Meet Johnny Our Master Chair Maker

by Erik Organic on June 9, 2014

You have all met Eli our master table maker.  Now it is time for us to introduce you to Johnny, our master chair maker.  He has been working with Erik for over 5 years and has created a lot of dining chairs for us since then.  He became our master chair maker after Eli introduced him to Erik.  At the time, Eli and Johnny were working as partners as Eli built the tables and Johnny built the chairs.

Johnny’s start in furniture is quite different from Eli’s!  It is an interesting story nonetheless.  As an integral part of the Erik Organic team, he is irreplaceable.  We are happy that you two finally meet.

Working with Erik Organic

His first job in furniture was working as an apprentice in his master craftsman’s workshop when he was 18 years old.  After only two months of working there, his master craftsman moved away to Missouri.  His move became an opportunity for Johnny, and soon afterwards, he took over the shop.  When he was 21, he started working on chairs exclusively.

During this time, he met Eli and they began a partnership.  At the time Eli was already working with Erik, but then all of a sudden business began to expand rapidly.  Eli and Erik asked Johnny if he can join Erik Organic, and Johnny said yes.

Johnny still remembers the first chairs he made for Erik Organic.  They were raised mission chairs, a very popular style of Amish furniture.  Soon afterwards, Erik asked Johnny to design some new chairs, and Erik Organic eventually introduced the Western Mission chair, the Farmhouse chair, and the Colonial chair.  The selection remained limited for a couple of years until customers wanted to see more new styles.  Now Erik Organic offers over 41 dining chairs, barstools, office chairs, and thirteen rocking chairs.   In fact, we recently introduced a new design, the Lynwood Chair.  Its style is unique and has received a lot of attention for its beautiful curves.

Erik Organic continues to grow and so has Johnny’s role in it.  Right now, he is in the process of building a new shop, better able work more freely since he can store more materials and equipment.

Raised Mission Chair

Drive to Excel

Our craftsmen’s main goal is to make our customers happy, and Johnny is no different.  He builds his chairs to be comfortable, sturdy, and beautiful.  The perfect trifecta so every customer can love their furniture.  He builds his chairs to last for generations, but he wants each generation to treasure their chairs for being all these things.

Yet, Johnny is more pragmatic than others.  He values comfort more than style, and this concerns him for every new design being built .  If you cannot sit in a chair for more than an hour, then something is wrong with the design.  When someone submits a design or when he creates a new one, he builds a prototype.  He tests it out to see how comfortable he is.  If he improves the design, he tests it out again.  Once he is satisfied and approves the design, the chair is debut on Erik Organic.

Johnny always had a strong work ethic and a drive to improve the lives of his family and customers.  He builds most of his family’s furniture, unless it is passed down from generations, and his main goal for his customers is their happiness.  Like Eli, working as a craftsman gives him a lot of reward as he builds for the people he cares about.  Erik Organic is blessed to work with him.


Our Craftsmen and Farming

by Erik Organic on June 9, 2014

Our craftsmen are a very important part of the Erik Organic team.  Without them, we would not be able to give our customers the highest-quality furniture you can find in the United States.  Truly, our craftsmen are our country’s best hidden secret!  Their solid hardwood, hand-crafted furniture is high-quality and more beautiful than anything you will find in stores. But not many know this, because the Amish are humble by nature and don’t like to brag about the quality of their work. That is where we come in.  Erik Organic works with the best craftsmen, to provide you with the best quality furniture in the world.  We make getting solid hardwood, hand-crafted furniture easier than ever. And we stand behind this quality with our one-year satisfaction guarantee!

Even though our craftsmen are artisans and businessmen, they are all family men.  In fact, their religion is centered on the sanctity of family, and the way they live their lives reflect this.  All the work that they do, from sun-up to sun-down, is geared toward providing their family with shelter and food, and their work never takes them far from their families.  All of the workshops of our master craftsmen are located on their farmstead, a few feet away from their homes.

