The Keefrider Story
Keefrider Custom Furniture is a collaborative workshop in Santa Barbara, California, owned and operated by Jay and Sirie Keefrider. Together we make it our mission to handcraft heirloom quality furniture tailored to our clients, designed to be loved and lived in for decades, even generations, to come.
People often ask us what style of furniture we build. We tend to agree with the Dutch designer Anton Beeke: “Having a style is like being in jail.”
One of the most enriching parts of being a custom workshop is that we are constantly being challenged to expand our aesthetic perspectives and techniques. Not only does this keep our work in the shop fresh and engaging, but it also allows us to use our broad range to work with our clients to create a piece that is uncompromisingly designed and crafted for each unique person and space.
The one fundamental constant in our work is quality. Every piece is made using the highest quality sustainable materials, and meticulously handcrafted to an obsessively high standard. All of our joinery is custom designed and built using both traditional hand tools and modern, precision machines to create works of art that stand the test of time both in style and function. Our collaborative relationships with other local Santa Barbara artists, such as metal and glass workers, allow us to produce pieces incorporating a variety of materials for both ornamental and structural elements.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Jay has been dedicated to designing and building furniture as the owner of a professional shop for almost twenty years. Sirie switched gears from a career as a research scientist when the shop bug caught her, and has been developing her craft in the workshop and growing the business since we opened our doors in Santa Barbara.
Jay landed his first job in a professional shop as a teenager, learning to build furniture alongside renowned master craftsman and sculptor Jack Larimore, in Philadelphia. Having developed a passion for woodcraft in Jack’s workshop, Jay went on to study furniture design at the acclaimed Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia. At SCAD he was fascinated by the diversity of techniques and tools and materials at his fingertips, and dove in head first creating inspired works in wood, metal, plastics and other media. After receiving his BFA, Jay packed up and moved to California to fulfill his dream of starting his own furniture workshop, and founded the Cotterpin Design workshop in 2001.
Sirie received her PhD in Molecular Biology from Yale in 2010, and loved her life in the lab. She also had a creative bent however, and had always been a talented and active artist, focusing on drawing and photography. After we were married in 2014, Sirie began spending increasing amounts time working with Jay in the workshop learning design and technique, and simply fell in love with woodworking. Finally, after 15 years as a research scientist, she decided to trade in the lab coat for a shop apron for good.
We founded Keefrider Custom Furniture as a partnership in 2014, leaving Los Angeles and the Cotterpin shop in favor of the good life in beautiful Santa Barbara. We opened the shop with this simple goal: to create innovatively designed, meticulously handcrafted furniture that truly represents each client.
These days you can find us happily kicking up the sawdust in our workshop on the corner of Olive and Haley streets, accompanied by our trusty shop mascot Tallulah. If you’d like to come in for a visit we’d love to have you! Just give us a ring or drop us a line first so we can make sure we won’t be glued to something.