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Community Voting App

Maker Stories

Don’t Knock on Wood–Wear It!

December 26, 2011

Looking for a new look for the new year? Why not try a style that incorporates reclaimed wood into modern fashion? David Steinrueck’s creative ties are a clever way to celebrate living against the grain.

David took a moment to tell us about his design inspiration, finding salvaged wood in the San Francisco area, and how to wear a wood tie with any outfit.

Q: How did you get the idea to create ties made out of wood?

I started Wood Thumb with my brother Chris in January of 2011. We wanted to prove that with a little bit of community support and minimal funding, a craft can be turned into a thriving company. The wood tie was designed to allow unconventional people to stand out from the crowd and make a bold statement to the world.

Q: Why reclaimed wood? Is it difficult to get the type of wood used to make the ties?

We use reclaimed materials in part due to our belief in zero waste products and also because of the incredibly beautiful wood we were able find in salvage yards around our area. We are lucky enough to live in an area of the country where we can track down an abundance of old redwood that we are able to use in our process. By using reclaimed wood, we offer every customer a unique product, each with its own special past life.

Q: How do you recommend wearing a wood tie? Casual with jeans? As part of the formal look with a suit?

There are many ways to rock a wood tie:
The Tech Slacker – Wears her tie to the office with a t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of New Balance shoes.
The Urban-Eco – Wears his tie with a worn collared shirt, khakis and hiking boots or sandals.
Center of the Club – Wears his tie with a bright collared shirt, a blazer, dark shades, and dress shoes. Bottle service.
The Mission – Wears her tie with 1950s collared shirt, skinny jeans, and sneakers.

Q: Did you expect such a great response to your unique design?

The very first tie we made was received with excitement from everyone we showed. We have grown our production from 50 ties/week to 500 ties/week and we are still not able to keep up with our current demand. Nonetheless, I am still astounded every day that so many people are enjoying the work and craft that we put into each tie.


Thanks, David! We love the suggestions on how to rock a wood tie! We’d love to hear more ways to jazz up outfits with offbeat accessories. What’s your favorite uncommon statement piece?

Design

Uncommon New Designs: Pick a Place

December 23, 2011

Maybe it’s the recent popularity of the History Channel’s How the States Got Their Shapes, or maybe it’s the thrill that goes along with your city being featured on any sort of top cities list, but goods depicting geographical locations are definitely in style.

We’re loving state love, and our buyers were thrilled to find this gorgeous, handmade Heart Strings State Love Wall Art, now up in our community voting app.

For those who would rather wear their state love than hang it on the wall, results on the State Quarter Rings are coming soon.

But, the location love isn’t just home state pride. There’s a bundle of band new city love at UncommonGoods, too.

From Dave Marcoullier’s City Skyline Wooding Routings (now available for LA, San Francisco, and New York) to Patrick Chirico’s Brooklyn Bridge Pillow Cases, hometown love is warming our hearts.

Of course, we don’t want to exclude those who see home as where they rest their head. And, gifts for travelers are always in style.

Whether you’re a true rambler or a world traveler at heart, our new Hobo Charms and I Am…Pendants help you celebrate free spirit and whimsy.

Will your hometown always be close to your heart? Is wanderlust your guide? Or have you adopted a new place to call home?

Design

Comments of the Week

December 2, 2011

With the gift-giving season booming, UncommonGoods has been bustling! We’re answering customer questions, helping people find great gifts, and taking, packing, and shipping orders. But don’t worry, through all of the holiday shopping fun, we haven’t forgotten to find great new products for our community voting app. We’re happy to see that our community is able to take a break from baking Christmas cookies and writing letters to Santa to share votes and comments with us!

Some of our favorite feedback this week comes from commenters who’ll zip it when it comes to headphones, want to leave a lasting impression, and are excited about open discussion.

Many commenters love the fun design of the i-Slide Zipper Headphones, but Maggie pointed out that they’re also practical.



Good point, Maggie! We agree that the tangle-free aspect is a definite bonus.

Another fashion accessory in the lineup this week isn’t quite as bold as the bright orange headphones. Inner Message Rings make their mark subtlety. The raised letters and symbols on the inside of each ring actually leave imprints in your skin.

