Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan Trachtman.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I had been a graphic designer and creative director for over twenty years.
Then I built a modest woodshop in my basement, unsure if I would even take to woodworking. I enjoyed working with my hands so much that I decided I wanted a career change. I started with unique hardwood table lamps because they were small enough for my shop and because everything else out there did not seem particularly innovative to me. My designs were executed by more experienced woodworkers in the Baltimore area.
The reception to the table lamps has been very positive, but they are complex to make and have a high price point, so sales have not been as high as hoped.
A lot of interior designers told me I should focus on ceiling pendants, so I taught myself woodturning and created something unique that has also proven to be popular but is easier to produce and more affordable. The goal is to see them not just in residential, but also in hospitality.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Not at all. Working with many of the larger shops in Baltimore was very challenging because I was a much smaller client to them and my jobs often got pushed to the back of the line. The journey from prototype to finished product took many more months than anticipated. Now that I am creating all my lighting myself, that journey has gone from months to days.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
I believe that fine woodworking has a unique place in the luxury lighting space and that handmade beauty adds a warmth that one cannot find in mass-produced items.
Stone & Dove’s name comes from the Hebrew translations of my kids’ names – “Evan” meaning stone and “Jonah” meaning dove. The words also speak to the durability of traditional craftsmanship as well as the timelessness, beauty, and harmony of the natural materials.
I started with table lamps, many of which are still available but am now getting attention for my unique dyed, hand-turned ceiling pendants. Each piece is made to order in a variety of color combinations.
All my pieces are produced using sustainable domestic hardwoods and packaging is 90% biodegradable.
What do you like and dislike about the city?
I started my practice in the DC area, looking for established and talented woodshops and they all turned out to be in the Baltimore area. I imagine that it is much more affordable to have a large woodshop in Baltimore than in DC and there are many talented craftspeople in the city.
If I were to point to something that troubles me about Baltimore, it would be poverty. Every time I would visit the craftspeople I worked with, my GPS would send me all over Baltimore and I was always struck by the slums.
- Ceiling pendants range from $440-$770
- Table lamps are currently being discounted from $700-$1000