M.V.A.D Maker Feature: Lumber Juan, Carlos Naude
Lumber Juan handcrafts unique reclaimed wood furniture in the heart of New York. Founder, Carlos Naude, recalls that it all started as a test - a test of his "manhood and loyalty to [his] macho Mexican blood." You see, his lovely girlfriend was in need of a dining table; instead of purchasing an over-priced, under-designed table like a nice, normal, boyfriend, Naude took it upon himself to build his "woman" a piece of furniture with his own bare hands. The result? A kick-ass, custom table, one happy lady and countless boyfriends put to shame. And right in that very moment, Lumber Juan was born.
"My style of building furniture comes from using reclaimed wood and other mixed materials such as steel, concrete and iron pipes", the 30 year-old, creative director says. Originally from Mexico, Carlos has lived in the Caribbean, Madrid, Malmo, Stockholm and currently resides in New York where he puts full-time hours into an ad agency where he is creative director.
Lumber Juan started as a reclaimed wood furniture business on the side. He used his graphic design and branding skills to work and turned his first product (the dining table mentioned above) into a full-fledged brand. "All of a sudden, a few orders started coming in", he says. "I saw the opportunity of not only doing furniture, but making a lifestyle brand - selling other products". Carlos has a degree in marketing but says that he has literally done a little bit of everything [I find it very easy to believe him]. Dude's done anything from construction work, painting and gardening to graphic design, film-making and branding - now, furniture. Hey, why not?
He "loves any shape or interpretation of creativity" and is really into photography. Oh, and he runs... and he skydives... and he travels. I think the he may actually be "The Most Interesting Man in the World". I bet he doesn't often drink beer, but when he does... never mind; you get it.
I note to Carlos that his endeavor seems relatively new. "Yeah, I started about 1 1/2 years ago and we have seen pretty rapid development of the brand. We are thankful for that." He tells me that his idea really started to take shape and become reality, "To be honest, from the day that we launched our website, things took a pretty good route. We used to share a shop with another wood worker, but since February of this year we moved into our own shop." Lumber Juan is located in Brooklyn, New York and they ship all over the United States. Carlos continues to tell me that "the most ambitious vision I have for Lumber Juan would be to at some point create physical stores." Imagine the restaurant Chipotle if you will for a moment. You walk in, you decide what you want, you watch it being made quickly and efficiently. Now imagine a place where "you can order a piece of furniture and see it handcrafted on the spot, customize it and take it with you the same day". Not only that, Carlos would offer other products in-store such as his merchandise and coffee - perhaps even a small selection of vintage trucks. Yes. Vintage Trucks.
Right now, Lumber Juan sells the majority of its products online. They don't have any immediate plans to open a storefront due to the astronomical costs of doing so in Brooklyn / New York, but according to Carlos they "are working on a couple of deals to start selling wholesale through some partners". "Right now we sell through Etsy and we just launched our fully customizable collection available on our website with only a few clicks". For custom orders, contact Lumber Juan directly via email. http://lumberjuan.com/