Stylish Stylus

Made by adding translucent enamel and touches of 18-karat gold to a precision-engraved pattern, this Trellis fountain pen ($4,500) by David Oscarson makes most Montblancs look like Bics. David Oscarson launched his eponymous Wildwood, Mo.-based company in 2000, adopting the same technique used to make some Fabergé eggs. Oscarson designs the pens himself, importing special parts from Germany and France, and finishing them with a team of British goldsmiths and silversmiths. The Trellis collection is his company's seventh and latest line. The pens come in azure (shown), black, sapphire, red, and white. The company makes only 88 pens in each color; they are also available in a roller ball version.

Plug and Play

The Klipsch iGroove ($280) frees MP3s from their ear-bud chains. The speaker system was designed for the iPod, but comes with an attachment that works with most MP3 players. Klipsch, a 60-year-old family business in Indianapolis, sells speakers and stereo components through stores like Best Buy and Circuit City. CEO Chris Pyle (whose second cousin founded Klipsch) says its products are made with both science and instinct. After technical sound tests, employees known as the "golden ears" test the devices by listening to a favorite CD or DVD. Personally, Pyle tests with The Hunt For Red October.

Time to Reflect

With Kikkerland's Spy Clock ($20) you can surreptitiously keep tabs on who's about to barge into your two o'clock meeting. A cross between a timepiece and a security mirror, the wall clock is about a foot in diameter. Kikkerland, based in New York City, works with designers like the Spy Clock's creator, Pieter Woudt, to make whimsical toys, games, and housewares. The whimsy extends to Kikkerland's name, which is Dutch for "land of frogs." It's also a nickname for Holland, from which Kikkerland's founder, Jan van der Lande, hails. The clock is sold at stylish home shops like New York City's Mxyplyzyk.


This Bachelor Pad ($90) by Schleeh Design is no Post-it dispenser. Made in the company's Montreal studio, it has a cherry base and a stainless steel slider for tearing off just as much paper as you need. For start-up capital, founder Colin Schleeh sold his house in 2002 and lived for a spell in the backroom of his studio. The pad is sold in high-end gift shops. Refills are $24.

Morning Mud

At six inches tall, this hand-painted Brooklyn Bridge mug ($19) by Our Name Is Mud can handle the grande-est cappuccino. Founder Lorrie Veasey, who designed the mug, was a teacher who made pottery to supplement her income. These days, her company has four New York City retail stores--in three of them customers paint their own pottery--and a wholesale division.