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This Just In-spiration

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.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Marco Facciola and Stephen Washer

May 31, 2017

Ever looked at a pile of discarded wood and wondered at the stories hidden within? Cousins and lifelong tinkerers Marco Facciola and Stephen Washer sure have. Made in Montreal, Canada, their reclaimed wood and rope pieces—three of which have just been added to our assortment—give debris a second life, celebrating the unique colors, shapes, and tales told by pieces salvaged from household renovations and climbing gyms.

Here at UncommonGoods, we’re inspired by Marco and Stephen’s inventive, earth-friendly creations, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to our family of artists. Read on for Marco’s answers to our questions about how the pair got their start, what excites kids about their work, and more.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Matt Pugh

May 16, 2017

Matt Pugh Artist - UncommonGoods

As a lifelong artist, it didn’t take too long for Matt Pugh to grow tired of bringing other designers’ ideas to life – eventually, he couldn’t resist the need to create on his own. After a stint as a model maker, Matt decided to take his career into his own hands and began bringing his own original pieces to trade shows, where he started to gain success and recognition.

Matt’s charming designs and his use of sustainable materials in making them stood out to us right away. We’re so glad to have his unique fixtures as new additions to our assortment. Read on to hear from the rural Wiltshire, England artist about where he gets inspiration for his quirky pieces, and what goes into making them.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Tom Gauntt

April 12, 2017

Tom Gauntt - UncommonGoods

It’s often said that the hardest life situations can lead to some of the most creative works of art. The idea seems to have rung true for Tom Gauntt. After being dealt a difficult hand when diagnosed with an illness that restricted his physical activity, Tom decided to focus on smaller projects and tried out turning a pen on a lathe. Though his first iteration was less than perfect, he kept at it. Once he refined his technique, he started incorporating driftwood found along the nearby Chesapeake Bay and discovered that it made for truly special writing utensils.

We’re so excited to have Tom’s one-of-a-kind driftwood pens as new additions to our assortment. Settle in and read on to hear directly from Tom about the in-depth craftsmanship that goes into each one.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Annie Howe

March 24, 2017

Annie Howe - UncommonGoods

When you hear the words “paper cut,” it’s likely to conjure up some past painful feelings. Sorry! Allow Baltimore-based artist Annie Howe to replace those memories of ouch-moments with a much friendlier kind of papercut – her (completely painless) designs made from strategically cutting into paper.

Annie isn’t totally new to the Uncommon family–we’ve had her Love You to the Moon Personalized Papercut and Love Birds Personalized Papercut in stock for a bit, but since she has a brand new Personalized Family Papercut on offer, we figured it’d be a great time to introduce her. Read on to hear from Annie about how a hobby making presents for family and friends turned into a fun, full-time gig.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Jill McDonald

March 9, 2017

Aside from being a mama to the adorable pup above (as well as her human son, Luca), Jill McDonald is a talented designer and artist who has created works for top brands all over the country – think book covers, storefronts, bedding, puzzles, you name it. Always appreciating bright colors and bold illustrations, Jill decided to take her talents and create a studio of her own. We’re so glad she did, since now we have a few of her fun prints available in our assortment.

We like to welcome new members of our uncommon family by learning more about their stories and sharing those stories with you. Read on to hear from Jill about what inspires her, how she self-schedules in her home studio and the motivating phrase that keeps her going strong.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Meredith Gordon

March 3, 2017

Meredith Gordon Artist - UncommonGoods

Flowers and wine–what a dreamy combination. Meredith Gordon, a new maker to our assortment, has brought the two together in the form of her floral glassware, and we couldn’t be more excited. Growing up as a navy dependent, Meredith has seen all kinds of buds and blooms from different corners of the world, and she uses her natural talent for painting to give them new life through her stemless (well, sort of) glasses.

Floral Glasses - Set of 4 - UncommonGoods

Each of the products we offer has a story behind it, and we value those stories. We’re always eager to introduce you to our inspiring, independent makers as we welcome them to our uncommon family. Read on to meet Meredith and learn how being called “Arty” in school as a kid turned into a lifelong proclivity for creative pursuits.  

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Rachel Kroh

February 16, 2017

Rachel Kroh - UncommonGoods

If you’re not sure if you’re the kind of person who was actually born to be an artist (or if you’re the kind of person who should pursue it as a career, anyway) visiting the French countryside is a great way to go and figure it out. Printmaker Rachel Kroh did it, and ended up becoming a full-fledged working artist, with a studio and a business of her own.

Rachel’s prints, which come to life with woodblock printing and the use of an Indigo press, are unique, comforting, and undoubtedly special. We love to learn the stories of artists who are new to our assortment, and to share those stories with our readers. Check out our interview with Rachel to hear more about her journey to self-employment, how art meets religion in her craft, and the one quote from a college professor that reminds her to keep going.

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