Don’t let the company name fool you, ThomasLehman Design . Build . Make…I am not that formal. Please call me “Thom.” I only use the formal name because I like the graphic of the full name better; otherwise, it conjures images of my past when my mother (God rest her soul…) was angry with me.
For years I pursued the American dream the way I thought I was supposed to: learn a skill, get educated and get a job. Done that (record scratch)…then I waited to retire or die. In Lancaster County, where I hail from, the Pennsylvania Dutch have a saying, “To soon olde and too late smart.” That’s me.
Well, at 50-something, I finally got smart, if not by force of will then by force of circumstance, and started my own company, ThomasLehman Design . Build . Make . I am now pursuing the American dream in a way that my work life is seamlessly integrated into my home and family life in a way that I only previously dreamed about. Explicit in the name is that I like to design, build and make things. Many understand the design and the build aspect of my work but question what is meant by “make.”
Making is a compulsion that many artistic/creative types know as the urge to make something artistic. For me that compulsion works out in sketches and drawings more than anything else but is also worked out through furniture and lighting pieces that I make. My company is primarily focused on anything related to the built environment (property, home, small commercial) and encompasses my passion for art, architecture, design and construction that I would like to now share with you.
ThomasLehman Design . Build . Make can provide two broad categories of “things” to you--services and goods. I offer skilled services in the area of architecture, interior and landscape design; construction; and real estate staging. For goods I offer furniture, lighting and art objects for sale.
My story here would not be complete without a shout-out to my brother-in-law, Al, who first hired me to get his house ready for sale. It was through the process of working on Al’s house that I discovered my true calling, in the greatest sense of the word. I described to family and friends how every night before going to Al’s, was like going to bed and waiting for Christmas to come as a kid; I couldn’t wait for sleep to be over so that I could start my day designing, building and making stuff. While at Al’s I felt like each moment I worked on the house I was having a conversation with it, unearthing the relationships that the original design/builder intended and finding new, meaningful ways to use the space in a modern way. What a journey!
Al rented his property for about ten years, managing it from where he lived, half-way across the country. He placed it on the market two times during the recession that started in 2009 and during the sluggish economy that followed. He had almost no interested buyers and none that would pay what he had paid for the property. For the complete details of the house design and construction, visit my Portfolio page. Through very modest and artful improvements made to Al’s home, over twenty showings were conducted and the home sold after being on the market less than 18 days! Al and I were happy for some of the same reasons and for some very compelling different reasons. Al was glad to be rid of an increasing burden and financial drain; I was happy to discover a more fulfilling work existence!
What’s your journey? Can I come along?