Their main job, just like the main job of any parent, is to provide for their family.  To our craftsmen, the best way to do that is to give them foods, grown or raised by them.  One thing that all Amish love is fresh, local foods.   Around this time, our craftsmen are plowing their large fields and planting crops for the summer season with the help of their Belgian horses, a robust breed of horses made to assist them in hard manual labor.  All of this takes time and manpower, but they do it because they believe it is the best way.

So they are not just woodworkers, they are farmers.  All of our craftsmen own lots of land, and they and their families grow and gather food for themselves.  It is a world that many Americans do not see much of anymore, but our Amish do this everyday, living their lives the way their ancestors lived hundreds of years ago.

Old-Fashion Amish Wagon

They also own livestock and if anyone ever has the honor to visit the Amish, you will see animals everywhere. Eli, our master table maker, has many goats, sheep, and chickens.  The goats and sheep provide their dairy, and the chickens provide their meat. Some of our other craftsmen also own dairy cows.  It changes a bit from craftsman to craftsman, but livestock is invaluable to them.

Goat Grazing Next to Countryside Stream

Even though all of our craftsmen farm, they do not consider it as an extra job.  It is a part of their lives so they can provide for their families.  Growing and raising food is a given, not a hobby.  Yet, they value it because it is done for their families, the most important people in their lives.

If you have ever thought of the craftsmen who build your furniture, think of them as farmers and family men.  Working to support their families without much help from outsiders.  They all grow their vegetables, raise their livestock, and build your furniture.  All done in a day’s work, they live full lives and they will not do anything less.


Picture Perfect

April 17, 2014

Each piece we make is custom and made to order.  We do not have any pieces lying in a warehouse somewhere in the US.  Instead, we wait for you to make an order and our craftsmen will build it from scratch.  So, how do you know how it will look like if we have never […]

Read the full article →

The Appeal of Hickory

April 17, 2014

Our craftsmen find the best quality hardwood so we create furniture you can keep for centuries.  If the wood we used was not able to last that long, then our job of providing the best for you becomes a dream, not a reality. Our craftsmen hold that as part of their Amish doctrine.  Nothing is […]

Read the full article →

Meet Eli Our Table Maker

March 26, 2014

Eli is our master table maker. He has been working alongside Erik Schimek for over 13 years and is a valued member of our Erik Organic family. His expertise, craftsmanship and artistic talents have helped us to produce beautiful pieces of exceptional quality that truly stand out. Even though the bespoke tables that Eli has […]

Read the full article →

Houseplants and Their Amazing Power of Healing

March 25, 2014

Houseplants are commonly overlooked as décor, but their benefits go far beyond providing your home with aesthetic appeal. Erik has many houseplants in his home and it has made it a much happier, more vibrant place to live.  The air is fresher and he has even developed a sense of loyalty to his plants, making sure […]

Read the full article →

It’s Maple Time!

March 20, 2014

A common tradition in the North Country involves collecting maple sap and using it to make maple sugar. You can collect sap from any type of maple tree—each one has its own flavor—but the most popular trees are sugar maple, red maple and black maple. Our sales manager, John “Sparky” Birrenbach, has a cabin that […]

Read the full article →

A Treasure for Your Treasures

February 26, 2014

Many households have beautiful valuables in their home that are never displayed properly.  It remains hidden from everyone’s eyes, their beauty unseen by guests. But lately more people have taken the initiative to exhibit them, and they should.  Riches should to be appreciated. Furniture is often overlooked as an important part of a display so […]

Read the full article →

Patience and Hard Work Paid Off, A Journey to the Perfect Dining Room Set

February 21, 2014

  Months of Planning Some customers come to us with a general idea of what they would like; however, others come to us knowing exactly what they want, down to the smallest detail. Every detail has been decided with conviction and certainty.  They have spent a considerable amount of time envisioning many combinations of dining […]

Read the full article →

Sleeping on a Wooded Bed Frame

February 17, 2014

The Key to a Restful Sleep You spend a third of your life sleeping so it is no wonder why people place so much value in their beds. It must have the right frame, mattress, sheets, and pillows. That is an overwhelming load to bear but rest assured, no pun intended, a wooden bed frame […]

Read the full article →