Category Archives: furniture

A special customer testimonial

By | furniture | No Comments

We recently got this nice testimonial from another happy client:


“I am very happy I stumbled upon the website for Greg Hankerson & Vintage Industrial, LLC.  I love the piece Greg did for my New York apartment and I recommend him to anyone for his craftsmanship.”
– Alec Baldwin, Oct. 2012

Saving some Historic Hotels

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The owner of the Suns team (Sarver) is getting ready to demolish 3 historic hotels down the street from us! If anybody knows anybody that can help avert this tragedy, please let me know!

Madonna is playing across the street at the US Airways center. Maybe she’d care if anybody knows her?


Vintage Industrial’s Showroom

By | commercial furniture, furniture | One Comment

We’re planning on opening up our first showroom next month in late October around our 3 year anniversary. With so much to do, we’ll have a soft opening to start, and a grand opening party sometime later in the year. Like our furniture, it’s going to be an original space like no other in the world, with 7000sf to work with, and a bunch of it being a private working showroom (by appointment) with our offices as part of the show. On the list to add is a conference room, restaurant setups, a dining room and chandelier, retail merchandising setups, several new designs/prototypes, jewelry, VI shirts, art, and a bunch bunch more.  Our downtown address is 45 West Buchanan Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

If you haven’t already, please like our Facebook page. We have a lot of unique pictures and info posted daily there.

Below is part of our upstairs which is where my office will be.


Our Future Showroom

So you want to be an Industrial Furniture designer?

By | about me, furniture | 11 Comments

So you want to be a Furniture designer? I get so many calls and email from new, or aspiring designers, I decided to write this. I even saw this in the movie Magic Mike with Tatum Channing, the stripper with aspirations of designing.

Ellis Media Console

Here’s a couple paths that come to mind. The first is the one they teach you in school (at least I think so). I can’t tell you how many people have asked me what design school I went to, or what tradeshow I’ll be at. The fact is I never went to design school. School was never my thing. I’m more of a self-taught kind of guy. I thrive on research/inspiration, can’t stand reading books (unless they are audio-books, or have lots of pictures). My thought is if somebody is teaching it, well then do the opposite to be successful because everybody else is doing that, and why compete? And I don’t do tradeshows. We’re growing by word of mouth, and our internet success. Create something special that you love, show it to the world, and maybe they’ll come knocking at your door.


So here is path number one for the designer:


Go to art school, the more prestigious, the better.

Sit down, get a blank piece of paper, start designing. (gogogo)

Think of logistics, customer needs, packaging, fulfillment, options, etc.

Design with market needs in mind.

Keep cost down!

Create prototypes, check market reaction with focus groups.

Find factories abroad (if you don’t have one) to produce the product in the most cost effective way.

Market the product at tradeshows.


Sell sell sell!

Fulfill orders.


Or path number two (mine):


Surround yourself with like minded people.

Do research, internet, visit stores and places that interest you, feel inspired, walk around!!!! Don’t forget to look at other countries designs!

Repeat this until you get ideas that you love. I’ll have dozens of ideas before I act. Choose your best.

Don’t follow trends, MAKE THEM! Find a niche! Why bother competing with the rest of the world?

Design something that you want and love. (key word is want and love) Making something you don’t care for will bring you nothing but pain.

Make it!

Show it to lots of people. Make a blog to do that, put it on social sites.

Work at this all day, all night. Blog the shit out of this with pictures and interesting descriptions.

Wake up, repeat, go to bed. Don’t give up, this is hard work! Nothing good comes easy, the harder, the better! (I’ve beeen working 60-80 hour weeks for almost 3 years now)

Orders come in if you worked hard and smart enough. If they don’t keep making more. You will suck at first.

Find people to help that are awesome.


It’s passion that fuels creativity. If you lack passion, you’ll fail in my opinion. Make something for yourself, that you love. And others will come to love it too, if you show it to enough people. The only way you will fail is if you give up. Screw tradeshows, screw school (ya I said that), screw the normal way of doing things. It’s your attitude, not your education, that will get you places. And if your goal is to get rich and famous, then well you missed the point. A big ego will make things difficult to say the least.


I combined a 10 year search for “why I am here”, with a search for spirituality, and found I need to create something tangible, that I believe in whole-heartedly. And out comes furniture, something I didn’t know anything about 3 years ago. Yet I have architects, celebrities, designers, etc asking me for my opinion on design. I’m not trying to brag, I actually never feel content with my designs (and that’s what drives me). The more I know, the less I realize I don’t.  I’m am not an artist, I just enjoy trying to make the next thing that tops the last. What a strange last 3 years it’s been doing this. Sold my first table for $350, and last week one for $15k. At times I thought I was going insane, actually I was going nuts. Couldn’t stop working or get it out of my mind, even if I tried (vacations too). But I’ve found balance for the most part (as I finish writing this up at 8pm). Love what you do, and it’s not work, it’s play. Don’t you love what you do? Because you can, you just have to figure out how. And the tears will come if you venture down this road, but the reward is worth it…


Some of my dreams include:  Stores in NY, LA, Paris.  Opening up a non-profit organic fast food chain around the world. Handing off my company to the employees. Making a difference.  Moving to France for half the year. Flying into space.  Having a 1 on 1 with the Dalai Lama. Learning true inner peace. Realizing the 100 designs in my head which included create a Vintage Industrial car, house, and neighborhood. Building a loft and 3 story clocktower at our shop.

