Wednesday, June 12, 2013

big news...

Sorry to have disappeared for a bit, I have gotten caught up in a project that I am incredibly excited and also super nervous about.   Actually, super nervous doesn't even begin to describe it... more like filled with anxiety and a smidge of nausea.  But in a good way.  I think.  So, I decided to start a little custom made furniture business.  It all started when I was working on a master bedroom project a while back , and was trying to come up with a unique, cool and functional nightstand for a client.  Nothing I had seen in any stores was floating my boat (or his).  And then one day I was at the Rose Bowl flea market....

 And I saw these...

And I thought to myself, I bet that could be the main ingredient for a really cool nightstand.  I texted a photo to my client, who loved the idea.  And then I added some bells and whistles like drawers (little cubbies and doors are not so great for storage), and added a stainless steel surround.

It took a while for my woodworker and me to figure out how to get it to work, balancing the weight of the solid brass doors, but I was thrilled with the results and so was my client, who said "you should sell these because I have never seen anything this cool!"   After I finished the project, I couldn't help but wonder if it would be a successful business idea.  The boxes aren't easy to find, it is super labor intensive (i.e. expensive) to build these pieces and therefore cannot be sold for cheap prices.  I decided to take the leap anyway. 

I have spent months and months collecting vintage post office boxes from all over the country all the while keeping my mouth shut as to what my plans for them were.  No need to plant the idea in anyone elses head while I was trying to pull a business together.  I had a few samples made, mixing finishes and door styles.

 And Modern Postal was born.
 I even had a branding iron made to mark all of my pieces.

I have been consumed with all things that go into starting a new business which has taken a lot of time away from friends and fun but then I have met all sorts of interesting folks along the way.  And I have learned a lot.  Like how hard it is to find these darn vintage post office boxes.  Especially the really cool ones (like the art deco beauty above).  And just how scary and exciting it is to start your own business.  And just how grateful I am to have open minded clients that wanted to try my crazy vintage post office box nightstand idea (and pay for it!) because without them...

If someone had told me 3 years ago, when I was laid off from my old executive job, that I would change careers,  become an intern and work for free for a year and a half (YIKES!)  to learn everything I could while going back to school for some design classes and then start my own business I would have told them they were crazy.  Who knew? So, if you want to see what I am up to in the custom furniture world you can check out my Holly Westhoff Design website here and pin away because there are a bunch of things I am really proud of! And I would love it if you liked my new page on Facebook.

And the really big news is I will be showing my line at Dwell on Design from June 21-23 at the LA Convention Center... next week!  Holy cow!  If you live in LA, I would love it if you stopped by booth M16.  It is a teeny tiny 5'x10' space but worth a peek!  You can go here to register for tickets and enter the code SAVE5 for $5 off admission. I am more nervous about this than I was appearing on the Today Show.  And one of my idols, Michael Graves, will be speaking there. So, to share the same airspace with someone like that is pretty cool.  And big companies like Williams Sonoma and JC Penney will be there too.  Perhaps they are looking for someone to create a line for them before one of their competitors knocks me off?

I will continue blogging here so, please stick around!

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and you can read about the start of my journey as an interior design intern here and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern


  1. Looked, pinned, liked new FB page. This is so cool, Holly! My favorite piece so far is the silver chest. I hope this is super successful for you! :D xo

  2. I love it all!! The new website is very cool and the furniture... very clever and forward-thinking! I wish I could be at dwell!

    Way to go, girl!

  3. Hey There. I discovered your blog the use of msn. This is a really well written article.
    I'll be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful information. Thank you for the post. I'll definitely comeback.

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  4. Thank you so much! I adore your blog & all of your projects!!! You made my day:).

  5. Holly,
    Best wishes for your new venture! You are such an inspiration and definitely a real-life example of "dreams don't come true unless you work towards them". How clever that you had a branding iron made for your furniture line (or maybe that's just how they get the name onto wood furniture, so I learned something today). Adore your jacks collection! Robin

  6. Congrats on your new venture! Love this idea & am loving your blog. It's amazing how a hobby or passion can materialize into a real career. Good luck at Dwell on Design too!

  7. Perfect ideas my friend thank you so much i love this info!

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