Custom Urban Chandeliers

Custom Urban Chandeliers
Check out our shop on Etsy

Monday, October 29, 2012

Project with Build It Green Gowanus

In the process of setting up the new office space I've made probably about 20 trips to Build It Green NYC on 9th Street in Gowanus to pick up supplies, furniture, etc.  I'm proud to say that at least 85% of the office set up is used or salvaged materials.  Check out these shelves we built from salvaged scaffolding planks:
Pretty cool huh?  They're very sturdy too!  I've been wanting to experiment with the steel pipe for years and now realizing how easy it is, you'll definitely be seeing some pipe incorporated into my chandy designs soon.  I found 10 planks of old scaffolding and managed to squeeze them into my new minivan (oh yes, I've got wheels out NYC!) to take them back to the office.  They barely fit but we just able to shut the back...
The console folds down so I can fit 10-foot long planks in the van!
So in one trip to BIG last week I met the founder Justin Green and Jaclyn Jablkowski, communications manager and they suggested they may need lighting for their new event space.  I excitedly volunteered to donate a fixture and they happily accepted!  I'm so excited!  Here are some pics of the new space they will be renting out to various groups for events and weddings.  Here is a little preview, they are still working on it but check out what a cool space it is!

look at that ceiling, it's about 35-40 feet high!

We found an old door to recycle into a chandelier and I will building it onsite since the door will unfortunately not fit into the van.  But stay tuned for some video footage of the assembly soon!!

Hurricane Chandy

It's been a couple months but lots of things going...

We moved our production back to Brooklyn to the Navy Yard at Grand Avenue & Flushing, and we love our new space!!!  I've been working to get everything organized and set up for holiday production.  That said, we've taken a pause (hopefully briefly) to hunker down for Hurricane Sandy today and now it looks like tomorrow as well.  Second hurricane evacuation for us in 15 months...Ahhemmm time to start paying attention to our role in global warming people.

So maybe I've watched too many movies, but can't decide if it's more day after tomorrow or perfect storm or maybe a little i am legend minus the zombies.  Although it is Halloween in a couple days so zombies are probable at this point.  That is my forecast.  Very scientific, I know. 

Here is the shot of NY Harbor from my apartment in Battery Park:
Notice that the Battery Tunnel and Hugh Carey tunnels are still open and holding up not too much water down there yet.  We are in Zone A that was evacuated last night but have decided to stick it out. 

For those of you waiting for orders...we will do our best to get into the office this week pending power outages.  I assure you we will finish your orders and get them out as soon as possible.  Thanks for your patience with us and being such awesome customers!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Light fixture in window of Populence

So it's been a while since I last posted...let's say almost 200 chandies ago!!  We have been BUSY busy making lots of orders.  Oh yeah, so many orders were coming in that I had to get some help down in Austin, Texas.  One of my best friends that I grew up with, Danny Ehr is an amazing craftsman and offered to start making chandies too.

Yesterday on of our light fixtures was featured in the New York Times!!!  We made this custom pendant chandelier for a store called Populence on 8th Street and Fifth Avenue in the West Village.
Photo by Christopher Gregory / New York Times
It's difficult to tell in the picture but we used copper hardware with vintage style turn-knobs, it looks so cool.

We have been working on many cool new things, check out our website for lots of new designs.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Idiocracy & Art

Am I the only one who feels that my IQ declines a little more every time I watch any news coverage of the GOP presidential candidate race?  Birth control?  REALLY?!  Did you see the weekend update Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers Saturday?  Awesome.  So let me get this straight: don't give out birth control, don't allow abortions, and then don't subsidize any medical, education, or aid for any of these children.  Um okay.  Sounds a like winning plan to me.

I saw the end of the movie Idiocracy last night on IFC.  My husband and I always joke that it's becoming true of our country.  When he saw a commercial of Kraft's new MiO water flavor drops, he flipped, "OMG it's happening!"  Me: "But Brawndo's got what plants crave!"

Today I'm excitedly awaiting the arrival of a piece of art from RACEPONYstudio.  I'm going to make a light fixture with it!!  The artist, Timothy Belcher has to be one of the nicest guys ever.  We met on Etsy and decided to do a collaboration which is going to be wicked awesome (sorry, too much coffee this morning).  Etsy rules.  Nicest. People. Ever.  I swear I don't work for them but as much as I've been promoting them lately, maybe I need to send them an invoice.

