Chances are, you've encountered a product designed by Edward Kilduff—at a dinner party, if not in your own kitchen.
Kilduff is the designer of the Rabbit corkscrew and the EVAK coffee container, both mainstays of Bed Bath & Beyond, winners of design awards and staples of Portland pantries.
At this point, Beyond doesn't go quite far enough for Kilduff's newest line of innovative storage containers. But if a weed jar is ever inducted into MOMA's permanent collection next to Herbert Allen's Screwpull Corkscrew and the Aeron chair—or gets the ultimate honour, being knocked-off for Target—there's a good chance it'll be from Kilduff's new line of Pollen Gear cannabis storage containers.
The Pollen Gear line of childproof and airtight containers currently includes glass jars, plastic rectangles and zipper pouches. All are a noticeable step up from pill bottles, Ziplocs and Mason jars.
For Kilduff, it started with coffee. He discovered that, like the miniature alligator clip before it, his line of EVAK containers had found a new use.
"A lot of herb connoisseurs were buying it because air is really their enemy," he says. "I started talking to people, and I realized that what they really wanted was something with a lower price that's child-resistant."
So he scoped the competition—and found there wasn't really any.
"I started looking at the space and the existing packaging solutions out there," he says. "Nobody really had anything. There were not any design guys who were creating solutions."
The challenge is pretty simple, really: People need containers that are both childproof and airtight. Glass is great, but dispensaries need to sell in semi-disposable plastic.
Ever since the medical era, Portland pot has come in screw-top pill bottles. They keep kids out, but they're also not airtight and a little clunky. High-end rec shops have put a brave face on them, ordering stylish gold versions, but they've never been ideal. And most product that's pre-weighed comes in little plastic pouches. Often, persnickety and rule-abiding dispensaries will then charge you for a childproof "exit bag" to carry your weed out the door.
Which is why, of the three main designs currently out, Pollen Gear's answer to the plastic pill bottle is likely to find the fastest acceptance. Kilduff's airtight containers open with pressure to the sides. The design flummoxed me for a few minutes, and will apparently thwart a grade schooler even if they stand on top of it. The square edges are better for stacking and packing. They look cool—familiar but a little different, like so many brilliant designs.
"We're shooting for standards that are way above and beyond what is required right now," he says. "We're trying to be the leaders."
Hardcore heads are likely to appreciate Pollen Gear's glass jars, which are heavy-duty and, especially in the case of the artists series, stylish.
Kilduff isn't just slapping cool graphics on his products, though. He's planning to expand his line exponentially before the end of the year and has a "really aggressive IP strategy" to develop and patent the best cannabis storage designs he can.
"There's such a frenzy in this new industry that everybody is like, 'Oh my God, you're in the weed space?' It's the most exciting thing," he says. "It keeps me waking up early."