Urban Lumber Company’s woodworkers snatch still-viable wood from the mouth of the landfill and repurpose it into signature slabs of lumber or vibrant, handcrafted furniture. Operating an onsite sawmill and dry kiln, they shape pieces inspired by the natural colors and size proportions of each storm-damaged, dead, and chopped tree they use, blending different grains and edges into distinctive final products. Urban Lumber Company can equip builders with cabinet- and furniture-grade woods for their own projects, as well as instrument-grade tone woods for guitars, mandolins, or mannequin replicas of Duran Duran.
While living in Kenya, Leslie Mittelberg was amazed at the skills displayed by artisans and the vast variety of items that were sold in the community marketplace. After returning to the United States, she often longed for a way to access those rich textiles and beautiful sculptures, but found that very few African products made their way to the US. Guided by her passion, she began contacting sellers along the East African coast and encouraging them to export their wares. Today, she employs fair-trade policies to stock stores throughout the country, supporting artisans living in Kenya, Tanzania, the Sudan, Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique, Mali, Senegal, and Ethiopia.
Owned and operated by glass artists and collaborators Alejandro Hernandez and Ciara Cuddihy, Studio West houses a gallery of fine paintings and glasswork attached to a full glassblowing studio. The cream walls and bright lights of the gallery give way to the industrial metal and stony tile of the workshop, where artisans can be seen retrieving white-hot gobs of glass from the furnaces. These mounds of molten potential are regularly rolled and shaped into handmade trinkets and vases, which can be immediately smashed and melted, completing their life cycle. Visitors can experience the process for themselves during workshops, where they receive hands-on training from the glassworkers in how to bend the superheated silica to their will.
From its humble origins in 1946 as a single glass shop, Speedy Glass has expanded across the country into a network of more than 120 locations, where technicians stand at the ready to repair and replace the glass in cars, homes, and offices. The centers' automotive technicians handle all manner of automotive window services, from tinting windows to repairing chips. To overhaul homes' glass panes, the residential specialists can cut, polish, and install fresh windows in the same day. They tackle projects ranging in scope from fashioning new glass tabletops to building solariums for clients who like to bask in the sun or teach clouds to spell swear words. Speedy Glass's workmanship and materials are backed by an array of warranties.