Custom furniture designer John Malecki makes rustic industrial furniture from his home in Pittsburgh. John draws inspiration from the architecture and history around him. But growing up in Pittsburgh, John wanted to be a football player — and he actually made it to the NFL and played for a number of teams, including the Steelers. So how did he end up becoming a maker? We’ll talk to John about:

  • His career in the NFL
  • Missing out on shop class – and trying to bring it back
  • Learning to market yourself


“So I wanna do everything I can to give back what I’ve learned, and help inspire people and show people that you can do this. And if you want to learn a skill set, you can really teach yourself almost all of it and get out there and make some really, really cool stuff.”


“I do have a college degree and I’m not against college at all, but if you’re looking for something different, I think you can make a great living with your hands.”


“If you do great work, people will find you and it’ll stand on its own.”


Connect with John:





Music: MANUFUTURE by DJ Derk Jickface

Wordsmithery: Bill Livolsi

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