Entries from May 31st, 2014

Instagram: The Best of SF

May 31, 2014

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As we wrap up EQ3 San Francisco’s Grand Opening, we just want to say thanks to all of the people that played a role in making the new flagship store launch so great! EQ3’s Visual and Marketing teams played a particularly crucial role, working long, hard days to ensure the showroom looked its best.


Their sacrifice didn’t come without perks, though. Here’s an insta look at highlights from their stint in the City by the Bay.

Instagrams taken by staff at our Head Office and EQ3 retail stores. For more great Instagrams, follow our company account @EQ3_Furniture.

#EQ3SF American Flagship’s Design Revealed

May 31, 2014

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Hello San Francisco! This morning marks opening day for EQ3’s new American Flagship Store: EQ3 San Francisco.


Located in a warehouse in San Francisco’s Design District, the 12,000 square foot retail showroom was designed to balance EQ3’s modern aesthetic with the industrial nature of the historic structure. EQ3’s Creative Director, Thom Fougere, headed up the new design; and, here we’ve compiled a selection of Thom’s work from each stage of the design process – from initial concept drawings and modelling, to progress shots during construction, to final photographs of the completed showroom.


Of course, pictures could never compete with the real thing, so if you’re near the Bay Area, stop by and see the new flagship store in person! Remember to Instagram or Tweet your experience with #EQ3SF for a chance to win furniture from EQ3!






Model, EQ3 San Francisco



Plan, EQ3 San Francisco






Thom set up this makeshift desk in the existing space while he worked on the new design












Window vinyls designed by Alex, in-house graphic designer at EQ3









Marimekko shop-in-shop at EQ3 San Francisco














Image Source: All photographs credited to Thom Fougere

#EQ3SF Virtual Party Pass

May 30, 2014

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After months of planning, designing, and renovating our new San Francisco retail showroom, the EQ3 team was ready for a party!


Yesterday night, EQ3 San Francisco hosted 80 local designers, bloggers and media for a special drop-in preview party. Marimekko President (North America)  Isabelle Cadieux-Fabian, as well as Marimekko Marketing Director (NA) Anastacia Stathakis and Senior Director of Wholesale (NA) Paula Nikkanen were also in attendance. There was lots of mingling, Instagramming, and of course, shopping. Guests were treated to a signature EQ3 red drink made with sake, and cocktail worthy hors d’oeuvres from Barbara Llewellyn. It was the perfect way to launch the new showroom.


Thanks to everyone who came out for the event! Your enthusiastic comments, Tweets and Instagrams made our night (see their ‘live’ posts on the #EQ3SF gallery here). We’re definitely feeling the love.



From left to right: Thom Fougere (EQ3 Creative Director), Allison Dineen (EQ3 Marketing & Communications Coordinator) and Anastacia Stathakis (Director of Marketing & PR, Marimekko North America)



EQ3 President and CEO Peter Tielmann



Middle: Janette Crawford (Founder & blogger at Sun + Dotter) and Erin Hiemstra (Founder, CEO & blogger at Apartment 34)





From left to right: Miranda Jones (Co-founder of Galanter & Jones), Adrienne Arieff (Principal at Arieff Communications) and Maja Smith (Interior Designer)



Melissa (blogger at Savvy in San Francisco)



Signature cocktail: EQ3 Red by SakeOne



Two on left: Paula Nikkanen (Senior Director of Wholesale, Marimekko North America), Isabelle Cadieux-Fabian (President, Marimekko North America)



Janette Crawford (Founder / blogger at Sun + Dotter)



Bradley Hilton (EQ3 SF Showroom Manager, shown in middle) with Allison Dineen (EQ3 Marketing and Communications Coordinator) and the EQ3 Visual Team (Katie, Cliff and Monica)



Left: Natalia Daniel (Director at Arieff Communications) / Right: Angela Tafoya (San Francisco Editor at Refinery 29)





On right: Jim Hunt (EQ3 Vice President of Sales and Marketing)



From Left to right: Peter Tielmann (EQ3 President and CEO) and Thom Fougere (EQ3 Creative Director)


EQ3 San Francisco officially opens its doors tomorrow, and Bay Area residents are invited to join us for the showroom’s Grand Opening from 9am to 7pm. This weekend only, customers can save up to 20% off EQ3 purchases! They’ll also save 15% off iconic furniture from Herman Miller!


We’ve also got some great prizes to giveaway:


First Prize: Table setting for 2 from the Marimekko Weather Diary Collection (courtesy of Marimekko)
Second Prize: $250.00 EQ3 Gift Card
Third Prize: Eames Hang-It-All Coat Rack (courtesy of Herman Miller)


Want more sneak peeks? Check back here in the morning to scout out the store before doors open.We’ll have a full photo tour of the new showroom waiting for you on the blog!

