Shops We Love: YIELD Design Co.
About the Company: YIELD is an independent design house: part industrial design studio, design label and manufacturer. YIELD designs and manufactures a range of bags, jewelry, and goods for the home with an aim to pair American craft and ingenuity with an eye toward the future. YIELD’s products are sold in over 250 retailers in the U.S. and abroad and have been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Dwell, Sunset, SF Chronicle and more.
YIELD was established in late 2012 by Andrew Deming and Rachel Gant in San Francisco where the two met at the California College of the Arts (CCA). Yield is now based in the historic coastal town of Saint Augustine, FL, the oldest European settlement in the U.S.
What I love about YIELD: I don’t think there is another creative enterprise that produces a better lineup of modern goods with the same sense of style and substance. For lovers of modern design, you literally can purchase almost every item you’d ever need.
Their Endwell jewelry collection is almost painfully beautiful; each piece is a meditation on simplicity and elegance. Looking for a great bag? You’ll get lost in the YIELD bag collection. I am especially partial to this Field bag: leather, canvas and copper never looked so good. Lastly, the Home collection has pitchers, planters, tables and more. Take some time to explore YIELD for yourself and bookmark. This is a Shop We Love here in the LAB and we think you’ll love it too. Get to know the YIELD team better with a selection of interview questions below.
What inspired you to begin your collection?
Much of our collection was born out of our personal search for items that we either couldn’t find, or couldn’t find produced at the level of craft that we desired. Rachel and I haven’t shied away from creating a collection that speaks very much to our own tastes and lifestyle.
Describe your creative process. Where do you start?
I guess I started to answer that already. In the past, the initial spark for a new product has often come from a fruitless search for a specific item that we’re looking for. More recently as our collection has grown, we’ve gotten a lot more feedback from customers on things they want to see us make, or extensions of existing product lines.
Once we get into the process of designing something new, the ideation, sketching and modeling all tend to move pretty fluidly and quickly. We 3d print a lot of our hard goods prototypes and try to refine scale and form there. We spend the longest amount of time ironing out the details and issues in the manufacturing process. Our French Press was 95% designed in a single evening. It took a year to iron out production and quality control.
How do you maintain your creative drive?
We used to run ourselves ragged at home and then rely on trips to refresh our energy and get inspiration. We still place a lot of value, but since we moved to St. Augustine from our apartment in San Francisco, we’ve established a day to day routine that’s more refreshing. We live in a house, have a yard, take regular beach walks, take our dog to the park. We think it’s really important to regularly get away from the office and get some perspective.
What materials do you love to use?
We gravitate towards materials with a natural warmth and richness. We are minimalists and create goods with subtle forms and clean lines; it’s the material use that tends to lend our products their characteristic warmth.
Every product has a story. Is there a story behind one of your pieces that stands out to you?
Our Endswell jewelry collection started when close friends of ours asked Rachel to design their wedding bands. It started with a dinner conversation where the four of us were discussing weddings and their tendency to take on a life of their own, beyond symbolizing the beauty and trust that accompanies marriage. What they wanted was something true to their vibrant personalities and low stress, just a party with friends and family. They also wanted rings that symbolized more than wealth or the inherent value of the materials.
The initial rings were made without stones or ornament, but instead had form details connoting continuity and the meaning behind their commitment. These became the start of our larger collection.