With the Notable Awards fast approaching (did we mention they are on Nov 22 and voting and ticket sales are now live!), we wanted to take a minute and introduce you to the sick designer of this year’s award – Wayne Montgomery and his company, Montgomery Custom.
Montgomery Custom is known for using repurposed material to create beautiful designs. From furniture accessories to entire restaurants, Montgomery Custom has certainly been building a name for themselves.
Notable Life: Tell us a bit about yourself. What was life like before Montgomery Custom?
Wayne Montgomery: I grew up working in computer software at my dad’s logistics software company. Every summer I would sit in an office and do some sort of data entry or organizing or filing, by the time I hit university I think we were all pretty well aware that it really wasn’t my thing. While in University at Wilfrid Laurier I worked in the nightclub industry. I took part in building and running a few of the nightclubs in Waterloo, this is how I sort of fell into my next job which was artist hosting.
In Waterloo we had a few venues that I worked in that brought in international DJ talent, we quickly learned that someone local had to take care of these people when they were in town. This immediately became my job, I would pick them up at the airport, take them out for dinner, take them to the club and everything in between. This eventually stemmed into other cities and even touring with some of the artists. This included names like Avicii, Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris, Steve Angello and so on.
NL: Who would you say has had the biggest impact on your career so far?
WM: I have had the opportunity to work with a ton of amazing people at this point but overall I would say my Dad, without his support in the early times I would never have been able to get this off the ground. Still to this day if I needed an extra hand or help with anything I know I could call and he would drop whatever he was doing. He was the one who showed me that you can do anything you want and that you can go out on your own and be successful.
NL:You went from building custom tables to building restaurants in about a year. How did you accomplish that?
WM: Honestly it just sort of happened, I kept my nose to the ground, worked long hours and i’m pretty sure the most important thing was in my early days I never said “no”. If a restaurant owner wanted me to install something overnight so they didn’t have to close and lose any business I just did it. I can remember times that I would show up at 1am and work until they got back the next day to open up again.
NL:Are there any “Notable” people you have had the chance to work with or built something really cool for?
WM: One of my first real customers was my good friend Frank’s mom Belinda. She is very into design and art so when she took notice and asked me to build a few things for her it was a really big deal. At the time I probably wasn’t even truly aware of how amazing that opportunity was, I just started building.
More recently I have had the opportunity to build the furniture and store fixtures for the brand VITALY. Their flagship store at 505 Queen West is probably the best public showcase of what we can do at Montgomery Custom. Shane, Jason, Zack and Michael have always had my back and brought me in when they think the project suits my style and ability.
NL: You’re building the awards for the show this year. Why would you say are you excited to be contributing to this year’s show? And, what separates this year’s award design from previous years?
WM: Josh Seaton from Notable has been a good friend and supporter of whatever I have had going on for a very long time. When he calls I always know that the request isn’t going to be basic. Building this year’s award is exciting mostly because I have never built an award before, i’m always interested in doing something new and different. When I first saw the past awards I thought maybe they had the wrong guy but I am confident that we have come up with something awesome that definitely suits this year’s award show. I feel very proud to have built something that will sit on the shelves of this years winners.
NL: It’s safe to assume that you work with a vast multitude of tools whenever you want to build something. What would you say are the top three tools no one in your field should be without?
WM: This is a pretty tough question because I could talk about my favourite power tool companies or the best sander I have ever used but i’m not sure how I could ever narrow it down to 3 items. I will give three pieces of advice when it comes to tools: 1. there is always a right tool for the job, my dad taught me that when I was a kid and I would try and use the wrong screwdriver for something because it was all I had near by – 2. If you can avoid it, don’t buy cheap tools – it’s never worth it. I have been through 100’s of cheap tools and if you add it up I could have just spent that money on stuff I have now anyways that would have lasted a lot longer. 3. The most important tool is your imagination, if you can think it or dream it you can probably do it you just have to figure out how.
NL:Montgomery Custom uses a lot of reclaimed material for their projects. What is your reasoning behind this method?
WM: The word “reclaimed” gets tossed around a lot and I won’t lie, I get sort of cheesed when something clearly built out of new material by a big company has the word reclaimed in the description. You also see lots of people building furniture out of rough pine to get a reclaimed look but its still missing the point. When we build something with reclaimed material I can truly tell you exactly where that wood came from and what it has been in the past because I sourced it myself. A lot of work goes into preparing reclaimed wood for use in furniture, this process isn’t always the most cost effective but it guarantees authenticity in the claim that the material was truly recycled from an old use that it can no longer serve.
NL:What is the craziest thing you’ve ever built?
WM: The craziest thing I have ever built Is definitely a table in a restaurant in Waterloo called Stark & Perri. We actually built the entire restaurant but while working closely with the owner we decided to make a statement with one of the tables. It is 24 feet long, 4 feet wide, 4 inches thick and has 4 pedestal bases made out of 18″ structural I-Beam. The top came into the restaurant in one piece, we had to shut down the street and it took 14 of us to bring it in. All said and done that table weighs around 3000 lbs and can seat 28 people.
You can check out Wayne’s incredible designs @MontgomeryCustom!