LANCASTER, Pa. - What happens when millennial consumers meet Amish traditions?
At Wood Pro Expo, business founder Steve Riehl will detail the thinking behind his July 1 launch of Knot & Ore. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania furniture start-up, rooted in Amish traditions of craftsmanship, researched trending preferences among consumers for chic industrial style design.
A Knot & Ore live edge table
The idea for the company started when the craftsmen at Breeo, a local steel manufacturing company, and Riehl at Byerstown Woodworks, started discussing doing wood/metal urban industrial furniture.
"Of all the Amish manufacturing companies in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, there didn't appear to be anyone building this type of furniture," Riehl says.
Those original discussions morphed into real designing and manufacturing, and the company Knot & Ore was born. The concept of building quality, locally made urban industrial furniture is the primary aim of Knot & Ore, Riehl says.
Along with Riehl the team at Knot & Ore includes Austin Fahnestock, who focuses on design, customer relations, and 3D visualizations; Jonathan Miller, who has a background in furniture marketing and is developing wholesale distribution networks for Knot & Ore; and Amos Stoltzfus, who has spent more than 15 years in custom metal fabrication, and handles designing, welding, and finishing exquisite metal frames and bases for Knot & Ore.
Among the signatures of Knot & Ore's design are live edge, along with careful hand finishing. The iconic rough edge, open knot holes, and irregularities of live edge furniture have become a fixture of high-end furniture design. "The trend has seen an uptick since 1946 when George Nakashima showcased live-edge pieces in his series for Knoll," Riehl says. "We source all of our live edge pieces from Eastern Pennsylvania. We use walnut, oak, elm & box alder among others."
Since then the style has become more and more popular, and Google search data supports that. Searches for live edge at Google have been rising in the last two years.
Riehl will make his presentation on the launch of Knot & Ore
on October 20 during the Wood Pro Expo program in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It is one of 10 educational sessions being presented during the show on October 19 and 20.
Wood Pro Expo is the regional show series that brings education, equipment, and supplies close to cabinetmakers and custom woodworking businesses around the country. It will include a strong educational program on best practices for shop production, and as well as an expo oriented to equipment and supplies geared to the small and medium size shops, including CNC basics, employee recruitment, finishing, lean manufacturing, business management, software, and shop safety.
Launched in 2014 in Baltimore, the show moves this year to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and will appear in multiple cities in 2018, including Charlotte, North Carolina on February15-16, 2018. www.woodproexpo.com