Thursday, September 29, 2011

DWELL Guest Blog: Cisco Brothers' Factory Tour

Cisco Pinedo began making custom pieces for his neighbors when he was in his early twenties out of his garage at his home in South Central Los Angeles. As his business grew, he began buying old abandoned buildings on an industrial strip of Western Ave. in the downtrodden neighborhood where he started out. Cisco Home still makes all their upholstered goods, case goods, and their welded and hand-blown glass lighting in Los Angeles (under the name Cisco Brothers), employing over 100 workers in their factories alone. Every item in the huge range of stylish pieces is made with an eye on sustainability and green practices. 

Cisco is by all accounts an unusual business man. He is the rare kind of boss who is loyal and flexible with his employees. It says a lot that the very first upholsterer Cisco ever hired when he started his business over 20 years ago is still working with him. He also made the all too rare decision to keep the vast majority of his manufacturing stateside. I was fortunate to get a guided tour of Cisco Brothers' factory in South Central Los Angeles this week and I truly was impressed by what I saw. I headed straight from the manufacturing side to the retail side, visiting the showroom in Pasadena. From raw materials to beautiful vignettes, Cisco keeps it locally grown.

All the wood Cisco uses is sustainably harvested or reclaimed. They use FSC certified hardwoods, guaranteeing that all their wood comes from sustainable legal sources

Hand-turned selection of legs!

8-Way Hand Tied is the most intricate seating support systems available and the most comfortable. At Cisco Brothers, all 8-way support systems are hand tied into a hardwood frame to ensure they won't squeak or rust.

 Dodger fan happily staining.

 Pieces of recycled wine casks that they turn into drawer fronts and parts of stools and side tables.

Seamstress at work! All Cisco's fabrics are washed in environmentally friendly detergents.

 The inner-workings of one of their totally organic upholstered pieces, using natural latex, organic cotton, and certified organic wool. 

A Cisco upholsterer marking for tufts.

 Bird Cage Lamps. Welding done on premises!

Future lighting, hand-blown in LA

You can purchase Cisco Home's products directly from one of their eight showrooms, like this one in Pasadena, CA, or from a variety of dealers. Check here for a retailer close to you.

The finished products. Tied together with some vintage pieces also sold in their showrooms, their original creations look amazing.

A gorgeous slab table highlighting the work of Magnolia Ceramics,  the company of a local ceramicist named Warner Walcott.

 A teak outdoor chair upholstered in old army tent canvas.

A BIG thank you to Lorena Fuentas and all the people at Cisco Home for letting us come poke around and making us feel welcome. Keep up the amazing work!

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