When Greg Kelly couldn’t find a mailbox that complemented his midcentury-style home, he designed one. Now Kelly is the mastermind behind North Carolina-based Modbox.
The company: Modbox USA Inc. is based in Raleigh. The mailbox company started in 2014 with Kickstarter funding.
Designer and background: When Kelly and his family downsized from a 3,400-square-foot house to a 1,460-square-foot 1950s ranch house four years ago, he became a midcentury modern enthusiast — and wanted a mailbox to match the home’s aesthetic. With no formal training, Kelly designed one inspired by mailboxes from the 1950s and 1960s.
The goods: A curbside midcentury modern-inspired mailbox with an angled post. Also, a modern wall-mounted mailbox. A single-color curbside mailbox is $199, and the two-tone is $259. The wall-mounted mailboxes, in 12 colors, are $159.
What’s popular: The two-tone turquoise-white is the top color combination followed by the pumpkin two-tone. The solid Anodized Aluminum Effect is also a favorite.
Other favorites: Cut vinyl mailbox numbers ($15) for both sides of the mailbox. Kelly uses the Neutraface font from House Industries.
Where Modbox buyers live: California (22 percent); Florida (10 percent); Texas (6 percent); Georgia (5 percent); New York and North Carolina (3 percent).
Where to buy: www.modboxusa.com
Geometric and asymmetrical
Inspired by old buildings, bridges and other industrial structures, Lauren Markley designs jewelry that is both architectural and sculptural.
The company: Lauren Markley Contemporary Jewelry is based in Raleigh, N.C. Markley has been making jewelry since 2007.
The designer and background: Originally from Kansas, Markley studied anthropology and archaeology. It wasn’t until she was in her mid-30s and living in New Jersey that she signed up for beginner metalsmithing classes on the weekends in New York City. Since then, she has taken a number of classes and workshops at the Penland School of Crafts (N.C.), the University of Iowa, and the Pocosin Arts Center (N.C.).
The goods: Earrings ($75-$345); necklaces ($180-$700); bracelets ($160-$360); rings ($90-$300); brooches ($200-$700); and occasionally some men’s jewelry, such as cuff links.
What’s popular: Asymmetrical silver-shape earrings ($80). They come in a matte, brushed finish or an oxidized finish.
Other favorites: Enamel earrings. Available in five colors: robin’s egg blue, light green, yellow, white and gray.
Materials: Mostly sterling silver, but also wood, textiles, paint and enamel.
Fun request: Invited to participate in a project for the reopening of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in May. Several jewelers were asked to create pieces inspired by an artist or work of art in the opening exhibition. Louise Bourgeois is a favorite of Markley’s, so she created a neckpiece and earrings of white wood and oxidized silver, inspired by Bourgeois’ “Persistent Antagonism” sculpture. These pieces are for sale in the SFMOMA shop.
Fresh and functional
Atlanta’s Brandy Schuman is known for her colorful and playful line of home goods.
The company: A Sensible Habit is located in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta, where Schuman creates ceramics, textiles, art and stationery — products that complement her love of cooking, canning and entertaining.
The name: A Sensible Habit was a tagline Schuman saw in a vintage magazine. She decided it applied to her life and business in that creating, making, exploring and supporting handmade items are sensible habits to have.
The artist and background: Originally from Savannah, Schuman graduated from Georgia State with a printmaking degree. Over the years, she has experimented with screen printing, letterpress and, most recently, pottery.
What’s popular: Ceramic necklaces ($45-$68) and ceramic earrings ($35); porcelain ring dish ($28) in watercolor aqua; and hand-painted cocktail coasters ($30 for a set of four).
Other favorites: Canning label stamp ($34) and cactus plate ($34).
Fun request: A custom order of 800 watercolor plates for Kendra Scott’s 2016 Spring Display.
Where to buy: www.asensiblehabit.com. In Atlanta, at Citizen Supply, 675 Ponce de Leon Ave., and Made Again, 229 N. Highland Ave.
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