For Mark Hawley, building furniture has been a lifelong obsession.
"Ever since I was little I was gluing, clamping, sanding things," Hawley says, reminiscing about working with his dad, an engineer with a passion for woodworking. In high school at Edison, Hawley excelled in woodshop and wound up at the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated with a degree in product design in 1976.
While on the way to Dallas to take a job, Hawley stopped in Oklahoma City to meet with Carson See, a Nichols Hills furniture designer. See ended up hiring the recent college graduate as an assistant, giving Hawley an invaluable apprenticeship with a master of the trade, according to Hawley. After work and on weekends, Hawley built his own furniture and eventually landed jobs designing pieces for restaurants and dining rooms.
Three years later, an opportunity in Tulsa brought him back to his hometown, and for 40 years, Hawley has designed, built and shown his pieces.
"I always tried to do more modern furniture while others were more traditional," Hawley says. In 1983 he created his signature Ripple Line, which features wavy legs on tables, desks and chairs. Pieces from the collection have appeared in national magazines and newspapers, along with TV shows "Star Trek" and "Extreme Home Makeover."
"I try and put energy into every piece," he says.
His work can be seen locally in commercial and residential projects, but most notably at his Pearl District storefront, which he owns with his wife, Christine Booth. Most of the items in the store are designed by Hawley and built just a few blocks away by master craftsmen with American-sourced wood and other materials. Professional design services also are available by interior designer Johnna Daniels.
As items sell on the showroom floor, tweaks to materials, colors or finishing touches might be changed, but the overall design remains. Showroom pieces not designed by Hawley must meet strict quality standards and must be overall aesthetically pleasing and fit the modern and contemporary aesthetic.
If a customer can’t find what they’re looking for, Hawley can help.
"It’s unique that a customer can come in here with an idea, or I can take a blank sheet of paper and draw what the customer is describing."
Hawley Design Furnishings
702 S. Utica Ave. | 918-587-0510 | hawleyco.com
10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday