Over the Summer, I visited with Room & Board at their Minneapolis Headquarters and was impressed with their company culture and focus on American made products. As an American company, Room & Board partners with American manufacturers to help support the local economy—both on a micro level with local Minnesota makers like Bell Manufacturing and Hennepin Made to manufacturers and artisans all across the U.S. One of the areas in which Room & Board values their American Made partners is lighting. They hand-selected the best American brands to work with to create a lighting collection that pairs well with just about any type of interior style. From pendant lighting with block-printed shades exclusively made by Galbraith & Paul for Room & Board to unique handmade blown glass shapes, you can find something that you’ll instantly love both because of how it looks, but also because you’re helping contribute to the livelihood of these American design brands.
Having recently visited with Hennepin Made, I also go to talking with them more about how they work with Room & Board to handcraft American-made designs. Founder Jackson Schwartz said “When you buy American made, you create a market for people and companies to make goods, set up studios or production facilities, train and employ people. Beyond that, buying American Made goods supports a culture focused on craft, quality, longevity and I truly feel this is important in communities we live in. By making goods in America, companies strengthen the identity of place through their products and the people producing them.”
Check out Hennepin Made’s great selection and don’t miss our Hennepin Made studio tour and glassblowing tutorial here:
Based in Mineral Point Wisconsin, Sielaff has been a longtime partner of Room & Board, handcrafting modern furnishings, including tables, bookcases and shelves. They most recently began adding lighting to their lineup to help fill a void in American-made lighting.
Started in a basement in 1985 by Ulrich Sielaff, the company now has more than 100 employees. Ulrich says of the benefits of buying American made: “Imports shine with low prices when lots of identical items can be packed into a container. What discriminating consumers really want is variety in design, materials and size options. Being made in the U.S., the design-to-production time is significantly shorter. Our product deliveries are measured in days and weeks and not in months. And, closer to home, we are able and respond quickly to requests for product improvements.”
KleinReid of New York prides themselves on making innovative designs with integrity, by hand. They worked with Eva Zeisel for the last 12 years of her life, creating a collection of over 20 new designs, bringing her iconic work to a new generation. David Reid believes “You’re supporting your community (and American is pretty much a community these days) so—good paying jobs, money re-spent in one’s community and lower costs and emissions from transportation to name a few. You’re also choosing quality and design integrity.”
GALBRAITH & PAUL
Galbraith & Paul of Philadelphia started with handmade paper lamps and expanded to other block-printed textiles. Ephraim Paul believes that local production helps communities and the planet: “From our perspective as designer artisans, American made is all about keeping things local and sustainable. Behind all the supposed efficiencies of the global economy, there are steep costs being paid by small family-owned businesses and the communities they work and live in when everything is outsourced overseas to the lowest bidder. For us, it’s about taking pride in the work we do with our hands, and placing great value on the people who are the makers here in our studio. In some small way, we hope to do our part by planting seeds for an American economy that is based on quality of craftsmanship, strong and diverse communities, and sustainable business practices that respect people and the planet.”
Jenon Bailie, Merchandise Manager, Accessories at Room & Board believes each one of these partners reinforces Room & Board’s goal of manufacturing their entire collection here in the States: “More than 90% of our collection is handcrafted exclusively for us by American artisans. We are continually working on ways to bring the other 10 percent onto U.S. soil. By seeking out American made products, this allows us to reduce our environmental impact, commit to responsibly sourced materials, reinvest in local communities and preserve traditions handed down for generations.”
Ready to light it up? Shop all Room & Board lighting here.
This post was created in collaboration with Room & Board. Our partners are hand picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.