Stephanie Todaro & Giovanni Todaro
Tell us about your business.Maker Made is the woodworking collaboration of the father and daughter team, Giovanni and Stephanie Todaro (me). Together, we’ve created a wood shop where our mutual passion for craftsmanship and hard work merge into simply-designed home goods for everyone to enjoy. We started on a lazy weekend last winter when I asked my dad to help construct a bench for my room. The process of working together and the final product prompted a follow up project (a desk) and eventually led to lengthy weekend woodworking sessions, the purchase of new tools (Giovanni's tools were a bit prehistoric) and the launch of Maker Made. When in the wood shop, we both find a sense of zen and pure relaxation. We focus on our tasks at hand and love to see how each individual piece comes together to form our final product. The majority of our wood is found/scrap pieces from big box stores and salvage yards, so constructing each piece, flawed and all, has become a source of true satisfaction for us.
What makes your business stand out?As a father and daughter woodworking team, I like to think that we have a bit of a unique approach to the way we collaborate. We are a creative team that has been working together for more than 20 years (29 to be exact!) and have come to truly understand and appreciate each other for both the good and the bad. We are clones of each another in a lot of ways, but our generational gap allows us to challenge one another and encourage the other to see design from a different perspective. We've found a way to combine our separate passions of engineering and precision, with creativity and free expression in a way that translates into simple and functional housewares. Simply put, we are a family run operation looking to bring a little bit of our passion into your home. Not to mention, all of our goods are "Italian handmade" (made by four Italian hands)...in America of course!
What's the best business advice you've received?The best business advice I've received was, ironically, from my father when he told me to never follow a passion just for the money because in the end, you will resent it and leave it behind. His advice has allowed us put our creativity first and our business-mindedness second. We are still in the initial phases of this small daughter and pop wood shop, but no matter how large or small this business becomes, the passion will always remain our main ingredient for success.
Mark Your Calendar
NOMINATIONS ENDAug. 31, 2015
Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.
VOTING ENDSOct. 19, 2015
Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 7, 2015
Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.Discover the American Made Summit