Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hat's Off: Sonja Rasula and State of UNIQUE

At the State of Unique festival this weekend, I saw a ton of smart, crafty small businesses making cool stuff stateside. Started by Sonja Rasula, the great brain behind Unique LA, State of Unique's mission is simple. According to Sonja “I want to bring modern Made-in-America design to the masses. My goals are to help designers and small businesses grow and become sustainable, to support the local economy, and to teach shoppers the value of conscious consumerism.” The etsy-generation at its best, with inventive jewelry, clothes, stationary, foods that make you go, "Man, I should have thought of that!" Design Patriot has tried to cover companies that employ at least five Americans, either themselves or through their manufacturing, so these smaller artisans are out of our usual purview. So, it was inspiring to see so many creative and talented people embracing the US manufacturing revolution. And I got a lot of holiday shopping done from vendors I can feel good about!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Modernism Lives

Vessel USA Inc. was founded in 1998 with the purpose of reviving "stunningly simple planters and other ceramic designs that brought acclaim to the Architectural Pottery Collection", a Los Angeles company founded in 1950 by Max and Rita Lawrence. The spare, geometric pottery was a favorite of local mid-century architects. It was so forward thinking, the pottery was exhibited in MOMA as early as 1951. Vessel USA produces modern planters, containers, sculpture and garden accessories from its studio in San Diego, with an eye on the past and one on the future.