Introducing Two Tree Studios
Allison Samuels is the owner of the beautiful wood shop, Two Tree Studios. Growing up in the lush Hudson Valley, she developed an appreciation for exploring her backyard's woods and local rock-filled rivers. A childhood surrounded in forests has undoubtedly translated to an eye for simple, nature-based design and a strong interest in preserving natural resources. We're thrilled to welcome Allison to the shop! Our interview with Allison is below. After the read, be sure to check out her collection of housewares here.
What path led you to this creative work?
As a cabinetmaker by day, much of my time is spent executing someone else’s vision. Two Tree started as a way to both practice new techniques I would learn on the job as well as to develop my own designs. I already had my own business producing hand-painted cards and invitation sets, so I used that platform to grow Two Tree into its own brand of wood-based home goods. It quickly became an outlet for honing my mastery of wood as a material— a lifelong goal of mine— as well as a way to explore the ways people connect with and derive meaning from the products in their homes. I see this as an evolving brand, one that will grow with me over time, allowing me to continue experimenting with material and technique.
In a few words, how would you describe your business?
Minimalist, intuitive designs hand-crafted for the modern home
Where do you find your materials/wood?
I buy lumber offcuts from shops in the area whenever possible, which would otherwise end up as firewood. Other than than, I purchase all my lumber from yards around the NY area.
What are essential items in your workshop?
Nothing would get done without my Festool router, a good sander, chisels and loud speakers.
What's your favorite part about your job?
Physically making things with my body and hands is hugely satisfying to me. That paired with the necessity of on the spot problem-solving keeps my mind engaged. At the end of the day though, it brings me immense joy to create useful, beautiful objects that bring warmth into people’s homes.
Where do you find inspiration?
Within the simplicity of Nordic furniture design, and huge window panes featured in much modern architecture. These days I’m also finding myself interested in playing with new material and texture combinations, like poured concrete floors and naturally-pigmented lime paints. Collaborating with other artists & makers is another fantastic way for me to do that.
Any advice for creatives just starting out?
Persistence and passion. Being okay with the totally un-glamorous aspects of growing a brand, and understanding that building anything worthwhile takes time and self-compassion.
What is next?
In addition to a new line of cheese boards, in the works are two larger items to add to my collection: a wall-leaning oak shelving unit, and collapsable ash desk legs. I envision both as affordable staples for any modern living space. In addition, I’m currently looking for more ways to teach and skillshare within my own neighborhood of Brooklyn— especially among young people, women and queer folks.
You have 1 day in Brooklyn - where do you recommend we go?
I’m going to pretend it’s summer, and suggest a morning bike ride through Prospect Park, ending up at The Farm on Adderly in Midwood for brunch. From there, take the afternoon to bike north through Brooklyn (along waterfront bike paths) to Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg. Take your time window shopping, get some sea breezes and city views at the very tip of Greenpoint. Dip into Rosarito Fish Shack for some tacos, pick up some New Orleans-style iced coffee at Blue Bottle, then head back over to Prospect Heights for the latest art show at Brooklyn Museum. By this point you definitely need ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery down the street. Then pick up a six pack and a few prepared dishes from Mermaid’s Garden and head back to the park to enjoy a free concert under the stars at the Prospect Park Bandshell.