I think we’re all ready to put 2017 behind us. However, the holiday season offers time to reflect and I couldn’t possibly begin the New Year without taking this last opportunity to share my favorite trend from 2017: customization.
About half the work we completed in 2017 included customization. Believe it or not, every project our Business Development team is currently working on for 2018 includes custom dinnerware.
So, what did customization in 2017 look like and how was this different from years past? Instead of simply adding decals in between the first and second firing processes, our partners reengineered dinnerware supply to meet evolving market demands (and the demands of their relentless distributors).
Why custom-made? Because you can shape it. Anyone. Classic or modern. Timeless or timepiece. Traditional or rogue. Lucky for us, we have more resources than anyone to execute customization at a faster, cleaner pace. We are set up for success to share this trend with the broadest audience ever in 2018.
In 2017, we fortified partnerships with artisans Keith Kreeger, Wynne Noble, Sam and Robert Gordon, and Haand Hospitality to deliver custom dinnerware to the most discerning hospitality professionals in the world.
“We know that an object made with care, intention, and love will shine when placed next to a similar mass produced object.” Such is one motto of Chris Pence and Mark Warren, Co-Founders of Haand Hospitality.
As I write this, we are well underway developing exclusive collections from Keith and The Gordons for Little M Tucker to be released early 2018. The crafted dinnerware you were introduced to last year will have an even faster turnaround come spring. Essentially, the modern porcelain and ceramics of your dreams, crafted in traditional methods, durable for foodservice, available for next-day delivery from each of our distribution warehouses.
During this trend’s genesis, I sent samples from three separate factories to a dear friend in Miami. He was hosting a concept planning gathering with his investors and wanted to present a few ideas. Upon receipt of the samples, he requested catalogs to show how Anfora, Figgjo, and Ariane could further develop the dinnerware presented. My response: any color, any decoration, matte or glazed. In 6 weeks or less.
The stock collections from our vendor partners now act as the initial canvas on which artists (chefs) can then create. Today, we begin with a catalog SKU and completely reinvent the piece in a matter of weeks. 2017 proved to be the year where design infected every decision made in an operation. In 2018, constant, high-speed innovation will be required from each factory looking to thrive.
Still don’t believe me? Here are some of our favorite openings of 2017 showcasing customization. Check them out during restaurant week later this month. You won’t be disappointed!
Scampi – Custom Wynne Noble with Anfora. 30 West 18th Street. Flatiron.
Ferris – Anfora. 44 West 29th Street. Inside MADE Hotel. Nomad.
ATLA – Custom Anfora. 372 Lafayette Street. Soho.
Fausto – Anfora. 348 Flatbush Avenue. Park Slope.
Celestine – Robert Gordon and Anfora. 1 John Street. DUMBO.