Joseph Fratesi and Thomas Wright never planned to open a design company together. Nor did they expect their partnership to span over two decades.
Joseph and Thomas met in the summer of 1990 while bartending at Max Fish, falling into an easy friendship. Thomas was going into his last year of studying architecture at U.C. Berkeley; Joseph was crafting his designs from a shared woodworking space nearby. Both modernists at heart, they recognized a mutual interest in the details that went into creating a space.
“There were a lot of people doing interesting things and turning those creative instincts into entrepreneurial endeavors,” Thomas says of the Lower East Side back then. “A shared desire to understand the fundamentals of creating and actually making design brought us together. The space, locale, and environment tightened it.”