In 2006, Malone had just completed the construction of a wood vacation home in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains. He had cleared the land, poured the concrete countertops, installed a radiant heating system, finished all the woodwork himself, and was putting on the final touches when he was laid off from his job as a producer of Saturday-morning cartoons for Fox Kids Network.
“Owning a vacation home in the Catskills while living in Manhattan is not an act you can sustain for too long while unemployed,” Malone says. He began renting the log home to vacationers and planning his self-rescue strategy. Inspired by his experience working with wood during the home’s construction, Malone founded CounterEvolution NYC, a company that makes furniture from reclaimed bowling lane wood.
Since opening in 2007, Malone has thrown the design equivalent of a three bagger (three strikes in a row). He has designed and produced a trio of collections—the Modern Rustic, Industrial Green, and Reclaimed Cafe lines—that have successfully sold to both individuals and companies like Starbucks and Sweetgreen, a salad and yogurt restaurant with three locations in and around Washington, D.C.
And now, he is finally able to spend his free time enjoying his vacation home in the Catskill Mountains.