and Gentlemen Studio. Once I discover a very cool American Made product, I can’t get it out of my head. I also wanted to see if anyone reads my posts or just looks at the pretty pictures. If you are reading this, I’d love to hear what you think of the gift guides so far. And better yet, if you’ve purchased any of the gifts from any of the guides, be sure to tell the maker you found them on Modestics.

Anyways, thanks for reading and supporting modern made in the USA. Carry on.

1. Foldable Bronze Star Sculptures designed by John Kostick for DWR – Made in USA

2. Waves Roll In Top available through ModCloth – Made in USA

3. Canyon Oak Earrings by Isobell Design – Made in California

4. Skinny Strap Bracelet by Meet Me Here – Made in Washington

5. Cylinder Salt and Pepper Shakers by Ladies and Gentlemen Studio – Made in Washington

6. Perimeter Tray by Ladies and Gentleman Studio – Made in Washington

7. ModDish Mezzo by Steel Life – Made in Oregon

8. Dark Stone Writer’s Block by Bower – Made in New York

9. Girard Throw made by Pendelton for Herman Miller – Made in Oregon

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American Made Gift Guide for Him

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If your guy is like mine, you have the toughest time shopping for him. He’s so picky, most years I feel like I spend just as much time returning items after Christmas, as I do shopping before Christmas. We’ve resorted to just buying ourselves what we want and wrapping it up to put under the tree. (You can do that after 15 years of marriage.) But to spice things up, this year I asked my lumbersexual guy to help with the men’s gift guide.

The average American household spends $700 on Christmas. If just 10% of that was spent on items made in the USA, the economic impact would result in the creation of 200,000 jobs. So not only will these gifts not be returned post-Christmas, they’ll also stimulate our economy. The gift that keeps on giving.

1. Egg Birdfeeder & House by J Schatz – made in California

2. Ribbed Sake Set by Pigeon Toe Ceramics – made in Oregon

3. Hey Handsome Shaving Kit Bag by Owen and Fred – made in New York

4. Hairpin Wall Mounted Magazine Rack by OneFortyThree – made in Nevada

5. Steel Tool Box by Best Made Co – made in New York

6. Bourbon Barrel Maple Syrup by Noble Handcrafted – made in Washington

7. 12′ Exto Electrical Extension by Conway Electric – made in Washington

8. 5 Panel Cap in H2O Cotton by American Trench – made in Pennsylvania

9. Bethlehem Reversible Vest by Woolrich Co. – made in Pennsylvania

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American Made Gift Guide Under $50

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We all know it’s more rewarding to give than to receive. So get two of these American Made gifts all priced under $50, to be sure that you give and receive something that you both want. These gifts are not only affordable, they also support small independent companies. And what could be more rewarding than that?

1. SideCar Wall Mounted Planter by Revolution Design House – Made in Oregon

2. Smile Script Necklace in Gold by Kris Nations Jewelry - Made in California

3. Corian Coaster Set by 100xbtr - Made in California

4. Canvas Baguette by Poppy vonFrohlich - Made in California

5. Stackable Gnomes set of 3 by FruitSuper – Made in Maine

6. Pink Wood Tray by Wolfum - Made in California

7. Wobble Bowl by Speechless Studio - Made in California

8. Wrapper Cups set of 3 by Speechless Studio – Made in California

9. Everyone Bath Salt & Oil Soaks by EO Products - Made in California

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Meet the Maker: Fruit Super

NEW-Fruite

I was so happy to have discovered this fun made in Seattle company, FruitSuper. It was great to be able to speak with husband and wife duo, Joe Kent and Sallyann Corn. I was even happier when they agreed to partner with us and become a part of the Modestics Collection. I love getting an extra insight in to what makes our makers tick, and being able to pass on that information to you.

Modestics: Can you give us a brief overview of your company?
FruitSuper: We design products that are a lot like us; a balance of fun and function. Always simple, always made in the USA.

MO: Where  did the name FruitSuper came from?
FS: Sallyann’s last name is Corn, which is (technically) a fruit. Joe’s last name is Kent, which is Superman’s last name. (This obviously makes us both nerds)

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MO: When did you start FruitSuper design?
FS: We started the company in 2008 as a consultancy, and added making our own products in 2011. We really love the balance of both sides of our company. Working with clients on their projects always brings new challenges and fresh perspectives. While working on our own projects means that we are able to see something through from initial conception through to the final product.

