L-series Tables by Assembly Design

This playful and simple series of tables and consoles get in touch with your inner mid-century Scandinavian child. Made with beautifully rounded and sanded hardwood, the grain is fully featured either unfinished or lacquered in bright colors. Bloated or straight dowel legs complete each structure that graciously takes a back seat to your objects, photos, or decor.

Available from Assembly Design.



Steel Pet Feeders by John Beck Steel

The name doesn’t say it all but you can pretty much gather that somewhere there is a guy named John Beck making things out of steel. That somewhere happens to be east of the Mississippi in St. Louis where John doesn’t just makes things but instead has a collection of tables and lighting that make steel blush. Even more accessible, yet with the same craftsmanship and modern metal sensibility, are John’s cold rolled pet feeders powder coated in some vibrant colors and available in a few sizes. They come with simple white porcelain ramekin style bowls that work beautifully with the steel. You and your pet will appreciate the taste in these.

Available from John Beck Steel.

Hammy by Plywood Office

Sometime you just don’t want to settle for a hammock between two trees or at very least you don’t have two trees. The Hammy not only solves the hammock/tree issue it does it in a way that will transform your green living space. It’s like a mini patio that you can place anywhere and have a nap, a seat, or a gardening session all in one. The Hammy is made with a powder-coated metal frame plus water and insect resistant white oak. The hammock sling itself is non-fading, waterproof and UV resistant. Each is built in Chicago where hammock weather comes at a premium.

Available from Plywood Office.

Seven Lamp by Strand Design

One look at this lamp and you can tell it’s made in a manufacturing city. That’s after you get past all the second and third glances you have flirting. The Seven lamp is made from steel and wood that is sourced locally. Strand Design makes all of it’s collection in Chicago with the mindset that a product should last as long as possible and be made responsibly with materials that can be reused or recycled. I think the Seven table lamp accomplishes all of that and manages to look good doing it.

Available from Strand Design.

100%Materials and labor all American.

Turntables by SOTA

Synthetic sapphire crystal thrust plate…Zirconium ball bearings…Double-regulated synthesized sine-wave drive system…

Sounds kind of like things you might find on planet Krypton but really they are found in a factory in the south side of Chicago that makes some of the best sounding turntables on this world. Obvious the engineering in each table is pretty complex, but at the heart of it are literally a number of different layers that absorb vibration and disturbance for that clean sound. It starts with the floating seismic platform, which from the name sounds like it could withstand an earthquake. The table further diminishes vibrations with a platter made from a number of different layers of materials right down to the layer that touches the vinyl and matches its impedance. Lastly is a drive belt system that is perfectly accurate and consistent.

There are models ranging from a couple hundred dollars to thousands. Build time ranges from a day to a full work week and each table is built from screw to finish in Chicago with almost everything sourced from other American companies.

Penny Loafers by Oak Street Bootmakers

You might be expecting boots here but Oak Street Bootmakers does so much more oh so well. Designer George Vlagos has carried on the family cobbler tradition after apprenticing with his father and now being a master at making a damn fine pair of shoes. Along with a wide range of styles the penny loafers are hand stitched right outside of Chicago with Horween Chromexcel leather from Chicago. The sole and heel are also made from stacked leather and are replaceable so you will no doubt have these in your collection for a long time.

Available from Oak Street Bootmakers.

100%Materials and labor all American.


KICKSTARTER – Stock Mfg. Co. Spring/Summer 13 Menswear

Affordability and Democracy in fashion.

Stock Manufacturing Company, a small clothing and accessories company based in Chicago, has brought together local designers, makers, and you for a truly collaborative effort in creating their Spring/Summer collection. They have launched a Kickstarter with a number of backer levels all including some premium goods made right in their 45 year old Chicago factory space. In exchange for your choice of ties, shirts, pocket squares, and hats Stock Mfg. Co will be using the proceeds to make upgrades in their factory facility to keep expanding and creating work. New designs are introduced and put to the test by making you the ultimate creative director. If something doesn’t get enough support then it doesn’t make the cut. Those designs that pass the grade are made with quality materials and techniques and always with an affordable price that won’t make you pass up investing.

Pillows by Unison

Unison_PillowsWhether you are looking for an accent pillow for a lounge chair or decorative bedding pillows Unison has your back and your head with some fantastic minimal modern designs. Made out of 100% cotton that is hand-printed on the east coast these pillows are hand cut and sewn in a factory close to Unison headquarters in Chicago. Even the down inside is sourced locally in the mid-west. New colors become available with each season and each pattern is available in a few sizes. Limited edition prints and patterns are also available.

Available from Unison.

Unison_PillowsUnison_PillowsUnison_PillowsUnison_Pillows100%Materials and Labor all American.

PROFILE – Lumina Clothing

The city of oaks, Raleigh, North Carolina, finds itself right in the middle of building a new identity for a new kind of southern city by bringing in the southern hospitality, culture, and work ethic out of the suburbs and into downtown. Amidst the cranes and construction, a building from generations past is now home to Raleigh’s latest menswear collection by Lumina Clothing. Walk inside and amongst the original hardwoods, lofty light filled space, and cool threads you might just find founders Peter, Paul, and Barton there to great you with that southern hospitality and an excitement about their line that will make anyone an instant fan.

Starting a few years ago by dabbling in making neckwear the crew comprised of 4 guys with backgrounds ranging from Nuclear engineering to architecture to environmental science quickly made their move into shirting, launching a Kickstarter to get legs underneath the brand. Their mission was to tap back into the rich textile industry of the south and provide quality American made menswear that is affordable.

The collection is built to outfit any modern man with the basics. Neckwear is made in New York and pants are made in Chicago. Shirts are made in either South Carolina or Chicago and are tailored to fit impeccably. Sizing is designed to help any man get the tailored look without the tailor using a unique approach. All of the normal S, M, L, XL you would expect are on the rack, but in between those you will find a S, M, L, and XL + with measurements that are literally in between the full sizes.

Another attractive feature of the Lumina collection…price. Shirts are under $90, pants under $100, and neckwear under $60. When you look out there and see shirts that are $200 and up it can often be a barrier. Lumina didn’t want that to be something that turns a buyer away from American-made or their brand, even though that means breaking a little closer to even.

In other corners of the shop are selves made from reclaimed materials that feature other American made brands like men’s grooming products from Prospector Co., canvas bags by Parrot Canvas,¬†and organic socks by Zkano. They are also making some of their own market tote bags using canvas from Parrot Canvas and banging out the leather riveted straps right in the back of the shop.

Up next for the brand are more collaborations with other local artists and makers to create small collections featured in store and pop-up markets. Also, denim is coming! White Oak of course. Big things down the tobacco road for Lumina.

Coil Lamp by Craighton Berman

Coil_Table_LampIllustrator and designer Craighton Berman has created a lamp based around it’s minimal defining elements. Made only from a laser cut acrylic skeleton, a 100 ft. power cord, and a light bulb this piece comes in both a table and pendant kit. They are available pre-assembled or you can buy the component kit, buy your own extension cord, and build it yourself. I would recommend the DIY kit because you can then buy cords that are made in America by such companies like Coleman Cable or US Wire with a wider range of colors and have some fun at the same time. Craighton Berman is based in Chicago.

Table Lamp: 11″x11″x17″
Pendant: 15″x15″x13″

Available from Craigton Berman.