The newest member of our design team, Erin Connelly, has plenty of experience running a business of her own. On a road trip, she and close friend Kerry Speake had a conversation about the beautiful and quality-made home goods that their peers were creating. They decided to dedicate themselves to creating a place where one could find and purchase these American-made goods for the home—and what emerged was The Commons.

Located in Charleston, South Carolina, The Commons has since become a place where customers can purchase responsibly-produced home goods made by vendors here in the USA. They can also find tableware from The Shelter Collection, designed by Erin and Kerry themselves.

The Shelter Collection, featuring hand-blown glassware and wheel thrown ceramic pieces, is a collaboration between The Commons and STARworks, a non-profit focused on supporting the local economy through art and craft. Located in Star, North Carolina, STARworks has economically supported its small community, which was devastated when the local hosiery factory closed its doors in 2001. Their Center for Creative Enterprises is housed in the factory’s former location and is home to a clay manufacturing operation, glass blowing facilities and furnaces, and 4 acres of space for makers.


The Shelter Collection draws inspiration from mud hut dwellings and their simple and functional design. Look for more about Erin and what inspires her in the coming weeks.

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