Steel Life

American Made Since 2012

Shannon Lester

Bend, Oregon
Steel Life is a company based in Central Oregon that is commited to bringing quality, design conscience planters to the modern home and garden.

Tell us about your business.

Landscape and Product Designer, Shannon Lester, has a B.S. in Landscape Architecture and has been professionally designing public spaces and private landscapes for over 18 years in the Pacific Northwest. Craving other verticals of inspiration, Shannon and her husband, Andrew, introduced Steel Life at the beginning of 2012. Steel Life's Desert Collection was born from the desire to create a perfect planter for cacti, succulents and other drought-tolerant plants. The shape of their bowls eliminant the need for excessive soil and unneccessary water usage that is typically used for deeper containers. Their designs also reduce the chance of overwatering your plants and having their roots rot in the process. Steel Life hopes to continue bringing unique, design savvy products to many more homes and gardens in the future while supporting the Pacific Northwest economy. They would love the opportunity to run more prototypes for other designs they have on paper.

What makes your business stand out?

Steel Life's design style is unique in itself. The Mid Century Modern inspired planters offer a twist of current style, making them more New Century Modern. Our planters are thoughtfully designed with the intent of water and soil conservation. All of our planters are manufactured in the Pacific Northwest and assembled in Central Oregon. Each bowl is individually spun by one set of hands and with the use of machinery that dates back to the early 1900s. The mod dish is partically made from locally salvaged and up cycled steel. All of our hard wood is finished with a UV-resistant, water-repelling coating from biocide-free,natural, renewable oils and waxes. We work close at hand with our team of artisans to bring the best, luxury quality, modern planters to one's doorstep. We like to support local craftsmen and small businesses in our community. We are also proud to promote other American made products through our social media sites and purchasing practices.

What's the best business advice you've received?

"There is no harm in trying. What's the worst that can happen? Nothing can happen." ~my Dad

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 9, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    Vote now
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

    Buy tickets now

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