2021 Rising Star Award Nominee: Erin Smith, Sawyer Made, Woodbury, Vermont
Erin produces museum quality seating and teaches week-long traditional chairmaking courses at her business, Sawyer Made, in Woodbury, VT. She started her business to keep traditional chairmaking alive and show how these techniques can be relevant and meaningful in modern furniture design.
Erin came to CWE to create a roadmap for improving her business and to gain a stronger sense of how to best prioritize work for her finite available time. She has been in business since 2015, began renovations on her new workshop at the beginning of 2019, and hired her first employee at the end of 2019. By 2025, she hopes her business will be a respected presence in high end, custom seating and will not only be enhancing homes, but also be producing one-of-a-kind pieces for public spaces, hospitality, and museum settings. During the pandemic, Sawyer Made was unable to teach chairmaking classes which were a source of dependable income, so Erin increased her efforts to sell to interior designers who could order pieces for larger commercial projects.