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FURNITURE DESIGNER: Nobody's Good At What They're Doing In The Beginning

About this video 

Alessandro, a furniture designer, spends his typical day designing furniture, communicating with the factory and with his customers. He became interested in furniture design after taking woodworking classes as part of his architecture school. After working as an architect for some time, he returned to furniture design and eventually started his own company.

Degree: Architecture
Job Title: Owner/Furniture Designer
Employer: Self-Employed

Job Summary: Woodworkers and Furniture Finishers

Job Description

Woodworkers build a variety of products, such as cabinets and furniture, using wood. Furniture finishers shape, finish, and refinish damaged and worn furniture. They often work with antiques and must judge how to best preserve and repair them. They also do the staining and sealing at the end of the process of making wooden products.

Furniture finishers shape, finish, and refinish damaged, worn, or used furniture or new high-grade furniture to specified color or finish.

On-the-Job Training

1-3 years of training is required for woodworking. Less for furniture finishing.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$20,000 - $45,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
2 to 20 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Indoor, Physically demanding, Outdoor
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Detail oriented, Hand-eye coordination, Strength/stamina, Likes working with hands

Educational Path

Education requirement
Education Requirement
High school degree
Recommended majors
Recommended Majors
Woodworking
View Detailed Career Data
P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='170'>My</span> <span m='250'>name</span> <span m='390'>is</span> <span m='490'>Alessandro</span> <span m='1030'>Latini.</span> <span m='1160'>I'm</span> <span m='1660'>a</span> <span m='1740'>furniture</span> <span m='2150'>designer.</span> <span m='3830'>And</span> <span m='3980'>I</span> <span m='4030'>guess</span> <span m='4470'>I can</span> <span m='4730'>call</span> <span m='4950'>myself an</span> <span m='5290'>entrepreneur,</span> <span m='5890'>since</span> <span m='6180'>I've</span> <span m='6250'>started</span> <span m='6590'>my</span> <span m='6710'>own</span> <span m='6870'>business.</span> <span m='7960'>So</span> <span m='8150'>a</span> <span m='8210'>typical</span> <span m='8650'>day</span> <span m='8970'>for</span> <span m='9170'>me</span> <span m='9760'>involves</span> <span m='10550'>a</span> <span m='10620'>lot</span> <span m='10930'>of</span> <span m='11980'>juggling</span> <span m='12510'>of</span> <span m='12850'>different</span> <span m='13620'>facets</span> <span m='14120'>of</span> <span m='14190'>the</span> <span m='14260'>business.</span> <span m='15190'>Obviously,</span> <span m='15580'>the</span> <span m='16210'>part</span> <span m='16510'>that</span> <span m='16650'>I</span> <span m='16740'>like</span> <span m='17000'>best</span> <span m='17320'>is</span> <span m='17550'>to</span> <span m='17710'>design</span> <span m='18270'>furniture.</span> <span m='19840'>And</span> <span m='20200'>I</span> <span m='20360'>have</span> <span m='20590'>different</span> <span m='21090'>customers</span> <span m='22010'>that</span> <span m='22230'>I</span> <span m='22440'>design</span> <span m='22880'>furniture</span> <span m='23280'>for,</span> <span m='24110'>as</span> <span m='24290'>well</span> <span m='24690'>as</span> <span m='25300'>doing</span> <span m='25580'>designs</span> <span m='26020'>for</span> <span m='26360'>my</span> <span m='26560'>own</span> <span m='26750'>line</span> <span m='27040'>of</span> <span m='27110'>furniture.