Not everybody can build furniture. Fewer still can build furniture that makes your jaw drop. But take one look at any of the creations of Where Wood Meets Steel and you’ll be struck by the inspiring blend of creativity and functionality.
Here at FiveFifty, we believe that passion for your work leads to exceptional results. When we discovered WWMS, we recognized that it was a company with similar values. We were so blown away by the quality of their products that we asked if we could stop by the shop to meet the creators and learn more about their process. (It isn’t the first time we’ve organized a field trip to check out an organization that inspires us).
Ryan Dirksen and his wife Marina, the founders of Where Wood Meets Steel, graciously gave us a tour. We learned that they source some of their wood from the salvage trees that would otherwise end up in a landfill, and after investing heavily in their equipment, they are also operating as a mill for many other producers in town.
Opposite to what you might think, they usually let the character of the wood inspire them to find its best use rather than try to find the right piece of wood to suit a particular design. Their benches, chairs, tables, staircases, etc.. are all equally beautiful and inspiring.
This all started as a passion project. Ryan was a professional chef who started working with wood as a hobby, and his wife was a web developer. They reached a crossroads – to keep working unfulfilling jobs in those fields or pursue the dream that really excited them and start Where Wood Meets Steel.
The entrepreneurial spirit that had them make that latter choice is something we feel ourselves about FiveFifty. In fact, we felt such a connection that we knew we had to get a piece from Where Wood Meets Steel to feature prominently in our new office at Industry. The beautiful bench in the photos below was delivered just the other day and, after some heavy lifting getting it on to the second floor, found its place by our front door.