ER questioned whether the ring would be a good fit, but Stephanie and Ranel are convinced that this design could be a comfy, everyday piece.

Ranel’s favorite product this week isn’t the only fun modern design getting buzz. The Modern Bottle Opener is getting noticed for it’s unusual size and shape.

Do you agree with Laura that this modern design could get the conversation flowing? Are you like Roberta and have a bartender friend in mind? We’d love to hear your feedback on this, and all of the great uncommon designs up for voting this week!

Design

Comments of the Week: Holiday Card Design Challenge!

November 25, 2011

We’ve been getting into the holiday spirit, and our Holiday Card Design Challenge is helping to make the season bright! We selected our favorite screen printed and letterpress designs and now our semi-finalists are up for voting. There’s still time to leave your feedback and cast your votes for your favorite messages of holiday cheer, but first, check out what our community is saying about these festive greeting cards!

Semi-finalist Laurie Okamura’s Porcupine and Reindeer cards, for example, are getting some great feedback.

While Lisa and Mary Margaret love the designs, they see these cards working better for another holiday.

Clara, however, thinks they’re perfect for a special couple on Christmas.

Rebecca also expresses love for the designs in our voting app this week, but isn’t a fan of the estimated prices.

After seeing this comment on her Fa La La La La & Pa Rum Pum Pum cards, artist Katie Daniels stepped in to say a few words about her process.

Many voters, such as Elinore, agree that handmade cards are worth spending a little extra.

Barbara expressed a similar sentiment for for Blackbird Letterpress’ Yuletide Yeti.

We totally agree, and can’t wait to find out which design wins! Would you send these little pieces of art to your loved ones this year? Visit our community voting app before Monday, November 28 at Midnight to help us pick which designs will go on to the final round. The top five cards with the most votes will be presented to our judges for the opportunity to win $500 and a vendor contract with UncommonGoods.

Happy voting!

Design

Comments of the Week

November 18, 2011

It’s hard to believe it’s already November and the holiday shopping season is underway! We’re proud to offer a plethora of giftable goods, but we know that sometimes shoppers want to take a break from browsing. Our community voting app is a great place to take a load off and tell us just what you think! The goods shown aren’t available for purchase yet, but with your help, they could be in the future!

Our favorite comments this week were posted about an eco-friendly, handmade jewelry design, a gorgeous custom pendant, and a fresh, fun umbrella.

We’ll get our roundup rolling with Darcy’s comment on Monica Farbiarz’s latest design, Batik Drop Earrings.

We’re glad to hear that Darcy not only likes the look of these tagua nut earrings, but also supports fair trade artisans!

Another lovely handmade jewelry design is also getting some attention this week, Amy Ambroult’s Personalized Silhouette Necklace. To make these unique necklaces, Amy takes customer photos and shrinks them to fit the pendant, she then creates a sterling silver silhouette for an uncommon take on the traditional cameo. Although Barbara likes the idea, she isn’t quite sold.

Although Barbara isn’t completely convinced, Louisa and Hilary are both ready to buy.

That’s the kind of enthusiasm we love to see! Our next commenter was less enthusiastic. In fact, we detect a hint of sarcasm in her feedback for the Goggles Umbrella.

Thanks for the feedback, Laura. Just in case our sarcasm meter is off–we sincerely hope that you only lose that important sign on days when it’s raining.

Speaking of sincerity, Deborah seems sincerely amused by this creative design, and was still able to slip in a joke.

We’re glad this silly (but functional) product gave you a good laugh, Deborah! Thanks for your feedback, and thanks to everyone who used our community voting app this week! We look forward to seeing what you have to say about our next batch of items up for voting!

Design

Comments of the Week

November 11, 2011

We’ve wrapped up our Uncommon Ceramics Design Challenge, and our community voting app is once again filled with fab finds submitted by our buyers. They’ve picked some great products this week, and it looks like our community is super excited about two categories: baby goods and gardening gifts!

The first miniature marvel up for voting is a pair of cool shades. Baby Aviator Sunnies look like grown-up glasses, but are made just for kids.

