Created in 2003 as Sensio, the company behind such brands as Bella Housewares, Crux Kitchen and Brim Coffee has unleashed a new corporate identity: Made by Gather.
Founder and CEO Shae Hong said the Made by Gather corporate branding more clearly articulates the company’s lifestyle-centric mission to reconnect busy, modern consumers in the kitchen and at the table, “by creating simple, affordable, thoughtfully designed products… making it easier to prepare and provide for the people who matter to you most… because we believe in the universal power of breaking bread.”
Made by Gather offers a diverse range of kitchen electrics and cookware under the Bella and Crux brands; specialty coffee brewers under Brim; pro-style blenders under Jawz; and ultrasonic aroma diffusers under Sparia.
Hong, in this exclusive interview, shares his personal inspiration for the Made by Gather rebranding, and how the company’s renewed mission is directing the next phase of its product and marketing development.
HomeWorld Business: What inspired the Made by Gather brand story?
Shae Hong: We all have moments in our lives where we find ourselves dealing with extreme adversity, where amidst the chaos of whatever you have going on around you, you are able to become aware of the joy in simplicity, the fulfillment that comes from quality time and being present around your loved ones.
It is in this sense of awareness that Made by Gather revealed itself. After years of running extremely hard and pouring everything I had into growing our business and dealing with the ever changing retail environment, I was faced with a physically debilitating multi-year battle with Lyme disease exacerbated by long hours and relentless travel. I came to a positive and powerful realization in the moments spent with family and friends while getting back to full health.
In the 16 years since Sensio’s founding in 2003, it was in this moment of retrospect it became clear that our success is fueled largely by the company’s culture. Made by Gather is an opportunity to put this productivity driver at the forefront of the business in defining our work by a set of core cultural values: put the customer first, think like an owner, see it through and care for those around you.
HWB: Why this change, and why now?
SH: When I started the company, I honestly hadn’t put much thought into the name— I had so many logistical things that I had to get right, and the name was more of an afterthought. I arrived at Sensio while exploring the combination of the Latin words for “design” and “sense,” and just decided to go with it.
After more than 16 years in this business and really taking time to consider what we do and why we do it, the right name began to emerge. Made by Gather reflects our understanding of our role in the world— we’re here to help bring people together. We deliberately chose the name Made by Gather to reflect the maker-nature of our brand. We’re creators here, and we wanted to reflect that.
HWB: What is the Made by Gather mission?
SH: We exist to foster human connection in the kitchen.
We are innovators of tools that make it easier for people to come together— or gather— in the kitchen. A busy parent making a quick, healthy weeknight dinner for the family. A young working professional who wants to unleash his or her creativity in the kitchen and Instagrams hot-out-of-the-air-fryer buffalo wings to share the moment with friends.
It’s all about connectedness, and in a world that’s becoming increasingly on-demand— from meal kits to food delivery services— we think it’s about getting back together around the proverbial kitchen table.
HWB: Does that mean product design is going to change?
SH: We’ve always had design-forward, sleek and simple products. Developing a deep understanding of our consumer’s lifestyle, attitudes and behaviors is paramount— both in the kitchen and outside of it— when we create brands.
We’ll continue to do this through thoughtful innovation in both product and content production. We’re always challenging ourselves to push the boundaries of what’s possible and offer premium, on-trend design at accessible pricepoints.
HWB: How do you live your mission, or your purpose?
SH: We do this through our guiding principles: Put the customer first; think like an owner; see it through; and care for those around you.
HWB: How does this translate to the products you sell?
SH: When you think like an owner and operate within a flat and entrepreneurial organization like ours, it fosters incredible creativity and innovation. Our business is constantly evolving as our customers’ needs change, and our flexible infrastructure allows us to be one step ahead of the curve.
HWB: What should we expect to see from Made by Gather in the future?
SH: We have a lot of exciting news coming. We’ll continue to innovate our product lines and keep up our channel expansion where it makes sense for the brand. Crux and Brim will be brands to watch this spring, as both are expanding into specialty home retail and e-commerce. And while I can’t share details yet, we are bringing true disruption to the category in the fourth quarter.
For more on Made by Gather, see the March 11 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®.