Maker Spotlight: Ron Corl Design, Ltd.
Written by Heather Bailey of CustomMade.com Maker Success Team.
At 12 years old, CustomMade maker Ron Corl encountered a problem. It was the late 1960’s and Ron discovered that he needed a case and shelving unit that would successfully store his 8-track player and his record player. After finding that no such piece of furniture existed on the market, he decided to build it himself. Ron looks upon this fondly as his first experience with custom.
As he grew, Ron explored his other interests through a variety of jobs from musician to antique dealer, while always keeping designing and building as a delightful hobby. Through these vastly different jobs, Ron was exposed to people who helped him hone his talents as a craftsman. It wasn’t long before he found himself designing and building custom pieces more frequently as his hobby grew into a healthy side business. Through the building projects he worked on for others and himself, he discovered that his strength is as a designer. A strong passion developed for crafting whimsical pieces that seemed to be caught in a state of subtle movement. Ron found that he gravitated towards gentle curves over straight lines, and asymmetrical pieces over strict symmetry.
About four years ago, everything changed for Ron. He and his wife moved from their southern home in Louisiana to a small town nestled in central Ohio. Upon moving, Ron decided to design and build a unique 600 square foot micro-house for he, his wife and their two cats to reside in. After constructing by hand each piece of the impressively small structure, something unexpected happened. He had unintentionally made quite a splash with his micro-home and received an overwhelming amount of positive buzz and press. That was his defining moment. The moment that he says finally gave him that extra push to make his thriving side business into his full time job.
He began to take on an ever-increasing amount of work but his true passion lay with designing over building. In order to nurture this passion, Ron reached out to several Amish woodshops in his area to aid in the building process. While building his micro-house, Ron bought some green wood- wood that is not yet ready to be used- and needed to find someone who could kiln dry it before it could be utilized. After asking around, he was directed to an Amish shop that was able to help him out. Soon Ron stuck up a friendship with a few members of the traditionally closed community. He says that he “has more in common with the Amish than the English” (which is what the Amish call anyone outside their community). A business relationship soon followed the friendship as Ron relied more on their building skills more frequently leaving him more time to design.
Now Ron spends most of his days designing imaginative yet functional custom pieces for the many clients he gets from CustomMade.com. Ron’s believes his clients are getting the best of both worlds; his unique design talents, combined with the superior quality craftsmanship that Amish furniture makers are known for.
Every one of Ron’s clients are tremendously pleased with the work that he does for them. Some of his favorite pieces include the Falling Leaf Vanity, the Demiluna Desk, and of course the Mini-Micro Cabin. According to the reviews of his many satisfied CustomMade customers, working with Ron is nothing short of a delightful experience. He sees to it personally that each of his clients is cared for and their needs are incorporated into the project.