Hand-blown glass globes, precisely spun metal, and raw brass tube make up just a few of the components employed by Allied Maker to create their expressive lighting collections. Accented with elements of turned wood or brushed finishes, the pieces have become regulars in places like Sight Unseen OFFSITE, where independent studios flock to showcase their latest wares.
For those familiar with Allied Maker’s refined aesthetic, it might come as some surprise to find that the studio was initially founded as part of a self-initiated student project, right in Ryden Rizzo’s parents’ garage.
'I went to my professor and said, "I want make one new product a week and sell it,"' says Ryden Rizzo, founder of the New York-based studio. 'I would make anything from cutting boards to chopsticks to a skateboard to a knife, a knife holder...' Of the myriad products and gadgets Rizzo dreamed up, only one sold: his lamps. 'What people were most interested in were my lighting pieces, which I would make very simple lamps, and that's the only thing that sold,' recalls the designer.
That set Rizzo on the path towards what Allied Maker is today, a design and manufacturing studio focused on lighting that he now runs alongside his wife, Lanette Rizzo. 'This company was not started with an investment and a business plan, it was started with a garage, a dream, and some basic Home Depot tools,' says Ryden Rizzo. Quickly outgrowing his parents’ garage, Ryden Rizzo moved the studio to a 6,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Long Island in 2014. 'He went from fulfilling orders of single or 20 units to fulfilling orders of up to 400 units for one lamp type,' says Lanette Rizzo. 'It’s no longer a one man band. We have 15 employees now.'
While the duo have come a long way since Ryden Rizzo’s student days, they still maintain the same level of unconventional thinking and approach to making, evident in each project, which are hand-crafted in Allied Maker’s workshop. It’s that approach that has made them a go-to for boutique hotels, residential, and commercial projects worldwide, as well as a recent project with Cadillac, where they’ve been invited as one of three studios to create a custom piece using materials used in Cadillac’s latest crossover vehicle, the XT5 — pulled directly from their exclusive materials library.
The husband-wife team are planning on using the project as an opportunity to blend some of Cadillac’s signature touches with their own. 'What we wanted to do was translate one of our signature Allied Maker pieces into the signature Cadillac finishes,” says Lanette Rizzo. 'Both of our aesthetics are a bit classic contemporary,' says Ryden Rizzo. 'I don't think that a good black leather and a well brushed piece of aluminium mixed with a blackened ash is ever going out of style. It's timeless.'