Though I’ve lived in NY for almost ten years (which I’m told makes me a “New Yorker” – eeek!) I’ve definitely still have North Carolina pride. So I was very very pleased to find Brand Mojo and to see the beautiful work they’re doing with salvaged wood and industrial pieces. All from Archdale, NC right outside of Hickory. Hope you enjoy my interview below with Scott of Brand Mojo.
How did you get into woodworking? Where were your trained and how long have you been in this business?
My father is a woodworker, so I grew up around it. Working with my Dad taught me the principles of woodworking: joinery, style, and finishing. After leaving the house, over a period of about 15 years, I worked for a few small woodworking companies in Illinois, Oregon and finally North Carolina. This experience taught me modern design… basically what was desirable in the market today.
When did you start working with salvaged materials or was that always part of your design? Where and how do you source materials?
We’ve always worked with salvaged materials from the very beginning to the present day. At first the reclaimed wood was cost effective. Back then, years ago, we didn’t think of them as a renewable material, it was what we could get our hands on. Now, I have developed such a love of those materials and a great respect for conservation. We work with several companies that sell reclaimed woods. We are also able to mill timber from local tree service companies. This beautiful wood is otherwise cut into firewood or sent to the landfill.
Tell me about your design process. What comes first: the materials or the idea for a piece?
Typically the material characteristics dictate the piece; it’s finished look. This principle has evolved into several of our current offerings. My design process has been a long a road of first tries, failures, and finally settling on an awesome design.
It seems like much of your work is based around industrial pieces. Do you have a particular interest in that period and style?
I absolutely love vintage industrial objects. These pieces were never intended for use inside the home. But they were built with such incredible craftsmanship and durability that they easily become a definitive piece of furniture. The more industrial pieces that I salvage and we repurpose, the more and more enthralled I become with our industrial past.
Tell me about living in Archdale – how did you end up there? Any food/drink/sightseeing recommendations for those visiting during the High Point furniture market?
We were looking for the perfect place to start our business. The more we looked, the more the Triad of NC caught our eye. Archdale offers all of the charm of a rural community while being right next door to the furniture capital of the world, High Point, N.C. The International Home Furnishings Convention, hosted bi-annually was a major factor in our relocating from Portland, Oregon to North Carolina. We share showroom space at market with other local designers and craftsmen. Food, drink and sightseeing? Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery in High Point has great craft beers, as well as, Carolina’s Diner for some downhome cookin’. Zimmerman Vineyards in Trinity. This place blows people’s perspective of NC wine out of the water. You can enjoy a drive in the countryside as you go visit them. And be sure to stop by the original Lexington Barbecue. None are better. There is a reason a movement came after them.
What’s your favorite piece that you’ve created or discussed?
That’s a hard one. I like them all. Right now, the Thisbe chair is my favorite because it is my first chair of my own design. As I create something, I love that piece. When I built our Farm Table, I loved it. Still do. That design has evolved into our Carolina Harvest Table. My favorite changes all of the time.
(ed. note: I’d love to see this piece used as a children’s bed.)
Do you have any heirlooms that you’d like to see passed down? Either something you’ve received from another family member or something you’ve bought, found, created, that holds sentimental value.
I have a few prototype pieces that have been moved into our home. These will be a look back to our early years, once they are past on. Another would be our first antique clock: a Gingerbread clock from the late 1800s.
I’ve heard that there’s a great design scene happening in NC, outside the big furniture manufacturers. It’s so exciting to learn more about Brand Mojo and the work they’re doing to put NC design on the map. And if you’re ever in NC, take their advice on the BBQ, I can tell you BBQ isn’t the same outside the Carolina’s!
Images via Brand Mojo