After getting a contract with WayHome Music and Arts Festival, furniture designer Jeff Mack restructured his company. “Last summer, I got a job to make 104 tables for the music festival. It was a fairly big job, so I was thinking instead of outsourcing it, if I got a shop and got the tools, I could do it myself,” says the Burlington resident. “I ended up taking that on by myself and hiring a bit of help to get me through.”
WayHome and Mack grew together. It was the festival's first year and they needed furniture for their artist's lounge. Mack collaborated with the festival's designer that created the artist's space. “We had her idea, my idea, the wood we had to work with, and their budget of course. The tables had a simple u-shaped design that was cost effective, but with sleek looking legs,” he recalls.
Reclaimed wood was used to make the coffee tables, end tables, and benches for the project. “Wood came out of a couple of barns on site where the festival happens up in Oro-Medonte, near Orillia,” says Mack.
When the entrepreneur started Jeff Mack Designs three years ago, his expertise was in manipulating steel, a skill he acquired working part-time in a shop alongside his father. After college, Mack remained in the steel industry until he was laid off. “I decided to go into business, but I didn't have a shop or a laser or any machines, so I took on small jobs that I could design in my condo and outsource.”
The designer made metal table legs and outsourced the welding. When he delivered the product, customers started asking if he could get them wood tops, so he outsourced those and then wood was introduced.
Today, Mack's Mississauga shop is where he meets residential and commercial clients to discuss their furniture design needs. Many discover Jeff Mack Designs on his Instagram feed, that he updates daily with photos of custom work and featured wood, like walnut slabs, 80 inches by 30 to 40 inches.
“I have a few walnut suppliers in Ontario ““ I go and pick out slabs that I think I can sell or use for products,” Mack explains. “Typically, slabs are hard to find that are wider than 25 inches and anything wider than 25 inches is a premium slab, so when I saw those I ended up buying them all.”
Mack's most popular custom designs are: walnut dining tables, live-edge tables, console tables, conference tables and also metal art. His work has been featured on HGTV Canada's Decked Out and Disaster Decks. Mack's products were named a “Top Ten Deck Must Have” by designer, Paul Lafrance, in Revive Magazine. Another home design show, Love it or List It had him create a custom laser steel cut headboard for a master bedroom and a laser cut screen that went behind a breakfast nook. For Property Brothers, his wood privacy screens were placed on either side of a room's entrance.
Mack's business is rapidly growing and recently he hired two employees. “Up until then, it was me doing sales, design, sourcing materials, delivery, installs, collecting money, running the social media ““ it's been tough to do that. Up until May of last year, everything was outsourced. I would be in the wood shop helping out a bit but not really doing the sanding and finishing, and then a year ago, I was able to get a shop and do everything in-house and that's a good feeling!”
For more info visit: jeffmackdesigns.com or @jeffmackdesigns on Instagram.