MO: What prompted you to want to start your own business?
FS: We knew when we met in 2003 that our skill sets were so perfectly balanced that we should be working together. The best way for us to do that was to start our own business. We are partners in every way; as part of the design process, in business, in life. What one of us can’t do, the other can, it’s a great match!

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MO: When did you feel like you were a “real company”? / Big break?
FS: A friend sent us a picture of someone on the NYC subway wearing one of our rings. The idea that someone (other than a family member) liked our products enough to purchase them made it all feel real and amazing!

MO: What aspect of your job do you love?
FS: All of it! We each love different aspects of the design process. Sallyann loves the research, the inspiration portion and concept generation, and Joe loves the development, flushing out the details and making it all real. Sallyann is the idea side, Joe is the reality side.

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MO: What was the first thing you made?
FS: Our first FruitSuper product was our silicone rings. A HUGE learning experience! We both have backgrounds in Industrial Design and are very familiar and comfortable working with manufacturers, but doing it with our own products and our own investment was a whole new reality.

MO:  Do you, yourself make your products or do you have factories that you work with?
FS: We take all of our products through to prototype stage and then find US manufacturers. The products usually go through one more stage (at least) once we start talking with a manufacturer that does the process day in/day out. They have a lot of expertise to add, and we’re happy to learn and adapt the products to streamline the production process.

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MO: What is your favorite Made in USA designer?
FS: We are members of JOIN, a collective that started in 2008 in Seattle and has now expanded to the PNW region and beyond. We are a group of 20+ independent design studios that are all US designers/makers. We are proud to be a part of it, and love the work coming out of each of these studios!

MO: Do you have any hidden talents or special interest?
FS: We are huge bibliophiles and frequently get lost in bookstores. We find books to be irreplaceable for inspiration sources. Along with cooking and being museum junkies.

MO: Any memorable on the job work injuries /close calls?
FS: The first season we launched the Stackable Snowmen sets we made 80 sets by hand. We don’t have a sander in our shop, so that meant sanding over 700 hardwood balls by hand. Needless to say, our fingertips were sanded off several times during that process! We now happily have all of our holiday sets made in Maine.

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4 Day Shop USA

By Linda Geiser

This week marks 2 great American traditions. THANKSGIVING & SHOPPING. Our economy depends on you to go shopping this weekend. Stores need you to and the people who make the products need you to. And to ensure you do go shopping, there are many sales happening all weekend long.

Unfortunately, some big box stores are confused and trying to combine the two traditions by having Black Friday sales ON Thanksgiving. Apparently opening at midnight Friday just isn’t early enough….. Stay at home with your family on Thursday.  Shoppers leaving their families and Thanksgiving meals means store clerks are forced to leave their families too. If store clerks are forced to interrupt their holiday plans, then the CEO’s and Executives of these stores should be forced to have their holiday plans interrupted as well.  Show store executives that we have our priorities straight.

Is it really necessary to interrupt your meal with your family in search of sales of foreign made goods?
On Thanksgiving day, stay home and enjoy your family. Get up early on Friday and start a new tradition by shopping for good deals on American Made Goods.

4 DAY – SHOP USA!

Black Friday;

Typically this is  when holiday shopping begins and the stores take full advantage with “door buster” sales.

If you’re going to brave the crowds try to avoid the foreign made goods. It’s almost impossible not to be swooned by the price tag, but ask yourself first if it’s an item that you need. Shop for products that you need and will be of lasting quality. Buy something that you’ve been eyeing for a while and now it’s finally on sale.  Buy something you will cherish.

Small Business Saturday;

The sales don’t stop on Friday. The very next day stores are marking down items for Small Business Saturday. I hardly ever take part in Black Friday sales, but I’m a big shopper on Small Business Saturday. You’re a lot more likely to find smaller independent domestic made goods at these smaller independent stores.

There are many incentives to get behind your local economy. American Express is even doing a huge national promotion offering their card members a $10 credit for every sale of $10 or more at an eligible small business. (up to 3 times)

Cyber Monday;

The sales don’t stop when the weekend ends. Online stores keep the savings flowing with Cyber Monday sales. This is my favorite shopping experience of all! Shopping from the comforts of home. No need to struggle to find parking, or battle the lines. And finding American made is less mystifying.

