Named after their son, Nathan Anthony, the multi-award-winning luxury, custom upholstery furnishings specialist was founded in 2005 by partners-in-life Tina Nicole and Khai Mai. “Nicole, a former attorney, joined her husband in the business which originally produced mattresses. Her long held passions for fashion, sewing and interior design came together to form the company’s new direction,” explains the brand.
The Los Angeles based atelier has significantly grown since its start, offering a gorgeous selection of daring designs with a multitude of customization options including the ability to adjust product dimensions. “Design collaborations allow us to push the creative envelope,” explains Nicole, Principal Designer and Creative Director. With a soft contemporary aesthetic, Nathan Anthony is known for its quality, comfort and beauty along with features such as curved frames, special stitching, trims and treatments. Describing furniture design as its oxygen, the brand designs and crafts pieces with “passion, fearlessness and the desire to bring immense joy where people gather to sit among friends, nestle in with family, or retreat from the outside world,” explains the brand.
Perfectly pairing with Nicole’s design sensibilities is Mai’s leadership, under which Nathan Anthony utilizes lean manufacturing principles to produce its sustainable and custom benchmade furnishings at its Los Angeles-based facility. Every piece is made-to-order by upholstery specialists under the close eye and direction of Nicole and Mai, who work alongside their team every day. “Family owned and operated, Nathan Anthony values a heritage of production expertise available within the local Los Angeles community. Rich in its history of diversity, it includes craftspeople who bring with them specialized skills handed down through generations,” explains Nicole. Mindful of the environment, Nathan Anthony uses recycled wood, harvested from responsible sources, and other recycled materials whenever possible. Its leather and fabric scraps are up-cycled to make bags, pillows and computer cases. “Instead of sending waste to landfills, we donate excess materials to local high school arts programs,” explains Nicole.
Shepherding projects from design to delivery, Nathan Anthony provides three key areas of production expertise including frame construction; fabric cutting and sewing; and the application of fabric to frame on the bench. “In place of an assembly line, we developed a proprietary system of tracking each step, noting just in time inventories for upholstery components, and for supporting each craftsperson to work on individual orders from ‘start to finish.’ A unique cart system means furniture in production never touches the factory floor,” explains Nicole.
Continuously learning from designer requests, which helps inform the brand’s in-house design development, Nathan Anthony launches new designs and collections twice each year, which debut in its permanent showroom in the InterHall exhibit area at High Point Market, every spring and fall. The brand also collaborates with design influencers to create new items that drop intermittently on its social media channels and website.
Nicole’s in-house designs have and continue to garner global recognition. She is listed for World’s Leading Design Names in 2021 and 2018, and noted for design excellence with five consecutive International Design and Architecture awards by design et al’s International Architecture and Design competition in the U.K. since 2015. Most recently, the Embrace sofa is nominated for the International Design and Architecture Award for 2021. In addition to receiving many awards, Nathan Anthony furnishings are regularly featured editorially in top shelter and industry publications including Interior Design, Elle Decor, LUXE, Town and Country, House Beautiful and many more. Creating a record of their trajectory and intended to inspire other entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams, in 2019 Nicole authored her first book “Dream, Design, Disrupt: A life in design,” which was featured in the February 2020, Business of Home magazine Book Review “Required Reading.”
Genuinely loving what they do, the team is described as a family. “We start each day with a group stretch, and we share mid-day meals when possible (outside of Covid restrictions), shares Nicole. Part of their devoted family is SweetPea, a white, 16-pound Malchi (Maltese-Chihuahua rescue mix) which can be found sitting on the laps of their customer service representatives.