Brendan Sowersby is co-maker and co-designer at 100xBTR. As part of our Makers Monday interview series, we asked him six questions about his products and what it means to be an American Maker. Check out Shinola supply’s Extruded Sun Small Bowl, Extruded Sun Pencil Cup, Shallow Ash Bowl and Axo Bowls by 100xBTR, and discover more Makers on the Makers Monday website and on Cool Hunting.
What is it you make, and what should people know about your products?
We are a small design company self-producing a line of furniture, lighting and home goods. All of our products are manufactured locally here in Los Angeles. We are exploring ways to create beautiful and profound objects that can be manufactured in an efficient manner, blending modern fabrication tools like CNC machines and 3-D printers with more classic techniques, such as glass blowing and bronze casting.
When did you commit to making your products in America and why did you choose to do it here?
I’m really hands-on with all the items we produce so it just makes sense to manufacture everything locally. We have our own wood fabrication facility here in LA, and we also have a great network of local artisans and makers we collaborate with. I think I would feel a loss of control if we manufactured too far away.
Where is your business located, and what makes your town uniquely American?
We live and work in LA. It’s a city that’s uniquely American in terms of its car culture and the pervasive entertainment industry.
What got you started, and what was the first thing you remember making?
The first real functional thing I made was a 20? wide skateboard ramp in my backyard (thanks again, mom). It was like 1988 or ‘89. We borrowed a bunch of tools and worked all summer long. We had no idea what we were doing but that thing was solid, and so fun.
When you’re not busy at work, where might we find you? What do you like to do with your spare time?
Spare time? That’s funny. But really, the great thing about LA is in about an hour you can be at the beach, the mountains or the desert. Most weekends we are busy with one or more these activities.
Are there other brands and makers inspire you?
There are so many. Even just in LA right now there is so much happening, so many interesting people doing great things. Even in big cities there’s a big local movement.