Where did you grow up?
Monterey, a smallish foggy town in coastal California.
What brought you to New York?
I moved here for school, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a woodworker, I build furniture and I carve a lot of spoons.
How did you get started?
I had a few jobs right out of college, and then I basically just quit because working for someone else wasn’t what I wanted. I started building things for myself in the middle of my apartment, like cabinets and tables. Then I got an offer to design a restaurant in California, so after driving across the U.S. and doing that for seven months, I drove back and knew that I should go for it completely
From there, it was just about building and designing more work, being creative, and waiting for my online presence to materialize by posting my work and process on my blog. Once I started getting commissions, I rented a big studio ten blocks from my house – where I work today.
What’s your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
That it’s still on the verge of being totally gentrified. We moved in long ago enough that there was nothing around, and we kind of liked that about it. But I’m okay that there’s now coffee four blocks away too.
What’s the last treasure you found?
I found a small hawk feather in the park in the middle of the city the other day. Amazing.
If you were going to eat your last meal in New York, where and what would you eat?
I’d probably have a big ol’ pulled pork sandwich and a rootbeer at Juniper. Then I’d go have an entire cherry pie at Blue Stove. Am I allowed to get a coffee after that? If so, I’d go to Choice.
If you could have a sleepover with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be?
Can I just pick who I have sleepovers with every night anyway? My boyfriend, My dog, and my cat. What can I say.
If your life was a TV show, what would be the theme song?
I can pretend my theme song would be Kavinsky “Nightcall” but it probably wouldn’t be.
What does New York need that it doesn’t have now?
It’s something that’s on my mind all the time since I work with materials from building demolitions, but New York needs a policy that preserves the beauty of old buildings, and has at least a little regulations on the new ones. I’m just amazed that every time a new building goes up, it’s such an eyesore nestled in between two beautiful brownstones. Brooklyn is changing so fast, and it’s tough to see a six story glass monster go up where there once was a three story brick house. I know it’s more complicated than that, but still!
Follow her on Instagram @arielealasko.