Tell us about your business.We started Noble Goods in 2011 in the basement of our house on Noble Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Our son Arlo had just been born a few months prior and perhaps we were delirious from sleep deprivation, but we thought it would be a perfect time for Christopher to quit his full-time job and start a new business. Christopher is a sculptor with deep curiosity and respect for the physical world, and a gift for making beautiful things with his hands out of just about anything. Molly is a crafter and a stylist with an eye for the small details that bring beauty and inspiration to everyday life. For now, it’s just the two of us; in a nutshell, Christopher makes the goods and Molly presents them to the world. Having graduated from our basement studio, we now work out of both our home office and our own space in a shared wood shop in Williamsburg Brooklyn, where we began producing our first line of home goods, and where we hope to soon expand our operations and our team.
What makes your business stand out?The process of unifying solid wood with liquid resin is quite tricky due to the natural expansion and contraction of wood and the unpredictable behaviors of liquid resin. A woodworker all his life, Christopher has spent years (since his days as shop foreman at a small custom resin factory in Manhattan) developing and fine-tuning the process. What we love about our products is the interplay of opposites going on in each piece—rough and smooth, translucent and opaque, natural and designed. We began with traditional inlay techniques and have continued to find new ways of incorporating resin into simple wood forms. Our resin-edge tables are made from hundred-year-old wood salvaged from a demolished art space down the block from our shop, and utilize resin in a way that is as much structural as it is decorative. The resin we use is derived from plants rather than petroleum, and is the most environmentally friendly resin available. We use salvaged or FSC certified wood whenever we can.
What's the best business advice you've received?Even if you’re working alone, you’re part of a team. When we were just starting out, we read a book called Street Smarts by Norm Brodsky, a business owner and community leader in Brooklyn. One message that sang out was the idea that your community is part of your business. For us this means that even though we are our company’s only workers, our team includes our contacts at the California company that supplies us with resin, and the Pennsylvania lumber yard that supplies us with FSC-certified wood. It also includes the foreman of the construction crew tearing down the building down the street, who helped us move a ton of salvaged wood from the demolition site to our studio. It includes the shop owner who sells our goods, and the belt-maker in the studio next door who walks by and comments on our newest designs. The book also pointed out the importance of giving back to the community, which resonated with our early commitment to donating a percentage of our profits to charity.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.Vote now
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now