For the last several years, an environmentally-friendly, Staach, an emergent furniture design company (250 Cumberland Street), has been operating out of Rochester and sending sleek, simple, and modern objects of utility across the country and internationally.
On Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Staach will open its doors to the Rochester public for a warehouse sale of modern, sustainable home furnishings proudly designed and handcrafted in Rochester.
Staach is now seeking a local presence. “We’ve never really opened our doors to the community before now -- part of the reason was lack of resources and manpower” says founder and designer Seth Eshelman. Now that the indie company is more established, Eshelman says Staach is excited to share its designs with Rochester.
Inventory for this weekend’s sale is limited, and includes prototypes created for a recent catalog photo shoot, experimental pieces, and items with slight imperfections. All sale pieces are relatively unique and not part of sets per se, says architectural designer Brandon Colaprete.
“About 98-99 percent of what we make goes elsewhere, across the country and internationally to the Middle East, Russia, and England,” Colaprete says. Staach’s biggest client is Shake Shack, an eatery which started as a street shack in Manhattan for burgers and milk shakes. They formed an early partnership with Staach, and the furniture company has been growing along with them.
Staach recently worked with St. Luke’s Church on a set of custom Danish Cord chairs with back rests made from the church’s old pews, which these chairs will replace. In addition to custom designs and commissions, Staach is breaking into the field of architectural design, functioning at the moment as design consultants who work with architects, engineers, and developers.
A small team of seven people work at Staach, which is split into compartments for creating, shipping, and an airy, naturally lit showroom and office space, currently filled with colorfully hued or natural wooden stools, chairs, tables, and booth systems. In addition, Staach offeres coat trees, a peg rail for hanging objects, serving platters, and hand-turned bowls, the latter two offerings created by woodturner Sam Tischler, who uses scraps from the furniture company’s creations.
As a dedicated and certified B Corporation, Staach is always looking for new ways to minimize waste, and all of the wood used in their products is FSC Certified, sustainably forested northeastern hardwoods, such as maple, walnut, and white oak. “Staach is also an FSC Certified Chain of Custody Business, meaning that we bring in certified product, and have a chain of command ensuring that every process that wood goes through is documented, and is not contaminated with uncertified products,” says Colaprete. The paints used on the furniture are water-based, which are less toxic than other varieties.
An RIT graduate, Eshelman founded Staach as a small design studio in 2006. He grew up around Mission and Arts & Crafts furniture, and had been aware Shaker furniture and of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs. When he studied abroad in Denmark, he “saw how functional design could work in an everyday environment, because the Danish and people of Scandinavia really get it. Design is part of their life, it’s part of everyday,” he says.
Eshelman was interested in bringing good, affordable design back to the States. He says his first collection was unlike what you’ll see this weekend, in that more closely resembled Mission and early Stickley furniture. His new pieces are light, more Shaker in appearance. Eshelman describes his pursuit of creating a unique modern American design as a work in progress. “I love straight lines, and really simple forms,” he says. “Creating a chair that is super simple is an ongoing goal.”