Small States features small companies that design and manufacture within the United States.
Small States has allowed 9to5Toys to feature a number of quality companies that have made a conscious effort to keep their manufacturing in the United States. Each week we tell the story of a company, sometimes they are larger in size, sometimes not.
This week is a first though, it’s our smallest company yet.
Based out of Chicago, Ryan and Lauren Granger operate their design firm with one goal in mind: responsibly creating something beautiful that is meant to last. One look at their website and that philosophy is clearly evident, sustainability is at the core of what they do.
Not only are they conscious of their materials, but they recognize the importance of using natural finishes that will least impact the environment when the product life cycle has come to an end.
Ryan has designed furniture for many years, working with big name brands such as Restoration Hardware and Anthropology. While home goods are what Tinsel and Timber are known for now, it was the jewelry made he made for Lauren that really got the process started.
“We weren’t really that familiar with wood jewelry, but with Ryan’s background in furniture making, we thought it would be really cool to have some wood jewelry.” Lauren says of their beginnings, “Ryan set out to try and find something, but we found that laser cut jewelry is not that great. The edges are charred and it’s not very pretty. So Ryan created some for me using the CNC machine, with a nice end-grain. That’s kind of what started the company.”
Following the success of the necklaces being sold online, Ryan and Lauren went to Kickstarter with the Timber Tray and that’s when things really took off.
“We found that people needed a land spot for their stuff, keys, necklaces, wallet, etc. Just a spot for things that you would normally put on the counter. We got a lot of really positive feedback, after Kickstarter, we came out with the Apple TV tray.”
After spending some time speaking to the Granger’s and using their beautiful products, my best summation of Tinsel and Timber’s process is this: holistic and intentional design done the right way.
Hearing Ryan talk about their products, the intentionality is clearly evident.
“We are trying to blend some organic things, such as felt and wood with modern electronics. We use the best wool felt that we can find, premium hardwoods from the Midwest and the finish is 100% sustainable derived from plants and weeds.”
To the products themselves, Tinsel and Timber currently offers a handful of goods meant to naturally complement the space were they reside. From the gorgeous Apple TV tray, to the phone charging station, Tinsel and Timber will make that odd piece of plastic look right at home. Additionally, they also have a line of stools that are simply designed and would great in about any setting.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on the Apple TV tray and the phone charging station. Apple has long been known for its beautiful devices, with smooth aluminum casings that make the devices seem like more than just an electronic. But let’s be honest, the plastic Apple TV is not exactly the greatest design we’ve seen out of Cupertino. I guess it’s only a hobby though…
So how do you dress up a plastic puck? Well, with Tinsel and Timber’s help you can ensconce it in gorgeous hard maple or black walnut. It creates a home that was designed exactly for the Apple TV, perfectly shaped for the device itself, as well as the power and HDMI cables. Let’s not forget the remote though, it has its own sunken place on the tray, and fits perfectly.
Not to harp too much on the fit of the device within the tray, but you can tell that CNC technology has allowed Tinsel and Timber to perfect this area of the product.
If you live in an older home like myself, you’ve probably found that today’s modern black gloss and plastic design of many devices don’t exactly blend into the decor very well. In our 1860’s home, we’ve struggled to marry the beautiful 10-inch oak trim in our living room with the harsh plastic of our LG HDTV. Up until I found Tinsel and Timber, the Apple TV was hidden away in our component credenza.
Now however, it shines out in the open with its beautiful new home. Making it feel almost like it belongs, rather than the electronic eye-sore my Art teacher wife despises.
Additionally, we found the universal charging station to be a great addition. I’ve never really had a place for all my stuff, like keys, my Owen and Fred wallet and EarPods. It is a unique thing to be beautiful, but not stand out, which is what this organizer accomplishes.
The bottom line is, with Tinsel and Timber, you are going to get a quality product that you can feel good about with a great story. Like I said, we’ve featured a lot of awesome companies, but few have made me want to support them quite like Tinsel and Timber.
Great people responsibily making a beautiful product.
If you want to add some Tinsel and Timber to your house, we’ve got a exclusive promo code worth 10% off your purchase. Just head over to their site and enter promo code 9to5Toys at the checkout. They are releasing a new iPhone 6 charging station, which you can take a peek at here.
Additionally, we’ve got another giveaway for your this week. Tinsel and Timber is giving away a universal tray, which fits most smartphone devices and an Apple TV tray. We’ll pick two winners next Saturday that will we receive these fine products in the wood styling of their choice. To enter the giveaway, simply follow @9to5Toys on twitter and retweet our article. If Facebook is your thing, Like us and share this article with your friends.