IHA caught up with Jake Miller, founder of San Francisco-based Fellow, which premiered at the 2016 Show in Design Debut. Fellow will present its latest coffee and tea products in Discover Design N8510 at the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show in Discover Design.
Jake, tell us about you got started with Fellow and what’s the latest.
Fellow began as a Kickstarter campaign in 2013. We aimed to create a different type of coffee brewer—one that was equally functional and beautiful. Three years later, we’re still building beautifully functional products for coffee and tea lovers. We recently went back to Kickstarter to launch our first electronic product on Kickstarter: Stagg EKG –the minimalist electric pour-over kettle with app connectivity. With over 400% funding on Kickstarter, the response for Stagg EKG has been incredible and we cannot wait to ship the product later this year.
Where do you find inspiration when designing new products?
We’re always inspired by designs that are both functional and beautiful. Aesthetically, we’re inspired by contemporary, modern design. Functionality wise, we’re inspired by our customers who we interact with as much as possible to understand how we can make their mornings better.
How do you choose which idea to take to the next step — to product development?
Test test test! We are always creating user testing surveys and interviewing coffee lovers and non-coffee lovers alike. We also organize in-person user testing on prototypes for whatever products we’re currently working on.
Is there an approach or look that joins the functionality, form or emotional appeal of your product line?
We call our products “beautifully functional.” Whatever we make, we want them to be functional and make your life easier in some way. However, we also want you to love the look of the product. You should never want to hide our designs away in a cupboard.
How do new technologies influence your product design? How do you use social media?
New technologies have a huge influence on our products. Fellow was born on Kickstarter with our first product, Duo Coffee Steeper and we recently went back to Kickstarter for Stagg EKG, our minimalist electric pour-over kettle with app connectivity. We also use 3D printing during the design process. From form exploration to user testing, we’re always tweaking our designs and use 3D printing to rapidly prototype.
How do you see design’s importance in our industry?
Human-centered design gives brands an opportunity to better understand their customer. It gives insights and into tricky problems and helps us find better solutions.
Can you give us a preview of what you will be showing in your booth in Discover Design?
This year we are showing an array of kettles made for brewing the perfect cup of coffee or tea. We’re also debuting Stagg Pour-Over System, a new way to consistently make great coffee for both the beginner and advanced brewer, as well as a new line of drinkware.
Thanks, Jake, for updating us on your latest successes and directions. We look forward to seeing your presentation in your booth N8510 In Discover Design.
See more about Fellow at www.fellowproducts.com.
Discover Design is the premier destination at the International Home + Housewares Show for trend spotters who make design their priority. Retailers looking for the unique will find early 200 design leaders at Discover Design located at the front of the North Building.
Anchored by renowned brands such as Alessi, Blomus and Charles Viancin, Discover Design welcomes new exhibitors, such as notNeutral, Luckies of London, and S’well Bottle, and introduces 10 emerging companies at the Design Debut incubator. Additional fresh offerings from veteran design-focused exhibitors such as Kikkerland, Zoku and Magisso will also inspire your choices for the coming year. Find more information on Discover Design exhibitors online.