Our throwaway culture is starting to dwindle. As the market becomes oversaturated with cheap, mass-manufactured products designed to break or become obsolete quickly, consumers are turning to local artisans for quality, handcrafted items made to last a lifetime. Accordingly, the artist community in Grand Rapids has grown significantly over the past few years, with new, artisan shops going up like hot cakes on Division Ave. Like their consumers, this group of craftmakers values local, sustainable initiatives, many using materials that have been reclaimed or recycled and collaborating with other local businesses.
Lost Wood is one such shop, creating handmade sunglasses out of drift wood, old skateboards, and other found or fallen wood pieces. Jack Woller was inspired to start this business when he realized he was sick of choosing among the walls of lackluster glasses at the optometrist's office. Wanting something more individualistic and unique, he created his first pair of glasses out of wood. Afterwards, Lost Wood quickly became a business, creating customized sunglasses and sticking with wood as the main material. Each pair of glasses is different, and the customer takes part design process, allowing them a say in this major piece of their aesthetic identity.
Business has grown, and every year his products are sold through more and more dealers throughout the country and Canada. He now makes other accessories as well, such as jewelry, belt buckles, and wallet clips. However, Jack maintains his vision for Lost Wood as a small business that works very closely with clientele.
Read more about Lost Wood on their website.