"We produce functional wares that we hope will inspire others towards gathering, hosting, and feasting. We believe the items we have in our home impact who we are and how we live. "

You have probably heard us say before that we believe everything in your home should be both beautiful and functional. We stand by that, and we are always looking for companies whose creations embody that principle.

Even better than discovering a company that is making beautiful things is finding out that their designs are guided by an environmental consciousness. It is one thing to incorporate that into your business over time, and we are all evolving, but starting out that way means it is baked right into the integrity of your business. At Convivial, they have done just that. We got a few inside tips on how they approach designs, bring people together, and why it is important to be connected to the items in your home.

Convivial Production is "...a design and manufacturing company that labors over the creation of ceramic wares for the home, table, and garden categories." Hailing from Kansas City, MO, this team has grown from what started as founder Chentell Shannon at her pottery wheel into a passionate group of designers, handcrafters, and more. The technical inspirations for their designs come from simple, timeless lines of the architectural world that we see in our daily surroundings. Every item is thoughtfully and ethically produced, with the end intention being to fit easily into any home and inspire conviviality.

"We create the tabletop items that draw friends and family around the table and we create surrounding decor to bring warmth and life to the room."

In a world where we can be so disconnected from where things come from, our clothes, our food, Convivial wants you to consider the "...thought, sweat and care that goes into producing an item." Value the human behind the clay; value their mind, their energy, and their unique output that will bring you the items that beautify your life. 

With sustainability as one of their pillars of creation, the whole team is always working together to ensure that every step of their process considers the environment. Each item is shipped using 100% recyclable materials and production processes are strategically designed to reduce waste. Recently, they have implemented the Mosaic Program, that makes use of their "too damaged to sell" items and turns them into mosaic tiles for public art installations that will unify communities. As ceramics can't be recycled or broken down, this gives new life to pieces that would otherwise go to waste, in turn reducing the company's overall impact.

Sharing the message of their environmental responsibility is a way Convivial hopes to have an impact on our buying culture as a whole. Regardless of whether someone becomes their customer of not, the team at Convivial wants to share their values "...to highlight the fact that there are other companies/factories in the world that do not manufacture wares ethically and sustainably." Their hope is that these kinds of conversations and thoughts help to mold a collective internal consciousness around consuming, that will shift towards requiring environmental responsibility from every item we purchase. 

They seem to agree that when adopting an ethical, sustainable lifestyle, the key is baby steps and low expectations. Keep your thoughts conscious, try to focus on a few changes at a time, and don't be too hard on yourself.

"Take each habit one step at a time! Figure out the system for that habit and as soon as it feels effortless, start thinking about the next addition."

As the newest phase of Convivial's journey continues, they are looking to give hope in the form of job opportunities to budding local artisans who have been told too many times that being a creative means you will have to suffer for your art (Not true!). They want to invest in creating more, better paying roles for creatives from multiple disciplines to build a team that will serve the needs of the company internally, and foster a culture of support for individuals pursuing their passions.

"When individuals come to work for Convivial we want to turn around and honor their choice with opportunities that align with their areas of expertise and interest. "

 

What is most striking about Convivial as a company is two fold: their steadfast commitment to sustainable production by highly valued artisans, and their genuine wish to bring people together to share in food, friendship, and the joy of connecting. Let us all be inspired by their approach to design, and to life: simple, sustainable, convivial.

In stores now are a collection of Convivial dishes and wares just waiting to brighten your home. We are especially obsessed with their new planters!

October 10, 2018 by Emily Myers

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