Semihandmade Thinks Outside the Box at WeWork

At Semihandmade, maintaining the status quo isn’t really our thing. Thinking outside the (IKEA cabinet) box is our thing. We’re always looking for ways to innovate.


Semihandmade Art of Board


It all started with our “custom doors for IKEA kitchen cabinets” concept. In the 5 years since then, we have:

  • Expanded the variety of doors we offer to 50+
  • Grown our collection to include doors for IKEA bathroom, closet, and media cabinets
  • Added furniture upgrades such as floating shelves, bookcases, wine cases, decorative pulls, legs, and tops

Our collaborations with other companies have allowed us to offer some truly high-end doors for IKEA cabinets.

  • Semihandmade + Stikwood: doors made from reclaimed barn lumber, wine barrels and old  basketball courts
  • Semihandmade + Art of Board: doors made from reclaimed skateboard decks
  • Semihandmade + Plyboo: sustainable bamboo panels and doors
  • Semihandmade + Mirth Studio: tile drawers and doors for select IKEA bathroom and media cabinets

We’ve also recently partnered with renowned artists Rex Ray, Erik Abel, Lisa Congdon, Eloise Renouf, and Elizabeth Olwen to showcase their work on our doors.

That new line, Print, uses cutting-edge ink-jet technology so their designs look vibrant and bold for years to come.

Our latest innovation: WeWork mini-showrooms

Now we’re thinking outside the box again - this time, it’s the showroom and design show boxes. Our latest innovation - one we’re especially excited about – is opening Semihandmade mini-showrooms inside WeWork locations around the country.  

What’s WeWork, you ask? For the unfamiliar, WeWork is only the biggest, best and baddest co-working company in the world with 111 locations in 30 cities throughout the US, Europe, Israel and China.

As of early this year, you can find Semihandmade in WeWork offices in Brooklyn, Chicago, New York, and Pasadena. By the end of this year we’ll be in San Francisco, Seattle, and Canada. 

Why mini-showrooms?

For the past 5 years, we’ve done most of our marketing at design and industry shows. They’re valuable, but costly.  At six or seven of these over the course of a year, it really adds up.

Says founder John McDonald, “When we learned about WeWork, we saw a great opportunity. And, frankly, one that no one else in the industry had considered.  For a fraction of what we normally pay for a trade show, we can put our products in front of customers in our best-selling cities. They can get an up-close look at what we have to offer.”

McDonald is careful not to call it a showroom, however. He sees them more as mini-installations where customers can see what Semihandmade doors look like in a real setting.

“We’re thinking of them as ‘extended pop-ups,’” says McDonald. “Their lifespan is flexible. We could open them for six months, a year, or even make them permanent. Down the road, we’re thinking they could replace design shows entirely.” 

Bottom line, we’re excited to be a part of something as novel as WeWork

What’s the next Semihandmade innovation?

For now, we’ll continue to participate in design shows. In fact, we’ll be in Vancouver, Canada in September, and we hope you’ll stop by. But we see WeWork and other emerging work spaces as the future of design exhibition.

You can keep up with our latest ideas and innovative thinking by signing up for our monthly newsletter.

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