RISE:
The Making of Paul Rene.

Paul Jeffrey knows loss and hardship well. In 1996, hubris caused his hard fall to the bottom, that would last nearly 2 decades.

 

After a design apprenticeship in France, Paul Jeffrey worked as a concept car designer for Ford Motor Company in Detroit. Within a few years, he quit because he felt stifled by the corporate environment. With his new bride Renee, they headed for the warmer climate of L.A., determined to find the fullest degree of artistic self-expression.

“Although my motives were right, I was arrogant – so blinded by early career success that within one year of leaving Detroit, I lost 6 figures of start-up savings in a risky business deal. Half belonged to Renee and she was opposed to the deal.”

Broken, the former U.S. Army officer and his family fell into poverty.

Refusing to give up his goal and return to Detroit, Paul Jeffrey lived the next 7 years barely able to put food on the table. “I remember going to the grocery store one day soon after my son was born, with a Ziploc bag full of pennies, nickels, and dimes. ”

Conditions got so bad, that in late 2002, Paul hobbled to Phoenix with his family, seeking refuge in his father-in-law.

“Although help came, my marriage didn’t survive.”

 

 

 

While stocking shelves at Walgreens and desperate for more income, Paul Jeffrey had a chance encounter with a carpenter who had basic woodworking skills. The duo rented a 14’ X 14’ storage box in west Phoenix. With a few very worn, pawn shop power tools, some held together by duct tape, they started making furniture.

 

 

 

 

When asked why furniture design? Paul Jeffrey says it seems to have chosen him.

“Home building was driving economic growth in the early 2000s. As my inner voice began calling me back to design, it was obvious that I’d have to somehow involve my talents in that industry.

Designing for California Closets was my starting point and training ground. My lucky break came when I met the daughter-in-law of the founder of Basha’s grocery stores. She wanted solid wood office furniture, but at that time, California Closets only worked in laminates. When I informed her that I had my own woodworking shop, she gave me the job.”

Paul Jeffrey would have to persevere 10 more years of hardship before becoming skillful at his new craft.

“The great value of those years was learning that struggle is natural law, necessary for continuous growth and transformation. While I was on the bottom, I could either push up against the gravity of my shortcomings, that caused my fall or remain under its weight.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul says his work symbolizes struggle and transformation. “We subject raw wood to a process that, if the wood could talk, would tell you a story of being cut, hammered, nailed, until it became an object of moving beauty.”

 

 

 

 

 

Today, Paul Jeffrey is the recipient of numerous design awards. In 2018, he was crowned DESIGN ICON by a respected industry trade magazine.

 

He likens his fall and rise to that of the Phoenix. The legendary bird that burns itself every 500 years and then rises from its ashes – wiser and more capable.

 

 

“No matter how successful we become, we will continue to produce our work among and with the disadvantaged of west Phoenix. Beyond making furniture, my purpose is to be a light to those seeking a way up. ”

 

 

During consultation, we’ll discuss functionality, styling, turn-around time and retainer fee.

Learn the process or see f.a.q.