We agree with Michelle, and also want to add that these sunnies don’t just look cute while protecting little eyes from UVA and UVB rays, they’re also extra durable. The frames are made of rubber and the lenses are impact and shatter-resistant acrylic material, so they’re baby proof.

David pointed out that dropping the glasses isn’t the only thing parents have to worry about. Babies are also pretty great at sticking weird things in their mouths.

We won’t make any claims to the nutritious value or flavor of these aviators, but we can confirm that they are BPA and phthalate-free, so baby can gum, suck, and teeth on them without inducing parental fear.

Another baby good, the Nappy Mat, has gotten a mixed response.

While Nicole seems a bit bummed about too many bundles of joy in the world, JoBeth’s comments lead us to believe that she supports procreation (and organic, recycled goods).

Now switching gears from growing children to growing plants, the Seed Pot Maker is also getting some great feedback.

While Christina may not know many amateur horticulturists, Liane and Mary think this wooden wonder could make a great gift.

Do you agree with Liane’s theory that gardeners will eat this new design up? Is Mary right that it’s a great niche gift for someone special? Or, do side with Christina? We’d love to hear what you think of the Seed Pot Maker, these baby gift ideas, and the other items up for review in our community voting app this week!

Design

Comments of the Week

October 21, 2011

Our latest top commented voting app additions include a posh pillow (that’s also comfortable), a peaceful keychain, a nosy little eyeglass accessory, and books your baby is sure to love. We’re glad our voters are telling us just what they think, and we hope you’ll join in the feedback fun, too!

We’ll kick off our comments with some kind words for the Pweebo “Posh” Pillow.

We’re glad you love this soft, function design, Beth! We know you want to meet the needs of your demanding couch, so remember to tell all of your friends to vote for these colorful pillows!

Our next voting app visitor also left some praise for an item under consideration.

It’s looks like Gionne loves the Bomb Keychain, but forgot to vote Thumbs Up.

Carole, on the other hand, remembered to raise her thumbs for the Nosy Eyeglass Holder.

Thanks for the great feedback, Carole. Glasses can be spendy, and this wooden holder can help you keep track of them.

Although Mary Margaret thinks the eyeglass holder is cute, she disagrees with Carole.

But never fear, she did find something she loves in this week’s selection.

We’re glad you like the Indestructible Nursery Rhyme Book Set! This is just the kind of feedback we love to receive in our community voting app. It’s thoughtful, constructive, and friendly. Thanks for sharing your insights with us, Mary Margaret!

Do you have something to say? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Visit our voting app to comment on these and other uncommon goods!

Design

Comments of the Week

October 14, 2011

This week our top comments come from voters telling us what they think of a little book that lets kids have fun with food, porcelain bowls that look good enough to eat, a kit that’s sure to be a cup of tea, and special pillows to celebrate new babies.

We’re glad you love Melanie Mckenney’s Salsa Bowl Trio, Karen! Although we don’t have a bell pepper bowl up for voting, we do have another scrumptious design– her Cantaloupe Bowl Set.

Speaking of scrumptious, another item up for voting this week, My Food Passport , makes trying new foods fun. But Kimberley isn’t so sure it would do the trick.

If it were full of foods like ice cream and pizza, you probably wouldn’t need the passport. Although some of the foods may seem strange to kids, they’re worth a try! We think this handy book might just help your picky eater discover that they love mangoes, mushrooms, or avocado. We’re glad to see that Liane and Cassandra agree.

Since we’re on the topic of having fun with food, we’ll also take a look at a comment from Patricia, who’s ready to have fun with a drink.

Thanks for the comment, Patricia! We want to see your vote as well. If you love the Tea Leaf Reading Kit don’t forget to give it a “Thumbs Up” in our voting app. You can also leave your email address, if you’d like, and we’ll let you know if we decide to carry this product.

We offer the notify feature on all of the products up for voting, but Summer isn’t interested in an announcement.

It didn’t take long for Jana to step in and explain why these Birth Announcement Pillows would make great gifts.

Which of our top commenters do you agree with? We’d love to hear your opinions on these (and many more) potential products up for voting in our community voting app this week!

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