Beyond the Label with Eunice Byun, co-founder of Material Kitchen

Join us as we go beyond the label with brands we love at Martie. Today, we chat with Eunice Byun, the co-founder of Material Kitchen, the brand known for beautifully designed kitchen essentials made for the everyday but built to last a lifetime. But before we dive in, shop the full selection of linens, tableware, glasses and more at Martie, and save! Keep reading to learn all about the brand!

Material Kitchen

We’ve been hearing about Material everywhere, so we are thrilled to chat with you and learn more!

Martie: What’s the mission behind Material? 

Eunice: I think of Material as a love letter to home cooks and our kitchens. We believe the kitchen is a sacred and powerful space and is deserving of things you absolutely love, things that feel good in your hand, and things that look good too. We strive to make the shopping experience easier too, as we all know there is an endless supply of things in the kitchen. We design everything in-house, carefully selecting the best materials and product designs to make cooking more enjoyable and effortless.

Material Kitchen

Martie: How did the idea come to life for Material, and what was the first product you made? 

Eunice: It was right after my first daughter was born. I was unpacking all the new baby kitchen gadgets and tools in my NYC apartment, only to realize that there were still things from our wedding registry in their original boxes. It made me think about how we’re told to buy things for the kitchen (in massive sets) and when we’re told we need them (when we’re getting married). It felt wholly disconnected from what the kitchen and home cooking is all about. So my co-founder, Dave, and I set out to simplify and innovate starting with the most reached for tools in the kitchen. We designed The Fundamentals with the intention of creating a deeper connection between the home cook and their tools. For example, when designing our cooking spoon, we designed it so the head of the spoon holds exactly a quarter cup of liquid so four scoops is one cup. No need to whip out a measuring cup…and who doesn’t love feeling like they can eyeball measurements in the kitchen?

Material Kitchen

Martie: What’s your favorite Material product? 

Eunice: I’d have to go with The Mini Whisk, which we included in our first kids set but it’s honestly the best whisk for young and old! I was baking with my daughters the other day and needed to whip egg whites for this recipe. I pulled out my mini whisk and was floored with how quickly I was able to create the perfect meringue and stiff peaks. 

Martie: What’s your favorite meal to make with Material products? (hint: recipe or snack prompt!)  

Eunice: I’m in my stew era as temperatures have dropped here in New York. My go-to is a classic Korean stew called doenjang jjigae. It’s main flavor is a Korean beanpaste, which is like a cousin to Japanese miso. You add in potato, zucchini, onions, tofu and usually a protein. I also like spice so will throw in jalapenos too. It’s the perfect comfort meal with a bowl of steaming rice and ripened kimchi. The mama of Korean cooking, aka Maangchi, has an easy recipe to follow, here. My favorite Material helpers are The 8” Knife, The reBoard (which is our recycled plastic cutting board), The Forever Peeler (makes peeling the potatoes so fast and easy) and The Sauce Pot (this design just makes me happy with its bubbly shape).

Martie: What has been your biggest “aha” moment when building Material?

Eunice: We live in such a digital world, but our best, most sought after way for people to discover Material is word of mouth. It’s powerful, impactful and long-lasting. It also takes time and means you have to design an experience and products that people truly love. 

Material Kitchen

Martie: How did Material get so well known?

Eunice: We try to stay laser focused on great products and design, and get Material in as many hands as possible. We want people to be wowed when they use our products, and then share that experience with friends and family. We’ve been fortunate enough to have had some well-known individuals (Oprah, Eva Longoria, Athena Calderone, Bobby Berk, Cindy Crawford, Rocco diSpirito) have this very experience and share it with their much larger audiences, which has helped a lot too!

Martie: What’s in the pipeline next for Material?

Eunice: We have some exciting new categories we’ll be launching later this year. We’ll also be dropping our third and fourth Material Objects, which are uniquely designed, small batch goods. Our first and second Material Objects sold out in a few days, and so we’re anticipating the same response to our newest additions.

Material Kitchen

Martie: Why is working with Martie important to Material?

Eunice: Partnering with Martie is a great way for us to introduce Material to potential new customers, and at an easy-to-digest price point. We’re launching with some of our very favorites, so we hope the Martie community enjoys them and puts them to good use!

Martie: Thanks for the chat, Eunice! Let's cook!

Save on Material Kitchen, only at Martie, here!

Start Shopping at Martie

Like what you read? Head to our Circular Blog to learn more about our work, mission, and stories that make us unique. What to contribute towards saving good food? Shop from our store here