What do you feel is the most meaningful/fulfilling part of the work you do?What drives me more than anything is the development of a design. This thing did not exist before I thought it up, drew it, obsessed about it, mocked it up, broke it into pieces, mocked it up again, sourced materials, then actually built it—and then someone pays me for it and it becomes part of the world. And the human connection of that transaction is very important to me - that someone thought highly enough of something that came from my imagination and my hands to seek it out and bring it into their space, into their life, is very gratifying and it never gets old.
Describe your creative process.
It’s very utilitarian and usually starts from a human need. Then I throw my bag of tricks at it - the materials and processes that are at my disposal, the design motifs and themes that I go to. I’ve been doing this for a while so most of the furniture categories have been covered.
What is it about the place you chose as your escape that inspires your work?I’ve been jogging around Lake Nokomis on a regular basis for a couple of decades. It’s my favorite Minneapolis Lake - a nice mix of trees, an imperfect shape, usually not crowded and more proletarian than the other lakes. I’m not a great jogger but I’m dedicated. Its the most meditative thing I do - everything falls away and I can focus on a design, or I can think about nothing at all.
What drove you to be an entrepreneur?
There is a lot of independence and control in what I do. I’m at the point where we only make my designs. I’ve developed a nice balance in how I run my business—it’s not a big operation, typically 2 or 3 people, but it’s serious and professional. It provides a decent way to live and I’m not stressed out about my workload. I get to say “no” a lot and only make what I want to make.