Size doesn't always matter — just ask design duo Jamie Iacoli and Brian McAllister. In two years, the pair's eponymous line of simple, handcrafted furniture has attracted nationwide attention, despite coming from a two-person operation in a small Seattle studio. "There's not exactly a burgeoning design community here," says Iacoli. "It's easy to fall into the habit of talking about creating stuff and never actually doing it. But we both have the crazy drive." Featuring industrial materials and methods (McAllister is a master welder), the collection offers such pieces as the Strip chair ($1,350), a bent-aluminum seat atop a powder-coated steel base, and the Frame side table ($750), with a washed oak top. The utilitarian forms point to a waste-not mind-set — it's common for the two to scavenge materials from the local Goodwill. Though they'd like to keep things small (maybe hire three employees, Iacoli says), they're managing to grow the brand by teaming up with larger companies; an affordable home collection for retailer Urban Outfitters is expected later this year. iacolimcallister.com
A version of this article appeared in the April 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.