December 17, 2017
The Ethos Behind Egg Collective, a Firm Founded by Three Powerhouse Women
At Egg Collective—a firm founded by three pioneering women with backgrounds in art, architecture, and woodworking—design verges on the sculptural.
by Nicole Haddad
In 2011, Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie opened Egg Collective—an idea born from a shared love of the scale and concept-to-fruition experience of making furniture. "We moved to New York with the intention of giving ourselves nine months to design and prototype a body of work," says Ellis. Less than a year later, the trio—who met while attending architecture school at Washington University in St. Louis—debuted their designs at ICFF and promptly won a Best New Designer award. Now, the company's woodshop—located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn's Industry City—is joined by an ultra-chic showroom on Hudson Street in Manhattan.
Egg's minimalist visual language is encapsulated in a striking collection of furniture, accessories, lighting, and more—handcrafted by them in their woodshop or made in collaboration with local fabricators. Seemingly austere brass-and-marble hexagonal side tables, blackened-steel cocktail tables, and hair-on-hide upholstered side chairs exude a richness at odds with the simple materials like wood, metal, glass, stone, and leather the designers are drawn to. "We grew up in the 90s and early 2000s, when mass production really started peaking" explains Ellis. "Our designs are a reaction to that—we want to make things that stand the test of time." Metals are chosen for their ability to develop a desirable patina over time, with live metal finishes often purposely left on products.
Material integrity is key to Egg's ethos—and really, what is more beautiful than an old worn leather sofa or a piece of brass that exhibits the traces of the hands that have held it over the years? "People often feel detached from their objects because of the way they are made—so therefore they feel disposable," explains Ellis. "We want to create pieces that are an investment and will outlast us, and which will hopefully be handed down from generation to generation." Considering the name Egg Collective stems from the idea of an egg being the perfect natural minimal form with something inside, yet to be hatched—we cannot wait to see what they conceive of next.
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