F5: Tyler Deeb’s Appreciation for Tetris, NYC, Soup Dumplings + More

05.31.24 | By
F5: Tyler Deeb’s Appreciation for Tetris, NYC, Soup Dumplings + More

A designer from Louisville, Kentucky, Tyler Deeb put his name on the map with an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign for a redesigned deck of playing cards. (He and a fulfillment and operations team printed, packaged, and shipped more than 4,000 orders in 40 days!) The lucky occasion occurred when he was down on his luck and eventually led to more successes and a few failures, for good measure. What evolved is now known as Misc. Goods Co., a brand known for its fragrances and products built for practical purposes that are made in America.

Running a product company wasn’t even on Deeb’s radar when he hit a dry spell as a freelance designer and began designing a Jack of Spades playing card to keep busy. The rest of the deck followed. After three months, it was complete and became the focal point of the aforementioned Kickstarter campaign and a shift in mindset for Deeb toward taking opportunities as they came.

Man wearing a cap and a T-shirt holding an empty wine bottle at a dining table with people eating. Brick wall in the background. Black and white photo.

Tyler Deeb

“It changed my life and handed me a new set of responsibilities – to create useful, good products – to serve our customers, and to remain ethical in all manufacturing. Our goods are designed with a sense of timelessness. So the materials we make them from must be timeless – American hardwoods, the highest-grade leather, premium fragrances, and ingredients from nature.”

Misc. Goods Co. opened its online doors shortly after, with Deeb reinvesting most of his Kickstarter earnings into creating new products. But it was still a hobby. The next big endeavor, the Coil Coffee Maker, failed to thrive and put things into a fresh perspective. Deeb was going to have to design products that were practical and problem-solving, not just things he found interesting. To backtrack, he re-released new versions of Misc. Goods Co.’s two bestsellers: the ceramic flask and the playing cards.

In 2015, the designer met Sarah McCartney, who owns a perfumery in London called 4160 Tuesday, at a trade show. Deeb grew more and more intrigued by the nuances of scent and began to design a smell that represented his interests with Sarah’s help.

“I considered every element of an adventure. A long hike in the woods, the clothes I was wearing, the leather on my pack, the tobacco in its pouch, the salty sweat on my forehead, the campfire I just put out, the trees and wild herbs carried on the breeze in the air,” he shares. “It was a happy place. We worked through 13 different styles and landed on the fragrance we now call Underhill.” They’ve since created a collection of scents and developed a solid version that lives in a refillable wooden case.

Deeb needed to figure out how to get his creations into people’s hands affordably, and he did – as natural deodorant. “In July 2018, I released my third Kickstarter campaign, this time for a natural deodorant with our custom fragrances. The product was a success, and today it’s our best seller. Since the release of the natural deodorants, we’ve made candles, soaps, incense, and hand sanitizers.”

Now, Misc. Goods Co. continues to express “good” in three ways: making exceptional products, working ethically in all areas of production, and being radically hospitable with customers.

Tyler Deeb is joining us for this week’s Friday Five!

A mid-century modern living room with a brown velvet sofa, geometric coffee table, abstract wall art, table lamp, and decor objects. It features wooden walls, a stone fireplace, and a white rug.

Photo: Soho Home

1. Architectural + Interior Design

I never meant to become a designer, but I slowly fell in love with design through the way it can make me feel, and to me, spatial design has the biggest opportunity to affect our daily lives. I just find it so complex, inspiring, and subtle. I’ve done a few renovations and industrial designs for myself, and I’d love to find ways to do it more.

A screenshot from a Tetris video game showing multicolored tetrominoes stacked in a vertical play area. The current score is 111,410 and the high score is 192,764 with a time of 06:44.02.

Tetris Effect \\\ Photo: Resonair/Enhance Games via Polygon

2. Tetris

Running a business is stressful. Having five kids is stressful. Having a very active and charged personality is stressful. Tetris is a perfect game to keep my mind and hands busy while also allowing myself separation from my never-ending tasks.

Photo: George Steinmetz for National Geographic

3. New York City

I get to stay in NYC 2-4 weeks out of the year for trade shows, and in many ways, that place feels like a second home to me. I love the city for its magnitude, its complexity, its energy, its food, and its people. I peel off a new layer every time I’m in the city, and I’m constantly in awe of its depth.

4. Soup Dumplings

What a completely wholesome food. I can’t imagine a better food experience than working a long day, then going to Kings Imperial Co. in Brooklyn and eating my first soup dumpling of the day. To me, it’s soul food.

Close-up of a person playing cornhole.

Photo: Nathan Perkel, Prop Styling: Sophie Strangio courtesy of Thrillist

5. Yard Games

Hey buddy, let’s go hang in my backyard, drink a few beers, and play cornhole, can jam, frisbee, bocce ball, badminton or… I don’t care. Let’s just hang out, laugh, and enjoy some sunshine without throwing out our backs.



Work by Tyler Deebs:

A person wearing a striped shirt holds a perfume bottle.

Eau De Cologne

Eau de Cologne. I never wore fragrance because I never related to what I was smelling. In 2015, I was in Los Angeles for a tradeshow and met an amazing woman and perfumist, Sarah McCartney. She helped me understand the beauty of smell and how diverse it can be. Since then, I’ve worked with Sarah to design four unique fragrances that take you to different places: the salty, woodsy air of the Pacific Northwest, the rolling hills of a dry meadow, a wild garden tucked away in the woods, or the comforting smell of pipe smoke during an autumn hike.

A person in dark clothing gives a thumbs-up reflected in a rectangular framed mirror with floral engravings, placed on a concrete surface next to a pair of feet in gray shoes.

Here Lies Mirror

Here Lies Mirror. When I first started Misc. Goods Co., I went out of my way to design products that had no relationship to each other. One of my proudest experiments was designing the Here Lies Mirror with a custom frame and black glass that’s etched. With reminders of the fast passing of time and the inevitably of death, the Here Lies Mirror is more than a vanity mirror; it’s a message.

A person holding a round, wooden container with a hinged lid, revealing solid perfume.

Solid Cologne

Solid Cologne. I’m proud of this product because it’s the most innovative in our fragrance line. We build each vessel out of wood, router out a cup, and pour our solid cologne fragrance melted together with beeswax and jojoba oil into a replaceable metal container. Each case is inlaid with brass and clasped together by earth magnets. They can be carried easily in your pocket or bag, and they are airplane-friendly.

A person wearing a green shirt and blue jeans with a brown leather belt is placing a tan leather wallet into their front pocket.

Slim Wallet

Slim Wallet. One of our best sellers, the slim wallet, is, well, very simple. Just a single pocket design with a decorative stitch and laser engraving. Sometimes simplicity can’t be beat.

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.