Keith Kreeger Studios
Tell us about your business.The summer after interning on Capitol Hill, I was a young American Studies major at Skidmore College and had decided to take an extra class during the summer in order to enjoy the bounty of Saratoga Springs. I swiftly traded my suits & blazers from the previous summer for jeans & t-shirts that would be covered in clay from then on. I started my first studio on Cape Cod in 1998 and moved to Austin in 2009. Everything is designed and made in my studio using a potter's wheel or slabs to create the work. Since moving to Austin I have continued to grow my business. My most recent project has been making plateware for Paul Qui's new flagship restaurant. The project has been challenging, humbling and enlightening. It is amazing to be able to collaborate with someone who cooks at the level that Paul works at. I am already working with other restaurants on new projects. I eagerly preach that the object a meal is served on matters as much as the food that one serves.
What makes your business stand out?I firmly believe that objects matter. Our work is designed and created to make the rituals of daily living important. I want those seemingly mundane objects to be beautiful and meaningful whether it's a plate that serves a beautiful meal, a vase that holds fresh-cut flowers or a cup that holds your toothbrush. I don't want folks to hold their special objects for a certain occasion but want to help bring an object that matters to every day. Experiences matter and I want to create objects that create and evoke memories of those experiences. We design and make work seasonally and are inspired in our creations from everything from food to fashion.
What's the best business advice you've received?Moving to Austin opened my eyes a lot. The creative community in Austin is unlike anything I've ever seen. Different communities talk to each other, help each other and want to work with each other. I get a lot of inspiration from other fields and my friend who is a lawyer in the start-up and tech fields always says to take every meeting. I now meet with everyone who asks or anyone I find interesting. Whether it's coffee or lunch I never turn down an opportunity to meet someone. It doesn't matter if they're established or just starting out. It doesn't matter if they are an artist, a designer or a tech entrepreneur, there will be something worthwhile that you can take from meeting face to face. It may not seem like it at the time but you gain from being exposed to other peoples ideas. I think that is extremely important for me as so much of my time is spent in the studio working by myself.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.