When we last spoke with entrepreneur and self-described autodidact Lisa Jarvis, she had a nifty furniture business, specializing in Art Deco and midcentury modern.
Now she’s evolved into something new and different: She designs furniture pulls. And bold ones, at that.
“I had that furniture business and I love those two periods but I couldn’t find any hardware,” she says. “So I designed a few and were they were hugely popular – they generated so much interest at shows, so I thought that there’s a great gap in the market.”
She began with 15 pieces and expanded to 64, with custom work added to the mix. Some are as large as two by 24 inches. Others stretch out to two-and-a-half by 60.
She’s also started a line for kids. “They’re whimsical and charming and sweet and cute,” she says. “They’re typically one-by-three or two-and-a-half by three – they’re good for little hands and a graphic statement too.”
It’s not bad at all for someone who’s had no formal schooling, but was reading at the second-grade level in kindergarten. “I developed my own style from watching movies and reading and listening to audible books constantly,” she says. “I’m an aural sponge.”
It shows in the way she’s helping her clients express themselves with their furniture. “You can put a special style on it – change it like you do jewelery or transform or customize your furniture, so there’s a perfect palette,” she says. “Why should it be boring? Why shouldn’t you express who you are, rather than a company deciding what you should be?”
Her work is hand-made and hand-cast in solid metal. “It’s a lovely, tactile experience,” she says. “You can buy a couple of pieces of hardware for the price of dinner – and have them for a lifetime.”
So who needs a formal education anyway – if sales are doubling every year?
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