The Custom Furniture Business: Creating Beautiful and Timeless Designs
Small businesses are the soul of America

More people are interested in buying locally made products than ever before. You can capitalize on many consumers’ return to local shopping by emphasizing that all components of your furniture are made in the United States, or in your town or area. The same applies to handmade goods. Individuals who are tired of mass-produced goods are often the same people who are interested in buying locally. Given this climate, it is a good time to start a handmade furniture business.

The Kardashians have this modernist Indian city to thank for their dining chairs

The second episode of “Nice Try!” explores the Indian government’s attempt to create a town as a work of art—and the iconic furniture that was made for it.

In 2016, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian invited Architectural Digest into their Calabasas mansion. As is expected of most celebrity houses, it was filled with very nice—and very expensive—items. The chairs in their office and dining room fetch tens of thousands of dollars whenever they appear in auctions today, but their provenance has much humbler origins: They were once so ordinary and so ubiquitous that they were once more valuable as firewood.

How the chairs ended up as status symbols is a saga that began in post-partition India and ends in marauding art dealers and a battle over who gets to own cultural history.

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In 1947, India became an independent country after hundreds of years of colonial occupation and rule. While it was a celebratory time, it was also an incredibly difficult and often violent transition, which displaced over 10 million people based on religious and ethnic lines....


The second episode of “Nice Try!” explores the Indian government’s attempt to create a town as a work of art—and the iconic furniture that was made for it.

In 2016, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian invited Architectural Digest into their Calabasas mansion. As is expected of most celebrity houses, it was filled with very nice—and very expensive—items. The chairs in their office and dining room fetch tens of thousands of dollars whenever they appear in auctions today, but their provenance has much humbler origins: They were once so ordinary and so ubiquitous that they were once more valuable as firewood.

How the chairs ended up as status symbols is a saga that began in post-partition India and ends in marauding art dealers and a battle over who gets to own cultural history.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Wright (@wrightauction) on

In 1947, India became an independent country after hundreds of years of colonial occupation and rule. While it was a celebratory time, it was also an incredibly difficult and often violent transition, which displaced over 10 million people based on religious and ethnic lines. New political boundaries were drawn and the capital city of India’s Punjab province ended up in the newly formed country of Pakistan. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned famed architect Le Corbusier to design a new the city of Chandigarh, to signal India’s newfound democracy and symbolize its national aspirations.

The second episode of Nice Try! treks to Chandigarh, where host Avery Trufelman explores the modernist city’s ambitions and how Le Corbusier, his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, and a team of Indian architects composed a new narrative for India through urban design. The orderly city was conceived as a total work of art, with everything from manhole covers to furniture and civic structures meticulously planned.

For this episode, Trufelman talks to Vikram Prakash, a professor of architecture at the University of Seattle; Manmohan Lal Sarin, a senior advocate of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in Chandigarh; and Richard Wright, the owner of Wright, an auction house specializing in modern and contemporary design.

Listen to Nice Try! Utopian on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or in your favorite podcast app, and subscribe for free to get each new episode automatically every Thursday.

The second episode of “Nice Try!” explores the Indian government’s attempt to create a town as a work of art—and the iconic furniture that was made for it.

In 2016, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian invited Architectural Digest into their Calabasas mansion. As is expected of most celebrity houses, it was filled with very nice—and very expensive—items. The chairs in their office and dining room fetch tens of thousands of dollars whenever they appear in auctions today, but their provenance has much humbler origins: They were once so ordinary and so ubiquitous that they were once more valuable as firewood.

How the chairs ended up as status symbols is a saga that began in post-partition India and ends in marauding art dealers and a battle over who gets to own cultural history.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Wright (@wrightauction) on

In 1947, India became an independent country after hundreds of years of colonial occupation and rule. While it was a celebratory time, it was also an incredibly difficult and often violent transition, which displaced over 10 million people based on religious and ethnic lines. New political boundaries were drawn and the capital city of India’s Punjab province ended up in the newly formed country of Pakistan. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned famed architect Le Corbusier to design a new the city of Chandigarh, to signal India’s newfound democracy and symbolize its national aspirations.

The second episode of Nice Try! treks to Chandigarh, where host Avery Trufelman explores the modernist city’s ambitions and how Le Corbusier, his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, and a team of Indian architects composed a new narrative for India through urban design. The orderly city was conceived as a total work of art, with everything from manhole covers to furniture and civic structures meticulously planned.

For this episode, Trufelman talks to Vikram Prakash, a professor of architecture at the University of Seattle; Manmohan Lal Sarin, a senior advocate of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in Chandigarh; and Richard Wright, the owner of Wright, an auction house specializing in modern and contemporary design.

Listen to Nice Try! Utopian on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or in your favorite podcast app, and subscribe for free to get each new episode automatically every Thursday.


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Give your business a name. Name your business something that indicates what you sell. This will come in handy later on, when you are marketing your business and want people to associate your business name with handmade furniture.
File a DBA, which stands for “doing business as,” at your local county clerk’s office. You may want to do a search to ensure that no other business in your town is operating under the same name. If you live in a large metropolitan area, a search is a necessity.
Create a line of furniture. You’ll need to have models of each piece of furniture that you intend to sell, so that customers can easily visualize what you have to offer. Add to your furniture line each year so that your stock stays fresh and on-trend.