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.

My electric kettle that looks as cute as ‘real’ stove kettles  

Illustration featuring red kitchen accessories on speckled white countertops, with a pink backsplash.

I was a stove kettle devotee until I found this dashing electric one in my signature color

Each morning as I let my dog outside and feed the cats, I listen to water slowly warm, then bubble, and finally boil before a tell-tale “click” spurs me to get my mug. I take my morning ritual as seriously as my most coffee-obsessed friends—only when I wake up, I head straight to the kitchen and turn on an electric kettle.

Growing up with a Russian mom, I was taught to enjoy a morning cup of tea from an early age, as Russians traditionally prefer tea to coffee. On weekends, my mom would wake me up with a kiss and a hug, then set a pot of tea on the stove. Because she always insisted on a “real” kettle (i.e. non-electric), when I moved to New York City as an 18-year-old college freshman, I brought a real kettle, too—and carried one around for the next 12 years.

I loved the classic kettles I went through but when I moved back to my hometown in Florida, I found myself with an electric stove (instead of a gas one as I’d been used to) and soon became frustrated by how long it took boil water on there.

A year later, around when I got married and began house-hunting with my husband, my mom...


Illustration featuring red kitchen accessories on speckled white countertops, with a pink backsplash.

I was a stove kettle devotee until I found this dashing electric one in my signature color

Each morning as I let my dog outside and feed the cats, I listen to water slowly warm, then bubble, and finally boil before a tell-tale “click” spurs me to get my mug. I take my morning ritual as seriously as my most coffee-obsessed friends—only when I wake up, I head straight to the kitchen and turn on an electric kettle.

Growing up with a Russian mom, I was taught to enjoy a morning cup of tea from an early age, as Russians traditionally prefer tea to coffee. On weekends, my mom would wake me up with a kiss and a hug, then set a pot of tea on the stove. Because she always insisted on a “real” kettle (i.e. non-electric), when I moved to New York City as an 18-year-old college freshman, I brought a real kettle, too—and carried one around for the next 12 years.

I loved the classic kettles I went through but when I moved back to my hometown in Florida, I found myself with an electric stove (instead of a gas one as I’d been used to) and soon became frustrated by how long it took boil water on there.

A year later, around when I got married and began house-hunting with my husband, my mom finally convinced me to go the electric kettle route. She had long given up on her own love of real kettles and assured me that the tea will taste just as sweet.

But I had a specific vision for my new kettle: I still wanted that classic “kettle” look (not the typical elongated look of electric kettles like the one my mom had), and I wanted it to be red.

Kitchen counter top featuring red kitchen mixer, kettle, mug, and rectangular tins containing tea,Irina Gonzalez
Red accessories help brighten up my otherwise white, black, and silver kitchen.

Red accents were something I’ve recently started adding to my kitchen, inspired by the lipstick I wore on my wedding day, which had quickly become my new signature look.

After a month of searching, I managed to find the perfect electric kettle in a scarlet Hamilton Beach model and quickly added it to my kitchen countertop, right next to my first-ever—and also bright red—KitchenAid Stand Mixer, a wedding/housewarming present from my aunt.

At first it felt strange to start a new morning ritual with my electric kettle next to my electric stove, but I’ve come to sincerely appreciate how quickly the water heats up and how easy it’s been to refill and pour myself a second or third or, honestly, sometimes fifth cup of tea.

Irina Gonzalez is an editor and freelance writer based in Florida, covering recovery, parenting, Latinx culture, and all things lifestyle. Her work has appeared in O! The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Follow her on Instagram at @msirinagonzalez.

Illustration featuring red kitchen accessories on speckled white countertops, with a pink backsplash.

I was a stove kettle devotee until I found this dashing electric one in my signature color

Each morning as I let my dog outside and feed the cats, I listen to water slowly warm, then bubble, and finally boil before a tell-tale “click” spurs me to get my mug. I take my morning ritual as seriously as my most coffee-obsessed friends—only when I wake up, I head straight to the kitchen and turn on an electric kettle.

Growing up with a Russian mom, I was taught to enjoy a morning cup of tea from an early age, as Russians traditionally prefer tea to coffee. On weekends, my mom would wake me up with a kiss and a hug, then set a pot of tea on the stove. Because she always insisted on a “real” kettle (i.e. non-electric), when I moved to New York City as an 18-year-old college freshman, I brought a real kettle, too—and carried one around for the next 12 years.

I loved the classic kettles I went through but when I moved back to my hometown in Florida, I found myself with an electric stove (instead of a gas one as I’d been used to) and soon became frustrated by how long it took boil water on there.

A year later, around when I got married and began house-hunting with my husband, my mom finally convinced me to go the electric kettle route. She had long given up on her own love of real kettles and assured me that the tea will taste just as sweet.

But I had a specific vision for my new kettle: I still wanted that classic “kettle” look (not the typical elongated look of electric kettles like the one my mom had), and I wanted it to be red.

Kitchen counter top featuring red kitchen mixer, kettle, mug, and rectangular tins containing tea,Irina Gonzalez
Red accessories help brighten up my otherwise white, black, and silver kitchen.

Red accents were something I’ve recently started adding to my kitchen, inspired by the lipstick I wore on my wedding day, which had quickly become my new signature look.

After a month of searching, I managed to find the perfect electric kettle in a scarlet Hamilton Beach model and quickly added it to my kitchen countertop, right next to my first-ever—and also bright red—KitchenAid Stand Mixer, a wedding/housewarming present from my aunt.

At first it felt strange to start a new morning ritual with my electric kettle next to my electric stove, but I’ve come to sincerely appreciate how quickly the water heats up and how easy it’s been to refill and pour myself a second or third or, honestly, sometimes fifth cup of tea.

Irina Gonzalez is an editor and freelance writer based in Florida, covering recovery, parenting, Latinx culture, and all things lifestyle. Her work has appeared in O! The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Follow her on Instagram at @msirinagonzalez.


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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.