My client, Jeffrey, and I imagined, designed and built the first point of purchase (pop) product display unit for tünr last summer. Tünr was the imagination of my brother Jeffrey coming to life as he dreamed, planned, proposed, organized and made crucial decisions. He had this idea; “Fine Tune Your Feet”. This is what he called tünr the sock and lace company that is now launched on the Internet and in street boutiques across the country.
He approached me about designing and building tünr’s product display units. He thought of his product as the ‘tie and cufflinks’ of the sneaker world. He wanted wood. He wanted inlay, but could he afford it? He thought the tünr dresser would set off his product and set the tone for the concept he wanted to sell. We loved it, we thought the boutiques would love it but when he hit the streets with the idea of it the stores were afraid it would be too big. It’s 18” deep, 38 -1/2” wide and 31”/41” tall at the back. So I finished the dresser and went on to the next pop display idea, the tünr tower. Meanwhile the dresser sat in my show room and it’s figured maple shimmered in my eye for the past year. I fell in love. This dresser is quite beautiful as well as useful. I stored all kinds of tünr parts and pieces in it. I couldn’t believe that the shops didn’t want it! And after a year (mind you he was plenty busy with selling the product) he finally found Community 54 in NYC, NY to take her on! They are just what we envisioned, a small boutique in a line of downtown shops. They sell men’s accessories like hats, sunglasses, t-shirts and now tünr socks and laces.
Those of us who build are usually so excited to get our work out into the world that we rarely speak or acknowledge the other feelings we may have of letting go of a piece. I often experience a loss when I ship off one of my pieces of furniture. A piece of me goes with it. I feel even more of a loss with this one. I thought that after a year I might not care so much, I might be happy to get it out of my space, I might be bored of it or maybe I’ll start picking apart the design and my satisfaction might wane. Of course I did do a bit of critiquing but mostly I just fell in love with it. I learned that it was an excellent design. I found validation; the things I say about surrounding yourself with beauty are indeed true (read my previous posts and you'll get the info). Every time I entered the room with this dresser my spirit was impacted in a surprisingly positive way. I could feel it in my whole body. The tünr dresser represents careful design, thoughtful work, usefulness, durability, fun, excitement, experimentation and much more. For me, it tells a touching story because my brother and I arrived at the design together long distance. I recall many exciting conversations about it. We sent each other sketches, size proposals and product details, material experiments and ideas, ideas, ideas. Again, what I say about commissioning a piece of furniture is true. A story is created through this process and it stays with the piece. And what I discovered to be an extra bonus is that the beauty and usefulness of the piece enrich the story. Like a well-used guitar, the furniture matures and the beauty expands.
I might feel sad to let go of the tünr dresser, with it’s sapelé ‘waterfalling’ veneer and wengé trim, and figured maple dovetailed drawers displaying the special soft close feature . . . the perfectly laid out and executed “tünr” inlay across the top of the dresser and those hand made pulls made with all three woods. But I have to say that I have learned a great deal living with that piece of furniture. My life is better for it. I hope that the fine young men at Community 54 will also be so blessed and maybe even the many who visit their store. Of course I also hope that they sell the tünr socks and laces like crazy and prove that this indeed is the right pop for tünr! As for me, now I have a nice space in my showroom for that buffet cabinet I've been wanting to build.