A New Use for Pineapples? BACC Baltic Design Reception a Story of Successful Innovation

Following a score of previous successes, the Baltic American Chamber of Commerce (BACC)  organized a night of networking and important personas. On Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 they held the Baltic Design Reception, hosted by BACC corporate member the law firm of LeClairRyan. The event attracted over 40 BACC members, partners, and friends, with guests of honor: His Excellency Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to the United States of America Mr. Andris Teikmanis, Mrs. Kairi Künka, the Consul General of Estonia in New York, and Nijole Naginyte, representative for the Consulat General of Lithuania in New York. 

The Ambassador Mr. Teikmanis stated that the strength of Baltic business, and in particular the design field, is the capability of it to bring together “people with extremely unique ideas. When Baltic companies produce products that have never been seen before, success ensues.” And the sheer variety of designers, mediums, and visions served to prove his point. On display were exciting and frankly futuristic designs, such as furniture made of basalt and shoes made of hardened pineapple leaves. These designs were further complemented by those of the other participants which, albeit more traditional, possessed elegance in spades. These works of art employed a variety of materials such as linens, textiles, ceramics, and wall panels. There was an undeniable charm that shone through which was only possible of traditional, artisanal techniques blended with a forward-looking aesthetic. The Baltic design field is booming, and yet a trend which seemed to be shared by many designers was their commitment to the planet. With many of the participants citing concerns of eco-consciousness as a focus of their bottom-lines, these designs are beautiful, functional, and guilt-free as they are as “green as they come.”

Among BACC esteemed guests were not only up-and-comers, but we also welcomed in several national champions and established businesses, such as Belgian designers Baobab Collection and the Latvian-American designers of Silver Hill Ateliers. These larger companies came to offer both inspirations, as well as words of advice that they hoped could help their fellow designers. The designers of Baobab, in particular, emphasized the need to “establish a strong home market before turning your attention to the international field.” All of these larger enterprises described a shared sense of artisanal camaraderie and a need to produce only goods of the highest quality while putting in the utmost effort. They believe that those who are unique will rise to the top since they are in fact the cream of the crop. 

Looking toward the design-minded guests as examples of companies who could benefit from BACC’s assistance, Viktor Sidabras, a BACC Board Member, opened by saying, “Our mission is simple, straightforward but oh so important: to promote and grow commerce and trade in the three Baltic States… and the United States." The BACC echoes that sentiment, as barriers to free trade have arisen from both a domestic and international direction. With a world poised on the brink of trade conflicts, the BACC hopes to stand as a stalwart defender of free-trade values. Mirroring the ambitions of the many start-ups, Viktor Sidabras continued by emphasizing that, “we expect a major growth spurt in 2018,” cementing the BACC as a small, yet nimble not-for-profit, with large ambitions that allow it to punch outside its weight class. Thomas Pitegoff of LeClairRyan, the wonderful hosts of this event, followed Mr. Sidabras’ remarks, with a focus on LeClairRyan's potential to act as supporters to the guests and any other Baltic enterprises. With their capability to offer a variety of legal assistance in fields as diverse as employment law, immigration law, M&A law, and tax law; they are natural partners to businesses interested in taking the next step into the US market.  

In the wake of this event, participants noted their pleasure with the reception, and how much of an honor it was to be present with such critical political figures/personas. Yuris Emil Svans, a representative of Latvian company Tooche, expressed the event success with one word “Great!”. 

At the end of this reception, the Ambassador Mr. Teikmanis jested that President Junckers' and President Trump's successful normalization of EU-US relations, was clearly a direct result of Jean-Claude Junckers wearing a Latvian tie. Although the BACC cannot say with confidence that Baltic businesses can produce such magical results, we can say that our event was a magical night due to the various designers and businesses present. 

For those interested in a list of the companies in attendance at our event, please click here.

For those interested in becoming a member of the BACC and joining our growing business community, please click here

BACC New York