Here is an image of the soon to be awesome RACEPONY Chandy:
I will post pics as soon as it's underway!  Stay tuned...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Etsy & Consumerism Apocalypse

I've been swamped with orders on Etsy!  I'm not even kidding, I've shipped 12 orders in last 10 days.  What is even crazier than the fact that I am now a chandelier-making machine is that the customers buying my stuff on Etsy are not your typical little housewives shopping for handmade kids' clothes and knitted scarves.  I'm talking a rockstar drummer, a celebrity athlete, several interior design firms, retail shops, bars/restaurants, and just dudes (regular ole dudes!).

I think more people are jumping on Etsy to find new and interesting things that don't end up everywhere like the Bjursta dining room table that 9 of 10 people I know own, thank you Ikea.  But maybe it's more than just that.  I think it also says something about our purchasing behavior.  A few years ago, we wouldn't buy anything that wasn't USDA certified, UL rated, or FDA approved.  Now I feel I trust something more coming from another mom than I would from another big corporate name.  I've read Fast Food Nation and Skinny Bitch.  I know how it works now.  I'm no longer naive enough to believe these agencies have my best interests at heart.

I'm not going to lie, I kind of love it.  It's like being a part of a revolution.  Viva The Small Business!  Viva Urban Chandy!  Viva Etsy! 

Thinking about it further...Etsy is a great demonstration of individuals learning a craft.  I've seen some amazing craftsmanship over the last few months while shopping my face off on Etsy.  The other night on the Grammys, Dave Grohl went off on a tangent about "the human element of music is what's important...and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do...."  This seemed to strike a note with me.  Sorry but bear with me here, America has been criticized in the last few years for lacking skilled workers and craftsman.  Maybe Etsy is the new Ayn Rand world of craftspersons coming together to create the new America we will live in.  Was that a jump or what?  LOL Maybe, maybe not.  I can certainly tell you I NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS would have predicted my jump from earning 6 figures in branded wholesale apparel sales to making chandeliers to sell on Etsy.  Well, 3 years ago I never would have.  But here I am...and I'm loving it. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Staining Merbau hardwood

It's been a few weeks since my last post, I've been slammed with orders - crazy!  But I'm trying to experiment more with the reclaimed hardwood floor that I now have stashed all over our Manhattan apartment LOL (my husband is not nearly as thrilled about this as I am). 

The wood is Merbau, a reddish-brown hardwood and the underside is unfinished and has grooves in it to connect with the other pieces for making a floor.  I was excited to use the underside as the front of a chandelier because I thought it looked really rustic and kind of industrial which is the look I love so much.

So I tried out the charcoal stain on the Merbau and it turned out pretty cool.  Because the wood is darker than the birch plywood I've been staining, it looks very different.
On the left side is 2 coats of the Minwax Charcoal stain, middle is 1 coat, and on the right is the original color of the wood

I also tried staining the Merbau wood in Ebony and it turned out fantastic.  Here is a fixture I made with one 4ft panel of the floor with the pendant Edison bulbs:

More posts to come very soon!  I am aiming to finish the chandelier with the raw gemstones this week so pics are coming shortly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Orders are coming in!

Or maybe I should say pouring in YEAH!  I'm so excited and a little overwhelmed.  I finally finished the two fixtures that I've been working on for weeks now.  The one made from the reclaimed hardwood floor is so cool!  I ended up cutting the big piece in half to make two chandeliers.  Here are some photos:

The first image is of the big piece that I purchased from Build It Green NYC.  You can see that I cut it in half to make a smaller fixture.  I used antique brass hardware on this one, it went really well with the raw wood.  You're actually seeing the bottom of the hardwood floor as the face of the chandelier.  I left the metal connector pieces on there because I felt like it gives it a more raw feel.  I love this one!!  Will be tough to let go if it sells:(

The other project was a more sophisticated fixture in the new grey stain I made.  I'm quite happy with this one as well.
I used all the same size clear globe bulbs and actually lined them up this time.  The globes are big so they're touching which gives it a unique look.

I'm currently working on 6 more orders!!  Gotta get to work:)