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Snowe, a new no-middleman home goods brand, launches today, bringing an Everlane-style approach to forks and towels and pillow cases. Founders Andres Modak and Rachel Cohen won't love that comparison ("We get that a lot," Modak told me by phone), instead positioning their business as the home equivalent of Theory or Equipment, "fashion brands that have focused on the perfect essentials for your wardrobe," Cohen explained.
After graduating from The Wharton School of Business (the birthplace of Warby Parker, another probably-too-similar business I shouldn't use as shorthand here), the couple returned to New York City, and realized that shopping for an apartment when you're post-Ikea really sucks. "There was no brand that got us excited about the everyday," Modak said. "We needed something that fit into our busy, hectic lives, but would work just as well if we were entertaining friends." Cohen added, "There is this convergence between the everyday and the formal, but why should things that are beautiful and high-quality be used just twice a year? What about your daily cup of coffee, or the glass of wine you have at the end of the day? These moments can use these quality products as well."
The two found specialty factories in Italy and Portugal to produce the uncomplicated, quality bedding and beautiful (but dishwasher-safe and nearly shatterproof) glassware they'd been hunting for. "There is this 'Generation Search,'" Cohen said, "where people are willing to look for products that are going to fit well into their lives, as opposed to just plugging a hole." Modak ties it back to a larger social consciousness in the world at large, saying, "We care so much nowadays about the food that we put into our bodies and the clothes that are on our backs—the origin of those products, how they are made, and the quality of them. Why not the plates that we’re eating off everyday, or the sheets that we’re sleeping in, too?"
The brand's debut, called The Foundation Collection, is filled with thoughtfully-designed, unfussy essentials organized by end use (eat, drink, sleep, bathe) and priced from $32 to $320. Like Glossier (another direct-to-consumer model they tell me is regularly referenced in comparison), the company plans to roll out new product categories one by one. "We are building a destination for home for the contemporary consumer," Modak proclaimed. "We are thinking of this formulaically, starting with a foundation and giving you the building blocks to effortlessly create your look in your home."