After scouring the internet for hours in search of bathroom hardware for our new office, I came across Luxholdups. It was one of those things where I was looking for something different, but wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking for. When I saw the gleaming lucite all over the Etsy page, I fell in love. It was exactly what I wanted- clean and simple with a touch of elegance, and it was different from the sea of hooks and toilet paper holders I had been scrolling through for days.
When I saw they were made in Brooklyn I assumed they were a small design studio and I was even more intrigued. I wanted to learn more. A few weeks later I met Ashley, the Founder, and was in awe as I learned about her path to owning a hardware company. After studying pre-med at Columbia she pivoted to advertising wanting to tap more into her creative side. Not long after taking classes and building a portfolio, she was offered a job at an agency in Miami. She loved her new direction, but wanted to be in NewYork City so made her way back to the city a year later.
Moving into her new apartment, she redecorated it from top to bottom- paint, trim and she had specific curtains in mind but got stuck with curtain rods, not liking the options out there. Seeking inspiration on Pinterest, she saw an image of a store’s dressing room that had a lucite rod. Thinking it was a brilliant use of lucite and loving the idea of how the material disappears, her first curtain rod was conceived. She found a supplier of lucite and another to cast the brass brackets she envisioned. After realizing she incorrectly measured the rods and had to have new ones made, she put the first set on Etsy to see if she could sell them and recoup the cost. Within a week, she had a few dozen inquiries from Interior Designers asking for custom curtain rods. Her first response was that she couldn’t possibly fulfill the orders since she had a full time job. Then she decided it might be a nice way to supplement her high NYC rent.
Having spent much of her life watching and learning how to build objects with her father, she knew her way around tools and machinery. She brought a saw back to her small apartment, contacted the lucite and metal suppliers that sold her the first set of materials and started making custom curtain rods during her lunch hour at work. The orders kept coming and she couldn’t sustain it so she left her job and set up a workshop in her mother’s garage. After a year of fabricating solo, she was able to hire the first two team members, and today – just 4 years later – has a 4,000sf manufacturing facility where all of the products are made, a 2,000sf office/showroom, and a dozen employees.
I asked her why lucite and she shared, “the beauty of lucite really comes when its synthetic, modern and rigid nature is juxtaposed to a traditional material like brass- and that it can be appropriated into anyone’s creative vision- from traditional to modern.” Today, her top sellers are the drawer pulls, and the handrails and retail displays are taking off.
One of things I am most impressed about is the strategy and thoughtfulness she is putting into the growth of her company, especially at her age with no real business experience prior to this endeavor. What her company stands for, who she aligns with from vendors and customers to employees, is all at the forefront of her mind as she makes a name for herself in the design industry. She is proud to work with only the highest quality American made cast acrylic and finest quality metals.
Stay tuned for more magic in lucite designs, and also new materials and product categories. She will also be launching her first consumer website in the next few weeks.