Amy Adams

This Minnesota native makes small objects with big appeal.


Accidental Ceramicist

Amy Adams went into business intending to make furniture—her company name, Perch!, was inspired by a stool. Turns out, her welding and woodworking skills are only average. But she’s a pro at creating smaller design objects that are functional, too.

Perch! products—contemporary vases, planters, and vessels of all sorts—have now been sold in more than 250 stores worldwide, including Paper Hat in south Minneapolis.

Growing up in Eden Prairie shaped Adams’s aesthetic. “I have a romantic idea of cold weather places—from Minnesota to Vermont to Canada and Denmark—and that translated into a love of Scandinavian design and culture,” she says. “The light, the cold, the crisp white and sunny interiors and fuzzy blankets inspire me.”

Adams, 37, moved to New York to get a degree in industrial design from Pratt Institute and decided to stay. Her studio is in Brooklyn.

Launching a company was more destiny than decision. “My family is very entrepreneurial,” Adams says. “So I didn’t even really think about [having my own business]. I just sort of knew I was going to do it for a very long time.”

Avian Inspiration

Birds have been a Perch! theme from the start. Adams’s first commercial product was a bird feeder. Her Shake-a-Leg bird-feet-shaped salt and pepper shakers were sold at the Walker Shop. A bird-shaped pendant light has been her top seller for many years.

“I always had this idea that I was creative, but I really wanted to see my things on a bigger scale.”

“My round shapes lent themselves to orb-y looking bird feeders, which started selling well. The Perch! Birdfeeder remains one of my best sellers. I liked having them in my backyard and did come to really like birds!”

Perch! products are environmentally friendly, too. Adams uses low-impact materials and processes as well as non-toxic finishes and byproducts.

Mass Appeal

Adams’s sleek ceramics have caught the attention of major retailers, including Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. She is in talks with others.

“I was always a little disappointed with one-off type ideas of art,” Adams says. “I always had this idea that I was creative, but I really wanted to see my things on a bigger scale.”

Her dream is coming true.