Toronto-based Steve&James has introduced its 2011 outdoor furniture collection. Who are Steve and James, you ask? Steve is Steve Pellow, who has 20-plus years experience working in all areas of metal fabrication, from fasteners and electric components to furniture; James is James Casey, who has been designing products for residential and contract markets for over eight years.
In the spring of 2010 – after many years of meetings for drinks, shop talk and the occasional bad joke – the two founded Steve&James, realizing that “James could design things and Steve could get them made.”
Says James, “We didn’t have any designs, factories or potential customers; we just wanted to work on a project together. We set ourselves some hilariously ambitious goals, but most importantly, we pledged never to sacrifice quality to pad our margins, and the whole thing had to be fun.”
It has been fun, and things have happened fast. “We had our official launch last September at the Casual Market in Chicago, which led to a warehouse and distribution deal with a company in L.A.,” says James. “We’ve now delivered product to retailers in Taiwan, France, the U.S. and Canada, and it looks like we’ll be spreading into South and Central America shortly. Next year, Europe.”
Five of the six products in the 2011 collection are named after members of the Steve&James team: Amanda, a bistro chair; Dean, a chair available in dining and lounge sets; Tony, a woven chair that comes with or without arms; Vicky, a sofa lounge set; and Zoe, a collection of bistro chairs, tables and bar stools. The exception is Dorothy, a line that includes a lounge set, chaise longue and dining set. “Dorothy, she’s my grandma,” James explains. “She’s the best, so she gets a collection in her name.”
For more information about the 2011 Steve&James collection, visit wearesteveandjames.com.