How Dust Pans are Born
Ever wonder how your favorite Lostine products come to be? Today we’re going to shed some light on one of the most exciting things we get to do here at Lostine: design and create new products.
Before we start designing anything, we often start with a problem we feel needs solving, such as, “why are dust pans that attach to brooms always so ugly?” or “why are attractive dust pans so bad at picking up dust?” We realized there’s no need to sacrifice functionality for beauty—you can have it both ways!
For our other products, sometimes that “problem” is a little more reverse engineered. For example, a new mirror group we are launching this month is made primarily out of spare wood from our Jack Stools. (More on the mirrors in the coming weeks…)
The new dust pan joined with our Barn Broom
Once the idea is hatched, the notebooks come out and we get sketching early designs! A few dozen doodles later, we compare our notes and see discuss what everyone reacts to. Often the final version of a product ends up being a mix of a few people’s ideas.
Now the magic starts! We take our sketches into the shop and get building prototypes. For the dustpan, that means cutting a panel of brass, bending it to the right shape, cutting the wood pieces, and joining them all together. Voila! Our first prototype!
We hated it.
Sometimes we love the first prototype right away, but it’s not uncommon for us to find a part of it that did not translate well from the sketches. In the case of the dustpan, we must have gone through a dozen different ideas for handles before deciding on our hand-turned design.
Since we couldn’t just call it “Best New Dustpan #1”, we have to come up with a name! Sometimes we name our products after streets and neighborhoods of our home-base, Philadelphia (Fairmount, Brandywine, Ludlow). Other times we use a member of one of our families (Sophia, Anna, Jack).
But perhaps most of the time… we just make it up! Our Hugo Lamp was named as such because it reminded us of a barbell and Hugo sounded like an old-time bodybuilder name. We named our most popular sconce “Ava” just because we liked how it sounded.
In this case, we named our new dust pan Hans!
We have found that good photography can make a big difference in how a product is received. By the same token, bad photography can make a beautiful piece look less-than-special. There is a section of our warehouse that we turned into a makeshift photo studio, so once our prototype is ready, we get it photographed and posted to the website.
And just like that, we welcome Hans into the world! He'll be available to help with all your messes this October.