Kiran Thind & Rodrigo Andrade – Parkdale Trading Company
I first found out about Furniture Bank through a community volunteer day at a previous job. I thought it was a great organization for connecting folks to the furnishings necessary to establish comfortable homes, which might otherwise be thrown away.
Some colleagues and I were given a tour of the facility and spent the day unpacking and organizing donated housewares.
A year or so later, my friend Moriah and I organized an arts and crafts show called Make It and decided to have the show be a fundraiser for Furniture Bank. During the planning stages of our event, I found out that they were planning the first Chair Affair and decided to apply. I was just beginning my career as an upholsterer and it was a great opportunity to exercise my creativity to assist an organization that I believe in.
The first Chair Affair was a great experience – meeting other designers, seeing the transformations and even being interviewed on Global TV. I was hooked and have been a part of Chair Affair each year.
Since then, we hosted Make It for a second year, and I also got the opportunity to volunteer assisting Furniture Bank clients with selecting items for their new homes.
In 2012, my partner Rodrigo assisted me with my Chair Affair entry and got bit by the upholstery bug. Since then, I’ve been teaching him the trade and last year we founded Parkdale Trading Company to combine our interests in art, design and antiques in our community.
My personal motivation in participating in Chair Affair comes from knowing personally what Furniture Bank does for the community. In February of 1979, my family arrived in Canada from Chile with very little. Organizations like Furniture Bank made our lives easier by assisting us in this great time of need. In my many years as a Canadian citizen, I have volunteered my time and services to many charities in my appreciation for the assistance we received.
When picking up my chair for 2014, I noticed so many young families at Furniture Bank that afternoon. For a moment, I imagined my parents in their youth at such a place and at that moment, I came to the realization that I could give back by participating in such an event.
Coincidentally, I assisted Kiran with her 2012 chair in the early days of my apprenticeship in upholstery. The chair was quite successful at the auction, drawing the highest bid of the night.
Kiran and I have partnered up to become Parkdale Trading Company, which represents local, Canadian-harvested, products, artists and designers. We felt this year’s Canada theme strongly represented our company and personal philosophy, local first.
I look forward to a long relationship working with Furniture Bank in future.