Design Library: 5 San Francisco Books You Should Read this Summer

May 30, 2014

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We love sending you into the weekend with something good to read in design, art and culture.


Today’s installment of Design Library is extra special, because we’ve got not 1 but 5 book recommendations for you! Sticking with the theme of the week – San Francisco – we’ve compiled a list of books covering SF culture and curiosities. We’re excited to work our way through the list, and hope you are too!



Cover of Meanwhile in San Francisco, Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton





Design Volume 09.1: Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in It’s Own Words

Year: 2014

Category: Art, Culture

Author + Illustrator: Wendy MacNaughton

Publisher: Chronicle Books


This one is at the top of our list for a reason! In her book, Meanwhile in San Francisco, renowned San Francisco based artist Wendy MacNaughton takes readers on an illustrated stroll through the City by the Bay. The book is a collection of illustrations from MacNaughton’s own sketchbook, and captures the city’s culture in everything from farmer’s market vendors to San Francisco’s beloved Golden Gate Bridge. Bonus: the book jacket unfolds into an illustrated poster!


Meanwhile in San Francisco just hit shelves in March of this year and it’s already sold out! It might be tough to get your hands on a copy today, but you’ll be able to get your reading fix soon. Wendy says the new edition should be out any day. See you at the bookstore?!





Design Volume 09.2: Why is that Bridge Orange? San Francisco for the Curious

Year: 2013

Category: Travel, History, Culture

Author: Art Peterson

Publisher: Inquiring Minds Productions


Finally, a city guide written by someone who knows and loves the city! In Why is that Bridge Orange?, author and lifelong Bay Area resident Art Peterson looks at the everyday sights and eccentricities that make up San Francisco, and answers 86 questions you may have wondered about them. Questions like Why is that Bridge Orange? or Why is Lombard Street Crooked? It’s a tourist book for the local and the guest, alike.



Design Volume 09.3: Donald Olsen: Architect of Habitable Abstractions

Year: 2013

Category: Architecture, History

Author: Pierluigi Serraino, with Introduction by John Winter

Publisher: William Stout Publishers


In his book, Donald Olsen: Architect of Habitable Abstractions, author Pierluigi Serraino documents the post-war, purist houses of San Francisco based architect Donald Olsen. Serriano uses richly illustrated drawings, plans and photographs to highlight examples of Olsen’s modernist work, which was greatly influenced by the Bauhaus School of Design’s modernist movement.



Design Volume 09.4: Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco

Year: 2013

Category: Travel, History, Culture

Author: Gary Kamiya

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA


Part history, part reporting, and part lyrical prose, Cool Gray City of Love offers a portrait of San Francisco that sounds as eclectic and unpredictable as the city itself. Fourty-nine chapters tell the story of 49 specific sites or intersections in the city. A collection of 49 hand-drawn maps completes the beautiful depiction of the City by the Bay.



Design Volume 09.5: Mid-Century by the Bay

Year: 2010

Category: Architecture, Photography, History

Author: Heather M. David

Publisher: CalMod Books (California Modern)


Mid-Century by the Bay is a celebration of post Word War II architecture in San Francisco. Author Heather David brings us back into the past with vintage ephemera, including some of her own photography, of the post war suburbs to the futuristic commercial architecture of that time.


Image Source: Book cover illustration used with permission by Wendy MacNaughton

Interview: Beau Oyler from Urbio

May 28, 2014

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We snuck in a lunch-hour phone interview with Beau Oyler, the co founder and spokesperson for EQ3+ partner Urbio, just before he left for New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)! Beau is an industrial designer based in Oakland, California. Together with his business partner Jared Aller, Beau started up Enlisted Design, a classic design agency that develops products for clients, including branding, packaging and industrial design. “It’s a super collaborative approach to design,” says Beau, “where we actually design with our clients here in the studio to create products with them.”


Then in 2010, after working on countless projects for other clients, Beau and Jared decided it was time for their studio to design a product of their own. They began brainstorming where there was a need for a well designed product, and what would make an impact in the world, not just in the design community. They came up with Urbio, an award-winning modular wall system that can be used as vertical garden in small urban spaces, as well as for wall organization and storage. Urbio launched in 2010 with a profitable Kickstarter campaign that raised close to $80,000 (one of the highest grossing Kickstarter campaigns in its time), and soon after they received a call from ABC’s Shark Tank inviting them to appear on the show.


The show was a huge success, and Urbio has gone on to win major design awards such as the prestigious Red Dot award and International Design Award (IDA).



Portrait of Beau Oyler, Co-founder of Urbio and Principal at Enlisted Design


EQ3  How did Urbio come about?


