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Embodying Original Spirit: Pete Raho of Gowanus

The following post is brought to you by Mount Gay Rum. Our partners are hand-picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.

10.23.14 | By
Embodying Original Spirit: Pete Raho of Gowanus
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Mount Gay Rum is celebrating the importance of craftsmanship, history, and tradition by telling the stories of four artists across the worlds of woodworking, letterpress, photography and screen printing. In a series called “Original Spirits”, we see these four artists champion the same principles Mount Gay has been following for the past 300 years.

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Our favorite highlighted figure is Pete Raho, owner of Brooklyn-based workshop Gowanus Furniture Co. From woodworking to teaching classes, Raho is a modern day Renaissance man who comes from a unique background. Having an MBA in Strategy from a world renowned business school, and spending eight years at a fine auction house, Raho’s multi-colored past seems to have helped him take his love of woodworking to a whole new level.

Watch Pete talk about his work:

Having opened his workshop in 2011, Raho has quickly become known for his handmade wood products. Like Mount Gay, Raho draws from history to make a bespoke product that’s both useful and beautiful. The Kentile Cutting Board, one of his most popular products is monogrammed via Morse Code, the 170-year-old language of dots and dashes. You’d never know the hidden code was there, but with its abstract design in plain sight, Raho injects a little bit of his customers into every product.

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Each of his pieces are handmade with care and honor the past, using age-old furniture-making methods and ingredients such as hide and fish glue. Similar to Mount Gay, who still distills their rum in Barbados where they were founded in 1703, Raho keeps old-school tradition alive in a fast-paced digital age. At Design Milk, we admire the value in paying homage to the past, continuing tradition and making products that last. Head to www.theoriginalspirits.com to find out more about Gowanus Furniture Co. and Mount Gay.

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You should fill your home up with things that you value and things that aren’t just disposable commodities. Having something that has a sense of history, for me, makes it instantly more enjoyable to use. You’re participating in the history in the course of using that product, and that I find satisfying.

See the other three artist videos and profiles on TheOriginalSpirits.com.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.