Thursday, May 24, 2007

The "Accidental Business"

photos courtesy of domus, new york

A couple years back I found myself with a glut of cherry, maple and walnut wood scraps & cut-offs from furniture & cabinetry jobs I had finished.
Wood is expensive & precious so I didn't want to just throw it away. I figured I'd use the scraps to make cutting boards for friends & family and offer them as nice little handmade gifts. Furniture jobs kept coming & so did the scraps and suddenly, I found myself in a shop full of experimental cutting boards. I started to think I might be able to sell them on the street or at some little craft fair-or if nothing else, continue to give them as an all occasion gift: housewarming, wedding, birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah...
One day, I ran into a friend, Jim Seffens, who has an art studio/storefront in Hell's Kitchen. He was telling me about his annual holiday group show and arts & craft sale. When I asked him if he would be interested in selling my boards, he said sure. I thought I might end up selling a couple boards, but they sold really quickly and I ended up even having to borrow clamps and collect other scraps from friends to make more.
When the holiday season ended, a neighborhood shop DOMUS, approached me about selling my boards year round. A year and half later, I continue to sell my work at DOMUS and it has been featured in a number of design blogs & in "This Old House" Magazine.
The success of this endeavor has inspired me to take the design elements of the cutting boards even further into a collection of furniture.
What's really neat about this "accidental business" is that it came from wanting to come up with an artful way of not wasting scrap wood. Sometimes the simplest ideas can prove to be the most inspired.



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