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8 Rising Design Stars and Startups You Should Know

Greycork founding team (from L to R): Jonah Willcox-Healey, Myung Chul "Bruce" Kim, John Humphrey, Alec Babala—Photo courtesy of Greycork
Greycork founding team (from L to R): Jonah Willcox-Healey, Myung Chul "Bruce" Kim, John Humphrey, Alec Babala—Photo courtesy of Greycork

Forbes presented its annual, much buzzed-about 30 Under 30 lists earlier this week, shining a spotlight on—when all summed up—600 of the brightest young stars under age 30, spanning 20 categories, including arts & style, consumer tech, retail & ecommerce, finance, and education. That's a lot! So we've gone ahead and pulled out the names to know when it comes to all things design and home. Some of them, like flatpack furniture startup Greycork and online furniture marketplace Move Loot, have recently been featured right here on Curbed.

The Greycork sofa and chaise, plus coffee table from the limited edition Brooks Collection—Photo courtesy of Greycork

1. Greycork (Alec Babala, John Humphrey, Myung Chul "Bruce" Kim, Jonah Willcox-Healey)—This Providence, RI-based startup is striving to produce flatpack furniture that's simple, affordable, high quality, and good-lookin'; in short, they want to give you a real alternative to Ikea.

2. Touch of Modern (Jerry Hum, Dennis Liu, Steven Ou, Jonathan Wu)—There are tons of design sales sites on the web, but this San Francisco-based e-commerce/flash sales venture tailored to stylish men appears to be actually making good money.

NYC apartment designed by Noa Santos—Photo by Claire Esparros via Homepolish

3. Noa Santos—This co-founder of Homepolish, a startup bringing affordable interior design to the masses, recently personally designed the 500-square-foot New York City pad of Instagram star Patrick Janelle.

4. Meg Callahan—Fans of geometric patterned textiles, alert! Oklahoma-born Callahan serves up gorgeous handmade quilts ideal for bedding and the walls.

Screen shot of some items available on Move Loot

5. Move Loot (Bill Bobbit, Jenny Morill, Shruti Shah, Ryan Smith)—Originating in San Francisco, this startup trying to become the "easiest way to buy and sell used furniture" has now expanded into New York City and Los Angeles as well.

6. Natalie Herrera—Expect ceramics with an edge from Herrera, whose work incorporates geometric forms created from unconventional tools like an X-acto knife and drafting triangle.

Visibility's Kyuzo Collection, a series of desk and home accessories—Photo via Visibility

7. Visibility (Joseph Guerra, Sina Sohrab)—This Brooklyn-based industrial design studio masters the simple-but-cleverly-and-beautifully-designed-everyday-objects game. Its work has starred in various design shows, including last year's Sight Unseen Offsite during New York Design Week.

8. Leura Fine—Setting out to democratize interior design, Fine's year-old startup Laurel & Wolf offers, for an one-time flat fee, an online marketplace where customers can fill out a style quiz, select a desired design, and consult with a designer virtually until the job is done.

Interested in more rising design stars? Check out Curbed's very own Young Guns award, celebrating designers challenging the status quo in all fields.


Watch Out Ikea, New U.S. Startup Promises Modern Furniture That's More Affordable and Easier to Setup [Curbed]
5 Design Superstars Who Should Have Made the TIME 100 [Curbed]