Stephen and Lorenz’s Excellent Adventure: A Maker and Customer Collaboration Story
Written by Heather Bailey of CustomMade’s Maker Success Team.
It’s not often you have the opportunity to see how the furniture you fill your life with is built. It’s even more rare when you get to lend a hand in actually building it. For CustomMade customer Lorenz, being heavily involved with the entire process of building his large desk was important to him. With the goal of furnishing his new apartment with only sustainable furniture, he turned to CustomMade to find a local maker who would not only encourage him to be part of the building process, but further his understanding about how his purchasing decisions affect the environment. His search eventually lead him to CustomMade maker Stephen Muscarella from Left to Right Furniture.
Lorenz immediately took a liking to Stephen’s work. Between his style and the fact that Stephen only uses reclaimed materials, Lorenz felt like he had found his maker. And seeing that Stephen is a proponent of the “Do-It-Yourself” work ethic and would welcome Lorenz into his shop to help, was the cherry on top! Since Stephen firmly believes that there is a large social element to building, he happily invited Lorenz to have a hand in the entire process.
Lorenz had never done any woodworking before. Walking into the shop on the first day of work, he had no idea what to expect. Stephen is a pretty easygoing fellow and a great teacher. He did everything he could to make sure Lorenz felt a part of the entire process. By being in the shop together, they were able to make quick design decisions. Firstly, he encouraged Lorenz to pick out the wood that was to be used. This gave him complete creative control of the look and feel of the table. Though working with reclaimed wood can be a challenge, Stephen had the rare opportunity to explain to his client why the wood needed to go through certain processes, and Lorenz soaked up this knowledge like a sponge. According to Stephen, he was a great student. Over the next two days, they built a big, beautiful desk together. It turned out to be an unforgettable and eye opening experience for Lorenz.
For Stephen the defining moment came when he and Lorenz were moving the large table into Lorenz’s apartment. As they were moving the heavy piece of furniture up the stairs, they ran into the building maintenance manager who inquired about the table. “We just built this!” Lorenz informed him. Clearly Lorenz considered himself to be part of the process, which was exactly Stephen’s intent.
Both Stephen and Lorenz want to change the way people look at the furniture they bring into their homes, which made them a perfect design duo. For a while now Stephen has been toying with the idea of inviting his customers into his shop to have a hand in the building process. By building it themselves, customers will have a deeper attachment to the pieces of furniture in their homes. With Lorenz, it seemed to have worked. It’s pushed him to explore this idea further as a feature he can offer his other clients.
You can view the creation story here.