Don’t let the name confuse you, Ashore Chandeliers is much more than custom-made forged iron chandeliers. Much more. In fact, the owner likes to describe his company as “a Louis Vuitton of furniture,” stressing that they are more than just a factory, but a designer of quality tables, beds and home décor, including mirrors, table lamps and more.
Owner Kash Ashore says that he will be adding a new, experimental contemporary element to many of the company’s creations. It’s a move he’s excited about, considering he’s also the head designer. “We will be introducing a new line of material that I call ‘old-world modern’—items that are cleaner in design, but still forged, versus all that machine-made ‘lights on a stick’ pieces that everyone else is offering,” he says. Ashore expects his revolutionary new work to be a small category in what is presently a very large range of furnishings, but says he’s eager to introduce it as an opportunity to attract new customers and try out an entirely different design feel.
In the meantime, don’t expect Ashore Chandeliers’ much-beloved, made-to-order catalog to go completely modern. The company has certainly made a name for itself as a skilled and consistent purveyor of elegant, ornate and very traditional wrought-iron lighting and furniture, appropriate for modern homes.
That means plenty of elaborate detail—wild animals blended into the lines of a suspended iron pot rack, or complex swirls and spins contained within the shape of a French-inspired coffee table—and a solid and very timeless character to the various pieces.
“Nothing is prefabricated— we still make everything by hand, as they did hundreds of years ago,” Ashore says. He admits his stylish and proudly historically inspired metal creations face a bit of a crossroads, popular as his business still is. “About 10 years ago, there were probably 200 companies doing what we do, and now we’re one of very few old-worldstyle blacksmiths, certainly one of the top five in the country,” he says.
Ashore is a second-generation Persian blacksmith, with his father learning the trade as a young man before settling in Texas. The family began their Dallas-based business in 1990, primarily as a repair shop for other people’s work, but also creating some original furniture.
Over time the original custom work became more and more of the focus. The success of their furniture and the company’s intricate lighting designs helped the company grow into what is today, with a family of showrooms in North Carolina, Las Vegas and a new outlet in Houston, plus a reopening of their showroom in Atlanta.
Ashore and his team still make by hand all of the products in their factory, five minutes south of downtown Dallas, using age-old blacksmithing techniques—the boss himself likes to get very involved in specialized custom work, digging in side by side with his metal craftsmen and spending as much as six hours a day blacksmithing.
Then, true Renaissance man that he is, Ashore says he also spends about four hours a day helping to coordinate the increasingly national business at their main office. It’s a busy lifestyle, but with candelabras, floor lamps, sconces and a range of full-size beds and tables to help design and craft, Ashore says he’s happy to have the work.
In addition to the all-new, modern metalwork on the horizon, Ashore Chandeliers is also expanding to offer a new upholstery line and an ever-growing selection of authentic antler chandeliers, made from trophy-worthy racks collected in Utah and Colorado.
“We’re a medium-sized company with a small-company mentality—we still have full custom capabilities,” Ashore says. “Luckily, there’s always a market for what we do. There are still lots of people who appreciate the handmade wrought-iron pieces.”
Andy Stonehouse is a writer and editor based in Boulder, Colorado. Reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.