The husband and wife co-founders behind the direct-to-consumer cookware and
dinnerware startup retailerOurPlace []are big believers
in the notion that the doorway to inclusive communities opens through the

Amir Tehrani, the company?s co-founder and chief executive spent, his life in
the cookware and kitchen business, while his wife, Shiza Tehrani, is the
co-founder of theMalala Fund, [] supporting educational initiatives for young women around the world, and Now
Ventures, an impact seed investment fund based in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles-based company is taking Shiza?s belief in social missions and
the power of entrepreneurialism to transform communities, and Amir?s knowledge
of the multibillion-dollar cookware and dinnerware business, to create a
consumer-focused business that celebrates the culture surrounding cooking and
uses it as a way to educate and inform ? all while selling high-end pots, pans,
plates and glasses to an audience of socially conscious consumers.

The project has received its initial capital from some pretty high-end backers.
So far, the company has raised $2.35 million in financing from investors,
including the venture arm ofLos Angeles? startup retail giant
[] ,FabFitFun []and Will Smith?s
Dreamers VC [].

Two of the new products available from startup direct to consumer cookware and
dinnerware brandOurPlace

The company?s initial line of dinnerware and cookware is manufactured in China
and its glassware is manufactured in Thailand.

But the two executives have plans to source its future collections from artisans
living in emerging markets around the world. ?Our next collection is sourced
from Oaxaca,? says Tehrani. ?The Oaxaca line? it?s artisans making things out of
their home. They?re making everything by hand and there?s no sophisticated
machinery to speak of.?

The challenge, says Amir Tehrani, is to help these artisans begin producing
products at scale, while staying true to the artisanal nature of the products.

Ultimately, the idea is to educate and inform consumers about the cultural
context behind the products they buy, according to the company?s two founders.

There?s also a financial incentive to launch a direct-to-consumer brand, the
founders say. It?s an industry that has yet to be disrupted by the technological
innovations that have reshaped so many other retail markets, they say? and one
that?s equally as large as the mattress industry.

By 2021, the cookware and dinnerware market is projected to be $12.7 billion,
according to a study byFreedonia Focus Reports
[–kitchenware-to-reach-127-billion-in-2021-300426984.html] . By comparison, mattresses are about a $14 billion market in the U.S.

And it?s a market that Amir Tehrani knows well. His grandfather founded
Unlimited [], one of the largest white-label suppliers of
kitchenware, cookware and dinnerware in the U.S. That experience is what brought
investors like FabFitFun to the table.

?They understand our capabilities around the family business and they want to
help bring it to their community as well,? says Amir Tehrani. ?Aside from what
they were already doing around fashion and cosmetics the largest opportunity
they weren?t already doing was around cookware.?

Original Article:

Backed by Will Smith and FabFitFun, Our Place brings cookware and dinnerware direct to consumers