When travel meets design meets a geeky-cool love for office supplies, you get RAD AND HUNGRY, a Seattle-based start-up that curates limited-edition collections of pencils, notebooks, and other goodies sourced from travels around the globe. I’ve never gotten quite as excited about a gum eraser as I did when recently browsing their collections.
The concept for RAD AND HUNGRY was born from founder Hen Chung’s love for travel and office supplies, as well as her appreciation for everyday design.
“The common thread was design, but unrefined design – ‘local’ in the sense that it’s so basic and part of the everyday landscape that people in that country find it unremarkable,” she says. “The kitschy outdated postcard, the shoes people wear when cleaning house, the cheapest brew, the #2 pencil. We’re taken by the concept that simple, daily items are given new meaning through travel. It transforms the mundane into something inspired.”
RAD AND HUNGRY’s first product line is The Something Mighty Collection, which has been released in monthly limited-edition installments since December 2010. Each collection is available on the RAH website for $16 until it sells out and generally includes a writing instrument, a notebook, and a country-specific mystery item. You can also get the “Low Down” on each collection, a travel blog-esque account of each sourcing trip in Chung’s refreshingly spunky voice. Take, for instance, this blurb from STMT x Spain:
I shuffled through the entire rainbow display of goods but nothing grabbed me. Turned around and then I saw them. Ballpoint pens with so many beautiful details I couldn’t stop jumping! Tested all four colors and couldn’t believe how smooth they wrote. And love, love the rubber body. Turns out the very Italian-sounding company, Milan, is a Spanish company known for their rubber erasers. The curved clip, the raised pinstriping on the back end of the tube, the grooved front tip… a lo-fi ballpoint pen totally tricked out and pimpin’. What’s not to love??
At the moment, only the Spain, Turkey, and Canada collections are in stock, but fans need not fret. Chung has plenty of new projects on the pipeline for 2012, including Rad Bags, blind grab bags filled with leftover stock, and Pencil Pouches, locally-made pencil cases to accompany their existing collections. That, and many more sourcing trips, of course.
[ images via RAD AND HUNGRY ]