When Jon Irons developed the idea behind Sitgreen Cardboard Furniture as a college student at Arizona State University in 2010, he had no idea how far it would go or how quickly.
Like most college students, he just wanted to find a job doing something he loved and figure out how to make ends meet later. Irons found the balance between the two in his passion for designing eco-friendly furniture using post-consumer materials.
At 24 years old, Irons launched Sitgreen with the help of startup incubator Seed Spot, which mentors and finds funding sources for local entrepreneurs. He raised enough money to open a warehouse, office and retail space and has worked with big organizations like TOMS shoe company and local businesses like Cartel Coffee Lab and Natural Choice Academy.
He’s building a name for himself in the sustainable furniture market but scaled back his operation over the past year, making some design and manufacturing adjustments and now primarily works from his backyard in Tempe.
“I love what I do,” Irons said. “I would rather make less money and love what I do, that’s my biggest thing.”
Being driven, flexible and resourceful in the face of changing demands is what makes Jon Irons a success. Adaptive reuse and repurposing is kind of his business motto, which is one of the reasons why he’s drawn to Downtown Phoenix.
“Downtown Phoenix is going through this really cool time right now, where instead of growing out it’s actually kind of turned in on itself,” Irons said. “It’s rebuilding from the inside out, which is amazing.”
With that in mind, you might just see a new Sitgreen warehouse or retail space popping up in Downtown in the near future. In the meantime, Irons is mostly constructing custom pieces, which can be ordered on the Sitgreen website.
*Photo courtesy of Sitgreen Furniture.