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Meet Aaron Van Holland of M.F.E.O. in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaron Van Holland.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
We began flipping vintage furniture and home decor more or less as a hobby with the potential to generate supplemental income. It inevitably led into some refurbishing and eventually reinterpreting items that were beyond basic repair. Deconstructing these pieces gave us insight into basic furniture construction techniques.

After immersing ourselves in all the mid-century modern and vintage that Los Angeles has to offer, we couldn’t help but be inspired to design original products.

A moment of serendipity struck when my grandfather offered us his dilapidated, century old barn as a lumber resource. It provided us with all the reclaimed wood we would need to begin making our original furniture and décor.

Today we strive to use reclaimed and sustainably sourced materials for our growing collection of furniture and housewares.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting your own business is never a smooth road, especially when trying to manufacture a product made in the U.S. It can be a roller-coaster of ups and downs. Self-doubt can trap you if you don’t make an effort to celebrate the small victories and take the time to recognize how far you’ve come regardless of how far off your end goal may feel.

Allocating your time to the many different aspects of business that require attention and expertise can be overwhelming to say the least. It’s important to understand not only your strengths and weaknesses as a small business owner, but also what you’re passionate about doing in the day-to-day workload. It’s crucial to find good people who can focus on a specific area of your business that you may not have a talent or interest in doing yourself. As a self-diagnosed control freak, that’s been a valuable and difficult lesson for me.

Please tell us about M.F.E.O..
M.F.E.O. is husband+wife run studio specializing in locally made furniture, lighting and housewares. We have a collection of products including our popular Kempema platform bed. We also build custom furniture for residential and commercial projects.

Our collection embraces a modern aesthetic with a respect for utilitarian design and sustainable materials. We make purpose driven products with a focus on maximum efficiency and longevity.

Sustainability is important to our business simply because it’s important in our personal lives. Our primary materials are sustainably harvested and whenever we can, we source our parts and services locally within our own city.

We also hope that our work can somehow inspire shoppers to consider the importance of opting for quality, local craftsmanship and timeless products in place of trendy or disposable consumables. There still seems to be a great chasm between understanding one’s consumer habits and its direct impact on local resources and economies.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My fondest memories from childhood are of skateboarding. It consumed me. As an adult, I realize how much skateboarding instilled in me at a young age. The willingness to fall down followed by the determination to get back up and try again is the same quality necessary to keep our small business moving forward. Self-expression, creativity and independence are all traits I acquired through the sport as well.

It’s always fascinating to look back at one’s life and see how even the smallest things have contributed to where and who we are today.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jessica Comingore
Jack Strutz
Aaron Van Holland

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