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Meet John McDonald of Semihandmade in Duarte and Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to John McDonald.

In 2002, at the age of 34, John McDonald ditched screenwriting for custom cabinetry. He launched Semihandmade in 2011 using IKEA cabinets as a base for handmade craftsmanship at a competitive price.

In six years, Semihandmade has grown to over 50 employees and showrooms in NYC, Brooklyn, Chicago, Palm Springs and Pasadena CA. In 2015, the company was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest-growing private American. It will complete 5000 Ikea projects in 2017.

Semihandmade will launch its first private-label cabinet line, MORE, in Fall 2017. Aimed at the Hospitality/Contract market, the line is a modular bath, media and console casegood system with interchangeable doors, tops, sides and bases sourced from Industry leaders IndoTeak, Plyboo, the Rex Ray estate, Art of Board and others.

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?
Lots of bumps along the way:

Shipping across the country
Hiring the right people
Switching from the “Sole Proprietor” mindset to an ever-increasing number of employees
Building and installing a culture
Coordinating employees in other parts of the country
Growing smart
Integrating outsourcing
Maintaining quality as you grow

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Semihandmade – what should we know?
We’re proud of being pretty much the first, biggest and best-quality maker of aftermarket doors for Ikea cabinets on the planet. We’re proud of our collaboration with other great brands, architects and designers. We’re especially proud of maintaining our LA base and growing every year.

I’m proud of our use of multiple WeWorks around the country to spread the word, as well (see below article).
https://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2017/04/07/why-retail-brands-like-semihandmade-are-setting-up-shop-in-co-working-spaces/#1c8787b37dca

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
First to market, high quality product, great collaborations, smart growth, risk-takers.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Alison Jennison Interiors
William Howard Studio
Light Lab
Semihandmade
Erika Salum Design
Space Architecture and Design

Getting in touch
: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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