Founded in 2005, Medley is the brainchild of the two Nagle brothers: Ryan, a graphic designer, and Travis, a marketing and branding expert. The two of them come from a home of creators: their father had a woodshop and their mother worked as an artist. Throughout their lives, these brothers had a keen love for working with their hands, and a sense of wood-based products as a way towards self-expression. I loved writing more about their wonderful brand and speaking to co-founder Travis to learn about the story behind Medley. Have a read here…
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your brand.
I’m Travis Nagle, co-founder of Medley. We make furniture in Los Angeles one at a time using the finest eco materials, and a more enjoyable shopping experience along the way.
Tell us about the vision for your brand?
At Medley we think about furniture as part of a larger ecosystem we all share, our beautiful planet. In addition, our personal ecosystem of our homes are also precious. We’re trying to shift the way people think about furniture, getting back to a much higher level of quality and cleaner materials for a healthy planet and healthy home.
How do you approach sustainability/transparency within your brand?
For sustainability we think about it in a few ways. The first is about durability and longevity of the products we make. We live in a society that has leaned more towards a disposable mindset, so making furniture that lasts 25 years or more is really important. We also use materials like FSC certified wood, natural latex, wool, jute, and bamboo that are from renewable sources. They’re also all natural so they are less toxic, and when the furniture is put back into the earth one day, it’s compostable. We’re upfront with our customers about exactly what goes into each product from the inside out, so you know what you’re bringing into your home.
What more do you think customers are looking for these days beyond good design? Or do you think that design is really all that matters?
I think customers want to connect to the values that a brand has and the mission behind it as much as the products themselves. They want to feel like they can trust the brands and the people that work with them, and want to feel good the things they buy. We definitely focus on good design, but to us what we do is part of a larger focus about getting back to a mindset that isn’t putting harmful, disposable products into the world. Sometimes it’s okay to slow down and go back to a older way of doing things.
How do you ensure quality with your brand?
We’ve been designing and building furniture for over 15 years, so when we launched Medley a few years back we knew exactly what it takes to do it right. In a broad sense, we just refuse to compromise. There are so many little decisions that go into the materials that are being used, or the techniques during production. And because we make everything in the US we’re fully integrated and involved with the craftspeople and our products.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to grow an ethical brand?
To make things the way we do, it’s just more expensive in terms of materials and labor. So, we have to make sure that we’re giving people real value. It’s an investment. A worthwhile one, we think. There is also a conversational component to what we do, where people aren’t as familiar with how eco-friendly applies to furniture. The idea of organic food, for example, has just been around longer. With home decor though, most people aren’t aware of the waste involved, the issues with quality, or the toxic chemicals used. But, we’re happy to help lead the way towards a better way of doing things for all of our benefit!
Find out more about this superb brand right here.