Young, hip and multi-talented, this 2016 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 winner and British ex-pat is combining carbon steel and butcher block wood to create customized industrial chic desks and accompanying office furniture that is anything but boring.
Iron Age Office president and CEO Sean Dineen first came Stateside on a soccer coaching contract with Challenger Sports. While in Georgia with the program, Dineen stayed with aironage02 host family that resulted in a serendipitous twist of fate. Enter Michael Stephens — host family patriarch, second generation steel fabricator, owner of Southern Machine Fabrications (SMF) in Cartersville and Iron Age silent partner.
“During the week at [soccer] camp, Mikey learned more about what I do with design and introduced me to Adam Slipakoff,” Dineen said. “Mikey had made desks in the past, and we thought we could put our heads together and hone the product to sell.”
Slipakoff, a Kennesaw-based attorney, serial entrepreneur and the final silent partner, completes the Iron Age trifecta.
Dineen completed his summer Challenger experience and moved across the pond to Georgia, putting his graphic design degree and influential upbringing in Sheffield (England’s renowned “Steel City”) to near immediate good use with the launch of Iron Age.
“We were inspired by looking around the workshop and all the materials that were there,” Dineen said. “My background in Sheffield, with all the [stainless steel] buildings, was probably a trigger [for the final designs].”
The trio began conceptualizing the company in 2014, and 2016 is its first full year doing business.
“We started selling one-off desks to residential homes and for small projects,” Dineen said. “It just grew organically. People from all over the United States and England have contacted me about them.”
Today, although customers still can order a handcrafted piece for themselves, Iron Age has moved beyond its humble beginnings as a custom desk maker to large commercial office projects requiring multi-person workstations and sometimes upward of 30 desks per order.
“Once I released the commercial designs, the attention and response has been crazy,” Dineen said. “It’s a niche market where we really have no competitors.”
Whether residential or commercial, each piece of Reine Zweckkunst (pure functional art) is made with love just up the road in Cartersville. There are a variety of modern-rustic designs and wood stains, but if a customer has a vision, Iron Age can build it. Small residential projects take about eight weeks from order to delivery, and larger projects can take up to 14 weeks, but these conversation starters are well worth the wait!
Dineen’s coaching stint brought him more than a successful business. He also met his wife, Frankie, during his summer contract. The couple live in Buckhead.
1701 Barrett Lakes Blvd, Suite 160
Kennesaw, GA 30144
18 Commerce Dr
Cartersville, GA 30120
Find Iron Age online here.
**Originally published in the November 2016 issue of Cobb Life magazine.