Over the last 12 years Semihandmade has offered durable, well-designed cabinet fronts to homeowners throughout the country but in 2022, the brand rolled out an exciting new customer experience: a mobile showroom.
“One of the main ways we’ve grown Semihandmade is by exhibiting at design shows,” says Founder John McDonald. “There’s no better way to share the product.” From Dwell on Design and WestEdge in Los Angeles, ICFF (The International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in New York, IDS (Interior Design Show) in Toronto and Vancouver, and the HD Expo and Market in Las Vegas, interested customers and industry experts not only got to understand more about the brand but see the fronts in person. Yet, that all went away during the pandemic.
“It’s a different world now and the mobile showroom is a way to reconnect with our roots and people in an even more intimate way,” he adds.
The truck, a 2021, 31-foot Ford Ultimaster built for UPS in Indiana showcases both Semihandmade fronts in Stone Quarterline and BOXI By Semihandmade cabinets in Peppercorn Edge, enduring, popular picks. “There’s also a Walnut bath vanity display, a working sink, microwave, and Cafe Appliances that add to the homey feel,” he says.
Collaborations with brands such as Rejuvenation and Emtek, Fireclay, Caesarstone, Cerno, and Loll Designs finish-out the interiors. “We’re fortunate to have made friends with some great brands over the years, and it’s always fun to collaborate. It also makes the experience even richer for the folks that are nice enough to stop in and say hello,” he adds.
The Design Process
While the interior of the mobile showroom provides a cohesive and dreamy kitchen and bathroom set-up, the exterior wrap designed by Latina illustrator, Daniela Jordan-Villaveces, is bright, colorful, and references the brand’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
“With her playful approach to mixed pattern, saturated color, and detail, we knew she’d be able to execute a design that was eye-catching, amusing, and make you want to keep looking back,” says Semihandmade Creative Director Laura Harris.
Hailing from Bogota, Colombia, the artist has been a professional art director and illustrator for more than a decade yet this project, a massive truck wrap, was her most unique piece yet.
“The vision was always about blending my illustrative world with the Semihandmade and BOXI aesthetics” she says. “It’s bright, and at the same time, has a vintage midcentury feel.”
After going through a few rounds of concepts and revisions, a perfectly balanced design, one which shows off well-designed kitchen spaces in a “graphicly vibrant way” was decided on, Harris notes.
Over a three-month period, the artist and Semihandmade and BOXI teams collaborated to bring the sketches to life, transforming the digital design to a large-scale truck wrap, a process which Jordan-Villaveces loved.
“It’s so rewarding to see your work being interpreted by so many people and seeing how they interact with it,” she says. Plus, she is a big fan of the brands. “Semihandmade is accessible and that’s my favorite part of it. It looks incredible and you can transform a space without a ton of money. It used to not be so simple to have a gorgeous kitchen without a crazy budget, but Semihandmade makes it possible for anyone to have a beautiful space.”
Where To Next
On April 30, the truck will head to the Dana Point ReDo Market, a market focused on vintage goods, an anticipated Orange County event that will be a great opportunity for the brands.
“The plan is to focus on Southern California for the rest of the year,” McDonald says.
In November 2022, the showroom was featured at the Rose Bowl Flea in Pasadena and the plan is to hopefully visit every other month, while February 2023 brought the Palm Springs Modernism Show and the Monrovia Farmers Market, right in the Semihandmade HQ backyard.
With an up-close chance to view the fronts and cabinets, details on ordering, design help and more, the mobile showroom provides a fun and original way for the brands’ talented teams to connect with new customers.