Made in Michigan: Maslo Industrial Design

A custom Maslo Industrial Design table for FOX 47. Click on the arrows to see additional photos of pieces. Image by Andrew Tebeau

Made in Michigan: Maslo Industrial Design

By Stefanie Pohl. CREATED Jul 31, 2014

When you hear the phrase "Made in Michigan," thoughts often arise of our eclectic food culture, from cherries in Traverse City to Better Made Snack Foods in Detroit. But the "Made in Michigan" moniker also applies to several other industries, including furniture manufacturing.

In Holland, Michigan, Maslo Industrial Design started as a tool and die company, working with metal for over 20 years. But its owner Jim England's creative eye and love for vintage items led the company to industrial design and custom furniture over the last couple years. 

"Anything old interests me. Anything vintage, anything industrial," says England. "We were going to start building our own office furniture for the front office. We started in that direction, and then we decided to build a table. It started with the bar top table, and we got a lot of good feedback. We thought 'let's try some more.'"

The goal for this side venture? To create quality, one-of-a-kind pieces. 

"You just don't see that anymore. Everything is mass-produced, with thin, cheap materials. That's not what we're into. We're into something special, something heirloom, with the quality in mind. Everything is made in America here," says England.

Tables manufactured by Maslo Industrial Design, including a table commissioned for FOX 47's Production Suite, are topped with reclaimed wood from a barn in Graafschap, Michigan built in the 1890s. "From the wood beams to the flooring, all of the wood is out of that," England says. 

He also says that he has wood materials from an old seawall in Lake Michigan, buried under the water for the last 60-80 years, for future projects.
Maslo Industrial's pieces are a mix of old and new, with reclaimed wood embellished with new metal work. England's love of vintage cars is apparent in his design and attention to the metal detail. "Everything old is better than new" to England. 
One of the pieces he hopes to repurpose is an old word press with a cast-iron base made by the Detroit Machinery Company. England says the company is open to building items to the customer's needs, even designing pieces out of materials provided by the customer. 
The key component to Maslo Industrial Design's pieces is quality, even if that means taking time to make sure everything is done to the standard they've set for themselves. 
"No matter how long it takes us to do a project, it will be done right. You see that we've put the time into it. I think that will set us apart from the rest."

Visit Maslo Industrial Design's Facebook page for more information about the company and click on the arrows above to see photos of their furniture pieces.