"We're not just a design company, we also aren't just finishing carpenters or woodworkers or installers," explains Oliver Apt. founder Landon Schedler. He leans back against a workbench in his shop on the corner of 100 Avenue and 103 Street, sawdust in his dark wavy hair. "It's evolved from doing small products by myself in my spare time to being a full-on custom woodworking shop with employees and people and projects to manage."
Founded in 2011, Oliver Apt. creates home accessories and furnishings big and small that are sold online and around town at Little Brick Cafe & General Store and Habitat etc. They also design and produce custom pieces for individuals and businesses. This is a particularly exciting time for Oliver Apt. because their new collection of home furnishings dropped on June 23. Created in their downtown workshop, everything in the new line of furniture—modern dining tables, accent tables, benches, decor—is made with solid hardwood.
The concept for Oliver Apt. started percolating when Landon, a journeyman carpenter building decks with his father and living in the Oliver community, began furnishing and organizing his apartment with his own custom-built pieces. When people visited Landon's home and saw what he'd created, they asked if he could help them beautify and better organize their own living spaces. Then came more and more requests, an incorporated company, an online store, calls from restaurants and offices, a larger workshop, and four full-time workers. Landon began working full time with Oliver Apt. in 2012 and he hasn't looked back. He recently launched Oliver Apt.'s first full line of furniture.
"We like to take it from a concept to a reality," Landon says. "Whether it's a restaurant space or a furniture piece that we've been making for somebody, just seeing the sheer amazement that we were able to take this idea and put it into reality and make it out of these pieces of wood is awesome."
Oliver Apt.'s magnetic key rack is something that Landon continues to take pride in, a piece that inspires him to keep creating new products. "It was just an innovative solution and a sleek simple piece of walnut on the wall that magnetically hooks your keys," explains Landon. "After executing it and thinking through the different steps and then manufacturing it for the first time ... that was a great accomplishment."
When asked what it's been like to start and grow a business in Edmonton, Landon says, "I do think that being in Edmonton here and now, has afforded me this opportunity." The folks at Oliver Apt. are friends with a lot of the other woodworkers and designers around town, and they enjoy working together. Landon describes Edmonton's supportive and collaborative community as vital to the success of his company. "It's nice to live in a community like that, with the willingness to share."
You can see Oliver Apt.'s handy work around town at places like Cavern, Duchess Bake Shop, Meat, Bar Bricco, Farrow, and Woodwork. You can also purchase Oliver Apt. products through their online store.