It’s common knowledge that you know a good thing when you see it. But would you know a Good Thing? The Greenpoint-based manufacturing studio spins designers’ visions into egalitarian products, taking ideas (and seeds of ideas) through development and fabrication then markets the final outcomes for purchase by consumers attracted to the quirky utilitarianism and attractive price-points.
Good Thing was founded by Jamie Wolfond in 2014. Then a recent Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) grad, Wolfond settled in Brooklyn, a perpetually desirable location for those in the creative class. “It feels very supportive. When we have a party or a pop-up, it’s no real effort for people to come over. We do sample sales with other Brooklyn designers. There is sort of a sense of camaraderie and figuring things out together and I’d say healthy competition,” explains Alice Taranto, Good Thing’s Creative Marketing Manager.
A designer herself, Taranto is responsible for the company’s public-facing channels: brand awareness through events, social media, press, and partnerships – an aspect of the role that excites her. “I’ve been having some nice excuses to work with people who I had been wanting to work with and didn’t have the capacity to, so this is great.”
In May, Good Thing collaborated with Harry’s creative team for A Brush with Design. The exhibit was on display during New York Design Week and featured thirteen emerging and established designers reimagining the iconic grooming staple, a shaving brush, after being given a strict brief. The variety and scope of the interventions were delightful, and Taranto adds that these types of partnerships “[are] a great way to bring people into the fold who can discover us through new avenues that we wouldn’t have been able to do single-handedly.”
Earlier this month, Good Thing hosted an event with The Standard Hotel’s narcbar to celebrate its Frank Tray. “I really like the Frank tray. It’s just really cute. It photographs so nicely,” Taranto muses. Designed by RISD professor, Christopher Specce, the scalloped lacquered steel vessel resembles generic hot dog paperware. The bar employs Frank for its Village Hot Dog and the Slim Bookend for its Onion Ring Toss.
Good Thing’s appeal is garnered from the way its objects look and are presented. “The styling is very attended to and composed and probably more considered than products in a similar price range,” says Taranto. She adds that Wolfond oversees all of the art direction, which reflects a disavowal of ornamentation. “The underlying principle of most of the products is using a material property for a functional purpose,” she says. “The Slim Bookend, stripped to its elements, is a horizontal and a vertical and they support the book. It’s not really meant to be decorative; whatever aesthetic that comes out is kind of an influence of listening to the material and doing what suits it.”
Now in its third year of operation, Good Thing is building on its interior accessories base and tackling larger projects, literally. They have begun to manufacture furniture: stools, tables, and the occasional umbrella stand. The new items will undoubtedly bring with them new customers and new opportunities for creative collaborations.