If a project involves wood and steel, there isn’t much Dustin Stewart can’t make.
From his studio just north of downtown, he’s developed life-size Jenga and tabletops for Andy B’s and coffee tables for homeowners. As Stewart has developed his company name over the past few years, his goal is to be the go-to in custom furniture.
SBJ: How is your business structured and what are the core products?
Stewart: A lot of commercial infill, tables and seating and restaurant furniture, even a homeowner who wants a countertop. We do 70 percent commercial work and 30 percent residential pieces. We’ve done a lot of stuff in The Wine Dive, every single piece of infill in Culture Flock and work in Hook Creative and Mostly Serious. We did the reception desk at Dynamic Strides Equine Therapy in Republic and infill at Kingdom Coffee. That was all just last year.
SBJ: What are the challenges and opportunities to making furniture in the Ozarks?
Stewart: Having working capital. Getting up and going with a production shop can be a little more difficult when you’re talking about needing $20,000-$50,000 in tools to actually make something. You can really build it by making a good name for yourself because I feel like word spreads faster here.
SBJ: What’s your driving factor to start this business?
Stewart: I was working a job that I just didn’t want to do anymore. I was doing social work, and I had one week off and one week on working 90 hours. I pretty quickly made a name for myself as someone who was making quality things. The demand for my time was so high that I realized I could make it work.
SBJ: What’s your favorite piece of furniture you’ve made?
Stewart: I’m really proud of the dining room tables in The Wine Dive. They are live edge pecan tabletops with steel bases.
SBJ: Were you inspired to start your business by another business or entrepreneur?
Stewart: My mom is a big inspiration. She’s very creative and a problem solver. My wife’s family owns Day’s Floor Co. in Marshfield. When we moved to Springfield and we started to get involved, it was really outstanding to me how many people were in their late 20s who own their own business or work for a small company.
SBJ: What was the first thing you ever made?
Stewart: I made a dining room table for my wife when we first got married. It was the biggest piece of garbage ever.
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