</span> </p><p><span m='28700'>Then</span> <span m='29240'>there's</span> <span m='29440'>always</span> <span m='29820'>business</span> <span m='30490'>things</span> <span m='30750'>to</span> <span m='30870'>take</span> <span m='31090'>care</span> <span m='31400'>of,</span> <span m='31470'>lots</span> <span m='31780'>of</span> <span m='31890'>emails,</span> <span m='32439'>lots</span> <span m='32670'>of</span> <span m='32770'>communication</span> <span m='34250'>between</span> <span m='34680'>my</span> <span m='34790'>customers,</span> <span m='35600'>between</span> <span m='36440'>the</span> <span m='36570'>factories</span> <span m='37090'>that</span> <span m='37220'>make</span> <span m='37760'>our</span> <span m='37920'>furniture.</span> <span m='40960'>And</span> <span m='41280'>that's</span> <span m='41780'>probably</span> <span m='42490'>it.</span> <span m='43360'>If</span> <span m='43950'>I</span> <span m='44030'>were</span> <span m='44240'>to</span> <span m='45660'>look</span> <span m='45890'>at</span> <span m='45950'>the</span> <span m='46010'>whole</span> <span m='46200'>picture,</span> <span m='46520'>that</span> <span m='47070'>would</span> <span m='47170'>be</span> <span m='47300'>at</span> <span m='47370'>least</span> <span m='47680'>50%</span> <span m='48430'>of</span> <span m='48510'>my</span> <span m='48710'>time</span> <span m='49120'>every</span> <span m='49320'>day</span> <span m='49590'>would</span> <span m='49760'>be</span> <span m='49960'>just</span> <span m='50470'>in</span> <span m='50580'>terms</span> <span m='50850'>of</span> <span m='50960'>communication</span> <span m='53140'>and</span> <span m='53450'>emails</span> <span m='53960'>great</span> <span m='54240'>for</span> <span m='54390'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='55640'>I</span> <span m='55870'>started</span> <span m='56820'>working</span> <span m='57460'>on</span> <span m='57630'>furniture</span> <span m='59080'>while</span> <span m='59360'>I</span> <span m='59480'>was</span> <span m='59600'>studying</span> <span m='60000'>architecture.</span> <span m='61240'>So</span> <span m='61520'>they</span> <span m='61700'>had</span> <span m='61890'>an</span> <span m='62260'>amazing</span> <span m='63130'>woodworking</span> <span m='63660'>shop</span> <span m='64120'>as</span> <span m='64280'>part</span> <span m='64480'>of</span> <span m='64530'>the</span> <span m='64680'>architecture</span> <span m='65379'>school,</span> <span m='66340'>and</span> <span m='66540'>so</span> <span m='66630'>I</span> <span m='66700'>started</span> <span m='67100'>making</span> <span m='67540'>models</span> <span m='68120'>for</span> <span m='68390'>my</span> <span m='68550'>furniture</span> <span m='68990'>classes</span> <span m='69650'>and</span> <span m='69760'>just</span> <span m='70060'>loved</span> <span m='71310'>spending</span> <span m='71840'>time</span> <span m='72240'>in</span> <span m='72330'>the</span> <span m='72410'>wood</span> <span m='72610'>shop</span> <span m='72970'>making</span> <span m='73430'>things.</span> <span m='74140'>And</span> <span m='75350'>then</span> <span m='75660'>I</span> <span m='75840'>was</span> <span m='76030'>able</span> <span m='76220'>to</span> <span m='76310'>take</span> <span m='76590'>some</span> <span m='76740'>furniture</span> <span m='77280'>classes</span> <span m='79450'>in</span> <span m='79700'>the</span> <span m='79780'>shop,</span> <span m='80320'>and</span> <span m='80660'>that</span> <span m='80870'>just</span> <span m='81120'>sort</span> <span m='81400'>of</span> <span m='81500'>spread</span> <span m='82670'>into</span> <span m='83070'>doing</span> <span m='83430'>more</span> <span m='84080'>furniture.</span> </p><p><span m='85320'>Then,</span> <span m='85520'>when</span> <span m='85680'>I</span> <span m='85720'>actually</span> <span m='86120'>left</span> <span m='86420'>school,</span> <span m='87780'>I</span> <span m='87890'>first</span> <span m='88280'>tried</span> <span m='88520'>to</span> <span m='88870'>start</span> <span m='89250'>some</span> <span m='89390'>business</span> <span m='89790'>with</span> <span m='89920'>some</span> <span m='90080'>friends.</span> <span m='91450'>Obviously,</span> <span m='91830'>it's</span> <span m='92590'>very</span> <span m='92830'>difficult</span> <span m='93250'>to</span> <span m='93340'>get</span> <span m='93560'>started.