Norté is a small design and making business located on Cape Breton Island, Canada.
Norté started as a response to the avalanche of plastic, or black powder coat aluminum that has filled our homes. It was an an effort to make our own home a better place for moms and kids to work, while in the teeth of a global pandemic. Living in a small house, the onset of COVID-19 made plain that our home was not suited to simultaneously host a board meeting, a quiz on multiplication tables, and a presentation about Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut.
What I wanted to do was make functional designs that primarily make our lives easier, and still look good enough to be left out when not in use. Function is important, but so is aesthetic, and the feeling when you pick it up. In our pieces, the material is the main character, with respect paid to its natural highlights and blemishes.
Rob Calabrese - Designer and Maker
Ever since I was young, I was interested in buildings. Why they looked the way they did, what was for function, what was for aesthetic, and what was for both.
Over the years I always enjoyed the times I came across a problem, sketched out a solution, and then brought it to life with wood and screws, be it a chicken coop door, an apple press, or step stool.
I live in the wonderful community of Mira Gut, Cape Breton Island, Canada, with my family, hens and cat.