Tetome House is a Toronto business that designs and makes fine furniture and fixtures. We spoke with Curtis Mohrhardt, Furniture Designer & Maker, to find out more about them.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Tetome House is a designer and fabricator of fine furniture and fixtures, with an emphasis on solid wood joinery and one-of-a-kind design. Our work is all custom and based on clients’ needs; tables, chairs, desks, shelving, cabinets, stools, etc.
What made you want to do this work?
My love for wood and woodworking started in high school. Over the next eight to ten years, my love, appreciation, and fascination for the craft only grew. Creating real-world objects, that will be used and loved over many generations is a thrill. After getting a diploma in woodworking technology and a degree in furniture design, I created a business plan and brand, found shop space and started Tetome House.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
To bring back the appreciation for custom wood furniture versus mass-produced wooden and plastic items. Solid wood gives a natural feel to the home and, when constructed carefully, it can age gracefully. Hand-cut wood joinery takes longer to produce, but it adds a visual element that is difficult to replicate in mass-produced pieces.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Our clients are those who have a deep understanding of what fine furniture means today. To design and construct a future heirloom from an idea takes a lot of patience and trust and our clients know that’s what they will get when they come to Tetome House. Most of our clients want to be part of the process of creation and their participation from beginning to end puts greater value on the end product.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
A potential client will come to us with either an idea or a problem they want us to help solve. Whether it’s dining, storage, seating, or display, we work with the client’s vision and space constraints to craft a beautiful and practical solution that fits their personality and their home.
Where in the city can we find your profession?
Our shop space is located in the southwestern part of the GTA. We work with clients across the GTA as well as Oakville, Burlington and Hamilton.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
“Why would I choose Tetome House and custom furniture over mass or small batch-produced pieces?” These pieces are either out of scale for their homes, or the client cannot find anything that pleases their particular aesthetic. Many Tetome House clients also want to be involved in the design process. We take the client on a journey through our design process. We start with a look at their space, discuss the inspiration and potential wood species, and keep them updated as the fabrication progresses. It’s our connection with the client that makes the end product that much more special.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
There are many things about my work that I find rewarding. Going to work every day to build up my own career is one of the most exciting aspects. I actually enjoy all parts of my job because each has to be done to create a successful result and that in turn pushes my business forward. Growing the business is the most challenging part but also the most rewarding.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
When is a piece of wood made king? When it’s a ruler.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
@zopinnel – a great friend from my time at Sheridan college that creates truly incredible ceramic pieces!