While we’re partial to Karim’s retelling of how the Kissing Salt and Pepper Shaker came to be, he also talks with William Ashley about self-awareness, how to invent what has never been seen before and how the future will be shaped by good design. (We couldn’t agree more with that last piece.)
Here’s a quick snippet from from their interview:
How did the Nambé Kissing Salt and Pepper shaker come to be? What was the design process of one of your first iconic pieces.
I left Toronto in 1991 to teach in Providence Rhode island. I taught at O.C.A.D and the University of Toronto. I moved to N.Y.C. after being fired from the Rhode Island School of Design. I was penniless. I contacted about 100 companies in the U.S. and Canada to get design work with no success. Later in N.Y.C. I saw some beautiful cast alloy bowls. I researched the company to find it was Nambé in Santa Fe [New Mexico]. I called them , met with them, and showed about 50 designs. They loved the work. They put about 30 designs in production and they sold about 3 million dollars worth that first year. The rest is history as they say. Of that first collection, four pieces are still in production, one being their best seller of all time, Kissing Salt and Pepper Shaker.