For Salad Days

Nambé commissioned designer Karim Rashid to make these metal and cherry salad servers ($85). The Santa Fe, N. Mex.-based company started making housewares in 1951 from an alloy invented by nuclear scientists at Los Alamos. It resists tarnish and retains heat and cold longer than silver. CEO Dan Hillenbrand (whose family bought Nambé in 1981) recently began working with designers to forge pieces from materials like wood, crystal, and porcelain.

A Bag That Blooms

To grow these paperwhites ($15), just add water; the flowers will bloom indoors in winter and can grow right in their bag. Potting Shed Creations, based in Troy, Idaho, makes gardening fare sold in Nordstrom and other stores. Founders Liz Cosko and Ann Killen run the company out of a former elementary school. This fall, it got some celebrity cachet when the television show Extra gave the company's Good Luck Clover to Emmy nominees.

Freshly Pressed

The star product of O Olive Oil, makers of gourmet olive oil and vinegar, is its line of oils infused with organic California citrus ($16). Flavors include meyer lemon, grapefruit, blood orange, and--the company's latest--jalapeño-lime. CEO Greg Hinson got the idea for the oil (and the San Rafael, Calif.-based company) while living in Italy, where families drizzle oil on toast for breakfast. The 8.5-ounce bottles are sold at specialty grocers.

Warm and Woolly

Fold Bedding's throw pillows combine a modern aesthetic with the warmth of wool fabrics and feather stuffing. Husband-and-wife founders Max and Linda Geisler started the El Cerrito, Calif.-based company in 2000. Until recently, it was a two-person shop. After receiving a plug on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, however, and a sizable order from W Hotels, the couple hired some part-time help. The pillows come in a variety of styles and colors. (The "bar" style shown is $140.)

Fun, Unplugged

Up to six people can play Chinese checkers on this handcrafted oak board ($40) made by Channel Craft in Charleroi, Pa. Dean Helfer was a marketing major at West Virginia University when he founded the company in 1983 as part of a college project exploring channels of distribution (hence the company's name). Now, Channel Craft has 45 employees who recreate classic American toys.