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September 07, 2017

Good Thing at Hopscotch Design Festival – Pt. 3

This week two Good Thing team members – Natalie Phillips, our Director of Wholesale, and Mayela Mujica, our Operations Manager – headed to Raleigh, NC for Hopscotch Design Festival. Today they are presenting a talk titled "Reimagining Everyday Objects," a.k.a. the Good Thing mantra. Here, a brief selection from their presentation. See the beginning of this story at Part 1 and Part 2.

Solving the manufacturing process for the tray really helped us shape the manufacturing process for the dustpan. After a product is resolved we go ahead and do a first production run. This small test orders usually is the hundreds. For the dustpan our first run was 500 of each color.

In the final version of the Richman Dustpan, the tray is stamped steel with the handle as a steel sheet formed into a tube. Everything is welded together and the finish is lacquered. The dustpan has a steel hook and is branded on the handle. The brush is beech wood with synthetic bristles individually glued.

We sell the Richman Dustpan on our website mostly through press, Instagram or other marketing efforts. The majority of our stock is sold wholesale through retailers. From the start, this has been the major sales channel through which our wares are distributed. We currently have about 200 retailers, approximately 30% of which are international.

Once in stores, we work closely with our retailers. For example, Ana Maria, who owns Port of Raleigh, has been a huge asset to us and has really influenced our design process over the years. She has tried things in store, some things have worked and others have not worked. This feedback – what her customers are looking for, how they want to use those objects, and especially what they want to pay for those things – has really shaped our direction and the products we move forward with. This whole cycle ends with Ana Maria’s customer.

In planning out this talk, we wanted to be sure we were choosing a product that properly represented Good Thing. The Richman Dustpan is a great example: it works, it is lovely, it encourages use, and it’s accessible. In our offices, this is considered a successful product: it sells, it makes us money, but also because people are buying it and we are seeing people use it. Beyond that, we’ve found great collaborators who can make this object, who can ship this object, who can sell this object, and finally people who can use this object.

And really, that’s all we’re saying – that when we make things, we’re of the mindset that consumerism and design/production are not mutually exclusive. The product, the cost, the customers all lead to how an object should and can be.

Final Richman Dustpan image courtesy of Glasswing.

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