neo-utility was founded in 2009 by Kip Kotzen. Recognizing that there were great products that were not making their way to the American market, neo-utility began to forge relationships with both established and emerging design brands from around the world, focusing on products that are inherently useful and innovative. neo-utility began as both a sales agent and a distribution company, selling to design and museum shops across North America. In addition with neo-utility.com, all of these brands and products are now available in one place.
The company had its unofficial beginning more than twenty years ago at the Sacramento Airport when Kip became mesmerized by the graceful yet utilitarian Eames Tandem Sling Seating. Soon after, while working in the publishing and film world, he began devoting his free time to researching designers and obsessively collecting Eames chairs. In 1999, Kip began to work with the family of Charles & Ray Eames in their newly opened gallery in Santa Monica, California and his passion and hobby also became his profession. After three years working with the Eames family, four more at Vitra where he opened and managed Vitra’s first retail store, and then three years as the Sales and Marketing Director for Areaware, Kip began neo-utility.
neo-utility’s brands currently span seven countries and four continents and include: ANYTHING (Japan), Boskke (New Zealand), Chick-a-Dee (The Netherlands), General Monsters (Denmark), IDEA International (Japan), KAKKOii (United Kingdom), Landscape Products (Japan), Miller Goodman (United Kingdom), Praxis (Hong Kong), Urbanista (Sweden), Very Good & Proper (United Kingdom) and Y'A PAS LE FEU AU LAC (France).
Kip is joined at neo-utility by Account Manager Hannah Kasper Levinson, a working painter who studied at Tyler School of Art and Glasgow School of Art, and Art Director Alex Spain, a graphic and industrial designer who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design.