American Made Since 2010

Andy Johnson

Seattle, Washington
I founded Ample in 2010 around the notion that fresh, approachable, well-made modern furniture can be designed and produced in the United States.

Tell us about your business.

The inspiration for Ample was the number of people I talked to who couldn’t find the furniture they wanted. They found themselves bored with the traditional designs at the big stores and discouraged by the prices at the boutique design stores. Many ended up buying something disposable just to fill the space temporarily. What a shame! In the middle of the 20th century, America made a lot of furniture. The best of this era was beautiful, practical, well-built, and designed for everyone. You didn’t have to live in an architectural masterpiece or forgo your child’s college tuition to own it. Since then, a lot of furniture production has moved overseas, and the term “modern” has become synonymous with cold, uncomfortable, and unaffordable. I hope Ample can play a part in reversing these trends, with a broader product line - all made in Seattle - and exposure to a wider audience across the country in 2014.

What's the best business advice you've received?

I love this advice from Ira Glass: “All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions."

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