The story behind the Ultrashelf floating shelf

Ultrashelf was founded on the idea that customizing your home with high-quality floating shelves should be easy and accessible.

In this video, the story is told of the company founders, Kris and Sarah Merrill, and the origin of a little woodshop in Idaho that grew far beyond what they ever expected.

"You know, craftsmanship is a word," said Kris Merrill, in the video. "[Craftsmanship] is being in tune with your craft. You put passion into every job you did. The products that people are getting -- their shelving, their cabinets, whatever -- we're manufacturing to the ... highest quality possible because someday that could be an heirloom item you're building; something that could be passed down for generations."

The Ultrashelf product started from a problem, and the problem was floating shelves are hard to build, said Shaun Anderson, director of marketing.

Anderson said that Kris Merrill experienced that problem when he had a job in Jackson, Wyoming, that required 25 shelves and so he decided that "I'm going to make a simple solution for the floating shelf world that's going to be easy for people that are doing it themselves to be able to install. Also, cabinet shops to be able to take advantage of the simplicity."

Kris Merrill said that they started refining designs. "We started doing more and more," he said, "and that was my 'aha' moment. This is our new product, and this is what's going to take us to the next level."

To learn about how the company evolved into a shelving company, the challenges they faced, and the shelving process they developed, view the "True Craftsmanship: The Ultrashelf Story" video below.


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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).