In prior posts, I have highlighted the Eph booze and culinary mafia, as well as Ephs working on sustainable energy initiatives.  While there aren’t enough Ephs crafting / studying custom / hand-made furniture to qualify as a “mafia” (yet), there is a surprisingly strong contingent, large enough to fairly dub a cabal.

Blu Dot, owned by John Christakos, Charles Lazor, and Maurice Blanks (all ’87), has been previously featured on Ephblog.   Early American furniture curator Ethan Lasser ’99 has also been previously featured on Ephblog.  Jonathan Edie ’88 (pictured) was recently featured in this article chronicling his work (with his wife) at Chajo Art Furnishings.   Seth Rolland ’86 has been working as a custom furniture maker for 20 years.  Jason Phillips ’89 is the President of McGuire Furniture.   [Notice the concentration of alums in the late 1980’s … no doubt inspired by the infamous campus Furniture Wars of 1987, when the administration removed all furniture from row house common areas after one-too-many ottomans drunkenly tossed through windows, necessitating self-help in the form of hand-carved furniture sourced from Hopkins Forest].

Of course, every cabal / mafia needs a Dean, and for Williams, Leslie Keno ’79, Antiques Roadshow and Sotheby’s furniture appraiser, and now furniture designer, certainly qualifies.

Overall, while not yet a mafia, it is an impressive group of Ephs thinking outside the box, and using their talents in beautiful, creative ways.  I am particularly impressed with Ephs such as these, who took the immortal words of Martin Sheen’s character in Wall Street to heart:  “Stop going for the easy buck and start producing something with your life. Create, instead of living off the buying and selling of others.”  So, the next time someone tells you that everyone with a Williams degree is a consultant, lawyer, doctor, academic, or investment banker, please correct them!

Print  •  Email