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|Articles - September 2013|
|Monday, August 19, 2013|
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Before there was Schoolhouse Electric, Faherty worked on the other side of the home-furnishing economy: buying, refurbishing and selling houses. This was during the restoration craze, and Faherty, who has lived in 12 houses in the past 25 years, noticed there were limited quantities of certain materials and products, especially lighting and, notably, “cool, glass schoolhouse fixtures.”
After researching the American glass-blowing industry, he stumbled on a company in upstate New York with a warehoused collection of cast-iron molds for hand-blown glass lighting. “So I bought the collection and had them restored and put back in production. I knew I had something that was the start of something. There was some authenticity around the process and the material, and that was the thing I was looking for.”
That’s how it all began. Faherty opened a small storefront on Northeast Martin Luther King Boulevard and eventually rolled out a collection of 100 pieces, putting the glass together with brass parts made in Los Angeles. As the business grew, the design evolved too; instead of fashioning look- alike period reproductions, Schoolhouse began to experiment with a more modern aesthetic, “such as Edison bulbs on sockets or grouped in nature,” Faherty says.
With only three employees, Schoolhouse Electric had no marketing department to speak of. Even today Schoolhouse remains an introverted company, Faherty says. “We don’t really know how to talk about ourselves. That’s probably because I’m sort of that way.”
But if Faherty is reticent, the home design bloggers who created a cultural zeitgeist starting around 2008 were not. Schoolhouse Electric “became the little darling” of Remodelista and Design Sponge, among others, Faherty says. And business began to take off.
The momentum inspired Faherty to expand the company to include home furnishings. “What was serving the market was big-box, corporate housewares companies, and our customer wants more authenticity. They want to know who made it and what was the inspiration.” So in 2010 Faherty purchased a four-story, 125,000-square-foot brick warehouse in Northwest Portland for about $1.5 million, remodeled it to house a flagship store, as well as a factory and office space, then launched Schoolhouse Electric as a comprehensive lifestyle brand selling home and office goods.
The catchall description for the Schoolhouse Electric style is “domestic utility,” Faherty says. “Not just pretty things, but things that are useful in everyday life.”
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Live, Work Play with the President and CEO of Tillamook County Creamery Association.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY TIM NEVILLE
Betty Roppe steers Prineville into the future.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For project attracted more than 150 nonprofits from around the state from a variety of sectors, including social services and environmental advocacy. More than 5,000 employees and volunteers filled out the survey, rating their satisfaction with work environment, mission and goals, career development and learning, benefits and compensation, and management and communications.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
A new co-working model disrupts office sharing, child care and work-life balance as we know it.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
BY GREGG LEWIS | OP-ED
The issue of green-washing remains a significant challenge to those of us who would like to see the building sector in this country do more than make unverifiable claims of sustainability. Transparency about the impacts of a given material is the only way to allow designers to make intelligent choices when selecting building products.
Thursday, October 08, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Based on several metrics, Oregon has one of the lowest performing K-12 education systems in the country. Teacher compensation is part of the problem.
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Engaging employees and customers along the way.
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