Arizona native Levi Christiansen is hosting a launch party to celebrate his new furniture brand at Double Duck Design studio from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, November 15.
Originally trained in photography and marketing, Christiansen moved to New York City to pursue his photography career. It was in the Empire State that Christiansen became interested in other artistic media.
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"Designing furniture just really took over," Christiansen says. "Being in New York and thinking about all of the spaces there and how people lived in such close quarters."
He started designing more and shooting less. Then he ended up coming back to Arizona to start his line of furniture, with the intent of doing everything on the local level.
Christiansen is self-taught when it comes to designing and building furniture. He says it was an interesting process, starting from a place like that and deciding to create a line.
"I thrive off new challenges and new ideas more than anything," says Christiansen. "So it was really an ideal way for me to be creative because I got to take on something brand new and really discover all there was to discover."
Christiansen says his furniture is inspired by Arizona and its desert landscapes, and he uses a lot of rustic and rugged materials like copper, Arizona woods, and leather to create his minimalist designs.
The line's concept is suspension, he says, and every piece is designed to look as if the surface is floating independently of its support structure. The collection includes chairs, end tables, coffee tables, small decorative items and custom pieces that Christiansen will collaborate on with clients. Pieces range from $30 for a painted wood vase to $2,499 for a vanishing sling chair.
The launch party will serve as his official brand announcement and showcase all the furniture and decor items he's been designing over the past year, as well as launching his Kickstarter, which will launch Friday. Christiansen hopes to raise $10,000 and the campaign will run for up to 30 days. (The Kickstarter page won't be available until it launches on Friday, but information will be on his website)
Christiansen says he wants everything to be locally sourced and produced, and the Kickstarter can help him do that.
"I'm really committed to things being made in the U.S. and made by hand as much as possible," Christiansen says. "I really want my brand to reflect that as much as possible. I'm really proud of Arizona, my family's been here for generations, and I just can't think of a better place to start doing that and set that tone."
The party will offer free food and drinks, and there will be a giveaway for one of Christiansen's pieces. His Kickstarter donors will be entered in the drawing.
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The launch party will feature pieces offered at a discount between 20 percent and 30 percent off retail pricing.
For now Christiansen's line is only available for purchase via his website, www.levichristiansen.com, but he is in talks with several groups to get his furniture showcased in brick-and-mortar locations.