Erin and Nate Moren
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BFA in Furniture Design
2007
Owners of Tandem Made Studio

What do you two currently do for a living?

Together we own Tandem Made, a design build studio that focuses on custom furniture, sculpture, built-ins, interiors, and a growing product line.   

What is your favorite thing about your job?

After we met in the wood shop at MCAD, we always dreamt of working together someday. Well, that someday is now and we feel quite lucky to have each other as we collaborate, troubleshoot, and design/build this business/brand/life. 

Why did the two of you choose your major? What were your classes like?

We both chose furniture design because of the desire to create with our hands and transform spaces. Furniture design is a unique niche of art making: there’s concept, design, function, ergonomics, materials, fabrication, and craftsmanship. We both strongly believe that design feeds craft and craft feeds design. The classes we took worked to balance conceptual studies with hands-on building techniques.  

Would you say MCAD prepared you for life after graduation?

At MCAD you work hard! The classes are demanding, professors push you to become better, and you’re surrounded by so many talented classmates. During our time at MCAD we solidified a work ethic and creative lifestyle that prepared us to start our own business. We gained an understanding of and appreciation for the pressure of client deadlines, making top-quality products, networking, and late nights in the studio.  

Best thing you ever got/saw on the free shelf?

A file cabinet that now sits under our table saw and holds saw blades!

What was your experience with MCAD's facilities?

MCAD has phenomenal facilities. We each had large studios next to the wood and metal shop with access to an array of tools we only wish we had now. The studio environment was friendly, supportive, and fun—not only did we meet each other there, but we gained lifelong friends there as well. The creative support system was so unique and special to our educational experience.  

How do you find inspiration when you are feeling stuck?

When we're stuck we try to take a break, go for a walk, play with our pups—anything to get outside our heads for a moment. Sometimes designs can't be forced.  

Current obsession?

Wiener dogs!

What advice do you have for art/design students?

Take advantage of the offerings you have at MCAD. The faculty, staff, tools, and your fellow classmates have so much to offer and add to your creative process. Enjoy the creative freedom you have, document your work, and track time and money spent on projects (it will help you with taxes as well as with business if you start bidding out jobs).

Has your work evolved since leaving MCAD?

Since graduation our work has become more about our clients and less about us. While we integrate our design sense into each piece that we make, ultimately we're making custom products to solve design problems for our clients. We enjoy working this way and getting the opportunity to work in various styles, materials, and techniques.  

Name your one biggest takeaway from MCAD?

The small size of MCAD provided opportunity to really connect with fellow classmates, faculty, and staff. The friendships and connections forged at MCAD continue to inspire us today. Our company is small, it's just the two of us, and while we consider how we will grow in the years to come, we appreciate the personal connections we make with our clients and the communication we retain as a small but powerful force!