Sunday, July 4, 2010

umbra celebrates 30th anniversary

A directive at Attica has always been to look for good design at all price points, which has led us to companies like Umbra. We began carrying Umbra in the mid-1990's, shortly after we first opened. Umbra was our very first manufacturer; before then, all of the items that we carried were one-of-a-kind. We were drawn to Umbra's innovative design aesthetics, and the fact that the price points made the products accessible to everyone.

Les Mandelbaum and Paul Rowan, two childhood friends in Canada, began Umbra in 1979, and it is now one of the most creative forces in the home furnishings industry. Thirty years later, they have built their business to over one hundred million dollars a year in seventy-five countries around the world.

Perhaps one of Umbra's most famous products is the Garbino, a wastebasket designed by Karim Rashid that revolutionized how people thought about the place to store their trash. I remember how excited we were at Attica when it hit the scene. Today, the Garbino is one of Umbra's best selling products and is a design icon. It's design has been so successful, in fact, that it has earned a spot in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection.

Not bad for a product that sells for under $9.00!