Obsessions | A Continuous Lean.

Well Appointed.

Mar 20th, 2015 | Categories: Obsessions, Office Supplies | by Michael Williams


Occasionally, I can make some absurd generalizations. One of my recent favorites is about Kickstarter and how I will never write about anything I find on there. The reason for this stems from the fact that 99.9% of everything that I have been pitched from the crowdfunding site is utter garbage. Then out of the blue a few weeks ago I received a perfectly executed (and wonderfully refreshing) email from Suann Song about her amazing new paper goods and desktop brand Appointed which launched recently on Kickstarter. Today, thanks to Suann’s creativity and hard work, my sweeping generalization surrounding Kickstarter falls.

The Appointed collection is a handsome offering of notebooks and a memo pad. Eventually it will extend further to also include a beautiful brass ruler, and much more this summer. Everything is going to be designed and manufactured right here in the USA, setting Appointed apart from the many fine makers from Europe and Japan. In a lot of ways, the look and feel remind me a bit of the awesome Japanese based brand Postalco. Incredibly, just a few weeks into the launch and the brand has already raised close to $33,000. It seems there’s definitely an appetite for fine American paper goods.

Impressed with not only the aesthetics of Appointed, but also of Suann’s approach and attention to detail I reached out to find out more about what went in to the creation of Appointed.

Tell me more about how Appointed came to be. What was that process like? How long did it take? And what was the moment that really pushed you over the edge to move ahead with this endeavor?

I’ve been a designer for about 8 years and founded a creative studio based in the D.C. area. I’ve always had a passion for product — paper products, specifically — and we had a small stationery line for a while that did fairly well. I pulled that to focus on our branding and custom clients. But I’ve always wanted to get back into paper products and have had the idea for Appointed for quite some time. Even though I’m a business owner, which takes some risk, I’m very risk-averse. If I don’t have the funds, I don’t do it. And producing product takes a lot of risk — especially at the scale that I wanted Appointed to be at. So, about a year ago I decided that I was going to see what it would take to get Appointed going, research the market, and just start designing and prototyping product — and I would worry about funding later. Once I had product I believed in; that’s what got me to move forward and figure out funding. And that’s where Kickstarter came in. We’re raising initial funding to put our signature product into production but I also have a funding plan beyond the Kickstarter because the notebooks are just the start. We have a full line that we want to launch in the summer. Ideally, I’d like to get Appointed to a place where if you want simple, beautifully-made and functional products for your desktop, we make them.

A Whale of a Boat.

Jan 23rd, 2015 | Categories: Americana, Jake Gallagher, Obsessions, Outdoors | by Jake Gallagher


On a recent episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld rolled around Montauk while interviewing Jimmy Fallon. The episode featured a whole lot of star power for one small web short (not to mention one very tiny car) but both celebrities still managed to get upstaged by the unlikeliest of cameos – a boat. But, not just any boat, a thirteen foot Boston Whaler which Seinfeld proudly called, “the greatest boat in the world.” For as hyperbolic as that may sound, Seinfeld’s claim is one-upped by an even bolder statement from the Boston Whaler company itself – that their boats are “unsinkable legends.”

The Best Office Ever Imagined by Man

Nov 19th, 2011 | Categories: Obsessions, Office Supplies | by Michael Williams

While up in Toronto this week we met up with some friends at their office in the city to check the place out and then have dinner. Upon arrival we got a little tour and then had a little meeting, very standard stuff. Once that was over we packed up and started to head out to have dinner — right before we were to leave, our friend Jeremy said there was one other thing he wanted to show us. We then went into his business partner’s office and discovered the most awesome thing every imagined by man: a super huge and massively detailed RC race track that was so big that it had to be built in the room. The best part about it, the guy’s wife didn’t know he had it made (or of course, how much he spent on it) so we are bound to secrecy and can’t disclose his identity.

Those Nice Bright Colors, the Greens of Summer…

Jul 27th, 2009 | Categories: Linkage, Obsessions | by Michael Williams

My cousin emailed me today with a link to a story about one of my favorite things in this world, Kodachrome. Earlier in the year Kodak decided to phase out the colorful film in lieu of other varieties and to streamline their production. While I don’t ever want to see the film go away, it makes sense why Kodak would deep six the old workhorse. I’m surprised the company even makes film anymore. In fact, there is only one place in the world that can process Kodachrome at this point, that illustrates how niche the stuff is.


Obsession | Abbott's Lobster in the Rough

Jul 8th, 2009 | Categories: Food, Obsessions | by Michael Williams

When I think of the summertime I think of New England. Growing up my family spent a lot of time on Cape Cod and in Eastern Connecticut, close to Mystic / New London where my mother grew up. I have fond memories of those times, the music, the sun, the smells and the food. Especially the lobster. Without a doubt my all time favorite lobster place is Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank, CT. The picturesque little shack of a restaurant sits in the most beautiful little corner of New England, facing a quaint harbor of wooden sail boats. The whole thing just makes me want to buy up some land and start painting pictures.



Obsession | Backyard Bill

Apr 16th, 2009 | Categories: Obsessions, Style | by Michael Williams

Only the best things can be said about photographer William Gentle and his website Backyard Bill. The site is described as “stylish folks in their own clothes,” and features striking portraiture of good looking people with excellent personal style. It’s The Sartorialist without all the fashion editors and bokeh. It’s The Selby, but just about the clothes. Color me obsessed. Backyard Bill


Obsession | International Harvester Scout

Feb 9th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Cars, Obsessions | by Michael Williams

My obsession with boxy SUVs first touched on the Bronco II and now shifts to International Harvester’s Scout. Often considered one of the first sport utility vehicles, the Scout is an American classic with a cult following. A few months back there was an excellent article in the Oregonian about 90 year-old Scout dealer Ernie Bisio. Take a few minutes and read the article on Ernie and watch the video below. They don’t make ‘em like the Scout anymore, but they really don’t make ‘em like Ernie.


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