Iron Art by Orion
Tell us about your business.It started in 1983 as a family workshop fabricating wrought iron gates and fences in the Los Angeles area. By 1992, with the installation and liability aspects of the business becoming overly challenging, my brother and I looked to diversifying our product lines. After much research, our journey into decorative drapery hardware began by creating a small line of hardware sets. The designs were inspired by the Victorian era, and were hand forged, fabricated and finished by our skillful artisans. Atul and I began traveling the world exploring design ideas and by 2002, we had a portfolio of products catering to the western region of USA. With regional success, we decided to chase the dream of becoming a national brand. We participated in our first national window covering show, which garnered attention from designers across the country, putting us on the map as a leading brand in the window covering niche. Since then, we have bagged numerous industry awards for innovation and design.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.The initial orders were executed from a pickup truck, which progressed into taking up a small portion of a warehouse in L.A. for our metal forging and fabrication artisans. As demand grew, space requirements to store material and fabricated goods increased, which lead to adding 8,500 sq. feet. A further growth spurt in business necessitated a much greater demand on space. In 2003 the business moved a few blocks into an 18,000 sq. foot manufacturing space, which allowed us to build a product showroom for designers to view our collections. Our studio workshop is a metal shop, comprised of welding, fabrication, cutting, forging, spray-painting and hand finishing operations, ever reminiscent of our artistic creations. It is a creative fun space. There is music and occasionally singing; job templates laid out on the floor for execution, benches spotted with brushes, paints and pigments. Each job is perceived as art and no two jobs are similar, so we place a lot of emphasis on customization.
What inspires you?Sunil - I love designing, traveling to faraway places looking for design inspiration, innovation, growing trees (a lot of trees), cooking from a recipe I’ve never tried before, amateur photography, fusion music, cricket as a sport and following my heart. Atul – I love traveling and exploring new cultures, meeting people, exploring nature, listening and organizing music in different genres, photography, technology, basketball, and growing with spiritual belief and thoughts.
What makes your business stand out?Commitment and innovation! It starts with a commitment to our customers that we will deliver products that will delight and surpass their expectations each and every time. We have grown organically over the years, thriving on our customization services because it could only be done effectively in America. We love to innovate. Thinking outside the box has allowed us to create product differentiation in our industry. We value what people have to offer to our success; striving to work on good ideas irrespective of its source. We are a people company. People helping people to achieve design goals and to create unexpected product functionality and quality, which to us is the hallmark of a company producing hand crafted products in America.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?If you believe in an idea go for it! Follow it with loads of actions, perseverance and patience. Listen to the critics but don't be dissuaded. If you fail, think of it as a stepping stone to success, learn and relearn. Rest, eat healthy, exercise, and have fun along the way.
What does American Made mean to you?"It can be done here- better and appropriately!” Made in America follows this creed- no matter what the critics say. It is about making a difference in any industry that is inundated with products made around the world. America is all about innovation, design and creating quality products and when it is backed by a strong commitment, relentless drive and uttermost enthusiasm it creates success stories every day.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.Vote now
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now