Meet Some Brands in the Third Class of The Commons | Neighborhood Goods

Meet Some Brands in the Third Class of The Commons

Written By: Devin Williams-McCrary

Published on August 27, 2020

The Commons has provided space for small brands and artists to engage with new customers while also reinvigorating their businesses, but along the way, each class has taught us a thing or two about resilience. 

We are in our third and final class of The Commons (for now), and wanted to introduce you to one last class. Field Rations, Industry Standard, Muur, Emilia George, Beardedgoat, Remrise, Actual Footage of Me, and Klei, are letting us look under the hood, and learn about the unique aspects of their businesses and the heart behind what they do.

Tell us how the idea for your brand was born?

Colton Gerard, Co-founder of Field Rations

“Field Rations is a creative outlet, a design studio foremost, that has allowed us to explore our independent skill sets while at the same time working together and forging something new.

Around the time of WWII, soldiers were being equipped with field ration kits which provided them with food, supplies, and the essentials for their survival. We took this and integrated it into a branding format, curating supplies designed for those who appreciate capsule concepts.”

2045 Lighter by Field Rations - $84

Why We Love It: Limited Edition of 50. Made from reclaimed lighters.

Elle Wang, Founder of Emilia George:

“Working at the United Nations inspired me in several ways, especially when I met refugee women, some pregnant and some mothers already. I have always had this innate passion for helping others, and pairing that with my entrepreneurial spirit, I knew I wanted to do something good for motherhood. 

When I recognized a massive gap in the market for professional workwear that was also sustainable for expecting mothers, I was inspired to create a line of professional mom-wear with thoughtful details using innovative, sustainable fabrics to empower women. Pregnancy is a beautiful moment when femininity is blossoming, but expectant (and postpartum) women in formal work environments are often forced to sacrifice quality, comfort, and style.”

Niki Dionne, Artist behind Actual Footage of Me:

“My inspiration comes from the Black women I see in all spaces of my life. I could be walking into a store and see a Black woman knee deep in carefreeness and I hold onto that moment for when I can sketch it out. Or I'll be scrolling through social media and someone pops up on my timeline and they just move me to draw. My inspiration can come from a pose, a hairstyle, an outfit, a facial expression; there are so many different ways Black women express themselves that my sources of inspo are endless.”

Oil Pastel Accent Piece by Actual Footage of Me - $100

Why We Love It: This is a pop of color and cool-girl-style that everyone needs in their life.

Muriel Salimin, Founder of Muur:

“I traveled a lot in my previous roles as a menswear designer and visited many factories overseas, mainly in Asia where the apparel was made. I met some amazing and incredibly hard working craftspeople, but at times, they would be underappreciated for their work and barely make enough money to support their families. After leaving my last job, I decided to start working for myself and find a way to help. The artisans I work with are so skilled in high-quality, traditional processes and make beautiful hand-crafted products. By partnering with them, we can see the process, be involved, and offer fair pay.”

Laptop Sleeve by Muur - $125

Why We Love It: Locally sourced leather that will hold everything that doesn't belong in your pockets.

Kile Graves, Director of Operations for Beardedgoat:

“The idea for Beardedgoat came from a balanced passion for stylish performance gear and the outdoor lifestyle that surrounds the area we call home in Northwest Arkansas. Heavily influenced by the lake and biking cultures, we're trying to get more people outside by bridging the gap between everyday and technical apparel. The name comes from a real bearded goat, Hairy, who lives outside of Fayetteville. His larger-than-life personality and energy sparked the initial naming of our brand.”

How does your community play a role in your business?

Molly Crossin, CEO of Industry Standard:

“Industry Standard makes all our garments in the US, predominantly in Los Angeles. These factory partners are the first layer of my community and our bond has only been strengthened during the pandemic. The next layer to our community is our customer, whose dedication to our products and supporting women-owned business is my constant source of motivation. The third and broadest community of all is our planet. That’s why we’re focused on constantly improving the sustainability of our supply chain which includes; local production, organic textiles, recyclable packaging, and our recently launched denim recycling program.”

OOO Tee by Industry Standard - $55

Why We Love It: 100% organic cotton that makes a bold statement on Zoom calls.

