I have a major craft crush on Heath Ceramics these days.
I fell in love with these photos of the renovated California bungalow belonging to the owners of Heath Ceramics from Sunset magazine (via Hoping for Happy Accidents). Then I visited their site and fell in LOVE with their philosophy.
We believe that the craft of manufacturing has, to a great extent, been lost as a value in American culture, and strive to retain it. All facets of our production are executed in our Sausalito factory and blend a mechanized process with hand craftsmanship to obtain the highest quality product. We want to change the relationship that customers have with their products by making tangible the process and the people that make their products. Local manufacturing has social and cultural rewards in bringing local pride to a community, which can’t be said for a service oriented market or a society without a diverse economy.
Our goals of sustaining local manufacturing, creating high quality designed products, and maintaining a fair and responsible workplace for our employees helps us set our financial goals and business model, not the other way around. We hope we can become a model for US manufacturing by inspiring designers to look towards domestic production and inspiring US manufactures to think creatively about their business models. If we can keep our business financially sustainable by maintaining a modest size, great design, and a priority on our values we hope others will share our vision for a holistically sustainable business - that there is greater reward to be gained by maintaining manufacturing in the US than by just the higher profits gained in sending manufacturing oversees.
It's so rare to see a company publicly touting the virtues of staying modest, yet I think it's such a valuable goal. Why strive to be ever bigger and better, outsourcing production to undercut the competition? I value companies like Heath that keep their operations small and domestic in the face of so much pressure to expand and I think they make a great role model company.