</span> <span m='94040'>So</span> <span m='94460'>I</span> <span m='94550'>really</span> <span m='94800'>wasn't</span> <span m='95110'>able</span> <span m='95320'>to</span> <span m='95410'>make</span> <span m='95620'>a</span> <span m='95670'>living.</span> <span m='97310'>And</span> <span m='97660'>I</span> <span m='97690'>went</span> <span m='97940'>back</span> <span m='98240'>into</span> <span m='98650'>architecture,</span> <span m='99350'>and</span> <span m='99450'>I</span> <span m='99500'>worked</span> <span m='99790'>as</span> <span m='99900'>an</span> <span m='100000'>architect</span> <span m='100640'>for</span> <span m='100910'>about</span> <span m='101180'>four</span> <span m='101350'>or</span> <span m='101380'>five</span> <span m='101690'>years.</span> <span m='104240'>And</span> <span m='104720'>I</span> <span m='104880'>was</span> <span m='105120'>able</span> <span m='105460'>to--</span> <span m='106770'>the</span> <span m='106870'>whole</span> <span m='107110'>time</span> <span m='107410'>working</span> <span m='107720'>architecture,</span> <span m='108650'>I</span> <span m='108790'>realized</span> <span m='109280'>I</span> <span m='109330'>really</span> <span m='109900'>did</span> <span m='110280'>want</span> <span m='110510'>to</span> <span m='110570'>work</span> <span m='110840'>in</span> <span m='110930'>furniture</span> <span m='111190'>if</span> <span m='111450'>possible.</span> </p><p><span m='112570'>And</span> <span m='113030'>I</span> <span m='113070'>was</span> <span m='113260'>very</span> <span m='113490'>lucky</span> <span m='114030'>and</span> <span m='114450'>found</span> <span m='115030'>a</span> <span m='115140'>job</span> <span m='115700'>with</span> <span m='115920'>a</span> <span m='116120'>local</span> <span m='116690'>furniture</span> <span m='117130'>company</span> <span m='119100'>and</span> <span m='119680'>went</span> <span m='119890'>to</span> <span m='120020'>work</span> <span m='120340'>for</span> <span m='120490'>them</span> <span m='121180'>as</span> <span m='121470'>almost</span> <span m='121790'>like</span> <span m='121930'>an</span> <span m='122040'>intern,</span> <span m='122420'>just</span> <span m='122660'>really</span> <span m='122840'>starting</span> <span m='123300'>out.</span> <span m='124320'>And</span> <span m='124560'>I</span> <span m='124590'>worked</span> <span m='124950'>for</span> <span m='125120'>that</span> <span m='125400'>company</span> <span m='125920'>for</span> <span m='126410'>more</span> <span m='126650'>than</span> <span m='126830'>10</span> <span m='127100'>years</span> <span m='128310'>and</span> <span m='128550'>traveled</span> <span m='129590'>with</span> <span m='129880'>them</span> <span m='130190'>to</span> <span m='130460'>Asia,</span> <span m='131090'>to</span> <span m='131170'>lots</span> <span m='131480'>of</span> <span m='131550'>different</span> <span m='131850'>factories,</span> <span m='133090'>designing</span> <span m='133930'>furniture,</span> <span m='134540'>learning</span> <span m='134860'>about</span> <span m='135040'>the</span> <span m='135120'>furniture</span> <span m='135590'>business.</span> <span m='136180'>So</span> <span m='136840'>it</span> <span m='137300'>was</span> <span m='137510'>a</span> <span m='137610'>wonderful</span> <span m='138500'>opportunity,</span> <span m='139560'>a</span> <span m='139700'>real</span> <span m='139950'>lucky</span> <span m='140210'>break</span> <span m='140560'>for</span> <span m='140680'>me</span> <span m='140850'>to</span> <span m='142040'>get</span> <span m='142330'>into</span> <span m='143600'>sort</span> <span m='143800'>of</span> <span m='143910'>a</span> <span m='144140'>niche</span> <span m='144620'>business.</span> </p><p><span m='146240'>If</span> <span m='146490'>I</span> <span m='146920'>thought</span> <span m='147140'>back,</span> <span m='147470'>what</span> <span m='147740'>are</span> <span m='147810'>the</span> <span m='147970'>things--</span> <span m='148430'>what's</span> <span m='148660'>something</span> <span m='149040'>that</span> <span m='149300'>I</span> <span m='149410'>wish</span> <span m='149710'>I</span> <span m='149780'>knew</span> <span m='150690'>that</span> <span m='150860'>I</span> <span m='150930'>know</span> <span m='151170'>now?