At Semihandmade, we pride ourselves in caring about our community—our community of customers, readers, followers, DIYers, and of course, our employees. Which is why we’re starting a new series to help you get to know the people behind the brand. Our first Team Semihandmade Spotlight: our New York Showroom Manager Jeff Thomas. He’s been with the company since spring 2017, discovering the company as a customer before joining the team! Keep reading to get to know Jeff and make sure to pay him a visit at our new New York space

Alyssa: What drew you to working at Semihandmade?

Jeff: I was a big fan of IKEA kitchens and the hacking concept in general. I liked IKEA kitchens, but was never a fan of their doors. I was a customer of Semihandmade’s first, and they saw the article about my renovation project in The New York Times where I mentioned them, and asked me if I wanted to work in their (then) showrooms in Brooklyn Heights and in Times Square. 

4.5 years later I’m still here, even after a year-long stint working out of my living room (along with the rest of the COVID-19 world) switching to online sales. I’m super glad to be back in a showroom setting here in the new NoMad location and around people again.

A: What does your day-to-day look like?

J: The new showroom here in NoMad is a rousing success after less than a month of being opened, where my days are frequently fully booked up with in-person 30-minute appointments for Semihandmade, and their new all-in-one system BOXI by Semihandmade. Here’s a tip: if you find the showroom calendar fully booked on the Semihandmade website, check out the calendar on the BOXI by Semihandmade website. The calendars are split, and at the moment there are more available appointments there.

Walnut and white two tone kitchen

Jeff’s apartment, featured in The New York Times

A: What do you love most about your job?

J: I am really the only employee here on the East Coast that deals with the public, so I value the boutique aspect of running the showroom for the public’s consumption. If you choose to visit, you’ll see our full range of products and feel free to ask for water, coffee or tea (hot or iced) while you’re here. Talking about a product I strongly believe in is a no-brainer. Some appointments run long as we get very involved in discussing their plans.

A: What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on with a client?

J: That would be my own! The doors I chose back in late-2015 were called Honey, but they are no longer available. I’m amazed at how many visitors tell me they remember reading the NYTimes article about my kitchen, and how they were inspired by my two-tone door choices, and decided to emulate it. 

A: What do you wish people knew about working with Semihandmade & IKEA products together?

J: It is surprisingly easy and versatile to dream up a design for your space, and see it realized using IKEA’s software. Customers are using IKEA kitchen cabinets all over their homes now, from bathrooms to bedrooms, mudrooms to laundry rooms. With Semihandmade’s fronts, you can get a completely custom look for all over your home at the fraction of the cost of custom cabinetry.

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