Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One on One with Jim from CounterEvolution 10-20-2009

Feelings: My old co worker, Mr. Jim Malone contacted me after reading my Ramen and Friends post on La Crêpe Parisienne. It turns out he actually built the beautiful window counter for them. His company, CounterEvolution NYC, designs and builds stylishly modern green furniture. Jim was kind enough to grant Ramen & Friends an interview about his innovative company.

R&F: Please tell us about your company, CounterEvolution NYC.
JM: We design and build contemporary Green furniture and commercial installations from reclaimed bowling lane wood. I started the company in 2007 by putting a few pieces up for sale on Craigslist, and, within a short amount of time, the buzz was strong enough that I decided to make it my full-time gig.

R&F: Where did you get the inspiration for the window counter for La Crepe Parisienne?
JM: That was really the architect's idea. He wanted to use a lot of reclaimed wood, and decided to feature one of our counters in the window. He also wanted to let people know where it came from, so we chose a piece with an original arrow from the lane.

R&F: How long did the entire process take you?
JM: From the time they initially contacted me to installation, it was about 6 weeks, but the time in the shop was only about 3-4 days. Generally, counters are much quicker turnarounds than our furniture, but with this one, we had to figure out how to make it fit around a 5-inch pipe and still look seamless. So, that was a bit of a challenge. Once we determined how to do that, it was relatively quick.

R&F: Last time I saw you, you were a successful TV producer/actor. Did you always know how to build furniture...and a beautiful window counter for a creperie!?
JM: You might say I was acting like a successful TV producer. Not to say I didn't enjoy the work. It was a lot of fun. But, at the end of the day, I had very little creative energy for my own projects. So, by the time I had the idea for CounterEvolution, I had been searching for quite a while for something that would combine my artistic and professional lives. As far as building furniture, my father was a very DIY kind of guy and grew up in the depression, so building things out of found objects or whatever was lying around always seemed very natural to me.

R&F: Your favorite restaurants in the city?
JM: I love Tapeo 29 in my old LES neighborhood. Great tapas and wine. Also, Estancia 460 in Tribeca, great food and warm, old-world interior. For me, the ambiance is almost more important than the food, and those are two that work for me.

R&F: Did they give you free crepes?
JM: Not yet. Thanks for reminding me.

Don't forget to check out CounterEvolution!

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