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YouGoods: Put a new twist on old greeting cards

August 30, 2010

“Pass me the White-Out!”

Christy Eichers had just realized she had no card for the birthday girl, so she quickly fixed up an old card of her father’s.

The result was fairly tacky, but she was certain there was a business idea there somewhere.

And regreet was born:

With regreet, you can upcycle your old cards in style, and take away the stigma of passing along a card that’s been doctored with whiteout or eraser marks. Christy’s even thought of a way for you to track your card’s journey, and see just how many times it gets regreeted.

According to Christy and the Encyclopedia of American Industries, the greeting card industry is a $7.5 billion business with 90% of households purchasing cards each year. The typical household purchases 30 cards annually.

So regreet kits, made from earth-friendly materials with a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste and printed with soy inks, can have a huge impact on reducing the amount of paper we waste each year.

Christy is winning a $1,500 cash prize, along with the chance to show off her designs at World Maker Faire NYC and sell the regreet kit at www.uncommongoods.com.

Leave a comment below to congratulate her on her idea– eco-friendly, clever, and well designed.  A perfect YouGoods design for National Inventors Month!

Design

And the Finalists Are…

August 26, 2010

Last night, a group of us met with the YouGoods guest judges at the Tribeca Grand in downtown Manhattan to pick our finalists among all the great entries we received.

And the finalists are:

The Grocery’minder by Francene Pisano Dudziec. With a wet-erase front, this bag is perfect for making your grocery list, checking it twice, and heading off to the market. . Judges thought the concept solved a basic problem; sure, everyone tries to be a good person and bring their reusable bag to the grocery store. But it’s hard to remember every time. With your grocery list stuck right on the front of your bag, the grocery’minder tote makes it hard to forget.

But the judges did have some questions.
1. Would you be more likely to use the grocery list if the bag were easily attachable to your refrigerator?
2. Are there enough blank spaces for you to fill in your personal shopping list?

If you’re a fan, you can vote for the grocery’minder tote through Sunday, August 29 at 11:59 PM ET.

The Double Wall Tea Cup by Endrit Hajno. The judges admired the basic concept of this tea cup made of glazed porcelain or ceramic. Each cup has an insulated double wall for keeping your drink warm, but not burning your hands. The bottom strip of color is notched, allowing you to tuck the string of your tea bag out of sight. While the judges expressed some reservations about how difficult it could be to make this cup and the choice of materials, they all agreed that with a little tweaking this tea cup had a lot of potential!

If you enjoy the idea of a Double Wall Tea Cup, vote for it through Sunday, August 29 at 11:59 PM.


And last but not least, regreet by Christy Eichers. regreet offers you a way to reuse old greeting cards without the stigma of seeming cheap. Judges thought of this entry as a great social concept. These greeting cards make “regifting” cool and give senders a way to reuse last year’s greeting cards. The designer even included a way for you to track your regreet-ed card’s journey using Google maps.

Judges were curious to know what the environmental impact is of using additional paper to regreet an old card.  And judges also wondered if after seeing the idea of regreet, you wouldn’t just use your own scrap paper to reuse your stack of birthday and holiday cards. But everyone acknowledged it was a great way to inspire us all to be more sustainable during the holiday season.

If you love the regreet gift card set, vote for it now through August 29 at 11:59 PM.

If you like them all, don’t worry. You can vote for each entry once, through August 29.  And feel free to leave a comment if you have a question or idea about the designs. We’ll announce the winner on Monday!

Special thanks to our guest judges: Becky Stern, editor at CRAFT and Make: Online, Debera Johnson, Academic Director of Sustainability at the Pratt Institute, Allan Chochinov, Editor-in-Chief at Core77, Coroflot.com and DesignDirectory.com, and Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com.

Design

How to Make a Seatbelt Chair

August 20, 2010

Every product has a story. Rarely, however, do we get to hear about the people, materials, and processes involved in the product’s manufacturing. As part of Inventor’s Month, we thought we’d give you the unheard product story behind the Seatbelt Chair. Here’s how it went from an entry in theYouGoods design contest to the focal point of your living room:

On April 30th, 2010, Adam Barron’s Seatbelt Chair had just won the YouGoods Vintage Vehicle Challenge. Everyone here in the offices at UncommonGoods was in love with the chair, but one question was on our minds: Continue Reading…

Design

The Latest Inventions in Line Drying

August 19, 2010

Air-drying your clothes is one simple way you can lower your carbon footprint. And I’ll be honest– living in an apartment in a city, it’s not something I ever thought I could do. But after seeing all the great entries from the Care To Air Design Challenge, I just might get started.

A few days ago, our CEO Dave Bolotsky went out to San Francisco to join a panel of judges for the Levi’s Care to Air Design Challenge, hosted by Myoocreate.

And after some careful deliberations and some great presentations from the finalists, the judges picked a winner– Nothing is What It Seems

Photo by Eurydice Thomas

Nothing is What It Seems blends modern design with functionality. The perfect size for small apartments, it folds out from the wall when you have a load of laundry to dry. And when your clothes are put away, it folds back in, cleverly disguised as wall art.
You can check out all the entries at Myoocreate.

Once you see them all, I’ll bet you’ll be inspired to start air drying your laundry too!

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…