A New Kind of
Otelier is a play on the word Atelier. The O represents our studio's focus on circular economy as a foundational principle. In the last decade, retail industries and consumers have shifted towards fast furniture, marked by low prices, poor construction, copied designs, and single usage. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw out more than 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings each year. How might we design better products and systems? Otelier is our platform to explore that question.
DIFFERENTIATED & USEFUL PRODUCTS
The world does not need more stuff. When we introduce a new product, we rigorously ask ourselves whether it's different and beneficial enough to be produced.
Beyond sustainable materials and manufacturing practices, we are working on a circular economy model that encourages reuse. We also hope to track and neutralize our carbon footprint.
FURNITURE AS EXPERIENCES
We think of furniture less as decor and more as experiences. We consider our customers' emotional and physical needs given their context, and use functionality to inspire the form and aesthetics of our products.
We've stated our goals here publicly so we can take accountability. We will always try our best to take care of our customers, employees, and the environment
The Circular Economy Model
Our Circular Program helps our customers list, sell, and ship their used Otelier furniture.
While traditional retailers want customers to buy new products every season to maximize profit, we encourage our products to be resold and reused. Our products are built to last and retain value, from one generation of owners to the next. Our goal: that none of our products end up in the landfill.
We're working on the details now. Check back here later, or sign up for our newsletter.
Quality & Ethical Manufacturing
To make our products at scale in high quality, we rely on our skilled manufacturers. We work with independent American furniture makers and international manufacturers that are ISO19001 and ISO14001 certified to ensure they meet labor ethics and sustainability requirements.
Otelier started in early 2020 as designer Yvonne Hung's personal project to question the furniture industry's unsustainable practices and the consumer behaviors driving them. Although she started with a different piece at first, she quickly pivoted when COVID-19 hit, realizing that what people needed most were better tables to work from home. Hence our first table collection was born.
Yvonne is a San Francisco-based, multi-disciplinary designer with experience in UX, product design, and urban planning. She is a graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Royal College of Art.
After years of designing behind the computer, she decided to start a hands-on studio that reflects her values and experience. With a focus on design thinking, technology, sustainability, and craft, Otelier hopes to make meaningful products with a model that's good for both business and the environment. By taking a holistic and systematic approach to furniture as a product, brand, and operation, we hope to make better products for customers, support local manufacturers, foster a creative community, and yes, make a living doing what we love most - making things.
Welcome to our new beginning.