Kile Graves, Director of Operations for Beardedgoat:

“Small businesses in different industries often help each other out - for example we've partnered with a local community club called Blake Street House, coffee shops, and bike shops across the area. We share content, audiences and ideas.”

Inland Backyard Boardshorts 17” by Beardedgoat - $60

Why We Love It: Great for active days on land or in the water, with a fabric that dries super fast.

Veronica Lee, Founder of Remrise:

“We are creating a community of people to prioritize sleep-health: those who see sleep as more foundational than any other health and wellness aspect. We are creating a community that shares their stresses and solutions, bringing together the collective wisdom of different types of people.”

Niki Dionne, Artist behind Actual Footage of Me:

“A huge part! Loving my blackness wasn't always a part of my story. In fact, I hated the color of my skin. I wanted to blend in and have all that whiteness would afford me. It wasn't until about 2016 when I got plugged into a community called Black Girl in Om that I started to see the beauty and sisterhood that my blackness gives me. Through this community I found love and I found my voice in the form of art.”

Valerie Smith, Founder of Klei

“Community plays a huge role in Klei. I'm fortunate to be in such a creative area of NY, and am able to partner with so many cool creatives on projects. We also donate 10% of our profits to Brooklyn community organizations - I'm all about investing in your community, and giving back to it in a positive way.”

Coconut Milk & Chamomile Nourish Clay Mask by Klei - $38

Why We Love It: Help you (and your skin) chill out after a stressful day.

Can you tell us a story about how a neighbor/neighborhood has positively impacted you?

Jairus Midgette, Co-Founder of Field Rations:  

“I was raised to be a good neighbor. Meaning looking out for those in your neighborhood that aren’t as fortunate as you are. I remember watching my grandfather cut our neighbors yard if they weren’t physically able, or even my grandmother taking food to someone who isn’t able to cook. And countless other small tasks that mean the world to those who can’t perform them.”

Molly Crossin, CEO of Industry Standard:

“Being in New York throughout COVID was difficult both personally and professionally, but it was also an incredible reminder of the resilience of the city. Working from home I’ve gotten to know my neighbors better than ever before, we’ve even had a few socially distanced cocktail hours (something I’ve never done in my nearly 14 years living in New York). On one of these nights my neighbor assured me that if New York made it through 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, and hurricane Sandy, she was sure that we’d make it through this. And I believe her. The resilience of this City and the people in it positively impacts me on a daily basis.”

Muriel Salimin, Founder of Muur:

“I moved from The Netherlands to New York 20 years ago, and loved Brooklyn right away. There have been many changes, but many parts of the borough still feel like a true neighborhood where you get to know and help each other. Even though New York is a huge city, it does still feel small at times.”

Elle Wang, Founder of Emilia George:

“The very first apartment I bought in New York City is in Chelsea. I was single and the studio apartment was totally Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. Chelsea is a neighborhood that is very nurturing to singles and newcomers. It is a neighborhood that celebrates diversity and it is a place where everyone and anyone can feel comfortable. I feel it’s serendipitous that now my own brand will be sold at Neighborhood Goods in Chelsea Market.”

Zena Dress by Emilia George - $199

Why We Love It: This silky soft fabric is made from recycled, post-consumer plastic bottles and has hidden zippers to make nursing easy.

Veronica Lee, Founder of Remrise:

“Remrise was incubated out of a venture studio, Atomic, located in the Letterman Digital Arts Center of San Francisco. That neighborhood was crucial to our start and trajectory. We were surrounded by investors who struggled with sleep and believed in our mission, and across the many startups in that neighborhood, we collaborated and leaned on each other.”

Power Off by Remrise - $55

Why We Love It: Unwind from your day in a new way.

Valerie Smith, Founder of Klei

“My downstairs neighbor has been a supporter of Klei from the very beginning, we finally connected with each other after a year of living in the same building because of Klei! She was curious about all of the packages coming in and out of the building, followed Klei on Instagram, and we started to chat there! It sounds so silly, but it's so typical in NYC to not even know the first names of your neighbors. I've always wanted to have a friend in the same building as me and I’m so glad she introduced herself!”

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