“American made.” We’re guessing you’ve heard the hype, as it seems this catch phrase has made its way into every marketing effort in recent years. So what’s it all about?
As designers, we’re always on the look out for products that can be beautifully incorporated into our spaces, while also being quality-made and durable products. What we’ve discovered is that finding companies that produce high quality, artisan pieces in the United States is easier than you think, and worth the dig. Why? First and foremost, investing in quality products at the start, even if it may be a slightly higher up front cost means it should last a lifetime., When designing high traffic spaces like restaurants and hotels, investing in furniture built to last doesn’t just lend peace of mind, but it augments the guests’ tangible experience. Wouldn’t we all rather sit in a sturdy, well-crafted chair? Sourcing locally also invests back into our client’s community, thus they become cemented into the fabric of their new neighborhood.
Second, American made goods tell a strong story. Furniture production is not a dead art in America. We think the inherently unique characteristics of American goods tell a better story to guests than objects produced a thousand times over in overseas factories. We love developing close relationships with our American producers and working together to transfer our visions for the space into reality with furniture that doesn’t just sit in the space, but enhances it. The research, creativity, and good old sweat equity put in by American artisans is evident in the high quality and craftsmanship of each piece.
Below is a resource list filled with our favorite American producers. We hope to keep this updated with additions, providing our readers with a reference for everything, from bar stools to statement pieces. Have any suggestions? Leave them in the comments!
TRONK: Wood is the start of Tronk products, each produced by craftsmen in central Ohio using wood and metal sourced from several local suppliers in the area. The artisans at Tronk pride themselves on producing high-quality staple furniture items, from beds to bar stools, highlighting the unique grain of each piece of hardwood.
RAD: RAD’s workshop in New York City churns out modern, practical pieces using materials sourced from Austin and NYC. RAD produces pieces intended for dining settings, including bar stools and tables. Their iconic design revolves around perforated metal and stained hardwood.
SANDBACK: Peter Sandback designs and builds each of his spectacular tables in his New Hampshire workshop. Using hardwood with aluminum nail inlays, Sandback makes each product start-to-finish. Every table is impressed with a “mark of quality,” coupled with a pewter cast of gum chewed by a “genuine Sandback child.” If you’re looking for a statement piece filled with whimsy and stamped with love, look no further.
WHY NOT BESPOKE: Bespoke has individual vendors throughout the country produce the components of their quirky British-inspired furniture pieces, while the completed pieces are assembled by hand at their Sarasota, FL workshop. Bespoke converts staple furniture items, such as tufted ottomans and carved wooden chairs, into whimsical statement pieces that still retain functionality.
RECYCLED BROOKLYN: Two brothers in North Brooklyn use fir floor beams and recycled iron, plus the odd door, recovered from their Brooklyn neighborhood and create modern yet rustic staple items, ranging from lighting to credenzas. Each piece is handmade to order and customizable.
VOLK: This Brooklyn-based company uses 1900’s furniture-building techniques to produce timeless pieces with a midcentury modern aesthetic. The lumber used by the artisans at VOLK is sourced from local NYC yards, and most of their fabricators are located blocks away around Brooklyn, while brass used in production is sourced from a Minnesotan vendor.
FIERCELY MADE: Two friends brought together 20 Brooklyn designers and artisans via an online collective to market handmade, high-quality pieces ranging across a wide variety of aesthetics. When selecting your piece, you can read the artist’s bio so you are not only able to not only find the unique piece of your dreams, but you can also get to know the individual who made it it.
BEND GOODS: Taking inspiration from the twists and folds of nature itself, Bend Goods designs and manufactures each wrought iron piece by hand in their Los Angeles, CA workshop. Bend Goods is committed to sustainable design + production in addition to fostering an ethical workplace environment. These bright and light-hearted pieces will light up any living space, indoor or outdoor.
IACOLI & MCALLISTER: Jamie Iacoli and Brian McAllister design and build their products in their Puget Sound studio while outsourcing production of individual parts to American manufacturers.
ICON MODERN: The artisans at Icon Modern are committed to using local raw materials from Chicago neighborhoods to create their product. In keeping production “in-house,” Icon Modern boasts complete control over the manufacturing process, thus ensuring the quality of each piece. All of the wood is stained to make individual grains and imperfections the star of each table and door.
AT-95: Each piece from AT-95 is designed and built inside their manufacturing facility nestled within good old Middle America. Maintaining the vintage industrial aesthetic is fundamental to AT-95 design, and their two iconic wood stains are inspired by White Oak, the hardwood used to age American bourbon whiskey.
CLEVELAND ART: Using vintage industrial salvage Cleveland Art sources their materials from Cleveland and Los Angeles. Their artisans in the Cleveland-based workshop build each piece by hand, working salvaged pieces from factories such as an old factory cart or vintage cast iron legs into contemporary tables for use in a wide variety of settings.
NICHE MODERN: Each statement glass fixture is designed and hand-blown in their upstate New York factory. Niche Modern is proud of their ability to maintain keen oversight over the quality of each individual fixture. They offer a broad range of industrial-inspired fixture options from tabletop to chandeliers.
HAMMERS & HEELS: Hammers & Heels is a woman-run company that sources and manufactures their products in California. H&H brand goods are made exclusively in the US, and their international pieces are all guaranteed fair trade and eco-friendly, with the added bonus of a percentage of each purchase going to charity. They offer a wide variety of products ranging across traditional to contemporary aesthetics.
PHILLIP JEVIDEN: Phillip Jeviden designs contemporary pieces and then sources fabrication out to local vendors in the tri-state area of New York.
UHURU: Based in Brooklyn, Uhuru designs and builds innovative New American furniture, some of which has been added to the Smithsonian and Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection. The designers at Uhuru also work closely with the Amish community in Pennsylvania, merging modern style with traditional building techniques.
URBAN WOOD GOODS: Old-growth reclaimed wood from the demolition of pre-1920s buildings/old barns across the Midwest is used to build each piece. Urban Wood Goods is committed to using sustainable building practices and celebrating the history of America through their products. Their seating and tables all would add an industrial feel to any space.
JAMIE HARRIS STUDIO: Jamie is a NYC-based artisan producing hand blown glass lighting and all of his materials are sourced in the US. Any of his designs can be customized to order to fit the required space.
ROLL & HILL: A Brooklyn-based online collective of lighting designers, Roll & Hill commits to building each piece per order by hand in their studio using materials made in-house to allow for customization and completely fulfillment of their client’s needs. The inspiration across artists comes from historical references and embracing classic materials such as brass and stained wood to merge artistic innovation with familiar aesthetics.
EMECO: Originally the Electrical Machine and Equipment Company, EMECO has been an American installation since 1944. The U.S. government has used their iconic Navy chair since WWII, built by hand to last a lifetime. Since their founding, all of their products have been made using 80% recycled aluminum sourced from post-industrial waste and soda cans. The “real people” at EMECO design and build each product, all guaranteed to stand up to maximum conditions, “water, salt, and sailors,” for 150 years or more.