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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Keys to the city

The Good Sheet companies which consists of yours truly (Loll Designs) and sister companies Epicurean and Intectural design and manufacture everything from outdoor furniture to kitchen cutting boards, but you might be keen to know that we've been working with our Mayor to make all the "keys to the city".

What are "keys the city" you might wonder? They are given to those people, groups, bands, and animals we love and welcome with open arms. They might not really open anything or fit into your back pocket but they are truly an honor to receive. In the past few years Loll's sister company started making them for the city of Duluth. The city where we live, work, and play. We couldn't be more proud.

It all began when Lolls, CEO, Greg Benson witnessed Mayor Don Ness handing out a document instead of an actual key to the band Wilco who frequently plays in Duluth every summer. He immediately contacted Mayor Ness and offered to have the keys made. Together they worked with Loll's design team and came up with current keys seen above. Each key is made out of Epicurean's infamous recycled paper composite boards which means the keys can double as a cutting board and is dishwasher safe as Mayor Ness points out below (har har).

As you can see the four keys that have been made thus far have one thing in common: they are entertainment based. Duluth LOVES their music and it's rich history of story telling. We love getting chills from hearing Alan Sparhawk's deep vocals echo through Sacred Heart, Jeff Tweedy unfold into his screeching guitar, sway to the banjo of Dave Carroll, and fall into a 35N driving trance while listening to Prairie Home Companion . All of these people are loved by Duluthians and all now have keys to your house. Just Kidding.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Operation Warm

In 2002, Operation Warm was founded to counter one of the most unfathomable hardships of childhood poverty; the lack of adequate winter clothing.  By necessity, families struggling to survive prioritize food, heat, and rent above winter clothing resulting in frequent absenteeism from school.  This translates not only to forgone learning but also missed opportunities for socialization, play, and balanced nutrition provided through the Federal Free and Reduced Meal Program. School attendance is as important as warmth because through education, upcoming generations will become productive, hopeful, and enterprising.

The Duluth Firefighters have teamed up with Operation Warm to raise money for the cause by setting up camp in the Minnesota Power Plaza in downtown Duluth. To give them some comfort throughout the day and night (They have been there 24/7 since Monday) Loll has setup a comfy fire pit area for them to gather around. 

To get the community involved, there will be entertainment and food to partake in. View the schedule of events by clicking here.

Griffin Benson (the son of Loll's founder and CEO, Greg Benson) is also raising money for the cause by sleeping outside this week! That is no easy feat as temperatures in Duluth have dropped below freezing. Nice work, Griffin!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Just Add Wheels

This summer Loll Designs has added some motion to their product. We partnered up with Chicago based company, Heritage Bicycles, to bring you the Heritage Balance Bike. These bikes are increasing in popularity for kids age 2-6 and help your little ones skip the training wheels and head straight for the big kids bikes.

Don't worry, we didn't let the little kids have all the fun. Loll also teamed up with Minnesota longboard guru's Grow Anthology to create the Lollygagger Longboard. Not only will this board give you a smooth ride, it will also quench your thirst with its built in bottle opener - what! what!

And because I can, here is my two year old daughter Helen giving the Loll board a go!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Loll Designs + RIT ID Project

Here at Loll we love getting feedback from our customers. Some of these have even morphed into friendships and some of them have even become collaborators. Take Josh Owen for example. He purchased some furniture from us a few years ago, became a fan, met us at ICFF last year, and ended up teaming with Loll to create our Chiaroscuro outdoor clock. It didn't stop there…

Josh is not only an exceptional industrial designer, he's also a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where he came up with the idea to have his first-year grad students work with Loll's CEO, Greg Benson, on a semester long project.

Greg Benson, CEO and designer at Loll, checks out Brendan Gordon's cobbler bench

Student present their designs

With the direction and help of Greg Benson, the students were instructed to design and create furniture or accessories using the same recycled plastic (HDPE) that Loll uses for its modern outdoor furniture. This time however, these designs wouldn't be used outdoors. Instead, the entryway would be the project's focus and the inspiration would come from the world famous designer Massimo Vignelli. RIT just happens to be the home to the Vignelli Center for Design Studies which houses all of his work. 

Vignelli's infamous NYC subway map

In the end, the students came up with an array of designs from wall mounted stacking planters to benches that will house your umbrella's.

Bike Buddy by Casey Kelly

WantedDesign Booth

The students designs didn't just end in the classroom. They were shown at this year's WantedDesign. With their very own booth they showcased selected designs that could find their way onto Loll's retail website in the future. Below are some of the designs that made it into this years WantedDesign booth:

Cobbler by Brendan Gordon
"Entryways are bivalent, posing no clean break of space and time and demanding a moment of pause. A traditional piece of utility, the cobbler’s bench is also bivalent in nature. Not simply chair or desk, bench or table, it is a fusion of two basic needs — space to work and space to sit. Cobbler honors Loll’s legacy of historical reference, re-envisioning a shoe-maker’s tool, designed for linear work and attention to the more intimate objects in life. It is an aid to a doorway’s pause."

Hi Bench by Bridget Sheehan
"The 'Hi' Bench serves as a friendly greeting as you walk in the door. It provides a spot to hold your keys, shoes, spare change, and umbrella. There is also a space to sit down to tie your shoes. Durable and waterproof Loll HDPE materials are ideal for this product as it requires no maintenance and withstands heavy traffic. The “Hi” Bench is a perfect fit for any entryway."

*photos courtesy of Bridget Sheehan

Loll is a business, yet we have been very thankful for the relationships it has inspired and the stories it continues to tell.

To see more designs of Loll's collaboration with RIT go here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Loll Event this Week in Oak Brook!

Meet our CEO and Designer, Greg Benson, at this weeks Room & Board event in Oak Brook! Come cool your heels and check out Loll's outdoor modern furniture in person while sipping wine and meeting other lollygaggers. Hope to see you this Thursday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Loll's been fortunate enough to get some fun press lately. Below are some noteworthy magazines and design sites that have included Loll in their top design picks. 

Our Lollygagger Lounge Chair was awarded Best of the Twin Cities by Midwest Home. This modern lounge chair has been a favorite seller since it debuted last year. It was such a hit we based our new summer collection off its design which you can see here.

We love our independent retailers and Forage Modern Workshop is on the top of this list. Its well curated store located in Minneapolis is stocked full of modern goodies made in the USA. It's no surprise that it was recently listed as one of Dwell's favorite shops

Molto Bene. Mi Amore. Lasagne! That about sums up my Italian skills. Even though I am not 100% sure what this design blog is saying we do appreciate they included our modern side table in their mood board. See more colorful picks on their site: meetyourmood.com