We’re proud that all items in the Modestics Collection are Made in the USA. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. We don’t have a Made in USA search button on our site, because it’s all made in the USA. And as always, free shipping on orders over $75.

For the busiest shopping weekend of the year – make it Four Day USA. Look for the Made in the USA label. Because THE must have gift to give this year is anything that says Made in the USA.

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American Made Gift Guide Under $30

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Who says American made has to be expensive? Stock up on these American made gifts all priced under $30 for anyone (and everyone!) on your list. These 10 gifts represent 9 states from this great country. – Don’t show up empty-handed to the next party. Any of these goodies make great Hostess Gifts as well!

1. One of a kind – Wooden top, Hand-turned, by A19SF  - Made in California.

2. Faceted Pillar Candles made of 100% beeswax, by Urbancase – Made in Washington

3. Whoa-Bots Ninja balance blocks, by Tree Hopper Toys – Made in Illinois

4. Modern Wood Ornament by Fredrick Arndt – Made in Michigan

5. Zuzu Metallic Drinking Glass by Wolfum – Made in California (slight disclaimer here; priced at $50 for a set of 4 = $12.50 per glass!)

6. Espresso Star Oven Mitt by Hable Construction – Made in New England

7. Wall Mounted Bottle Opener by Starr X – Made in USA (possibly Georgia? from what I could tell through my Google sleuthing)

8. Bourbon and Brown Sugar Soy Candle by Sydney Hale Co. – Made in Virginia

9. SaltBox in solid walnut by Revolution Design House – Made in Oregon

10. Chef’s Kitchen Utensils by Epicurean – Made in Minnesota

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Meet the Maker: 100xbtr

100xbtr-1One of my favorite ways to discover makers is on Instagram. I’ve followed 100xbtr for a while, and I’m constantly hitting that “like” button. Their work is fun and playful, yet still clean and sophisticated that it’s not going to look dated in 5 years. I was psyched when I reached out to the team of 100xbtr for a Meet the Maker interview, I got a response immediately. I feed off the creative energy that American makers bring forth, and 100xbtr kept the positive energy moving. – Meet Brendan Sowersby and Will Rollins; co-makers and co-designers of 100xbtr.  Makers of modern home furnishings, made in Los Angeles, California.

Modestics: Give us a brief overview of your company.

100xbtr: We are a small Los Angeles based design company working on custom residential and commercial projects while also producing a line of furniture, lighting, and tabletop items. Our sensibility aims to balance structure and form with an economy of production.  We like exploring ways to create beautiful and profound objects which can be manufactured in an efficient manner, blending modern fabrication tools like CNC machines and 3-D printers with more classic woodworking techniques.

MO: Where did the name came from?

100xbtr: I believe it came from Will’s step-son.  He was like nine or ten and he just said it one day – “one hundred times better”… and it kinda just stuck. Later on I did the logo with the vowels dropped and I really liked all the letterforms together graphically.

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MO: What year did you start 100xbtr?  

100xbtr: 1997.  We did custom work for many years before focusing on trying to figure out a product line.

MO: When did you feel like you were a “real company”? 

100xbtr: Hah!  I still don’t really feel like a “real company”…  but it’s been fifteen plus years so I guess we are here to stay.  We have a few employees now and a pretty nice fabrication facility which I get to come into everyday. I think when we had to buy a forklift a few years back is when I realized the business was getting bigger. We had stacks of plywood and lumber everywhere and always had to borrow the cranky neighbor’s forklift. I never thought I would own one of those.

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MO: What aspect of your job do you love?

100xbtr: Probably the prototyping phase of developing new objects…  sometimes it’s really quick and other times things gestate for years. It can agonizing but when everything comes together there is no better feeling.

MO: What was the first thing you made?

Brendan Sowersby: The first real functional thing I made was this 20′ wide skateboard ramp in my backyard (thanks again, mom) – it was like 1988 or 89… We had no idea what we were doing but that thing was solid, and so fun.

Will Rollins: I’d have to say “Art” was the first thing I made. I grew up in downtown L.A. in what is now called the “arts district.” My father, an artist, took on the task of renovating a 5 story warehouse into artists lofts by himself. At an early age he taught me woodworking, cabinetry, welding, construction, and the list goes on.

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MO: Do you, yourself make your products or do you have factories that you work with?

