Real Estate / Houses

Designing Women Power

A Female Trio Wows a Male-Dominated Realm With Unique Work

BY // 05.11.16

Egg Collective’s exquisitely engineered furniture and lighting is reason enough to become a huge fan, but the story behind the New York-based company makes us love it even more. Founded in 2011 by three female designers with backgrounds in architecture and woodworking — Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis and Hillary Petrie — Egg Collective struts confidently in a realm dominated by men.

The trio met as freshmen while studying architecture at Washington University in St. Louis; they later pursued degrees and training in woodworking, furniture finishing and art. “We were young and became best friends,” says Ellis, who also has an MFA in sculpture. “We were drawn towards each other because we have similar work ethics and ideas about design.”

Their sculptural line of 23 pieces, produced in their Brooklyn workshop, focuses on detail, surface and form, and is crafted from natural materials that acquire patina over time, such as stone, metal and wood.

The women personally design, produce and oversee each piece, frequently enlisting specialty help from area artisans for aspects such as stone work. Does being female influence their designs? “There’s a certain delicacy to some of our pieces that one could say is feminine, especially ones that were heavily influenced by jewelry,” Ellis says. “But the work has to stand on its own, without anyone knowing anything about us.”

It’s no surprise that architecture is another big influence, including the imaginative work of Dame Zaha Hadid, who died in April, and the angular International style of Philip Johnson. (Egg Collective was one of three design firms commissioned to create furniture for the promenade of the Johnson-designed building that houses the New York City Ballet.)

The collection is available exclusively at M. Naeve, which recently stocked a limited number of pieces and can special-order others. M. Naeve, 1911 Westheimer Road, 713.524.0990, mnaeve.com.

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