Justin Godar's Bio

I was born in the Bay Area in 1974 (a lion tiger, my wife likes to point out) and raised by a decorator and a printer.

I fancied myself an artist up until I had a BA in Fine Art from UC Santa Cruz in 1996. I started to feel that fine art required wordy justification which I didn't always have. I just wanted to make neat things.

After college, I started coming up with designs I wanted to build and I'd somehow make them in the bathroom of my modest apartment in the Haight. Designs included a puffy, rubber cabinet with counter-weighted doors, a dining table with an aquarium built into the top, and a rotating bed.

The ideas were solid, but my execution was lacking, so I quit my job at Cliff's Variety and started working for a cabinetmaker based in “The Barn” in Hunter's Point. He taught me the basics that you don't learn in your bathroom and let me use his fancier tools to build my own designs during my off hours.

I went legit and started selling my own furniture at this time under the poorly chosen name of “Chump Furniture” in 2001. For obvious reasons, I renamed my business Godar Furniture a few years later. I was really into stripy tables, cardboard furniture, puffy, denim cabinets and dodecahedron speakers. I was also really into how-to books such as the Popular Mechanics Do-It-Yourself encyclopedia and Nomadic Furniture, which led to me contributing a handful of articles to the now defunct ReadyMade Magazine.

As I started getting more business, I moved out of the Barn and eventually landed at my current space in the Bayview in 2005. Though I'm still mostly making a living with custom furniture, I'm now making my “Framestool”, which is a stool with a picture frame built into the back, and “H-Shelves”, which are modular shelves that stack and expand.

In the late 2000s, I decide to create a chair inspired by Hans Wegner's “The Chair”. Early versions were rather cruel to the human body, but I eventually bent my design into the “Thick Chair”. I also made my first bookcase out of thin material at this time, and it still stands in my home today.

In 2011, I join TechShop to use their CNC router and to learn a few other new skills over the next couple years. I came out of it with the early prototypes of Grow, the Sutro Tower Coat Rack and the Fake Slab Table.

In 2014 I run my first Kickstarter campaign for the Sutro Tower Coat Rack and raise about three times my goal.

In 2015, I run my second Kickstarter campaign for Grow, ending just short of my goal, dammit! I'm currently working on making Grow available in a more traditional manner while also working on it's sister product, yet to be announced.