Lou's Elevator Pitch
I create one of a kind, sculpted, mesquite furniture & art from a TEXAS wood that is traditionally burned in BBQ pits or used in more rustic way.
About Lou Quallenberg Studios
"Originally from New Jersey I moved to the beautiful Texas Hill Country in 2002 lured by my wife's promise of a Harley Davidson and a slower pace of life. After making a Mesquite table for a friend, I discovered that this unique and difficult wood had captured my heart. The slower pace fell by the wayside as my skills developed and began to allow me to make the pieces that I sketched. The dawning realization that I may not be able to make them all in my lifetime made this a full time job. What began as making furniture has gradually moved more towards sculptural art pieces. I like to listen to and be directed by the trees and each individual slab with all of it's character. In order to match the natural curves we slice the mesquite into thin strips, add epoxy and clamp them into jigs that are made to match the natural curve. These curved mesquite laminates end up being stronger than a natural curved piece would be and allow me to create the unique look that my design dictates."
What makes your business unique?
"I use Mesquite which is a native American hardwood found in Texas, that is usually burned in BBQ pits to flavor food cooked outside. This gnarly, wood is full of holes, curves, cracks and crevices that provide the character and beauty I seek to draw out of each piece. My wife thinks it is pretty unique that a "JERSEY BOY" AKA: YANKEE is making a living (and winning "BEST TEXAS STYLE" Awards at the Texas Furniture Makers Show) using a Texas Native wood that ranchers find pesky and the locals chop up and burn for firewood."
What's the best business advice you've received?
"Do what you LOVE. Follow your PASSION. That thing that makes your HEART sing! BELIEVE in yourself and INVEST in yourself. It may not be business advice but it sure is good LIFE advice."
From Sept. 17-23, 36 finalists (six from each category) will vie for the grand prize of $10,000, which Lou Quallenberg said if he wins, the money will be put to expanding his businesses.
The Martha Stewart American Made GRAND PRIZE winner will be announced on Sept. 24, 2013.