Seattle’s Thom Jones explains the sustainable approach that defines his company.
Founded in 2002, A Semigood Company has earned a reputation as one of the finest, most conscientious furniture providers in Seattle. The company’s philosophy is simple: consumers deserve the best when it comes to home furnishings. For this reason, Semigood not only offers quality, handmade furniture but also guarantees that their pieces are manufactured under the most sustainable, eco-friendly conditions.
“Consciousness about our impact on the environment has always been important to my generation of designer,” said Thom Jones, who conceived the idea for Semigood with Brendan Callahan in 2002.
When the idea for the company was conceived, its co-founders were building a loft apartment together in Brooklyn, N.Y. Jones was a student at Parsons The New School for Design at the time, but he and Callahan still managed to make a name for their brand.
“We were doing work as early as 2003 using the name Semigood,” Jones said. “We launched our first collection at Brooklyn Designs in 2005 and our second collection in 2008 at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles.”
Shortly afterward, Semigood packed up and moved to Seattle – where Jones had spent his childhood. To this day, even as the company continually puts out high quality products, its co-founders stand by their commitment to protect Mother Earth. Semigood’s products are made to order at facilities located in the United States, which reduces fuel and shipping costs. Furthermore, the materials themselves are eco-friendly; the wood used by Semigood originates from FSC-certified forests of the Midwest and Northeast.
“From materials to packaging, we do as much as possible to have little or no impact on the environment, while still providing durable, heirloom products,” Jones said.
Really, though – the company’s environmental conscience would be in vain if its craftspeople were unable to deliver highly desirable goods. For this reason, Jones and his crew ensure that every piece of furniture carrying the Semigood logo is made with the utmost care and attention to detail. One of the ways they guarantee consistency in tone and figure is by hand-selecting all of the wood themselves.
“Because we are a made to order furniture company,” Jones explained, “we start every piece by looking at how much material will be necessary and laying down a wide variety of boards. We then pick the ones we feel wil best suit the needs of the project.”
Semigoods — the company’s on-line store — is highlighted by three premier furniture collections. The Rian Collection is an eye-catching ensemble of seats, tables and bedroom wares – all inspired by Danish modernism.
“The [Rian] Collection is named after my beautiful wife, so it is by far the dearest to my heart,” Jones said. “It was a way for us to depart from the rectilinear modernism found in our first collection.”
Jones adds that The Rian RTA Collection – also available at Semigoods — allowed the company to streamline Rian items while also reducing shipping and product costs.
“[This gives] our clients the ability to personalize each piece with both color and timber choice,” he explained.
The Rift Collection – Semigood’s first set – was co-designed by Jones and Aaron Ruff of Digby and Iona. Jones claims this collection of dining room, living room, office and storage implements was inspired by certain forms found in Japanese architecture.
“[The Rift Collection] was intended to have a very classic feel with subtle detailing not found in the minimalist hardwood market,” he explained.
Jones claims the third set – named The Whitaker Collection – is “a work in progress” that will eventually include dining and storage pieces to go along with the already existing tables, desks and benches. This collection is distinguished by the striking combination of polished wood and hot-rolled steel.
“It’s really about using hot-rolled steel with large planks of wood,” he said, “giving the pieces a much more industrial feel not found in any of our other products.”
In addition to their furniture output, Semigood also offers additional products such as waterproof mailbox designs, a line of skater t-shirts and a limited edition series of bowls by LA artist Brandon Francis. Jones also pointed out that Semigood has participated in several graphic design ventures, which have all been led by co-founder Callahan.
“The word that best describes [Callahan’s] approach is methodical,” Jones explained. “An incredible attention to detail has been the hallmark of Semigood’s graphic design efforts. When clients come to us for those services they are looking for the same timelessness found in our furniture to be translated in print.”
Finally, I asked Jones what customers can expect from Semigood in the future.
“Everything,” he said. Somehow, this answer seems very fitting.