We had the good fortune of connecting with Mikey Kendrick and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mikey, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
About 6 months after graduating in the fall of 2015, I found myself at a cushy o&g position and absolutely miserable. The job offered virtually no direct potential for intellectual stimulation, spiritual growth, positive social impact, or even general personal fulfillment, and – what’s more – it was with one of the many organizations across many different industries that are directly and knowingly contributing to a massive ecological train wreck. So, I left. Year of None began as a thought experiment focused on environmentally conscious entrepreneurship. I made an honest assessment of the skills I had at the time and compared that list with one consisting of types of work that I might actually enjoy doing for a living. Designing and building furniture was a personal passion that I’d explored in some detail, off and on, since maybe middle school. On a larger scale, market research showed it also happened to be another one of those industries that had enjoyed a solid half-decade or so of indulging it’s voracious addiction to synthetics and its unchecked habit of extracting them from and spreading them quite irresponsibly about the globe with nearly pure social and legislative impunity. So, I’d found my starting point. Year of None’s business model is largely inspired by the Permaculture movement and whole systems design modeling which teach, among many many other things, that the best economic or entrepreneurial decision can also be the best social or ecological decision. The goal then, became the marriage of a closed-loop production cycle, traditional craft work, natural materiality, regenerative environmental impact, and positive community development – hopefully all resulting in the creation of things that are as in harmony with the planet’s natural models as they are with people and their homes.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Year of None has done a lot of maturing over the course of its first 5 years. From a tiny, one-person, garage-bound, operation with 3 designs in its furniture collection to a 1200 sqft East End studio setting a stone’s through from Downtown with 2 full-time team members and what is very quickly becoming a comprehensive home furnishings collection and – super stoked to announce – a brand new small wares collection on the way (slated for an early 2021 drop date) that will include a series of everyday-use wood objects (sculpted entirely from the studio scrap pile, in keeping with Year of None’s zero waste initiative) as well as – also super stoked to announce – a functional ceramics line (Year of None’s first venture into the wide world of clay) a portion of proceeds from which will be allocated to creative educational programs for disadvantaged inner city youth. That said, the brand’s mission always has and always will continue to stretch far beyond home living design. Which is why – if I’m picking favorites – I’m by far most excited to announce that Year of None has finally broken ground on it’s first ever commercial / community development project, Starseed Hostel East End, an entirely new micro-entrepreneurial incubator concept for Houston’s creatively driven and entrepreneurially actualized. Starseed Hostel East End is located in one of Houston’s last standing historical warehouse districts just East of EaDo and is already home to a number of the city’s most innovative and creatively-focused artists, micro-businesses, and startups. With the incubator space, we’re very much hoping to offer Houston’s creative entrepreneurs a studio space where they can freely make a mess, make noise, build their brand and business, network, host clients and investors, and – most importantly – feel at home while doing what they do.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I spend pretty much every rare second of my time away from work exploring the city’s vegan scene throughout the East End, 3rd Ward, and Montrose predominantly. If you haven’t had the buffalo ‘chicken’ sandwich from Korny Vibes, you haven’t lived. So, start there.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Year of None would not be what it is today without those who have believed in and supported its mission along the way. From retailers, including the Heights’ own Forth + Nomad, who have been critical in championing the studio’s work in the community; to a beyond-cherished partnership with Blackwood Educational Land Institute who remains the key to Year of None’s closed-loop regenerative production model by turning wood-waste into produce and disseminating the wisdom of sustainable agricultural practices along the way.

Website: https://yearofnone.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/year_of_none/

Image Credits
Steph Williams

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.