In the crowded home goods market, young Encinitas, CA-based brand Norden caught our eye with striking yet simple packaging, expressing dedication to quality and utility. It makes sense after learning that owner Pete Panciera’s background is in graphic design and art direction, and that he has plenty of experience working for other brands. Now he has his own, working with his wife, fiber artist Erika Sjogren. “Design informs almost everything we do. We try to think through the whole process and consumer experience of buying something from Norden—the product itself, its uses, how it functions, the packaging, all the way down to what it feels like to open up the box when it arrives at your house,” he tells CH. “We want our products to be aesthetically pleasing, functional, durable, responsibly made, and generally just make people happy.”
The hand soaps, for example, come in a practical larger size of 500ml (16.9 oz) meaning it will be a while before having to re-purchase. The three scents have been carefully thought out to veer more on the distinctive side, each inspired by a different visited place—Yosemite Valley, Montauk, Kaaterskill Falls—and trying to bottle the associated scents and experiences. The latter blends fennel, lemon and black pepper to evoke the summer harvest in upstate New York.
“We really try to focus in on each and every product we produce and think long and hard about why we are making it. The products we sell are things we actually want and use at home every day,” Panciera continues. “Also, if we can’t find a factory that we believe in to make a product properly, we don’t produce it. We work really closely with great factories that have been honing their craft for a long time.”
Norden has collaborated with fellow Californian brand, Newport Beach-based outfitters ourCaste, on the perfect warm weather candle bringing memories of the coast (and surf wax) to wherever you might be. The white splashed stoneware is hand thrown in Encinitas, CA; the dark soy wax is poured in Norden’s studio also in Encinitas. The sturdy mug-sized container begs to be reused once the coconut and peppermint scented candle is finished.
Most recently, the Pancieras have introduced slow-burning incense (with a burn time of approximately 45 minutes) to their tight-knit collection. Øresund’s fragrance, inspired by a trip to Copenhagen, uses base notes of cedar and balsam fir to summon memories of crackling fire, and the addition of grapefruit makes it feel refreshingly light rather than heady and overpowering, as incense can sometimes be. Shop Norden products online from their webshop; their speckled dishware is available exclusively at San Diego’s Moniker General. Expect to see some new releases at the end of July to early August
Images courtesy of Norden