100xbtr: Mostly everything is made here in our shop. We have some local vendors to help us with metal stuff, we try to keep it local.

MO: What is your favorite Made in USA product?

100xbtr: There are so many. Even just in L.A. right now there is so much happening, so many interesting people doing great things.

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MO: Do you have a hidden talent that’s not related to your work?

Brendan Sowersby: Not really, I basically just work all the time.

Will Rollins: Treatment free beekeeping and urban farming based on permaculture principles. 

MO: Any memorable on the job work injuries /close calls? 

Brendan Sowersby: I’ve been really lucky over the years, but last summer, the day before a much needed getaway to Palm Springs, I stepped on a plywood scrap and somehow this shard of wood went up my calf like 6 inches… I’m still not sure exactly how it happened? Luckily it just slid between the muscle and the skin but it was gnarly – I remember the doctor in the emergency room saying “no pools” and I was like, “great, I’m going to the 110 degree desert for four days and I can’t swim?” (I ended up getting some waterproof bandages and floating on an air mattress the whole time) 

Thanks Brendan and Will! – To see more of 100xbtr and to see that piece of plywood scrap that was lodged in to Brendan’s calf, follow them on Instagram. To see more of their beautiful furniture and projects check out their products proudly part of the Modestics Collection: www.100xbetter.com.

 

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Meet the Maker – Schmitt Design

Meet the Maker; Schmitt Design - Made in California

If you’re a regular reader of Modestics, you might already recognize the name Schmitt Design. If you’re not familiar with Schmitt Design, then I’m so happy to be the one to introduce you in today’s Meet the Maker! – Brian Schmitt, of Schmitt Design, is one of those guys you just want to know (or know about). He’s been a California maker since 2005, and a friend of Modestics since the beginning.

Although I’ve mentioned Schmitt Design before, I can’t gush enough about Brian. He has been extremely supportive of us, and our venture with Modestics. He’s one of the people we thought of when we started blogging that we thought you should know about. The real people every day making America modern. So without further ado..

Modestics: Tell me in your own words about your company? 

Schmitt Design: Schmitt Design is a small design/build studio based in Sacramento. We produce a collection of modern lighting, clocks, and decor, and also create site-specific installations including large-scale mobiles and sculptural lighting. Our work features a wide range of materials including wood, bamboo, metal, porcelain, and glass.

Meet the Maker; Schmitt Design - Made in California Meet the Maker; Schmitt Design - Made in California

MO: When did you start Schmitt Design?

SD: I started with the initial Adrift Mobiles collection in 2005. David Pierce, of OHIO Design, was generous enough to let me hang a mobile in his booth at ICFF that year. 

MO: When did you feel like you were a “real company”?

SD: It has been a gradual progression, though 2012 was an exciting year as our Aspect Pendants were awarded the Dwell on Design Award for Best Lighting and we completed a couple of large commissions. I wish I could say that it’s been easy since then, though new challenges present themselves all the time. 

Meet the Maker; Schmitt Design - Made in California

MO: What aspect of your job do you love?

SD: I’m struggling to find a succinct answer to this, as there are so many rewarding aspects of this maker life. I really love the beginning of a project or new design when you can be loose and explore concepts. It’s also a thrill at the end, to see that initial concept come to fruition. 

MO: What was the first thing you made?

SD: I got my start as a kid with Legos and skateboard ramps. My Rift Mobile, made from bent-laminated bamboo, is the first design that I decided to produce and sell. 

MO: Do you, yourself make your products or do you have factories that you work with?

SD: A few of our products are built entirely in our shop, though most are a balance of in-house production and outsourced processes. We have a network of skilled craftspeople in the region with whom to partner for various processes, including CNC routing, laser cutting, powder coating, and slip casting.

Meet the Maker; Schmitt Design - Made in California

MO: What is your favorite Made in USA designer?

SD: It’s exciting to see the wealth of talented individuals and companies who are producing quality work in the US. A few of my favorites are Heath Ceramics, Rich Brilliant Willing, and Brendan Ravenhill.

MO: Do you have any special interests?

SD: In recent years, being a dad to two young boys has absorbed most of my free time. When time allows, I look forward to hitting the skatepark and going to some daytime DJ parties with friends (and kids!).

MO: Any memorable on the job work injuries?

