Ownr Success Story: 1BENMU
1BENMU – Furniture & Design Studio specializes in designing unique handcrafted pieces and will always ensure your home or commercial space is functional, practical, and beautiful. In this interview with Ownr, Founder of 1BENMU, Carter Chen shares his experience starting his own business and shares his advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
Introduce us to 1BENMU – Furniture & Design Studio
Carter: 1BENMU is a Toronto based studio that provides one-of-a-kind furniture. We specialize in Solid Wood Furniture and we design and make tabletops, countertops, residential and commercial custom furniture.
What inspired you to set up 1BENMU?
Carter: The journey started in 2014, when I made a live edge table for the first time and I realized the beauty of the wood itself. One day, I read an article about the city trees and I realized that, in the City of Toronto, thousands of trees get cut down due to ageing, natural disasters or city development. A lot of them are turned into firewood or chips. That was exactly the moment when I decided to do something about that. I wanted to repurpose those logs and salvage them into long-lasting beauty in the home and this is how I started doing custom furniture.
When you decided to make your business official, what did you tackle first?
Carter: Officially we launched the company in 2016 and our first location was in Whitchurch-Stouffville. We stayed there for around one year before we decided to move to Scarborough.
What has been your biggest success or earliest win in running your business thus far?
Carter: The biggest success of 1BENMU is the team we have created. Our woodworkers & designers are not only OCAD University graduates, but most importantly they have a great passion for furniture designing and craftsmanship. This gives me confidence that the company will keep growing.
What has been your biggest challenge in running your business thus far?
Carter: When you are launching a company, unfortunately, passion is not enough. You need to take into consideration the business aspect as well. There is always uncertainty about the future and you have to take care of things like cash flow, profit margins, reducing costs, financing etc.
Is there any advice you have for other entrepreneurs starting on their business journey?
Carter: A solid team is the foundation of a successful business. If you have the right people that actually want to be a part of the business, then the future will be bright.
Where can people find out more about 1BENMU?