The Cleverest Awards 2021: 50 Products to Change Your Life for the Better

“This stool from Amazon is so helpful. The top and bottom both contain super impressive storage compartments, and I think it is pretty cute looking. I use it in my studio and often photograph candles on it.”Janie Korn, sculptural candle artist

“During the pandemic I moved my studio to my apartment. Rather than line my floors in paper as I had before and which looked terrible, I bought this Sorbus brand foam mat that puzzle pieces together for super easy assembly. It protects my floor from the wax and comes in a wood grain pattern, so it actually looks pretty attractive for an active workspace. Plus, it is cushioned so if I work standing up, I feel much more support in my feet and back. It was a small purchase, but it shocked me in the level of aesthetic and practical improvement it provided!”Janie Korn, sculptural candle artist

“I recently acquired a piece by Megumi Arai. It’s a hand-stitched noren (traditional Japanese hanging) made of both found- and naturally-dyed fabrics from a recent show of hers. I have a strong emotional bond to this piece for several reasons: Firstly, Megumi is a dear friend of mine, and her art practice has been particularly blossoming over the past year or so, something that I am so happy to see, and I feel so honored to be able to own one of her pieces from this stage in her practice. Secondly, noren hangings are used to mark a transition, not just in space but also time. I think it is safe to say that the past year was deeply transformational for all of us, and so this symbolic piece is the perfect thing to mark this juncture. And lastly, the aesthetic beauty of the piece, its colors, patterns, fabrics, and overall composition, just fill me with pure joy every time I look at it.”—Sophie Lou Jacobsen, designer


“I feel deeply connected to this kitchen aid. It’s a vessel that can nurture and heal just about any knot in your stomach and can also provide nutrients we need in order to move forward. I also like that it’s an object that gathers people together.”—Beverly Nguyen, stylist and founder of Beverly’s NYC

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