Off the wall: Designer’s creative pieces, furniture lines bring art to life
At the place where art and engineering intersect lies Vincent Leman’s true passion.
“I really love designing something new and going through the process of turning a conceptual idea into something that we can make and something people have in their homes…going through that journey,” said Vincent, an ISBDC client since 2014. “Taking the step from turning a spark of an idea into something real – that little transition from artist to engineer, from sketch to designing parts that my people can make – I really love that part.”
Vincent and his wife, Jessie, are the driving force behind Dust and Ashes Productions, the umbrella company to their lines and services. Their most famous branch, Dust Furniture, features curvy, artsy, colorful furniture while Rocket Mission is classically modern office furniture, including standing desks. Uncommon Handmade is home décor, including an array of wall clocks. Finally, Vincent offers contract services to create items for businesses.
“Dust Furniture is where it started for us about 10 years ago with one-of-a-kind pieces. Part of my original vision was taking art off the walls and bringing it into people’s lives and making it 3-D,” Vincent said. “You just walk by a painting, but a bookcase, you can interact with in the world and put things on and touch and move around.
“It’s part of your life and not just a picture on the wall.”
For Vincent, the business is a culmination of his roots, education and natural talent.
“I grew up in my family’s custom cabinetry business so I grew up building cabinets and furniture. I am naturally artsy … I have always drawn, worked in clay, done sculptures and photography. I have a degree in mechanical engineering,” he said. “The business is a combination of my God-given artsiness, degree and experience. You take away one component and Dust Furniture wouldn’t exist.”
Jessie was integral in taking the business to another level, helping bring Vincent’s vision to the masses.
“With a degree in graphic design, she helped launch the business in 2005 and turn the furniture from one-of-a-kind into a reproducible line and a business,” he said.
Over the years, the lines continue to grow with innovative products and tools, high-quality materials and an expanded team. Today, four full-time and three part-time employees help Vincent manufacture his pieces out of the studio in Valparaiso where they are made to order, finished by hand and delivered around the country and world.
Beyond utilizing environmentally friendly materials, the team works with the Arbor Foundation to plant a tree for every purchase customers make.
Dust and Ashes Productions
456 S. Campbell St., Suite C, in Valparaiso