July, 2021 – Kendrick Anderson is a self-employed furniture maker in Atlanta, GA who works with residential clients, interior designers, and architectural firms. Following graduation from our 12-week Furniture Intensive in 2009, he gained experience in several professional workshops before going into business for himself five years later. Today, Kendrick works out of a 2,200-sq. ft. shop in a 7,500-sq.ft. building, the remainder of which he sublets to photographers, ceramicists, and fellow woodworkers. Since 2017, he has also served as a guest instructor here at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.
When Kendrick arrived for the Furniture Intensive, he already knew that he wanted to pursue furniture making as a fulltime career, having apprenticed with two custom furniture makers. Looking back on the Intensive, he says, “Confidence in my craft is the greatest gift I received. I left CFC knowing that even if I had not built a particular piece, I now had the skills and methods to figure it out. This is where the collaborative environment at CFC truly shines: Yes I was focused on whatever piece was currently on my bench, but I was also able to study eleven other pieces simultaneously as I watched my fellow classmates problem-solve their projects. The experience of twelve individuals working alongside one another, engaged in craft of the highest level, remains one of the highlights of my life.”
Kendrick describes learning the business side of his venture as trial by fire: “Building furniture is the easy part – managing clients, emails, bookkeeping, taxes, insurance, etc…, that’s the hard part.” After many years of successful self-employment, he reflects, “When I think of what brings me joy in my work today, I return to collaborating with others. It’s much more important to me these days to use craft to build community rather than be a prolific designer/maker. Whether it is taking on an apprentice, teaching new students, or taking a class to continue learning – working alongside others to create beautiful, functional objects is what I love most.”