YOUR STORY. WELL TOLD.
Distinctive, well-made goods and gifts that tell your story and inspire you to live memorably.
WE ARE WELL TOLD
Our mission is to create distinctive, well-made goods and gifts that tell your story and inspire you to live memorably.
But how did four longtime friends living and working in different cities turn a fun side project into successful full-time business? Here’s our story.
Our founder, Brian Johnson, was living in Boston and working as an engineer when he noticed that the market was lacking in truly distinctive home goods and furnishings that combined a tasteful, modern aesthetic with personally meaningful design.
Sensing an opportunity, Brian started to create his own products for the home that were not only functional and stylish, but also incorporated his interests in user-centered design and environmentally-friendly manufacturing. Working out of his small South Boston apartment in his spare time, Brian began selling his creations online under the name Uncommon Green.
As his passion project turned into a fledgling business, Brian brought his college friends Dave Reddy, Neil Angis, and Colin Woodworth on board to help bring his vision to a wider audience. Despite being spread out across three different states and all working day jobs, the group worked together remotely through countless nights and weekends to build the company from the ground up.
Then, in the fall of 2012, we created Maps Barware—classic glassware and bar accessories decorated with intricate wraparound maps—and the rest is history.
We sold out of everything almost immediately and had to scramble to re-stock before the holidays. We knew then that we had tapped into something that made our business truly unique—enabling people to tell their stories on the canvas of their everyday products.
We also knew that we wanted to do more than just make and sell our wares. We wanted our business to drive positive change in the world, so we made it part of our mission to give back a portion of our proceeds to worthy causes.
One of the first big donations we made was in support of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, an event that hit especially close to us and forever changed our home city. We even created a limited edition “Boston Strong” Marathon Route Pint Glass and donated all profits to survivors, while also raising awareness.
It felt amazing to be able to support our community at a critical time of need, and we haven’t stopped since.
To date, we’ve supported more than 200 non-profit organizations of all sizes and causes across the U.S., from small local animal shelters to public schools to national organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
The success of Maps Barware enabled us to expand our collection into a range of new products and curated design content—from additional map types such as topographic and state maps, to constellations, to history- and literature-themed products and much more.
Of course, not everything we tried was a hit (for a while, Brian was obsessed with finding a way to sell maple syrup—and he still might be), but we realized that the more unique products and thoughtfully curated design content we added, the more our brand resonated with customers looking to discover something new and different that had a deeply personal connection.
With the increased demands of running our business, raising families, and working full-time jobs, we knew we had reached an inflection point: should we play it safe and stick with our day jobs, or go all in? With incredible support from our families and friends, we knew there was only one choice to make.
There was just one problem: our aspirations and vision for the company had outgrown our name. Uncommon Green had served us well over the years, but as our products and brand had evolved, the name just didn’t quite fit anymore.
We had another big decision to make. Keep things status quo? Or re-invent ourselves and risk all of the momentum we had built over the years with Uncommon Green?
Once again, we took a leap of faith. We knew that environmental sustainability and an “uncommon” approach to design would always be embedded in our DNA, but our customers kept telling us that it was the personal storytelling and high quality of our products that resonated most and kept them coming back.
You spoke, we listened, and we re-launched as Well Told in the spring of 2019, which also happens to mark the 10th anniversary of our company’s founding back in Brian’s South Boston apartment. We sure have come a long way since then, and we’re excited for what’s in store for the next decade and beyond.
So stay tuned on new developments, product offerings, and promotions by signing up for our e-newsletter and following us on social media at @welltolddesign.