Search results for

inventor

Maker Stories

Inventors Month: The Alyce Santoro Story

August 18, 2010

When I first saw the sonic fabric tie, I knew which uncommon artisan I wanted to talk to for National Inventors Month.  Alyce Santoro makes each sonic tie from prerecorded audio-cassette tapes– and if you’ve got a tape deck handy, you can actually listen to your tie sing. The sonic fabric tie is available for $120 in platinum or onyx black.

Read my interview with Alyce Santoro below

Continue Reading…

Design

YouGoods Inventors Month Design Challenge

August 3, 2010

Inventors month

Do you have what it takes to become the next Thomas Edison or Benjamin Franklin? Are you sitting on a genius design or invention that is sure to be the next big thing? Then we want to hear from you!

In honor of National Inventors Month (the month of August), UncommonGoods is issuing a wide-open design challenge to find our next Uncommon Inventor or Designer. The fourth of our YouGoods product design challenges, this contest is looking for a product with a spark of inventive genius, a flash of innovation and something that makes us say, “Why didn’t we think of that?” Oh, and did we mention there’s a $,1500 prize and a chance to showcase your design at Makerfaire NYC?

Click here for more details and how to enter.

Check out some of our past YouGoods winners for inspiration.

Maker Stories

Inventors Month: the Joseph & Joseph Story

August 2, 2010

joseph & joseph

August is National Inventors Month, so to kick things off we interviewed twin brothers Richard and Anthony Joseph – the brains behind a collection of amazingly simple and well-designed kitchen gear. We love how they approach everyday kitchen problems with style, a pop of color and thoughtful design. Almost all of their products make us say, “Why didn’t we think of that?!”

Not only are Richard and Anthony great designers, they are also very generous! They have agreed to donate two of our favorite Joseph & Joseph products, the Nesting Prep Bowls & the Elevate Utensils, to our Uncommon Giveaway! Be sure to come back to the blog on Friday for a chance to win.

And now, on to the exciting interview!

When did you both become interested in design?

Our mother is an architect, and our father had a glass manufacturing business in the UK, so there was a strong creative influence when growing up. We were both quite artistic at school and this led to  Continue Reading…

The Uncommon Life

Happy Inventors Month!

August 2, 2010


August is National Inventor’s Month!

Here at UncommonGoods, we have always valued the “Aha!” moments, the midnight brainstorms and the people who see everyday problems as opportunities to make daily life a little bit better. And so to celebrate all those inventors, designers and dreamers, we are planning a month-long celebration on our blog with posts about Uncommon Designers and Inventors, cool green inventions, giveaways and updates on our latest YouGoods contest.

Happy Inventors Month, everyone!

Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: How Did an Ancient King Inspire Our Word for “Wireless”?

January 3, 2018

Today, Bluetooth® means instant connectivity, like playing tunes from your phone to your speaker, or syncing a photo slideshow to your TV. But back in 940 A.D., Bluetooth was a great Danish king credited with uniting all of Scandinavia. See the connection? In 1996 the inventors of our single wireless standard (aka a cohort of totally techie geniuses) were puzzled with how to name such a brilliant, futuristic technology that would ultimately change the way we use our devices. So, instead of thinking forward, the group went back—way back—to the middle ages.

Continue Reading…

Maker Stories

Takeoffs and Landings: A Conversation with Jerry Moran

August 15, 2017

Although we know him best for his handcrafted accessories, Colorado creator Jerry Moran is much more than just a jeweler. For much of his adult life, in fact, Jerry was a self-described “ordinary guy” working in the aerospace industry, getting up close and personal with planes—not necklaces—on an everyday basis. Now Jerry pays tribute to his beloved aircraft by crafting his goods from their disused parts, giving retired planes otherwise primed for destruction an opportunity to brighten the lives of jewelry enthusiasts and aircraft aficionados alike.

To celebrate the induction of a selection of Jerry’s wares into our growing assortment, we engaged him and his wife, Mary, in a brief back-and-forth, digging deeper into the details of what drives him to create (and how he got started on jewelry in the first place). Read on for more on Jerry’s fascinating background, including an account of the pair of earrings that started it all, plus a few words of wisdom courtesy of—surprise—rugby.

Continue Reading…

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Alex Ahrens

June 12, 2017

The work of self-described designer and craftsman Alex Ahrens is anything but typical. Armed with a degree in engineering and a background in packaging design, the Austin-based maker turned a budding interest in woodworking into a business handcrafting fun, yet functional wooden objects in the shapes of various animals. His sleek, inventive Elephant Wall Hook, Bear Keys & Glasses Holder, and Shark Business Card Holder are all newcomers to our assortment.

As always, we’re excited to welcome such dedicated, thoughtful makers as Alex to the UncommonGoods family, where the creativity exhibited in his clever goods is so often celebrated. Read on for Alex’s insights on the power of organization and what being an artist really means—as well as how he turned his side hustle into a full-time gig.

Continue Reading…

Maker Stories

Uncommon Impact: Changing Lives and Cooking Dinner with the Non-Electric Slow Cooker

June 8, 2017

Sarah Collins, inventor of the Non-Electric Slow Cooker

Picture this: You want to cook a meal. In the US, this is an easy enough proposition, if occasionally tiring. You take a trip to the grocery store, prep your ingredients, and leave them to cook, whether in an oven, on a stovetop, or in a slow cooker. Before too long, you sit down and eat. Simple, right?

In rural Africa, no such luck. For many women, making a meal is a long, costly process fraught with danger. Every day, women across the continent spend up to seven hours collecting firewood to use for cooking, walking between 3 and 6 miles, taking away time that could be spent working or bonding with family members, and risking sexual assault and attacks by animals along the way. Those who don’t collect firewood often cook with charcoal, a fuel that eats up a sizable chunk of a rural family’s income—think along the lines of one third. The actual cooking takes hours, and the use woodfuels combined with that of an open flame contributes to potentially deadly levels of indoor air pollution. In providing for their families, these women make sacrifices that are unimaginable to many, risking their health and livelihood for the sake of a single meal. A trip to a packed Trader Joe’s at 6 o’clock on a Tuesday pales in comparison.

For South African entrepreneur Sarah Collins, this was a key problem. Her lifelong mission to empower rural Africans has manifested in many types of work, from conservation to political action, but perhaps her most meaningful contribution has been the invention of the Non-Electric Slow Cooker, also known as the Wonderbag. Now available for purchase from UncommonGoods, Sarah’s slow cooker—made from patterned cotton fabric stuffed with repurposed foam—keeps food brought to a boil cooking for up to 12 hours simply by trapping heat. For every Non-Electric Slow Cooker purchased in the developed world, another is donated to the Wonderbag Foundation, an organization that distributes Sarah’s invention to communities in need throughout Africa. Because the Non-Electric Slow Cooker doesn’t require an open flame to keep food cooking, it reduces pollution and deforestation throughout Africa and keeps rural women and families safer and healthier, freeing up their time and money for work, play, and family bonding.

As a certified B Corp, UncommonGoods is committed to offering sustainable, socially responsible products. When we first heard about the Non-Electric Slow Cooker, we were intrigued—we’d never heard of a slow cooker made out of foam! Once we learned of its impressive effect in Africa, though, we knew we needed to hear more from its inventor. Read on for more of Sarah’s story—including advice on how to contribute to her mission, even from afar.

Continue Reading…

Pin It on Pinterest