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

Comments (0)


Mark Your Calendar

    Jun. 17, 2015

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring entrepreneurs.

    Learn about American Made
    Sep. 21, 2015

    Vote for your favorite makers.

    Oct. 23, 2015

    2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2015

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets available July 2015.

More Nominees

  • fine jewelry. precious metal. gemstones. exquisite design. Kristen Baird Fine Jewelry, handcrafted with love in Savannah, Georgia.
    Style, Jewelry
  • Foster's Market

    Sara Foster
    Foster's Market has been making 7- Pepper Jelly for 25 years. My sister Judy and I started making it in my kitchen in 1990 when Foster's opened
    Food, Bottled, Jarred & Canned
  • 2015 Design Finalist

    Drew Hash Knives

    Drew Hash
    Custom chef knives made by a chef. Every step of the process, from shaping, to grinding, to finishing, is done by me— by hand.
    Design, Furniture & Home Accessories
  • boutonné

    Erin Pechtel
    boutonné is a hand made american made fine leather goods company who proves that the american dream is still alive.
    Style, Accessories