As a kid in Indiana, Spencer Staley liked to tag along with his grandfather. “He would always take us to garage sales,” Staley recalled. “I really enjoyed it.” Staley kept up the practice when he moved to Portland in 1998, spending days off from his restaurant job cruising estate sales. On these outings, Staley was repeatedly drawn to Danish and Mid-century modern furniture. Over time, he taught himself to recognize key designers and restore damaged pieces, then selling his restored finds from his garage. By 2006, he opened his own storefront called The Good Mod.
photo by Arthur Hitchcock
Today, Staley’s shop has expanded to a 20,000-square-foot space downtown, complete with a showroom for his vintage furniture and a studio where he fabricates his own designs. “A lot of the things I make are not traditional,” Staley said. “I really like to experiment.” In 2013, this led to the creation of his first chair, called .001, which was an exercise in efficiently using a piece of plywood. The next year, he and a friend crafted the Ping Pong Conference Table, testing various woods for the best bounce factor. The table’s sculptural profile ensures it can stand alone, or the net can be added for a little fun. Even better is the possibility of using both functions simultaneously. “I hear stories about companies having great meetings while they’re hitting the ball around,” he said.