It all started with a garage. The love story of Lanette and Ryden Rizzo that is. When Ryden, (then a product design major at Parsons), took an independent project with his classmates, titled Allied Maker. The project came to life his parent’s garage in Long Island, which happened to be as luck would have it, next door to Lanette. The two fell in love immediately and joined forces to bring Allied Maker to the level of success it is riding today.  Allied Maker has become a leading name in the vanguard of vertically-integrated design studios, with an impeccable and appropriately obsessive quality product. With a laser focus on materiality and craftsmanship, Allied Maker conceptualizes and manufactures every lighting design in their Glen Cove, Long Island studio, with Ryden at the helm of design and Lanette as their Creative Director. We sat down with the couple, who will be opening their first showroom in Tribeca this Spring, to talk business and in turn witnessed something we’re all really after: what it looks like when work feels like play.

Where is your workspace?
Our studio is in Long Island in a small city called Glen Cove.
What made you turn in this direction?
At the beginning, Allied Maker was started in a garage in the picturesque town of Sea Cliff, which is 1 mile away from the current studio. When looking for a new location, we discovered all of these incredible industrial buildings right down the street. It was really perfect and convenient.
Was this always your dream job?
Creating is the dream. This helps facilitate that.
How much of the week is work and how much is play?
Work is play. They are one in the same. Every day, we experiment and play with different shapes and concepts. We hardly feel like it is work.
How has your space and studio grown?
We had humble beginnings and have grown much over the last 6 years. Now, our studio has 30 full time employees and seven distinct departments. We started with about 600 sq ft and now have about 12,000. We look to, as much as we can, bring as many of the processes that make our products in house. It gives us better control over the final result.
What is a dream situation you’d like to find yourself in?
An even bigger factory and creative studio in a semi remote location that essentially functions as a hub for makers.
How do you find inspiration?
Everything. Travel, nature, other work. Everything is inspiring through the right lens.
How do you define your personal style: work, clothing, home etc?
I think classic modern encapsulates us well.
What makes your studio special?
We truly believe in nurturing people’s ability to do what they really want to do. I believe that is what makes us special. We don’t want people to feel like they are stuck in a job that they hate. We want our studio to feel like a haven to create the career they really want.
Portrait by Kristen Francis for Ronen Lev. Workshop photography by Tori Willis.

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