Located in the semi-industrial Kaka‘ako district, the Honolulu Furniture Company celebrates its first year in business.
Friendly after-work discussions turned to serious talk when craftsmen Doug Gordon and Thorben Wuttke entertained the idea of a partnership. The two had completed a collaborative project for the 2010 Hawai‘i Woodshow, both were slaves to the trade and ready for a new found glory. Serendipity and the exchange of skill played a major role in the beginning stages. However, the success of the foundry lies on the seasoned careers of the co-owners.
For Doug Gordon, history began to repeat itself. He began fussing around with woodwork at age of 11. According to Gordon, his love for woodwork would only grow stronger as time passed. Even after graduating with a degree in architecture, it was evident his path was geared towards fathering furniture. Gordon mastered the art of woodwork and business when he opened his own shop in Virginia. After 15 years in business, he decided to relocate to Hawai‘i. Before too long, Gordon became vice president of furniture production for Martin and MacArthur.
Thorben Wuttke’s interest in woodworking began at a young age in his native Germany. An apprenticeship in woodworking prepared Thorben for furniture school. After delving into design, he focused on “green” techniques of furniture production. After living on O‘ahu for five years, Wuttke founded his own company, Forward Thinking Furniture. He based the company on simple green principles. The company salvaged wood from deconstructed homes and created simplistic, sustainable pieces of furniture.
Today, the Honolulu Furniture Company is a hub for transforming wood. Upon entering the open space, sounds of power saws and the echoes of wood contact overpower conversation. Although, concentration is high, the owners are the first to dedicate time to patrons. Focused on precision and sustainability, custom and classic pieces are made suitable for a wide array of households and businesses. The two owners and Diego (chieftain/min-pin) have a natural eye for design and make conscious efforts to recycle. They have become the leader in promoting past, present and future in furniture construction.
The Honolulu Furniture Company is located at 527 Cummins St.