From an honest and organic need to fill an empty storefront with some inspiring display lighting. We searched high and low and couldn’t find anything decent, so we said, “Hey, let’s just do it ourselves.”
Mary planned the store and Jeremy took weekend walks from the East Village down to Chinatown to collect a random smattering of electrical parts and funky light bulbs. After meeting a glass-blower on the streets of Soho whilst looking for inspiration, Jeremy made a deceptively simple yet impossible sketch to make out of glass. After one very long day prototyping in a glass studio in Brooklyn, the Stamen Modern Pendant Light was born.
We never intended to sell the lights, however. But after people kept persistently asking about them, Mary realized that Niche was to become the harbinger of modern lighting design more so than a design shop selling other peoples’ wares. That is when Niche Modern was born.
Troy Hanson, the director of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in 2005, called us and said, “Hey! Who are you?! You should exhibit at the ICFF.” We were flattered. Troy suggested a small 5 x 10 foot booth to start with modestly. But that isn’t really how Niche does things.
Jeremy wanted to flesh out the line and launch big, so 8 more products were designed in a day and prototyped the next. We showed up at the ICFF with a handful of prototypes and a freshly printed catalog. Jeremy affectionately called it the “smoke and mirrors” debut. But when the designers and architects started pouring into our booth saying “where have you been, we’ve been waiting for you“, we knew we were onto something.