Fake furniture has plagued our homes for centuries, really. But with the recent increase in overseas manufacturing capabilities, Americans are buying fake furniture at a record breaking pace.
Big box retail stores have made it incredibly simple to go in and pick out the color and customize the size you need for your home. And instead of paying a local maker, we are now locked into our financing payment with a big bank.
Mocha brown and espresso java stain options have become common. And the things we bring into our homes have little to no story anymore. Fake furniture has to stop. And this will be our war cry for as long as we’re in business and in position to help people do something about it.
The other side of this coin is the difficulty in finding someone who specializes in their skill and craft. A quick search online for “pallet furniture” will yield lots of results.
Custom furniture makers in woodworkers tend to be from the older generation. So the ability for them to market their services online has dwindled at a record breaking speed.
Etsy has lots of options but it’s difficult to find that one piece that will fit just right.
And when you’re shopping for a custom piece of furniture it’s difficult to know what questions to ask a woodworker. Many woodworkers view their skill as a form of art leaving them unapproachable to take on different designs. And so we have become closed off, as an industry.
And we have also gone to smaller and smaller operations. With only one person in building the furniture, the time to market and build new designs is difficult for the small one-man shop.
Marketing used to be done through word-of-mouth referrals but unless you have a strong digital presents you run the risk of dwindling down your business.
Websites, business cards. Production calendar’s, taxes, cad design, can all leave a small business owner feeling helpless and out-of-control.
There are several issues with buying fake furniture for your home. Some we will cover here. But the main intent of this blog post is to get you thinking about where your goods come from.
By the way, if you are a woodworker operating a custom furniture business, please email us if there is anything you would like to add to this conversation. Our industry as a whole needs to unite and come together in order to build customers dreams. And the only sustainable way that will happen is by drawing on the resources of other makers locally and nationally.
Do not go at this alone. Bring other makers within your space to help you and shape what your shop is capable of offering. Do not go at this alone. Bring other makers within your space to help you shape what your shop is capable of offering.
From upholsters to welders to pottery makers, The local handmade economy is thriving and blooming. So set aside some time each week to get to know the local makers in your city. Find ways to add value to their business and ask them to show you ways their skill can add to your customers.
Most furniture that you buy from a big box retail store is not going to be made with real wood. Woods such as Gum-wood and paperwood are common now. These are materials built for one purpose- fast production.
They are grown in non sustainable forests with pay that can not provide an income for any family, let alone a single person.
People are ravaged and left hopeless.
The fake furniture industry is destroying not only land and valuable forests but people as well.
As a consumer nation, it is our job to find and source local materials. And local makers that can build our dreams.
Custom furniture making is on the rise with shows like HGTV making people believe that something can be built in one hour. But this isn’t necessarily a bad dynamic. Just something to consider when deciding if you should make your own furniture or not.
This has provided people who have had dreams of working with their hands figure out creative ways to get a few tools together. And with a shoestring budget and their local friends, people are building their own things now more so than ever before.
One of our biggest issues with fake furniture is how expensive it can be. Fake furniture has a very short life cycle. The use of cheap wood combined with substandard building methods has caused a very short life cycle for fake furniture.
In this picture you can see a screw being used to try and hold this leg on this fake stool. And in under a year’s time, this set of dining stores is already falling apart.
So with a customer thought was a good deal for a set of four dining stools for under $400, they have to buy a new set of stools now.
Consumers are in the driving seat, but so are the woodworkers and furniture makers. Get your name out there and make yourself known.
Get your business cards all over your town. And simply educate customers on how buying custom furniture is actually cheaper than buying something from a big box retailer.
So, I think that’s it for my rant today. Consider where the pieces in your home have come from. Consider how expensive fake furniture really is and what is will cost in the long run. And consider what it would look like to buy ethically produced pieces of custom furniture for your house. You’ll be surprised and delighted at how easy it is to get your dreams a reality.
And with a little bit of research online, you’ll be able to find several furniture makers within a close radius of you.
We are Mahogany House wood works. A two-man woodworking shop producing furniture that your grandkids will be proud to own. Reach out to us if you need any pieces designed and built.