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It started as a hobby. I was living in my first apartment out of college and unsatisfied with my surroundings. Here I was in a unique and historic New Orleans home with cookie cutter dorm room furniture that could be bought anywhere. I’ve always been creative, so I decided to take a stab at building my own pieces.
I found an old cypress door that had been salvaged from an 1850’s creole cottage in destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. I restored the wood and found a remarkable patina. I inlaid the panels with decorative ceiling tins from a local storefront and voila, I had a new headboard! An old piece of a wood that was once a door was restored to make something beautiful.
A friend of mine saw the headboard and asked me to make her one too. It turned out well and I got the bright idea to start selling them on a new up and coming website called Etsy.com. Within a week I had to figure how to ship two headboards to California! From there, I kept designing and building new pieces like coffee tables, nightstands, and beds until eventually Doorman Designs was no longer just a guy building furniture out of old doors, but instead an entire product line of home furnishings! Eventually my furniture hobby got in the way of my 9-5 job and as they say, the rest is history.
My entrepreneurial story is not uncommon. You often hear of people who turn their hobby or passion into a sustainable career. The hard part is knowing how and when to take the risk to get there. With the (hesitant) support of my family and friends, I made the leap to start Doorman Designs! Now my pieces are staples in the Henry Howard Hotel, Soho House in Malibu, and we’ve been featured in Garden and Gun, Southern Living, Apartment Therapy, and Domino Magazine.
So where does Doorman Designs go from here? Join me this Friday, March 24th at 10 a.m. as I address the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week crowd. I’ll be discussing how we’re growing and scaling the Doorman Designs brand over the next five years. I may even throw a few tricks of the trade in there too. 🙂
See you Friday!