Clean Sweep – Alice Supply Co.


With a nostalgic nod to the Brady Bunch’s witty housekeeper, SoCal-based housewares company Alice Supply Co. offers a splash of fun to the not-so-fun task of unclogging the toilet. With Quicksilver, Hurley and Paul Frank Industries under their credential-studded belts, creative partners Maria Barnes and Raili Clasen are giving homemakers some hot commodities to scour over. “Alice is for all my friends who, in this tough time, have let go of their cleaning ladies,” says Barnes. But with scrub brushes, brooms and plungers too pretty to soil, the design concept itself seems to be a cultural curtsy to Marcel Duchamp’s urinal-cum-fountain, art-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder statement.

The SoCal beach bred duo go way back to spring break twenty-something years ago when they met while dancing on a tabletop in San Felipe, Mexico. “We knew we would be friends because neither of us were fighting over the table,” laughs Clasen. Hailing from Orange County’s surf/fashion mega-brands—Clasen helped pioneer Roxy “when surf shops didn’t think girls would buy surf clothes”—these ladies are injecting a fashionable dose of color (and humor) into the bleached-out abyss of household cleaning supplies, making chores a little less laborious.

With their surf-industry friends’ endorsements (design luminary Clive Piercy, of Air Conditioned L.A., is their art director), their venture has been welcomed with open arms into the blah-beige world of ho-hum house supplies. The collection showcases their plea for polychromatic—try explaining to foreign manufactures how to put a Crayola-colored stripe on a garden hose! Yet, as Alice Supply Co.’s mantra insists: “A toolbox has feelings, too.” And when your toolbox features a vanity mirror inside, we suggest keeping it out of storage and on show for all to admire. But even if these trendy accessories don’t inspire the domestically challenged to sweep, the pieces’ Pop Art aesthetic is reason enough to display them á la conversation pieces at your next dinner party.

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