How to Get your foot in the door as a young furniture desig

does any one have any advice on how or where i can find a job as a furniture designer
every where i look you have to have expierence i am about to lose my mind some one help?

swallow ur pride and go apprentice like a good little intern at a furniture shop.
thats how you get your “foot in the door.” slow and steady.

Stop trying to fly in the door with your arm out like superman.

Most of us come out of design schools knowing a lot of basic, theoretical , fluffly stuff. But few of us actually possess much hands-on skill, or really “know” about our business. I know I didn’t.

And it’s a vicious, Catch-22 circle; I need experience to get the job, but I can’t get experience unless I’m working…

Check out the page below, and then spend some minutes going through the rest of their website.

This is a remarkable company. From start to finish, each piece, or set, of furniture is manufactured by a single craftsman; he interviews the customer, schedules the material, actually builds the pieces, and supervises its delivery and installation.

Several years ago, quite by accident, I found this company while roaming around Indiana. We were in their factory showroom in Goshen, north of Inidanapolis. I thought that it might be an interesting change in life from corporate staff designer to a hands-on craftsman… on a whim I spoke to one of the sales people. To my complete surprise, within ten minutes I was being interviewd by the factory manager! The sales person turned out to be one of their craftsmen doing his monthly weekend duty on the showroom floor.

I didn’t proceed with them. As we get older our careers evolve into a strange animal… it’s difficult to let go of a secure job. But I was very impressed with their open-minded attitude. I didn’t have to jump through hoops to get an interview…I didn’t even have my portfolio with me! I was there and interested in working for them, and they, in turn, were interested in me BECAUSE I was interested in working for them.

This company is located in Indiana “Amish country”. If you are not familiar with these folks, you will never find another more hard-working, loyal, group of people. And design and craftsmanship go way back in their history.

You didn’t mention if you have ANY design training. Think about learning, hands-on, how to MAKE furniture and how the furniture business works. Your design work will then be more “honest” because it will be in your blood … you’ll truely know what can be made.

you stated:
does any one have any advice on how or where i can find a job as a furniture designer. every where i look you have to have expierence i am about to lose my mind some one help?

are you looking for work as a designer or craftsman/maker? either way the advice posted is appropriate. for design work you may have to intern somehow.

my experience has been similar. after finishing my BFA in ID I pursued work in furniture shops also. most places were not interested in for a couple reasons

  1. I hadn’t paid my dues in a shop. My skills have been self-taught as a result.
  2. And with a design degree I was considered overqualified and not long-term-employable.

the furniture makers I’ve met have been pretty reserved and stand-off-ish. I think its because they’ve paid their dues as an apprentice and are not interested in training some young buck who may quickly get some skills, leave and become a local competitor.

Perhaps your response could be to say “screw them”. Get the crap job, save some money, gradually start acquiring your own tools, build your own stuff and try to sell it.

Although I haven’t got there yet, I’m hoping to do the same.

no easy answer for ya, just a sympathetic ear.

good luck though

Thanks for the advice
I am a recent graduate with a BFA in crafts concentration in wood
I geared my college career trying to make myself a well rounded furniture designer so i was trained with traditonal woodworking skills but also have a desire for rapid prototyping and computer renderings I believe you have to posess both skills to be successful. In college though i was almost percieved as an out cast for not completely siding with one choice wood or id so i have been interning but yet to find the right oppertunity. sometimes it is just frustrating just coming into the buisness

Being a furniture designer is different than being a furniture builder. Of course there are people who do both- but generally when mass production is involved it is one or the other. If you want to be a furniture designer, put together a portfolio of work that shows 2-d cad and pencil drawing skills. Then find a company looking for help via want-ads, peers, or your old teachers- they are out there. If you do not have the means to pull off these basic steps, you may need to go back to a better school.

The more secondary skills you can aquire, the more likely you are to get a foot in the door. Knowledge of production, CNC and CAD skills are more likely to get you hired than being a designer.

what Cad programs?
form z
Xexon- cobolt, vellum
or the actual Auto Cad