A person sits in a chair. It happens millions of times a day, and few of us give it a second thought. Yet it's a connection Staach believes should be not only comfortable, but meaningful. Staach strives to create the finest modern handcrafted furniture using only sustainable methods and materials. Because Staach thinks good, functional design and environmentally responsible practices can make our world a better place to live in. And sit in. For Staach, sustainability is a way of life. A process of continually finding more and better ways of existing within this world. As designers, manufacturers, and employers, Staach recognizes that their actions carry significant weight and pride themselves on being proactive, respected advocates for social and environmental causes and continually look for ways to improve their contributions. Seth Eshelman started Staach in 2006 as a RIT student for an independent study project after a trip abroad to Denmark. It was another college project, this time by one of his college friends, that led Staach to formalize the sustainable ethos of its founding by pursuing a B-corp certification.
[1:00] Seth's path from Film major to Industrial Design
[3:00] A study abroad program in Denmark and its influence on the Staach aesthetic
"You can create, you can curate, you can build a space to really provide someone an opportunity to gain a new experience."
[8:00] Why Seth decided to start his own firm (in the middle of a recession) rather than join one
[11:00] Seth's first show turning in to his first sale
[15:30] How Staach is built as a multidisciplinary design firm with a sustainable ethos in everything they do
[19:15] Expansion from furniture to interiors
[22:00] How a conversation with a local bar owner turned in to a chair that was recognized as a top 15 design chair
"It's about sticking to what you believe in and doing everything you can to support that and grow that"...and building a company around that.
[24:00] How Staach got Danny Meyer's Shake Shack chain as a client
[27:00] Seth's balancing of his roots in design with leading a growing company
"If you have an employee who doesn't love what they do and doesn't feel inspired, it's going to be reflected in the quality of work every day. For me as an owner, I think about that every day when I wake up."
[33:00] Inspiration from Patagonia's Yvon Chouinard to "be humble, to think of others before you act, just to take that second and pause"
[34:30] How Staach became a B-corp through a college friend's masters thesis project
[37:30] How the B-corp certification process has impacted Staach's evolution - and their "Best for the Environment" recognition
[41:45] The challenges of shifting from the older mindset of business toward a more Conscious Capitalism approach
"Consumers are become more saavy...they can make more informed decisions about who they're buying from and I think that right there is starting to make change."
[44:30] Staach's future goals "to help perpetuate domestic manufacturing and job growth...in an effort to use our company to make an impact"