American Made Since 2012
2014 Style Finalist

Nigel R. Reyes

San Francisco, California
My Mission is to create high quality durable goods that are individually handmade with the highest attention to detail and craftsmanship.
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Tell us about your business.

I started BLACK HOUSE PROJECT about a year and a half ago. It was sort of a random progression. I was working in behavioral research for 8 years but also doing side work as an upholsterer (self-taught), refinishing old furniture, custom drapery and soft goods (pillows, bedding etc..) for private clients. I studied fashion design back in the day but never pursued that route but the skills I learned, like tailoring and pattern making gave me the confidence to pursue other avenues besides garment construction. When my job in research was coming to end in 2012 I felt that this would be a great opportunity for me to take a chance and create a brand that encompassed not only my love for upholstery but also home and personal goods. I set up a workspace in my San Francisco apartment and went to work!

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

At the moment my workspace is set up in my small 2 bedroom apartment. I needed a space that would allow me enough room to set up separate workspaces like a sewing area, work table, ironing station and a leather working station. So my 135 sq.ft. bedroom became the place! Thankfully my apartment has 12ft ceilings so I was able to build up with shelves and wall organizers for easy access of tools and supplies.

What inspires you?

I pull a lot of my inspiration from utilitarian workwear and vintage military surplus from the early 1900’s. I feel that ‘back in the good old days’ there was a focus on the construction, fabric quality and functionality of garments. Each of these elements figures into my work, you might say I’m A ‘Sucker’ for the small details.

What makes your business stand out?

I feel what makes my business stand out is that I design and make each piece in my collection from start to finish by hand. I am a One Man Brand! All my pieces are made in limited quantities and individually numbered, making each item a labor of love.

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

Have FAITH and do what you love!

What does American Made mean to you?

Knowing who, why and where my products are made definitely means a great deal to me. When I purchase products (and supplies) from an American Company, especially from a craftsman / maker I know that the quality and passion behind the product will be apparent. As a One Man Brand I feel it is very important to provide my customers with quality materials and hardware that are all sourced in the U.S.A. and also putting a face behind the products is a plus!

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    Oct. 17, 2014

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