As a child his relationship with his grandmother was not the closest, but as he grew older and learned her history Adam Zeisel wanted to ensure his grandmother’s legacy lived through the ages. Zeisel is the grandson of Eva Zeisel, the Hungarian-born designer of curving pottery whose famous works grace museums worldwide and Crate and Barrel stores across America.
Zeisel, a 25 year-old Northeastern University graduate, decided to start representing his grandmother’s designs and selling them exclusively through her website. After receiving advice from his father in 2006 to sell a set of goblets Eva designed for her 100th birthday, Zeisel put the business skills he was learning in college to good use. He sold the goblets online successfully and began to imagine how he could manufacture other designs.
“I wanted to find a niche for a woman who already had a name brand, but in smaller table top objects. I went to her studio and saw she had furniture designs that had never been made and I didn’t know she had them, after browsing through I knew the pieces would appeal to her customers and bring her into a new market,” Zeisel said.
Always the leader, starting a t-shirt business at Northeastern and being involved with many student groups, Zeisel put together a business plan to start selling pieces through a new site, EvaZeiseloriginals.com. He consulted college professors to learn what was the best way to sell his grandmother’s designs without harming her very respected image.‚ His family’s name was his biggest seller.
“I found this would be a great opportunity to have a chance to follow passion and be a leader. Its challenging because people say, ‘oh you’re her grandson’ but I enjoy the challenge,” the young entrepreneur said. “My first goal was to give Eva peace of mind and confidence that I was doing something worthwhile and with that I could pursue the marketing of the brand by using the family name to add to her legacy and not use her legacy. I didn’t want that to be the reason for why people bought, because we share a last name, but because it is her original pieces available to everyone.”