Meet Braden Richter

Meet Braden

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Q & A with Braden

Q & A with Braden

What was your earliest experience with design? 

As a young child, I started building furniture with my grandparents as a family hobby. And by six, I played salesman, merchandising my dad’s showroom. I actually started designing upholstery around that age too. By the time I was 12, I’d turned my playtime activity into a personal passion and was designing, building and selling skateboards. Design has been at the core of everything I’ve ever done personally and professionally.  

Was a career in furniture manufacturing and design something you’ve always been working towards—or the result of a “happy” accident?

Always knew I would be in a creative field. Furniture design was just a “happy accident” in that spired my passion and taught me the business.  After graduating college, I wound up being one of the first employees of Shabby Chic in Santa Monica and things basically took off from there. 

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

My aesthetic always focuses on the look and feel of what’s comfortable. For upholstery comfort should be above all else. Function is also essential but I strive to keep both in harmony. Being boring in the 70’s, I think the aesthetics of that era have an impact on everything I do. I’m definitely not afraid of corduroy or clashing patterns.   

What makes your furniture distinctive? What do you consider a signature Braden Richter piece?

Scale. Just one word. I think my scale is unique to me. 

What do you love most about what you do?

I’m still playing with LEGO and I’ve sort of made a career of that. Designing furniture forces you to constantly notice, appreciate and remember in beauty around you. 

How would you describe your work ethic?

I get the job done. I’m used to working 80 hours a week if I have to. I learned how to do more in half the time over the years. I’m never late, that’s critical to me–and I apply that same philosophy throughout my workshop. 

Does your family share the same passion for design as you do?  

Absolutely! In 2004 I sold my original namesake studio, which was a high end division of my company. The showrooms were in the best design centers in the country and I was sad to sell it but got a great unsolicited offer. As a condition of the sale, the new ownership would license my name and sell out of a showrooms–where they hired Victoria, a young designer from the fashion world whom I was asked to train. I flew up to SF and was initially upset when I saw her.  She was 22 years old and I assumed because of her age, she didn’t have the experience to run the showrooms and sell my product. Needless to say I was only 28 (but I started my career at 6!), but I was instantly impressed with her instincts. A year later she resigned and wrote me a nice letter saying she was leaving for another opportunity. I called her and asked her out for coffee the next time I was in SF. And now, 15 years later we have 3 kids a dog and a cat. 

"Design has been at the core of everything I’ve ever done personally and professionally."

Timeline of Braden Richter

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