</span> <span m='153910'>And</span> <span m='154080'>that's</span> <span m='154630'>really</span> <span m='154860'>just</span> <span m='155050'>to</span> <span m='155130'>have</span> <span m='155340'>confidence</span> <span m='156290'>in</span> <span m='156700'>what</span> <span m='156900'>you</span> <span m='157010'>do,</span> <span m='158360'>and</span> <span m='158560'>that</span> <span m='158770'>what</span> <span m='158940'>you</span> <span m='159080'>do</span> <span m='159440'>is</span> <span m='159790'>good</span> <span m='160060'>enough.</span> <span m='162030'>And</span> <span m='163060'>I</span> <span m='163180'>think</span> <span m='163350'>when</span> <span m='163490'>you're</span> <span m='163580'>young,</span> <span m='163900'>you</span> <span m='163990'>tend</span> <span m='164730'>to</span> <span m='164800'>give</span> <span m='165080'>up</span> <span m='165260'>on</span> <span m='165410'>things</span> <span m='165800'>easily.</span> </p><p><span m='167790'>And</span> <span m='168140'>really,</span> <span m='168960'>a</span> <span m='169040'>huge</span> <span m='169460'>part</span> <span m='169840'>of</span> <span m='169990'>finding</span> <span m='170460'>your</span> <span m='170590'>place</span> <span m='171160'>in</span> <span m='171540'>the</span> <span m='171670'>job</span> <span m='172060'>world</span> <span m='172410'>is</span> <span m='172890'>perseverance,</span> <span m='174600'>continuing</span> <span m='175170'>to--</span> <span m='175930'>and</span> <span m='176440'>it</span> <span m='176580'>helps</span> <span m='176920'>us</span> <span m='177040'>to</span> <span m='177640'>find</span> <span m='177960'>something</span> <span m='178190'>that</span> <span m='178360'>you</span> <span m='178500'>love</span> <span m='178820'>to</span> <span m='178940'>do.</span> <span m='179340'>And</span> <span m='179440'>no</span> <span m='179590'>matter</span> <span m='179930'>whether</span> <span m='181580'>you</span> <span m='181800'>think</span> <span m='182040'>you're</span> <span m='182140'>good</span> <span m='182420'>at it</span> <span m='182570'>or</span> <span m='182780'>not,</span> <span m='183060'>if</span> <span m='183180'>you</span> <span m='183350'>enjoy</span> <span m='183730'>doing</span> <span m='184050'>it,</span> <span m='184150'>that's</span> <span m='184400'>enough.</span> <span m='184770'>Because</span> <span m='185070'>that</span> <span m='185220'>will</span> <span m='185420'>allow</span> <span m='185700'>you</span> <span m='185850'>to</span> <span m='185950'>stay</span> <span m='187420'>in</span> <span m='187650'>that</span> <span m='187880'>field,</span> <span m='188240'>and</span> <span m='188330'>you</span> <span m='188430'>can</span> <span m='188580'>continue</span> <span m='189100'>to</span> <span m='189200'>do</span> <span m='189430'>it.</span> <span m='189590'>And</span> <span m='191000'>don't</span> <span m='191210'>be</span> <span m='191350'>too</span> <span m='191520'>hard</span> <span m='191830'>on</span> <span m='191930'>yourself.</span> <span m='192290'>Because</span> <span m='192520'>in</span> <span m='192600'>the</span> <span m='192670'>beginning,</span> <span m='193300'>nobody's</span> <span m='193790'>good</span> <span m='194100'>at</span> <span m='195060'>what</span> <span m='195470'>they</span> <span m='195610'>start</span> <span m='196000'>doing.</span> <span m='196840'>So</span> <span m='197660'>just</span> <span m='197850'>stick</span> <span m='198190'>with</span> <span m='198440'>what</span> <span m='198680'>you're</span> <span m='198780'>doing and</span> <span m='199240'>what</span> <span m='199380'>you</span> <span m='199500'>love</span> <span m='199680'>to</span> <span m='199790'>do.</span> </p>","file":{"id":363079,"video_id":"3257343719001","name":"2146-Alessandro-FurnitureMaker1","duration":201085,"thumbnail_url":null}});