Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Zicopoulos.
Michael, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
There is a bio on my website: mikezdesign.com
Basically, I’m a first generation American (dad came over on a boat from Greece), been living on my own since I was 14, from Jersey, was an architecture student in HS and won several awards, went into the Marine Corps and became a Security Forces Marine, after that I built houses and did home improvements at the Jersey Shore – Eventually went to college, worked in night clubs then drove out to LA in 1992 – Got into set design and construction in the theater scene then moved onto film – Left all that around 2001 and began building furniture and doing more creative high end small home improvement projects…. I work alone ion a small workshop near 4th and La Brea, love what I do and am a pretty happy guy 😀
Has it been a smooth road?
Hell no….! 😀 But life is 10% “shit happens” and 90% how you deal with it – There’s no point in letting the rough patches get to you – As long as you’re honest, hard working and don;t give up things tend to work out – The hardest part has been the loss of about 9 years where I was recovering from different accidents both from injuries on film sets and then motorcycle accidents. I’ve had many surgeries and other injuries that didn’t require surgery but did require physical therapy – None of this is an exaggeration, I sometimes wonder how much further along I would be had I had 9 more productive years under my belt…. What they say is true, though, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” 😀
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mike Z Design story. Tell us more about the business.
Well, first off, I’m a “one man band” – I work alone – I design and build one-of-a-kind pieces – I’m very good at blending many different styles together into unique, well designed pieces – I can walk into your home, get a good read on you, then use your favorite pieces as inspiration – I’ll create a piece that will naturally blend with all the favorite things you’ve collected your entire life. My real niche is blending old world traditional exposed joinery with mid-century modern aesthetic – It throws people off but they love it 😀
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Well, there’s definitely a resurgence or rather, rediscovery, of hand made furniture these days – I just drove across the country to do a custom kitchen island counter top that was over 8′ long, 5′ wide with a curved side and a lot of butterfly mortises – There is zero competition for me back east so I’m seriously considering relocating
- I use solid lumber which can require a week of milling to get to that point where I can start building – Time = $ so I’m not inexpensive
- A week of my time comes in at around $2000 and most projects take a few weeks
- Having sid that, I do a lot of small work, handy guy (but way beter than “standard”) and good carpentry work as filler between larger pieces – the small stuff is what really pays the bills
- Address: Mailing address (not my work shop): 630 1/4 N. Plymouth Blvd 90004
- Website: mikezdesign.com
- Phone: 213-590-1798
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: mikezdesign
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/mikezdesign
All images are mine