BEAU OYLER  I grew up in Carmel, California – it’s just a small town on the coast – and my business partner grew up in the Midwest in Kansas City. So we both grew up in these quaint, suburb type towns where we had a garden and we had a yard. Then we up and move to San Francisco and Oakland and we no longer have space for anything like that and have no access to any types of gardens. I really wanted to re-connect with that idea – the idea of planting something and growing something.


So we began to design this modular magnetic wall planter system, where you’re able to take the pots off and water them and put them back on; and, to design it in such a way that every modern home and small space will want this on their wall – not just because it can grow their plants, but because it’s also beautiful.



EQ3 What are you working on right now / next?


BO  We have a bunch of new products that we’re going to be rolling out over the next 12 to 18 months, that are really going to expand the Urbio business. Our new product line, which is Urbio Organize, are very simple, very colourful plastic inserts that slip into existing Urbio posts and are dividers so you can divide mail, cards, pens, pencils, scissors and whatever is cluttering your desk. You are able to get it off your desk and organized within the Urbio system.


Because we do so well in the small space market like apartments, flats, and condos, lots of times people are renting and they’re not allowed to screw the plates into the wall. So we created this product called the wall puck. It’s this little powder-coated metal piece that you can screw with one screw into the wall. Or it comes with adhesive and you just peel the adhesive off and you could stick it on your bathroom mirror, you could stick it in a shower, or you could stick it on your wall. The Urbio pot just sticks to the little puck.


So it’s very simple, and that’s what all of our product line is going to be. It’s going to be simple products to help us organize in small spaces.






EQ3  It’s obvious that you had a very clear vision from the get go. Did you have any specific inspiration or mentors that lead you in this direction?


BO  No, it was all pretty internal. Big companies and small companies come to Enlisted because there is this collaborative magic that we have. We are able to develop products that meet the needs of their consumers. So it really honestly did come from us saying, “we have done this for dozens and dozens and dozens of clients around the world, at what point do we do this for ourselves?” We turned a portion of our efforts from outward and fulfilling our clients’ needs to inward, using the skills that we have and kind of the magic that Enlisted has to design it for ourselves and design it from the ground up. It gave us creative freedom that we generally don’t have with clients, where we own the brand and we make those decisions.



EQ3  So if this was your first time being the client, what kind of client were you?


BO  That is a very good question. Being your own client is challenging. It’s great in some ways, and it’s challenging in some ways. Making the decisions as a team, rather than having the client make the final decision is a challenge because even though the general vision is shared, we have different perspectives on how that’s rolled out.



Jared Aller, Co-founder of Urbio and Principal at Enlisted Design



Christina Rotundo, Senior Graphic Designer



Julian Bagirov, Senior Industrial Designer


EQ3  What are some of the most interesting ways people have used Urbio?


BO  There is this woman in New York who’s an interior designer, and she does a lot of work for the high-end retailers out there. She is actually amazing and she has used Urbio on drywall, on mirrors and on brick. She’s done a grass wall. Then she’s used the puck system and she’s hidden those into this grass wall, and then the Urbio pots were just used as the face.


It’s also really interesting where moms’ will use Urbio at a changing table. Evidently it holds perfectly diapers and wipes, and all those things that you need at a change table.



EQ3  You’ve had a lot of success in a short amount of time. What would you say has been one of your proudest moments or biggest accomplishments over the last few years?


I’m going to portion it into three categories – two of which are business, and one of which is just personal. For me being a product designer and a design entrepreneur, I love seeing products that I helped develop in retail. I love walking into EQ3 and seeing a standalone display of Urbio, or at The Container Store, or wherever.


The second one would be media. Shark Tank has been almost a life-changing experience. I say ‘almost’ because obviously getting married and having kids is more important and has been more life-changing, for sure. However, filming that show was very cool. My business partner and I have never been so much in sync as we were on the set that day. And just to be on the show where for four years I sat almost every Friday night and watched that show, and thought to myself one day I am going to be on the show.


And then third, just to get a little more local, is when friends text pictures of “hey I was helping my girlfriend unload the back of her car and check out what was in there.” And it’s the Big Happy Family. And they had no idea, they just saw it and loved it. Or friends who texted me in New York and said “hey check it out. I just walked into my friends flat and this was on the ground.” And it was the Urbio box that had just been delivered. Those are big wins! I’m still waiting for the big win for Michelle Obama to ask us to come and sell Urbio at the White House so she can grow an indoor wall garden!



Visit myurbio.com to learn more about Urbio product line. Also, follow the Urbio Facebook Page and @myurbio on Twitter and Instagram to see how others are using the products!


Image source: All photographs credited to Urbio

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