Meet Our Maker Dads
Wondering what Clark Davis, David Mawhinney, Jim & Luke Barber, Mitch & Evan Achiron and William Bultman all have in common? They’re all dads and they’re all responsible for making heirloom-quality products that both kids and parents love.
With Father’s Day just around the corner, we’ve been thinking about all the clever dads out there who’ve channeled their passion and love for their children into a game-changing product.
From a no-screw toddler tower that lets kids find their independence in the kitchen to a kids desk that’s being made by chefs who are out of work due to Covid-19, these products are all made by hand and intended to last generation after generation.
Scroll down to learn more about our Maker Dads!
David Mawhinney | Franklin + Emily
When David’s daughter was little, she’d come into his room and perch on an old broken printer. Noticing how content she was simply sitting and watching the world around her, David decided to build her a special chair. Turns out, it didn’t take long for his friends and family to request a chair! The Brooklyn based accountant turned chef decided to swap his kitchen tools for wood-working tools and started Franklin + Emily.
What started with a chair is now a growing furniture brand that offers desks, sofas, stools, loungers, chairs and more. With the mission of using safe, sustainable and socially responsible materials, all Franklin + Emily pieces are free from solvents, VOCs, safe for food contact, and finished with natural vegetable oils and waxes.
One of the things we love most about David is that due to a large number of his chef friends being out of work due to Covid-19, he’s rounded them up to help make his highly popular desk set!
Available in more colors
Clark Davis | Sprout
As someone who spent his childhood knee deep in Legos, it came as no surprise when Clark decided to study Mechanical Engineering in college. It was during his senior year that he started to create furniture that was easy to assemble and disassemble. Armed with fond memories of helping his dad in his cabinet shop and spending many afternoons tinkering away with his own projects, Clark started focusing on designing furniture that gives kids the space they need to learn, invent and get creative. The result: Sprout!
Today, Clark is a father of two still dedicated to designing and manufacturing furniture that meets the needs of today’s kids and parents. All made from CARB-compliant and sustainably-sourced Baltic Birch Plywood, each piece is sealed with a non-VOC finish and water-based paint. The best part: many of the pieces simply click and un-click together making them easy to store when not in use.
Jim & Luke Barber and Mitch & Evan Achiron | Luke’s Toy Factory
What’s better than one father-son maker duo? TWO father-son maker duos!
Luke’s Toy Factory is the result of Jim Barber looking for a second act after leaving the advertising world at the age of sixty-two. Passionate about toys, it just so happened that his son, Luke, was mastering CAD and designing toy prototypes. Sensing that he and Luke were on to something, Jim reached out to Mitch Achrion to help build the brand. Next minute, Mitch’s son, Evan, was on board to help with digital marketing and PR.
Together, they’re taking the toy-world by storm with their eco-friendly trucks. Consisting of US-sourced organic materials such as Maple sawdust, Walnut shells, and Faxfibers, their trucks are made with 30% less plastic and don’t contain any harmful ingredients like BPA, phthalates or formaldehyde.
William Bultman | Uncle Goose
In the early 80s, William was both shocked and dismayed to learn that no one in the US was making wooden blocks for kids. As a father of two, he knew that this wouldn’t do, so he started hand-making blocks in Grand Rapids, Michigan and launched Uncle Goose. As his kids, Scott & Pete, got older, they started helping their dad and the company grew and grew and grew!
Sadly, William passed away in the late 90s and Scott and Pete took over the business with heavy hearts. Determined to continue their father’s legacy and keep up with demand, they’ve taken Uncle Goose to the next level with their expansive range of blocks that feature numerous different languages, themes and designs.
Still made by hand in Michigan today using made in the USA non-toxic inks, the company is dedicated to creating heirloom quality blocks that facilitate open-ended play and family bonding.