Devin Miller’s 2013 car accident put him on a different path than he predicted, but given the success he and Jen Rose are currently enjoying with Miller & Co., it seems things couldn’t have worked out better.
The downtown wood studio — located since 2016 just off Richmond Row at 100 St. George St. — was founded five years ago around their very popular lines of cutting and charcuterie boards. As the company’s profile grew, Miller & Co. also became known for large-size, signature furniture pieces for those looking for something of a higher quality than is typically offered in the local shopping malls.
Jen, who has been by Devin’s side the past nine years, said his recovery allowed him to return to an old passion.
“Woodworking was something he’d always done since an early age . . . so his hands were always dirty. He was given that freedom to create and explore and play,” she said. “Devin has always had the skillset, but what really lit his fire, got him turned onto the furniture side, was the challenge of it. He loves that.”
What became Miller & Co. actually started in the couple’s home where Devin first crafted those original boards.
Eventually they were given an opportunity to set up at Western Fair Farmers and Artisans Market. Jen still remembers the excitement of that first day where they practically sold out everything they’d made.
By 2015, Miller & Co. opened the doors at its original shop in Old East Village and the success just continued to build.
Today, Devin is focused more on his one-of-a-kind, free-standing furniture pieces, although they do keep up with their trademark boards and other kitchen items — things Jen calls the company’s “calling cards.”
While Jen sometimes worries he’s putting in too many hours, she knows Devin completely loves what he does.
That perspective is backed up by Devin’s own explanation that it isn’t just the woodworking itself he’s so passionate about. It’s “the hunt,” he said, the process of finding just the right piece of wood and then imagining what can be done with it.
Jen understands his passion, but that doesn’t mean she can’t tease him about it just a little.
“I call him a wood nerd, and I mean that in an affectionate way,” she explains with a laugh. “He loves what he’s doing. We’ll be out hiking, and he’ll be looking around talking about the potential of the trees. I’m just really proud of him.”
Devin explains both he and Jen “feel pretty negatively” about the sprawl they see happening in London and so they have happily embraced the downtown.
Richmond Row, Devin said, has so many “wonderful shops” not just along Richmond Street, but off along the connecting side streets – places that people won’t know about until they walk in the front door.
That opportunity, Jen said, happens more often than some people think.
“It’s kind of funny, but people are always looking for free downtown parking, so they will park out in front of our shop and just discover us,” she said. “This isn’t a business we’re into for a year or two. We’ve been building and growing and developing for five years now. We’re always fuelling ourselves to be the best version of what we can be.”