West Michigan NeoCon Team Has A New Star

June 3, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — One of the newest players in the office furniture industry scored big in its public debut by earning a top award at NeoCon.

Grand Rapids-based izzydesign won one of two Editor’s Choice Awards presented in the 2001 Best of NeoCon design competition for its Clara line of free-standing tables, work surfaces and storage units.

The firm (see page 1 of the June 4 Business Journal) was founded earlier this year by industry veteran Chuck Saylor in a partnership with JSJ Corp. in Grand Haven. The Clara product line was designed by Saylor, a former design chief at Haworth Inc., along with Dan West and Tod Babick.

Saylor, whose work with Haworth also won numerous NeoCon honors, ran his own consulting firm before forming izzydesign.

The company is seeking to tap a rapidly emerging market niche within the industry for highly flexible, low-cost offices furnishings that appeal to small and start-up companies. Izzydesign promises to produce and ship customers’ orders within a few days.

Izzydesign hopes to leverage the recognition generated through its winning of the Editor’s Choice Award to attract customers, Brand Communications Manager Debbie Goode said.

“It (the award) gives validity to what we’re trying to do as a company,” Goode said. “We’re on the right track.”

Haworth, Steelcase Inc., and Herman Miller Inc. were also winners in the Best of NeoCon awards, which recognized 65 products from 255 entries in 26 categories.

Steelcase and its subsidiary companies received five Silver awards for:

  •  The Smoke office system produced by Turnstone, in Alternative Office category
  • Steelcase Wood Furniture’s Impact desk, in the Desk category
  • Vecta’s Timetable, in the Tables, Conferencing and Training category
  •  Surface Tension Collection by DesignTex, in the Fabrics, Leathers and Vinyls category
  •  Hardware 3, in the Wall Treatments category.

Herman Miller received Gold and Most Innovative awards in the Furniture Systems, New Components and Enhancements category for its Design on Textile program that enables customers to have designs printed on fabric screens for its Resolve office system.

Haworth received a Silver award in the Lighting category for the Mindsweeper desk lamp that’s part of its Jump Stuff line of desk accessories.

The Best of NeoCon competition is sponsored by Facilities Design & Management magazine, Contract magazine, the International Interior Design Association and Merchandise Mart Inc., which hosts NeoCon in Chicago.

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