Homegrown Business: Steve McFarlane of J&S Custom Furniture Co.

J&S Custom Furniture Co. is a boutique joinery workshop and furniture design company which works with residential clients as well as designers, architects, and contractors to create high-quality furniture and millwork for residential and commercial spaces. We spoke with Co-Founder and Creative Director Steve McFarlane to learn more about what they do.

J&S Custom Furniture
J&S Founders

What is your business called and what does it do?

J&S Custom Furniture Co. is a boutique joinery workshop and furniture design company. We create our bespoke furniture and millwork in our studio workshop in South Vancouver. Our team of experienced and skilled craftsmen hand-builds furniture and millwork according to time-honoured traditional methods. We are experienced with many materials but focus on using FSC-certified quality hardwoods, sourced in North America, and a variety of reclaimed wood timbers. Our goal is to create pieces that are treasured
and enduring, and that can be passed on to the next generation.

What made you want to do this work?

It was hard to find good quality, sustainably made, solid wood furniture for my home. So we built our own and J&S was born.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Vancouver has unique spaces and it can be hard to find quality furniture that fits those spaces. Instead of participating in the fast furniture culture, we wanted to build quality heirloom pieces that can be passed down. Since 2012 J&S has built over 10,000 unique pieces of custom furniture.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

We work directly with residential clients as well as designers, architects, and contractors to create high-quality furniture and millwork for residential and commercial spaces. We help each client through the design phase and can build to spec from supplied plans or assist in creating the designs. We focus on highlighting the natural beauty of the raw materials while designing each piece to be inspiring, durable, and functional.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

For over 10 years we have been custom-made to order. Clients bring their ideas to us and we collaborate on a custom piece. We can also design something from scratch or work with you on your ideas you found on Pinterest etc. Launching soon is our first-ever online store that will have 100 pieces of pre-designed/ styled furniture that can be ordered right to your door.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

Our full-production joinery workshop is located on the banks of the Fraser River in one of Vancouver’s original sawmill sites, now host to a family-owned lumberyard (Northern Building Supply Ltd) with a collective of other traditional workshops.

J&S Custom Furniture

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Is your furniture solid wood? Yes, our fine furniture is solid wood. A lot of places pretend it is solid wood when it is plywood/ veneer or even a laminated print on particle board. You can’t fake solid wood construction.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

Seeing customers’ faces light up when they see their piece of forever furniture in their space. It can be difficult to explain the difference between fast furniture made overseas and locally made fine furniture. Local handmade furniture does cost more for several reasons.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

How do you do that? Carefully.

Where can we follow you?

Check out our website and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

Fraser River Forge– They are a local blacksmith shop that teaches lessons and forges beautiful items.

 

 

About Demian Vernieri 534 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.