Kaufmann Mercantile Launches Handbuilt Walnut Furniture Line

NEW YORK - Online lifestyle retailer Kaufmann Mercantile has launched its first furniture line, an American-made high quality heirloom furniture collection called "Kaufmann."

The made-to-order handmade solid wood furniture are sold at kaufmann-mercantile.com/kaufmann.

"From the very beginning, Kaufmann Mercantile has worked closely with makers and manufacturers from around the world, sharing a deep appreciation for products made with honest, lasting materials and grounded in a sense of place," said Sebastian Kaufmann, CEO and founder. "Our new endeavor, celebrates the simple yet focused pursuit of distilling a piece to its most essential."

The approach should appeal to the millennial generation consumers, who value similar things like locally grown food and natural clothing.

According to the company storyline, Kaufmann Mercantile was sparked when a plastic stapler arrived at Sebastian Kaufmann's desk six years ago. The mass-produced product sparked the launch of an online homewares shop offering quality products for a slower, more thoughtful life.


At Kaufmann Mercantile, Wood Is Marketing Message

Online retailer Kaufmann Mercantile sells reasonably priced housewares, positioning lasting quality as an antidote to the dispoable culture.

Among 2,000 items now being sold are many wood products, including personal items such as solid cherry shaving brushes, ash combs, birch fruit crates, and cypress bath mattes - $50. The debut of the Kauffman solid walnut furniture lines brings the prices up considerably, to $4,000 or more for a kitchen island with dovetail drawer and bronze handles; or for trestle table, preachers bench, and solid walnut chair.

"We set out to find and provide enduring products for everyday life, and discovered in the process a growing desire for an antidote to today's techno-saturated lives—a connection to presence, provenance, materials and nature," said Kaufmann. "Kaufmann is the result of that desire, a collection that inspires us to reengage with the natural world by surrounding ourselves with tangible reminders, whether it be in the form of a hand-thrown porcelain bowl or a gathering bench handmade in the Hudson Valley."

The Kaufmann Collection

To create Kaufmann, the team says it drew on the unique experiences and expertise of each craftsperson to develop an aesthetic set apart by timeless, effortless design. The new brand inherits many of Kaufmann Mercantile's defining values: a return to honest materials and transparent manufacturing that helps tell the story of how, when and where each piece was made. The collection includes four categories, including hand thrown porcelain tableware, candles, and leather bags. But the most ambitious part is the Kaufmann furniture.

 Kaufmann says its crafted furniture is made by skilled woodworkers, and celebrates the natural beauty and texture of the wood. Each piece is available in Black Walnut or White Oak, and hand-finished with mineral oil and beeswax. The collection includes the Kaufmann Gathering Bench, Trestle Dining Table, Kitchen Island and Ladder Chairs. The Gathering Bench and Ladder Chairs can be customized with bridle leather seat inlay. The furniture is made in New York.

Kaufmann Mercantile started as a blog, Kaufmann Mercantile 'Field Notes,' which then evolved into an online store, featuring a library of essays on the history of materials, how-to guides and Q&As with makers, artists and designers, delving into the lifestyle and ethos behind the products on its website. The content now serves as a supplement to Kaufmann Mercantile's online store of high-quality everyday classics and tells the story behind the movers and shakers.


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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.