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Meet Adam Friedman of Sitskie in Claremont

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adam Friedman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Adam. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I had been designing and building furniture on the side for about ten years before anything significant happened. I was just doing it because it was a creative outlet for me, but more important it was a creative outlet that also seemed to resonate with people. More so than other forms of artwork I was doing.

One of my early pieces that seemed to interest people most was the Block Chair. That chair had gotten stuck in the head of one of my friends and after five years, she called me up and commissioned me to make her one.

At the time, I was working for Boffi. I brought the chair to work to have it picked up for shipping. I had in the stock room and I was not intending for it to be seen. But someone did see it. This is one of those ‘right place right time’ stories. Our showroom stylist spotted it and placed it in the showroom as a styling object, it was then seen by the owner of the company, who decided to order one for the showroom in Milan and another for display in the LA showroom. From there, it was a go. Through subsequent sales and press, I was able to build my foundation.

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?
The truth is that furniture is a very competitive field with very talented people. What was once a fairly static industry, with the help of social media, has become a very fast-paced and rich arena.

In the larger scheme of things – as a furniture designer, you are not only designing alongside your contemporaries, you are putting your furniture alongside over a hundred years of remarkable iconic furniture. So how do you make a case for what you are making? How do you sway people from these iconic pieces that are burned into their minds as an aspirational acquisition? How do you cut through the noise? How do you bring something different to the market that accepts the past, accepts how people perceive, gets attention and blends in at the same time.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sitskie – what should we know?
I design and build one-of-kind furniture. I specialize in innovative and inventive solutions for what has become commonplace or overlooked.

I sit down and think about what I am looking at, why it remains and what opportunities are being missed. I look for the opening.

I think what put us on the map is our block furniture and then again our Open 45 Credenza.

The Block chair is perfect example. The amount of thought that went into this system was massive undertaking. But it works, it exists, it can be bought and it will last a long time.

We differ from most design/build studios because of the level of engineering and the immense amount of consideration applied. I start with inspirational function or idea and the form grows from that.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Before this, I had many different jobs.

I was in advertising, graphic design, I sold furniture, I was a logistics/operations manager, I handled international freight, deliveries, installations, warehousing, managed and communicated with technical departments for engineering solutions. Negotiated contracts and streamlined expenses. I had a huge amount of on-the-job training in all areas of business that you need to successfully handle everything that can (and will) happen.

Even with the formal business experience and the creativity. The determining factor for where I am now is simply staying at it and staying focused and pushing myself to expand my design reasoning.

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