Introduction: Contemporary Furniture: the Medusa Collection Sofa
My name is Bruce Sykes. It’s been four years now since I lost my job as a designer due to the recession. I'm 57, too young to retire and too old to be hired by another company and believe me I've tried. To keep the roof over our heads and food on the table I've been working odd jobs such as painting houses, plumbing and carpentry work. Money is tight and when the wife said we needed a new couch we realized that all the ones we liked were way too expensive so I decided to design and make one myself. Having remodeled my house by myself a few years back, I knew I had the knowhow to do it. The only problem was my little workshop in the basement was only 8' x 10' but I knew it would have to do. One day while looking for supplies I came upon the perfect surface material: a white mop. Yes, an industrial mop, but not just any mop. This mop was made from microfiber and it was the softest material I could have imagined. So I talked to the manager and asked if he could order me 200 of them. Within two weeks they had arrived and I set about designing and building a couch using 120 of the white microfiber mops. There were many successes and failures in my designs but I finally was able to make it so that the mops could be taken off and washed if needed. It was so impressed with the couch I went ahead and built a lounge chair, a regular chair, an ottoman, a bench and a rug all made from the same microfiber mop. A friend said the furniture looks like the Medusa, a Greek mythical monster and so I named it the Medusa Collection. To save money, I shifted the mops from one piece to the other, taking pictures as I went along. The more I showed my furniture to people, the more positive reaction I received and eventually I was told by a person who owned a furniture store that I needed to take my furniture to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Javits Center in New York City. She said that my furniture is so unique and contemporary that people have to see and touch it in person; pictures just don't do it justice. She also said to enter the show is not cheap. I did the research and figured the total cost of hiring two people to help me with the show, transporting the furniture, renting the space, pay for a hotel, produce brochures and business cards, etc., etc. will cost $12,000. The rest of the money will be to rent a facility to make the furniture, purchase tools and machinery and to hire several employees. Date of birth: 5/17/54
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