Henrybuilt launched in 2001 in a shed on Washington’s Vashon Island and now, some 15 years later, the company’s Founder and CEO Scott Hudson has grown the business to include showrooms and offices in Seattle, New York City, and Mill Valley, California. Hudson named the design and manufacturing company, which has become synonymous with brilliantly designed kitchens, after his carpenter/builder grandfather, Henry, who he worked alongside during the summer months from the age of 12 on. After detours that landed him working in the oil fields, publishing, and software, all while building furniture and renovating homes in his off hours, he brought it back to where it began and founded Henrybuilt. To date, they’ve completed over 3,500 projects in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and throughout, handcrafted American work as remained the focus. In this week’s Friday Five, Hudson shares a diverse mix of things that he loves.
1. Black Locust Trees
15 years ago, at almost exactly the same time as we started Henrybuilt, a nursery owner on the island where we live told me I could have ‘those 4 trees out back’ if I dug them up. I did, and today they are 40’ tall on our property. Since then I’ve transplanted their seedlings and now have about 20 more growing. They’re graceful, wild, tough and don’t beg for attention. They have a place in American history as fence posts and colonizers of land that was previously unusable. We just named a new company we started after them.
2. Agnes B
I could never wear half their clothes – I’m not that fashionable, but I love the combination of traditional and inventive and the way she plays with classic clothes in a refined ‘I don’t give a shit’ way. Also that she is independent, and stays independent – and she has a great little shop halfway between our Crosby Street showroom, and my home away from home, the Soho Grand Hotel.
3. Old Boeing Wrenches
Sometimes design that happens because it has to – in the course of regular work – is so much better. These wrenches were made for specific purposes, without any dilly dallying, by people who could design and make at the same time, and who helped build one of the greatest companies on the planet. They are exactly what they are. Great examples of the head and the hand working together.
4. Eldorado Canyon
It might be a cheat to rely on nature so much, but in this canyon in Colorado everything is perfect. Every spire, every loose block, every scree field, no matter how many people pass through.
5. The work of Miro, Calder and Noguchi – and the work of my wife. Their work is immediate and natural and light at heart – beyond any explanation.