Photographs by SUPPLY UNICA
When SUPPLY UNICA was just getting started, I spent a ton of time looking around for ceramicists with interesting stories. I scrolled through hundreds of websites and Instagram profiles, but one really left an impression on me:
Having a background in website development, I couldn’t believe this existed. The site felt like it never left the 90’s. It resembled a long-lost artifact of the Geocities days, minus the Comic Sans. I had to know more.
It turned out that the site didn’t belong to just anyone - it belonged to a NYC legend. Wynne Noble’s work was featured on many of the top tasting menus around the city: Momofuku Ko, Contra, Gramercy Tavern. She made environmentally-charged sculpture. And she built a scaled production studio with work still done by hand.
I tried reaching out despite my intimidation and was surprised to receive a response:
Delighted?! And the cherry on top was her signature:
A few weeks later, I made my trek over to a series of warehouses in the nomansland between Gowanus, Red Hook, and Sunset Park. There was an unassuming glass door with a cat lazily staring out, and the door read “Noble Plateware”.
She greeted me, and we wound up talking for over an hour, sharing dreams and laughs and values that drive our work. She was remarkably warm, full of life and energy. She shared a level of transparency and vulnerability usually reserved for good friends. Even with a well-established career under her belt, Wynne still dreamt about what she could do next. She encouraged me with my dreams.
Eventually, she explained that she normally didn’t work with any retailers, but she wanted to support SUPPLY UNICA as it was getting off the ground. Without hesitation, she put together a full collection and priced it generously to make it financially feasible for the site.
I pulled out my checkbook to pay, but she noticed and stopped me. “Do you use Venmo?” I sent her payment. She expectedly looked over at her iPhone and it confirmed with the loud ring of a cash register. She laughed in delight.
During the early days of SUPPLY UNICA, I struggled with bouts of self-doubt - and it wasn’t until after meeting with Wynne that I felt like I was doing the right thing. She provided encouragement when I needed it most. She was a role-model of what living with unwavering values looked like, and she inspired me to continue chasing my dreams.
Now having had the pleasure of getting to know Wynne over the last couple years, I’m not surprised when I look back at how she opened her doors to me. I’m unbelievably grateful for our time together. Thank you, Wynne. Rest in peace.