Architects Tania Garbe and Ida Polzer want to mix good design with good stewardship. Their new webshop, Design With Benefits, offers unique, high design accessories that are socially and environmentally conscious. We're talking radios from an Indonesian plant that teaches former farmers craftsmanship skills and jewelry made from a salvaged historic Frank Lloyd Wright roof. Fun stuff!
Name/Title: Tania Garbe/Founder
Launch date: February 2013
Inspiration for opening: The project was founded after receiving a grant from the Chilean government, and winning a place in Start-Up Chile—a startup incubator in Santiago supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.
Merchandise source: We scour the web, attend design shows/events, seek out young talent in design schools, and just generally keep our finger on the pulse of the design world. We do a lot of cross-researching different fields and forums, not just strictly design, but also the start-up world, education initiatives, women’s organizations, and green sources. Since we feature a lot of smaller projects and artisans, this also means simply talking to people. Everyone knows someone doing something interesting; it’s just a matter of asking the right questions. Often one artisan or initiative will lead us to another.
Best selling item: Our current best selling items are from our LeDanse Limited Edition Jewelry line. These are gorgeous copper pieces made from a salvaged historic Frank Lloyd Wright roof, and help benefit the homeless.
Your favorite item: Founder Tania Garbe: 'Homeboy Totes' designed by ex-Los Angeles gang members who are turning their graffiti skills into profitable graphic skills. Proceeds support Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention program in the U.S.
Creative Director Ida Polzer: Magno modern, handcrafted wooden radios (with MP3 and iPod connections!) by Indonesian designer Singgih Kartono. Magno's philosophy is to "cut less, plant more", with Singgih's aim being to re-forrest his local village and provide training and jobs for farmers who can no longer find agricultural work in the region.
Favorite store (other than your own): BottleHood - they sell really beautiful handcrafted glassware from repurposed wine, beer, liquor and soda bottles from restaurants, bars, and homes. Everything from jewelry to cheese platters, tumblers, light fixtures and vases.
(Images: Design With Benefits)
- Founded: February 2013
- Founded by: Tania Garbe & Ida Polzer
Design With Benefits is an online store featuring clever products made with social and environmental benefits in mind. A percentage of our net profits goes toward creative projects using design to solve social problems. Vote to select the project that will receive next month's donations!