TIP sought an opportunity to earn supplemental revenue to help expand its carpentry curriculum while diversifying its students’ skill sets. Bridgeway Capital awarded TIP a grant to engage a furniture designer to aid them in creating a revenue-generating product. Monmade, with expertise in artisanal product development and procurement, including its extensive network of local producers, supported TIP’s Chief Operating Officer, Maggie Beldecos, enabling this thoughtful design and curriculum partnership. Aware of owner Zak Kruszynski’s desire to engage in projects with social impact, Monmade identified Bones and All to spearhead the product’s design.
“The bench project exposes our students to a different set of carpentry skills and a different set of tools and saws. Now students are using sustainable wood and gaining exposure to a side of construction that they wouldn’t typically see. Our students experienced making a high-craft product and everything that goes along with that.”
– Maggie Beldecos, TIP
Monmade advised on the types and specifications of products developers and architects look for when designing projects that engage with and tell the story of local communities. Developing a product for beginner carpentry students to fabricate that also meets the aesthetic and structural requirements of commercial design projects was challenging. Through collaboration and prototyping with TIP’s carpentry team and Monmade, Zak devised a distinctive double planter bench concept that achieves both goals.
“I think it was a great experience with TIP, as well as for our team,” said Zak. “Being a smaller project, it was a good experience to practice cognizance around timekeeping on the backend. We felt good coming out of the project.”
Another challenge was creating a bench for exterior environments capable of withstanding wet weather, especially Pittsburgh’s.
“Zak helped us work through that,” said Maggie. ”He offered his insights, providing us with two sets of drawings, one of wood and one of mixed material.”
Through this unique partnership, TIP has launched and sold its first viable product for the design market, available for order through our catalog.
Bones and All, in addition to their custom design and fabrication projects, has added commercial product design to their services. Learn more about how you can work with Bones and All by reaching out to the Director of Monmade, Katie Schaible.