SD: Thankfully, I have steered clear of any major injuries; however, at a previous job, I worked with a friend who severely cut his thumb on a chop saw. It was a traumatic experience and a reminder of how quickly an accident can occur. I now have a heightened sense of caution around such saws.

He might make dreamy mobiles every day, but Brian is the most down to earth maker that we’re proud to know. We’re happy to be able to call him a friend and have Schmitt Design (as well as one of Brian’s favorite makers; Brendan Ravenhill) as part of the Modestics Collection. 

Do you know a modern American maker we should meet? Email me: linda@modestics.com

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Meet the Maker: Decoylab

decoy1Meet Maker Maiko Kuzunishi from fun home accessory company, Decoylab. Made in Missouri.

Modestics: Give me a brief overview of your company?

Maiko Kuzunishi for Decoylab: As of now, Decoylab mainly focuses on offering modern whimsical clock designs for children and young at hearts. I’m the person behind most of the company dealings and my husband Jason just joined this month to help me keep up with productions. Our products are available on our website (shopdecoylab.com) as well as on Etsy. (and now part of the Modestics Collection!) Also we have a distributor in Japan, South Korea and Australia. Our products are available internationally.

MO: When did you start Decoylab?

MK: Clocks started in November 2007 when I came up with a clock kit and posted on Etsy. I had no intention of starting a clock business and only dreamt of making a living by selling products. This very first clock kit was 6″ x 9″ print with an image of a cuckoo clock that I illustrated. I used print gocco to print on a card stock. They somehow became an instant hit and next thing I knew, I was getting wholesale orders and got nominated for Fred Flare’s “Next Big Thing 2008.” I couldn’t explain to you “Why” but I knew in my gut that I had to see this through.

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MO: Where did the name come from?

MK: I’ve always used Decoylab as my pseudonym whenever I showed my own artwork in public since 2000. I’ve worked as a graphic designer, a web designer, a motion graphic designer, an illustrator for various companies. I was always in the state of unrest, discontent with working for someone else. Decoylab has always been me, in search of my creative fulfillment and my unique expression.

MO: When did you feel like you were a “real company”?

MK: I used to call what I do as “a big hobby”. The shift came about 2 years ago when I realized that I have a huge responsibility. Hobby is something you do for your own enjoyment. It’s casual and relatively harmless to everyone else. A real company on the other hand becomes a part of community: a community made up of customers, vendors, distributors, retailers and clients. I became an integrated part of a micro business eco-system. My decisions and actions have significant effect on other people’s businesses. Now, fostering, nurturing and maintaining good relationships within this microsystem became a part of my job.

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MO: The first thing you made?

MK: Sounds a bit cliché but I’ve always been a maker since I was little. I don’t remember the first thing I made but I think the most original was creating a Japanese garden in a sandbox. I collected twigs, moss and rocks and design my own Japanese garden complete with a pond.

Also I had an obsession with floorplan when I was little too. Floorplans were often shown on the advertisement of new real estate development in Japan. I used to snag them while my parents read newspaper, and pretend I lived in that space.

MO: What aspect of your job do you love?

MK: Owning and running my business. Making new designs and seeing customers reactions of finished products. Making up rules to my own game and feeling free when I break them. There are so many things to love about my business. I even enjoy the challenges. It’s great to be able to look at where I am now and realize I’m doing things I never imagined possible.

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MO: Do you, yourself make your products or do you have factories that you work with?

MK: We do not have a laser cutting machine so we are partnering with Ponoko. I would love to own or lease a laser cutter some day but that’s adding a bigger component to the whole system that I don’t know if we can or want to handle just yet.

As far as the rest of the fabrications and productions go, you are pretty much looking at the whole factory right here..(Me!) I am a lean mean clock making machine. As mentioned earlier, my husband Jason just joined on this venture not so long ago, so we are in the middle of figuring out our new system. He’ll be in charge of wholesale orders while I focus more on overall business, design and individual online orders.

MO: What is your favorite Made in USA Designer?

MK: I would like to say Brian at Schmitt Design! I love his new Aspect Pendants and he also makes amazingly beautiful clocks.

MO: Favorite American city?

MK: I think I like Kansas City enough to be here for almost 20 years.

Thank you Maiko for taking the time to talk with Modestics. We love her fun whimsical designs. To learn more about Decoylab be sure to check out her blog. And to see Maiko’s favorite American Made designer, Schmitt Design, check out the Modestics Collection.

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