The Custom Cottage is an American small business created to return solid furniture manufacturing back to our country. We make our furniture from northern hardwood trees that are milled in Michigan and Wisconsin, kiln dried to “furniture grade”, built and finished in Milwaukee, WI and Grand Rapids, MI. Your investment in our furniture is an investment in our states, our country, but most importantly our citizens.
What is Custom Cottage furniture?
Our furniture is custom — it is handmade for you.
A few weeks after you place your order, one of our Milwaukee or Grand Rapids craftsman builders will begin selecting your wood to personally build your furniture. Finally one of our craftsman finishers will take what was built and apply the finish you selected. As a result, each piece of furniture is unique.
Our furniture is cottage — it has imperfections.
There are many styles of cottage furniture. What they have in common is the handmade look where imperfections in the wood and the workmanship or just time has seasoned and added to character of the piece of furniture.
Our furniture is redemptive — it reflects a second chance.
Every craftsman is a work in progress. None of us are perfect and we all deserve many second chances. Whether it is a new start in the workplace or in life, our craftsman know what it is like to appreciate that second chance.
We credit the Lord.
God is in charge of our marketing, our skills and talents, our designs — the whole thing. He is our CEO, CFO, COO and BFF. Our response is to give him the credit and say “thanks”.
In the late 1800’s furniture was heavily influenced by the Victorian period. Details and curves created intricate looks and patterns. Much of the furniture was being mass produced in new furniture factories. William Morris, Gustav Stickley, the Shakers, and others began a movement to return to the craftsmanship of a simple clean design they called Mission, Craftsman, Arts and Craft, and Prairie styles. Today furniture is engineered with compressed woods and veneers, cut by computer operated equipment, leaving out the role of the craftsman. We find ourselves where William Morris and other found themselves a century ago. We have chosen to return as they did to the craftsman and to a simple and clean design.
But we have taken a new direction that differs from our predecessors. They focused on achieving the highest craftsmanship through the discipline of the master-apprentice relationship.
We have focused on redesigning the way furniture is made that allows the worker to quickly develop the basic skills to build and finish beautiful and sturdy “cottage furniture” with their own hands. The reason this is so important is the plight of people in our inner cities.
We enter a distressed and often blighted neighborhood where jobs and hope are disappearing. We hire people out of the neighborhood with broken pasts. We teach them how to build and finish furniture with their own hands. As the builder advances, we introduce them to designing and building custom pieces of furniture. This whole process is very rewarding and redemptive. And our customers play an important role in making this happen.