What: Cuffs made from various types of repurposed wood; prices range between $50-$55.
Who: Susan Hilger took an interior design course in New York in the early ’90s, which would become the building block for many ventures. Shortly after that course, she went back to school as an adult and graduated from Queens College at age 41, with a double major in psychology and business. She then began S.J. Hilger Interiors, specializing in custom high-end furniture and built-ins. When she saw the amount of wood thrown away after a project, she knew there had to be a use for it. Thus, Green Market Girl was born.
How: Layers of veneer are molded onto a custom mold (made by Hilger and her partner, Tim Minkkinen); sanding and finishing complete each cuff. Each season the two develop a fresh collection, often collaborating with local artists. This spring, the team is honoring endangered and protected wildlife with their “Get Wild” line.
On minimizing waste: “Minimal waste is key. We have reduced our product waste to two bags or less each week,” says Hilger. “We are probably more sparse in our personal life than in our business. We pay close attention to all our purchases, how things are made, how they are disposed of. We recycle everything possible (and) we donate clothing, books and home items.”
Current favorite piece: Hilger’s favorite (of this day) is the Zachlove cuff, designed and created for her by Minkkinen. The inspiration for the piece was her 16-year-old rescue pup, Zach, whom they lost earlier in the year. “We plan to add them to a limited-edition collection this summer,” says Hilger. “They are retro fun, cheerful, colorful ... so much of his personality.”
Other items: In addition to the cuffs, Green Market Girl offers earrings, coasters and wine racks, all of which are also eco-conscious. The company’s latest venture is Tahti Guitars: custom guitars and ukeleles. “Also in the works is a new furniture ‘system’ we hope to sell online and ship to Anywhere USA,” says Hilger. “We get a little crazy in our designs, so there truly is no telling where we will go with our ideas.”
Find it locally: The Gifted Box, Beadlush, Boulevard at South End, Luna’s at the Lake, The Wine Shop of Dilworth, Pura Vida, Frock Shop, Fu’s Custom Tattoo Studio and online at greenmarketgirl.com.