Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

I hate seeing a good thing go to waste, so when I heard about what Jacqueline Sharp was trying to do, I go on board. Sharp knows quality and she works hard to uncover it even in the most derelict of furniture. 


Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Alice Short
Published: 13 December 2014, Los Angeles Times

In a studio just south of L.A.'s downtown arts district lies Fort, a wonderland of reclaimed furniture, where eye candy sits at every corner.

On the left is a jumble of old furniture yet to be reimagined. On the right is a wall of seating — M&M-colored folding chairs, an overstuffed footstool in a blue-and-white Moroccan pattern, even a church pew covered in navy fabric with a bold yellow stripe. Straight on, four letters set against the window spell "Fort".

"I grew up in the Midwest from humble beginnings. My parents didn't always have money to give me the latest and greatest, so I was constantly finding things to make something from," says Jacqueline Sharp, the 30-year-old furniture maker and chief executive of Fort. Named after the childhood imagination play, Sharp's company recalls the playfulness of her youth, when she, her siblings and cousins used to take over the basement or attic of their grandparents' house in Rock Island, Ill. "We would run up and down stairs, foraging for stuff so we can build our own environment." The name is also a handy acronym for "furnish or trade," its business model. [read more]


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