Year of None
Mikey Kendrick of Year of None is passionate about his craft and about the planet. He strives to create a pieces that will live in his customers homes for a life time while also supporting a cause, planting trees, that will ensure our life time on this planet is as timeless as his furniture.
How do trees and your relationship with TreeEra fit into Year of None’s mission?
As a socio-environmental entrepreneur, it was critical for me – during the initial stages of modeling my business – to build a small scale manufacturing system with a whole-systems design approach that allowed me to create high quality practical goods in a manner befitting my ethical sentiments regarding ecological sustainability. As a furniture maker, whom of which sources building materials directly from the natural environment, I knew this would be a tricky line to walk.
A piece of genuine solid hardwood furniture tells the story of the organisms that lived and ultimately died in order for it to enter into existence. The question when conceptualizing Year of None in those early moments was how to create a regenerative supply chain cycle that returned more than it took from the environment, paying true homage to the beautiful passive creatures that make my work possible – the trees. TreeEra has opened that door for me.
Tell us a bit about Year of None and how you got started.
My operation, more than anything, is somewhat of a rebellion against convention. I started building things in my parents’ garage at an early age as many do. One thing led to another and, by the time I had finished my business degree, I was knee deep in the world of fine furniture with a decently curated collection of woodworking tools and machinery.
Before I decided to start Year of None, I had the benefit of working for a handful of oil and gas related corporations both during and after my schooling. I say, “the benefit of working for”, solely because gaining first hand insight into the everyday operations of the oil and gas industry opened my eyes for the first time to true rate and scale at which we are so casually undermining the delicate nature of our global ecosystem. It was this collection of experiences, working in the industry, that also served as the major catalyst which would propel me forward toward starting my business.
I quit my first job out of college six months in, and started Year of None – an ethical furniture design studio – which I hope, in the near future, to expand into a comprehensive collection of home living wares running the gamut from furniture, to ceramics, to textiles.
What does climate change mean to you?
It pleases me unspeakably to see that so many are waking up to the realization that global climate change is one of the most important issues, if not the most important issue, of this period in human history. But, there is still so much to be done and considered. While individual efforts certainly count, I fundamentally believe that large scale institutional and paradigmatic reforms are the types of change that will ultimately allow us to correct course toward a more sustainable future.
TreeEra’s subscription-based reforestation concept is not only cleverly innovative, it’s also practical and necessary. We can’t expect everyone to drop their lives and move to a permaculture commune on the outskirts of town (although I’d suggest we all seriously consider doing so 🙂 ). Creating new environmentally conscious systemic economic models is the way of the future. And new socio-economic concepts like TreeEra’s are blazing the trail, providing contributive opportunities for those of us who might otherwise see no other realistic means of making an impact.
What are two other organizations, big or small, that inspire you in how they make the environment a priority?
Nade Studio – A one-woman, Tennessee-based, fiber art studio run by Maggie Pate with a focus on social impact and environmental sustainability through the use of natural fibers and natural dying techniques.
Ecovative – A New York-based startup using the power of mycology to create a broad suite of production materials and consumer products from mycelium (the root structure of mushrooms).
Is there a place the you’d spend all of your time off if you could?
Any wild place where the trees are tall and many.