8 Questions with: Chad Phillips

8 Questions with: Chad Phillips

I crossed paths with Chad Phillips while he was working for a toy company, Kidrobot. Since then, he has gone on to work for one of the very first “flash sales” companies, Fab.com. Then LinkedIn served as a pointer to me when he rebuilt and rebranded the Design Shop at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and now, at his current role as the Creative Director at Kwambio. I thought it was about time to throw an 8 Questions at him, so please enjoy!


Where does the name Kwambio come from?
It is purely made up, as it was open and clean for web and social for good SEO.

Can you briefly describe what the Kwambio “made-on-demand” process is?
Depending on what the project is, it differs. We do both B2B projects and our own branded initiatives. But roughly, an idea can be 2D or 3D, and then we create the printable files from there. Once the file is solid, the process encompasses about 15% digital and machines, and then the process is very traditional ceramic from that point forward (we use all off the shelf glazes).

What is your favorite Kwambio product?
We have some really crazy ‘jelly’ bottle openers in bronze that we are launching with Misha Kahn. They are really cool and weird!


Is there a dream artist you’d like to see on the roster on the site?
Yes, a few, Gaetano Pesce, Dan McCarthy, and Tom Sachs.

Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere—from classic design by mid-century masters, to contemporary art, to dollar stores (personal fave), even old Kidrobot at its pinnacle in a general sense.

Tirelire Bank by BYAMT

What does your work day consist of?
Lots of email, some creative work, and looking at files or taking/editing photos, lots of communication on Slack (especially with our factory in Odessa), and a good amount of studio visits and meetings.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?
Ha, I still don’t know what I want to be! Probably as a kid, something archetypal like a doctor or architect, whatever your understanding of the world reflects at that point in life, now knowing that even in those fields there are many types of doctors and architects.

Donut series by Henry Turner-Julier Coming Soon to Kwambio.com

Reading, binge watching, or listening to anything cool at the moment?
I listen to a lot (A LOT!) of new Jamaican dancehall, so always trying to keep up on that. Then just new trap and the jams everyone else is on. Recently also, I’ve been way into 90’s R&B, even those that I missed back when it happened. On the TV front, Thrones, of course, and then I’m really into Airwolf re-runs lately, weirdly.

*Check out this deep cut of Sucklord interviewing Chad at the Kidrobot offices.