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DESIGN

Eye Candy: The Best Designed Products of the Inc. 5000

Whether they make handblown glass or humble cleaning supplies, Inc. 5000 companies are incorporating elegant design into their products. We've highlighted four of the best.
1
Ice Cream Makers
Industrial Revolution, No. 4,186
Ice Cream Makers
These candy-colored plastic spheres from Industrial Revolution might look like toys, but they actually make ice cream. Cream, sugar, and flavoring go into an aluminum canister on one end; rock salt and ice go in the other end, to surround the canister. Roll the ball around and, 30 minutes later, you've got a quart of ice cream--no electricity required.

The raised ridges on the exterior are designed to help keep cold away from hands and add an extra layer of toughness. Industrial Revolution, based in Tukwila, Washington, has manufactured and distributed a variety of camping products since 1971.

The idea for the ice cream ball, which sells for $45 (or $35 for the pint-size version), came from the Girl Scouts, says CEO Keith Jackson. Local troops would make ice cream during campouts by placing ingredients in duct-taped coffee cans and rolling them around. This summer, the company introduced a "soft-shell" version of the product, which looks like a kickball and is made with BPA-free materials.
Industrial Revolution • No. 4,186 • 2013 revenue $11.5 million

PHOTO: Victor Prado
2
Serving Cone
Restaurantware, No. 366
Serving Cone
Plates are do pedestrian. This 7-inch-long conical vessel from Restaurantware, a Chicago-based catering and restaurant supply company, is designed to artfully display, say, an order of truffle fries or other gourmet morsels. Made from fast-growing bamboo, the cones, which wholesale for about 30 cents apiece, are eco-friendly, disposable, and compostable. Restaurantware, co-founded by Jalila Bouchareb and Richard Rinella in 2010, makes a whole line of eco-friendly utensils and supplies--from little spiral-ended skewers to large serving "boats"--that it markets to hotels, restaurants, caterers, and home cooks.
Restaurantware • No. 366 • 2013 revenue $2.4 million

PHOTO: Victor Prado

3
Light Fixtures
John Pomp Studios, No. 770
Light Fixtures
These modern-looking glass pendant lights from John Pomp Studios are made the old-fashioned way. The Philadelphia-based company employs glass blowers to hand-sculpt the lamps. (The ones seen here start at $1,980; some chandeliers go for as much as $50,000.) The company even makes its own glass; it melts the sand with custom-made furnaces and equipment. Owner John Pomp, who studied glass blowing in Murano, Italy, started the company in 1999 to make vases, but he relaunched it in 2008 as a specialty lighting studio. John Pomp Studios also designs furniture, including glass-topped tables.
John Pomp Studios • No. 770 • 2013 revenue $2.6 million

PHOTO: Victor Prado

4
Dust Collector
Full Circle Home, No. 569
Dust Collector
Just because a product is doing a dirty job doesn't mean it can't have a clean design. The 7-inch-wide Tiny Team mini brush and dustpan from New York City-based Full Circle Home looks almost too stylish to tuck away in a broom closet. The $8 set, made from recycled plastic and sustainably sourced bamboo, snaps together to stand upright, lie flat, or hang on the wall. Co-founders Tal Chitayat, Heather Kauffman, and three of their friends, who had expertise in design, manufacturing, and environmentalism, launched Full Circle Home in 2009. They wanted to create cleaning products using more efficient manufacturing processes and eco-friendly materials. Today, their line of about 50 utilitarian products (scrubbers, dish racks, brooms, and more) is carried by many large retailers, including Whole Foods and Williams-Sonoma.
Full Circle Home • No. 569 • 2013 revenue $3.7 million

PHOTO: Victor Prado

IMAGE: Photograph by Victor Prado
From the September 2014 issue of Inc. magazine




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