New Designs by Vintage Industrial

By | bookcase, commercial furniture, dining table, furniture, shelving | No Comments

We’ve been really busy the past few weeks doing some big jobs and getting the shop organized to run more efficiently. Take a look at the red shelving system we made for celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s restaurant that’ll be opening up soon in Time Square. It’s 24′ wide x 14′ tall and was powdercoated red and aged back to give it a 1950s feel. We’ll be making another shelf shortly for the same restaurant, but in a different style, so stay tuned. I’ll get installed photos too. It’s modular which makes it easy to ship and install.

Here’s a write-up on the place –>


We made some I Beam bases for the MGM Casino in Detroit which had extra rivets, and doors to access the inside. They are going in the bar area and will have beer taps routed through the center so the patrons will have self-service beer, in other words, beer taps on the bar tables!

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And here is a sneak peak at our new Ellis shelf design. It’s made with the Ellis steel frame, and aged solid cherry wood on the sides and shelves. This one is 48″ wide x 16″ deep x 78″ tall, although it can be made in any size, and weighs in at 175 lbs (the cherry wood is heavy). This can also be enclosed like the original Ellis console with added doors. Caster would look nice too. Still working on pricing, and I’ll have better pics soon.

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Heavy Duty Vintage Industrial 6″ Caster

By | caster wheels, furniture | No Comments

Here’s a new caster style we’re carrying. It’s a heavy duty 6″ caster that was designed in the 40s. The all cast iron construction weighs 21 lbs each and are rated to 750 lbs per wheel. Would make a cool caster on a heavy piece. Price will be around $475/set.

Top plate – 7″ x 5.5″

Mounted height – 8 5/16″

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Our Vintage Industrial Ellis Design

By | coffee table, commercial furniture, console table, dresser, end table, filing cabinet, furniture, Hostess Stand, kitchen island, media console, night stand, sideboard | No Comments

I was going through all the Ellis consoles we’ve made. There’s been a lot of them! So I put together an album and slideshow with some of my favorites. We’ve built them as coffee tables, media consoles, point of sale stations for restaurants, hostess stands, side tables, night stands, dressers, filing cabinets, sideboards, as a hutch, kitchen island, and more. Seems to be our most versatile design. I’ll be adding more info as well as sizing and options. All of these are custom Ellis’s:

Industrial Dining Table

By | commercial furniture, dining table, furniture | No Comments

We have a growing selection of industrial dining tables that vary in price and design. They are all original designs, inspired by vintage industrial pieces, made by our shop in Phoenix. Our industrial dining tables are built to last 100 or more years, and are commercial grade. Stay tuned for more designs coming out in the next few months. You can visit our Industrial Dining Table page for more info.

Our Hure dining table is one of our more recent designs. It’s thick gauge steel base is heavy but with feminine curves, and has a simple top that adds warmth to the piece. That massive 2″ screw and 3.5″ nut demand attention to the base. We’re thinking of casting this in brass and bronze in the future. Prices start around $4,500.


Ellis Dresser, Console and Wright Stools

By | dresser, furniture | One Comment

Here’s some pics of some pieces in the shop right now. We’re working on an Ellis Dresser. It’s close to finished, just needs some wood sides and a top. Will have finished pictures soon. The second and third pics are an 8 door Ellis. It’s one of the bigger Ellis consoles we’ve made. And finally some stools for a bar.

Reclaimed Steel and Wood!

By | furniture | No Comments

Seems everybody is on the reclaimed bandwagon. I am all for reusing materials and recycling.  But you might question where they get their supposedly reclaimed products.  The ones I’ve used in the past have all had stories behind them. Like the mahogany that was retrieved from an old New Mexico schoolhouse built in 1918.  One vendor who seems to be copying several of my designs has that “recycled” claim and I am quite positive they are new materials.  Most recycled material comes with some sort of proof.  Just food for thought. ..


Wood is Good

By | furniture | No Comments

I started off building all metal furniture. Didn’t know much about metal, and really didn’t know much about wood. But I learned, and my wife pushed me in the right direction which was to add some wood to my pieces. Below are a couple tops we did within the last week.

This one is cherry wood and 12′ 6″ long. I used to think cherry was for Gramas and Grandpas , but I love it!! Maybe I’m getting old? The color and grain is amazing. First cherry top we ever did:
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This walnut top is quite striking. The middle plank is around 18″ wide which is hard to find, and the coloration is awesome. It’s going on a Hure desk with a matching return:
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Vintage Pasco Wooden Industrial Gear Molds

By | furniture, wooden gear molds | One Comment

Standing at 54″ tall and weighing 75 lbs, our wooden gear makes for a spectacular decoration. This is a reproduction gear mold, and they are getting harder and harder to find. Back in the day, they would first make these large gears out of wood. Then they’d do a sand casting from it, and pour in molten metal to make a metal gear.

We can also make these in just about any size, finish, or color. Upcharge for custom gears. You can buy it here: Wooden Gear Mold

orange gear vintage industrial 2 (1)

Orange Wooden Gear Hub


I also have an amazing set of original vintage Pasco wooden gear molds for sale. The paint and colors are amazing. They used these molds to build giant steel gears back in the mid 1900s. Would be perfect for a loft, restaurant, or retail space.

They are close to identical and the left one is 14″ x 53″ and the right 15″ x 53″. These are on sale for $6000 for the set. These are probably the only ones in existence like this.