Furniture Fresh from South Central L.A.

written by:
September 28, 2011

In our October 2011 issue we're spotlighting all of our favorite American-made design. To lend a hand, we've asked Michael and Ruth Storc of the great site Design Patriot to share their top Made in the USA finds with us. This week, they spotlight Cisco Home, a sustanable furniture company based in South Central Los Angeles.

 

When he was in his early twenties, Cisco Pinedo began making custom furniture for his neighbors out of his home garage in South Central Los Angeles. As his business grew, he started buying abandoned buildings on an industrial strip of Western Avenue in the downtrodden neighborhood where he started. 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.

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  Cisco is by all accounts an unusual business man. He's the rare kind of boss who's loyal and flexible with his employees. The very first upholsterer Cisco hired when he started his business over 20 years ago still works with him today—and that says a lot. 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' L.A. factory this week and I truly was impressed. Then, I headed straight from the manufacturing side to the retail side, visiting their Pasadena showroom. From raw materials to beautiful vignettes, Cisco keeps it locally grown.
    Cisco is by all accounts an unusual business man. He's the rare kind of boss who's loyal and flexible with his employees. The very first upholsterer Cisco hired when he started his business over 20 years ago still works with him today—and that says a lot. 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' L.A. factory this week and I truly was impressed. Then, I headed straight from the manufacturing side to the retail side, visiting their Pasadena showroom. From raw materials to beautiful vignettes, Cisco keeps it locally grown.
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  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
    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
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  A hand-turned selection of legs!
    A hand-turned selection of legs!
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  An "8-way hand-tied" piece 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.
    An "8-way hand-tied" piece 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.
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  A Dodger fan happily stains a future chair.
    A Dodger fan happily stains a future chair.
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  These recycled wine casks will eventually become the fronts of drawers and parts of stools and side tables.
    These recycled wine casks will eventually become the fronts of drawers and parts of stools and side tables.
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  Seamstress at work! All Cisco's fabrics are washed in environmentally friendly detergents.
    Seamstress at work! All Cisco's fabrics are washed in environmentally friendly detergents.
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  The inner-workings of one of their totally organic upholstered pieces, using natural latex, organic cotton, and certified organic wool.
    The inner-workings of one of their totally organic upholstered pieces, using natural latex, organic cotton, and certified organic wool.
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  This Cisco upholsterer is marking positions for tufts.
    This Cisco upholsterer is marking positions for tufts.
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  Here are a few bird cage lamps. Welding done on the premises!
    Here are a few bird cage lamps. Welding done on the premises!
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  Future lighting, hand-blown in L.A.
    Future lighting, hand-blown in L.A.
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  A teak outdoor chair upholstered in old army tent canvas.
    A teak outdoor chair upholstered in old army tent canvas.
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  A gorgeous slab table highlighting the work of Magnolia Ceramics,  the company of local ceramicist Warner Walcott.
    A gorgeous slab table highlighting the work of Magnolia Ceramics, the company of local ceramicist Warner Walcott.
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  The finished products. Tied together with some vintage pieces also sold in their showrooms, their original creations look amazing.
    The finished products. Tied together with some vintage pieces also sold in their showrooms, their original creations look amazing.

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