Joe Wang from In This SpaceWhile I enjoy receiving and giving sentimental gifts, I am a proponent of aesthetically pleasing yet functional gifts. It’s even better if the gifts are environmentally friendly. That’s why I really like the products from In This Space.

Joe Wang is an entrepreneur and a proprietor of In This Space, which offers simple, functional, modern organization products made from natural and ecologically-sound materials.

Lattice bamboo hamper with lid from In This Space

Joe has a pretty diverse background. Born in Taiwan, educated in the US, Joe started out his career as a software engineer and consultant. But later, his family called him back to run the family business in Taiwan, which was also where he met his talented and beautiful musician wife.

However, he still wants to do something of his own, and that’s why he is starting In This Space. “I am passionate about design that fits people’s lifestyle. Running the family business gave me the opportunity to learn more about design, manufacturing and sales of housewares products. Now I want to design and sell directly to consumers on my own.”

Currently In This Space’s product line includes bamboo laundry hampers, umbrella stand and wastebaskets. All these products were designed to fit people’s lifestyles.

Bamboo Umbrella Stand from In This SpaceBamboo is Joe’s choice of material because of it is environmentally friendly. “Bamboo is one of the earth’s fastest growing plants, and it’s a grass that grows to maturity in five years or less. It is also one of the best plants on earth to sequester carbon. It releases about 35 percent more oxygen than the equivalent trees and reduces the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, which is the main contributor to global warming.”

Recently Joe has partnered with an architect friend, Dave, to design an organizer for the entryway to store items such as car keys, coat, umbrella, sunglasses, loose change and outgoing mail. “We are looking to build an entryway furnishing to help people get organized there. The way we live in the States, we typically enter through the garage. We rarely enter through the front door. In many houses that space is very narrow, so we are creating this multi-functional piece that doesn’t take up tons of room.”

Karei from OdaJoe and Dave call this storage Karei. “Karei may not look like the typical boxy organizer you’re used to seeing in retail outlets, but it is more functional than what’s on the market now. Aesthetically, it looks like a coat hook, but it has a nook on top to hold your wallet and keys. It has two depressions to either side to store change or small things. Two swing-out drawers allow for concealed storage of small items—such as receipts, rings or anything else that needs to be put away. The slot that runs through the piece provides a place for mail so it won’t be forgotten in the morning. It also provides an additional arm that is narrow enough to hang your glasses or purse. We recognize that everyone has their own routine when they leave the house, and in that spirit we’ve designed Karei to have enough options to fit any number of needs as you come and go.

I think Karei would be an excellent choice as housewarming or Christmas gift. Useful, check! Beautiful, check! Eco-friendly, check! What more in a gift do you ask for?

The plan is to get funded so Joe and Dave can buy the material to get Karei built. I admire Joe’s entrepreneurial spirit and wish him the best of luck. Go check out his product and concepts at In This Space and Oda.