Aster Workshops

Top-notch furniture produced by a network of local, independent craftspeople and designers.

What's the big idea?

We link the powerfully equipped home workshops of West Michigan’s talented woodworkers, welders, finishers and designers in a network that produces world class furniture at any volume, while cultivating local, independent craft.

Whether custom or from our catalog, we assign incoming orders to our craftspeople based on specialty and availability. We provide the design, materials, transportation and QC. This frees up the craftspeople to do what they love and do well.

Low overhead allows us to broaden the market for fine furniture: average consumers get fine design and heirloom quality.

Describe the nearest player in your field.

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams offer a catalog of quality modern furniture through retail outlets. We’re aiming for their solid goods: tables, desks, chairs, beds, cabinets and accessories.
IKEA plays the same field of modern design, emphasizing low cost at the expense of durability.

How are you different from that player?

You’ll be able to customize catalog pieces for little or no cost, or order custom.
From order to delivery, we’ll keep the client connected with progress tweets, photos, and a unique web page.
We make fine furniture accessible to the average consumer, and provide rewarding work to our craftspeople.

How's the world different with your idea in it?

By uniting the area’s workshops, we save the cost, space, resources and creativity wasted by factory production. We pay craftspeople well for the work they love to do, giving them time and money to develop their business as they desire. We show consumers that fine custom furniture can be theirs.

Why are you the one to run with this idea?

My network of craftspeople is already testing production. The capital allows me to test the model more effectively.

I’m pursuing this whether or not I’m selected, and continue to work every day to promote independent craft as a thriving vocation that’s great for the individual and the community.

There have been 21 replies to this page

  1. Jake Brown

    This sounds cool.

  2. Kellie Brownell Rosenberg

    Amazing, we love the work

  3. Jordan Frank

    This is a great idea, particularly well suited to Holland, but could work anywhere.

  4. Brandie Navarro

    It would be cool to see some of these pieces submitted to ArtPrize.

  5. Trevor-Melissa Bussies

    Beautiful! Top-notch designer with out of this world workmanship!

  6. Jeff Sabatini

    I’ve already ordered some furniture from this guy. He’s amazing.

  7. Derek Phillips

    I love the idea of distributed manufacturing that keeps costs low and supports other local furniture makers. And Tom’s designs are beautiful.

  8. Aaron Tracy

    What a great idea.  Love the concept! 

  9. Alex Pakonen Foster

    Tom’s work is beautiful.  This is a great idea to support local furniture craftsmen.

  10. Leigh Murray Vander Molen

    What a wonderful idea.  It brings a functional work of art to the masses.  This idea allows the average consumer to connect with the artist.

  11. James Hendricks

    Tom takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary.  Clean, functional and well thought out aesthetics that make beautiful furnishings.

  12. Martha Navarro

    Tom’s work is outstanding with each piece done to perfection!

  13. Michael McFall

    Tom has a strong work ethic, a great eye for detail and I’ve found him really easy to work with.  I love his stuff.

  14. Larry Morton II

    This is a great idea!

  15. Nicole Ropp

    best of luck to you, Tom!

  16. Jack Henningsen

    Tom, I’ve always been very impressed with your work, and I think this concept has a lot of merit.  Good luck!!

  17. Tom Pietri


    Thanks so much for all the kind words and support!

    And if you’ve been trying to email me using .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) you’ll know it wasn’t working. Now it is! I’m much better at designing and building furniture than I am at configuring open-xchange email service to a new domain name.

    Thanks again for all the interest and support!


  18. Shannon MishlerSwan

    Nice work!

  19. Tri Tyler Nguyen

    I must say that the craftsmanship is quite exquisite.

  20. Pablito Marte

    Love the idea!!! Keeping the art of Craftsmanship is crucial to the Are Community…Good luck…

  21. Tom Pietri


    Thanks Pablito!

Sign in with Facebook