Can’t stop: Yield Design Co. continues to evolve
Yield Design Co. founders Andrew Deming and Rachel Gant are partners in business and in life. Crucial to their enduring relationship– forged while at California College of the Arts– is an emphasis on shared principles of design, not to mention a deep appreciation for architecture and coffee.
As their brand has expanded, they’ve evolved in these values together.
Deming and Gant describe Yield, founded in 2012, as a combination of design studio, label and manufacturer. Their 2016 catalogue ranges from A-frame inspired shelving to refreshingly simple wedding rings.
Central to their values is a commitment to sourcing local talent, material and labour whenever possible. For the last few years, local for Yield has meant the Spanish-inflected St. Augustine, Florida, where they recently expanded into a new showroom.
However, in the case of Yield’s popular ceramic French press, Deming and Gant cast a much wider net to find a manufacturer for the design. In the end, a fair trade ceramics company in Vietnam produced the most functional sample– and they’ve been working with them ever since.
‘It’s a transition we grappled with,’ Deming explains, ‘But we try to be pragmatic and hold quality in a really high regard.’
Relatively early in their relationship, the couple traveled to Honolulu together where they admired the architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff, who famously declared a ‘war on ugliness’ in the development of urban Hawaii.
If Yield is waging a similar battle, it’s for accessible products that maintain a high design standard.
After all, though they don’t work in a major design hub, Yield’s brand is truly international. Orders come in from all over the world for furniture and homeware that aims to be more unique than IKEA, and more attainable than a luxury price point.
Appealing to this market took another intellectual leap on the part of the founders: ‘we’ve become less wary of responding to our personal desires,’ Deming explains, using the couple’s own house as a model for what a space should be. ‘Warm minimalism,’ is how Gant describes their aesthetic.
The pair debuted their Duotone line of furniture at ICFF 2016. It’s a prime example of this style: a modular, two-tiered table that comes in over 120 configurations of metal, glass, leather and wood.
The use of leather, also present throughout Yield’s offering of bags and keychains, represents another evolution in the couple’s thought. Deming and Gant are vegetarians, but both recognised that the longevity of leather as a material is unrivalled. Instead of avoiding it altogether, they’ve committed to responsible sourcing.
In addition to seeking out notable architecture, the couple has been known to plan their travels around good coffee. Their line of coffee makers has offered the perfect excuse to visit client cafes. The French press has been one of Yield’s best selling products, and they are now offering it in glass as well as new colours of ceramic.
‘Coffee is a constant in our relationship,’ Gant says. Thus, morning walks with their dog Clover always involve a cappuccino. As much as the couple has adapted their design practice, some things never change.