Every project is an opportunity to learn, to figure out problems and challenges, to invent and reinvent. -David Rockwell
Really Big News: Oh Yeah Comfy is now Maine Casual. New products are in development!
Being from and made in Maine has always been a big part of the Oh Yeah Comfy brand. I'm thrilled to announce that the new name is Maine Casual, and it will be the home of the Oh Yeah Comfy chair.
It's been (gasp) 17 years since I visualized the Oh Yeah Comfy design, gave it that name and began prototyping. Still to this day, when people see the chair for the first time and sit in it, without knowing the name, they will usually say "Oh Yeah, Comfy!". Each and every time that happens, I smile. Likewise, each time I call a hardware or lumber provider, there is confusion as to where I am calling from. I repeat myself on the phone every time: "Yes, um, its Oh Yeah Comfy. We make beach chairs." Then I'll receive product shipped to "Oh So Comfy".
I love that the name Oh Yeah Comfy captures people's immediate physical and emotional response the chair. I love the logo, too, which cost me a couple of bucks and one of the the first chairs I made. I couldn't let go of the Oh Yeah Comfy name, and Maine Casual will be home of the Oh Yeah Comfy chair, and a vehicle for new products.
What I have never liked, however, is that the Oh Yeah Comfy name does not reflect where the chair comes from. I did not grow up in Maine, but its been my home for nearly 20 years. Something about Maine inspires me to create. I'm confident that this chair wouldn't exist if I didn't live here. Creativity abounds in Maine, and it's always been that way. There is a rich and deep heritage of boatbuilding, fine craftsmanship and incredible art of all kinds everywhere you look. There is a mantra with creators of everything from handcrafted items to food and beer, that if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well. I find it all incredibly inspirational, and it makes me very happy.
This name change to Maine Casual is a reinvention. It's got my creative juices flowing again. I'm confident that the Oh Yeah Comfy chair has never met its full potential, and I'm excited to expand the product set. This venture has primarily always been my hobby, and has taken 6th or 7th priority behind things like my "real" job, getting married, getting divorced, getting married again, kids, family health issues, etc. The business hasn't received the attention or nurture that it requires or deserves.
New Products! I am happy to announce that I am working on a taller version of the original Oh Yeah Comfy chair. That is far and away the feedback I hear most often. People love the Oh Yeah Comfy chair, but say that it is too low to the ground. While I designed the chair as a beach chair, most people don't immediately think of using it on the beach and want it to be higher off the ground for use on the deck or patio. I've tried doing the High Boy design in the past, and ended up pulling it because I was never happy with the way the seat looked and felt when sitting in it. It wasn't Comfy. I'm currently redesigning the High Boy with a new and improved seat design. Prototyping and solving these problems is the most fun part of the entire process.
In addition to the High Boy, I plan to expand the product set to include casual furniture such as the Contour Hammock (pictured here). I just recently completed this hammock prototype. It weighs a ton being made from Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry) and while it looks awesome and feels great, is not practical to produce using this wood because it is just way too heavy (but this one is for sale, if you have the right spot for it!). The plan is to produce this hammock design using cedar, which is probably one tenth of the weight of Jatoba and weathers great outdoors.
I'd also love to add a patio/deck furniture set (sofa, loveseat & chair) made in native Maine white cedar as well as a modern take on the classic Adirondack chair. In addition, I'd eventually like to produce a raised garden/vegetable table as well as possibly a planters bench. Casual products to enhance your outdoor living.
The biggest obstacle to the product expansion will be shipping and production. A day doesn't pass that I don't wish my products were small and easy to ship. Shipping costs have always been a huge barrier to overcome. Production logistics will be a challenge, but we have some good options to explore there.