June 02, 2021 2 min read
Hey there, it’s us -- Bright Beam Goods, coming to you from sunny Austin, Texas!
We’re starting this blog to put a face (several faces actually) behind our name. At Bright Beam Goods, we believe that handmade objects always reflect their makers, and we’re excited to share our insights, processes and ideas behind the products we create!
Bright Beam Goods is a line of playful wares designed to spark creativity and joy while being as beautiful as they are fun! We make mistaken lyrics coasters (“Sweet dreams are made of cheese/Who am I to disagree?”), colorful puzzles and games, re-vamped classics like tangrams and marble games, and DIY “creature kits” and spinning tops. Maybe you’ve seen or even own some of our creations! We’re always trying to come up with new innovative ideas, and ways to jazz up old classics.
Kristen (left) and Eve (right) back in the olden days of 2010
The story of Bright Beam Goods began with co-founders/boss ladies Kristen von Minden and Eve Trester-Wilson. Kristen and Eve met while working as architectural historians at a firm in Austin. They kept in touch even after Kristen left Austin to get her Masters degree in architecture at Harvard by snail-mailing each other handmade scarves, cards and other crafts. While getting her Masters, Kristen saw her classmates not only producing amazing models but also launching side hustles on the laser-cutters. She shared some of these projects with Eve, who became fascinated with the capabilities of laser-cutting.
Kristen wanted to move back to Austin after graduating in 2009, but the ongoing recession had led to many layoffs in the architecture field and very few firms were hiring. She realized she needed a new plan. During a frenetic email brainstorming session focused on getting Kristen back to Austin, Eve suggested that they buy a laser-cutter of their own. The idea snowballed and eventually became MakeATX, which they opened in 2011. MakeATX is a membership-based makerspace in East Austin where members can design, cut and engrave their own laser-cut creations. It was a pretty innovative business model for its time, since it made laser-cutting accessible to artists and other members of the public.
Kristen and Eve experimented with their new laser-cutters, making a range of objects and products from furniture to greeting cards to jewelry. The Bright Beam Goods line grew out of these experiments. In the ten years since Kristen and Eve started their company, they’ve hired a talented group of employees trained in art, architecture and design, who help produce the line and collaborate on new product designs to help the line grow.
Now you know our origin story! Stay tuned for our next “Employee Spotlight” series, where we’ll highlight each team member and learn more about their role in the company and their super rad (and often laser-involved) personal projects.
‘Till next time!
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