Nov 25, 2013



Don’t judge Tori Brown by her appearance. She may be small, but she’s in the shop lifting tabletops and ripping boards on the table saw with the rest of ‘em. A fresh and bright thinker, she brings an edge to APOC products by utilizing her design education and pushing new ideas.

Tori discovered APOC almost by accident. While she was attending the Cleveland Institute of Art (of which she is a recent grad from the Industrial Design program), some of her classmates were working there as interns. “I came here to pick one of them up, and was offered an internship position on the spot by [the late] PJ Doran.” She goes on to explain how they discussed her drawings and her interest in sustainability. “APOC practices sustainability by not only upcycling reclaimed material, but by using their material as efficiently as possible”

As a young designer, Tori enjoys working with the team here at APOC, saying it fosters a great learning environment. “My colleagues have been very open and supportive.”

Previously, Tori has had the opportunity to work at well known companies such as Nottingham-Spirk, and the toy company Hasbro, Inc. She says the knowledge and experience she gained at her internships is ‘invaluable’. “Every aspiring designer needs to apply for internships. Not only will you learn industry skills, but they will help you figure out exactly what kinds of products you want to design.”

Career wise, she says she couldn’t have asked for a better first job out of school. “I always wanted to be a furniture designer, and the boss lets me bring my dog to work.”

Typically, you will find Tori doing what she does best: designing. “I find myself sketching ideas and concepts daily.” If she’s not drawing up new ideas, you can find her on the floor milling wood for fabrication, making prototypes, assembling final pieces, sanding, spray finishing… she jumps in just about where ever she’s needed. 

Here’s a little more about Tori:

Personal interests: Gardening, Hiking, Oil Painting, Ceramics, Writing letters, Nutella

Her favorite tool in the shop: “It’s a tie between the metal detectors we use to search for nails in the wood, and the mini max table saw.”

Her favorite places in Cleveland: Lakeview Cemetery, Edison’s in Tremont, The West Side Market, and The Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Her favorite part of the upcycle/creation process: “When you don’t know what type of wood a board is, so someone rips an edge on the table saw or runs it through the planer and reveals glorious walnut or chestnut.”

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