Jan 19, 2018
30 Under 30, Class of ’18: Daniel King, Co-Owner of Home Union
Most Likely to: Be the first one awake
Favorite Quote: “As you wander on through life, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the donut, and not upon the hole.”
Daniel King is a builder and a fixer. His mentality that “vintage is the future,” is what led Daniel to open Home Union, a curated store of vintage modern furniture store he co-owns with his wife, Meghan. Daniel saw a flimsiness in the build and design of today’s pieces being churned out for warehouse, and believes that pieces that have endured 60 or more years are built to last. Daniel and Meghan founded Home Union out of their apartment, and just two years in have moved to a brick-and-mortar storefront in Williamsburg. He wants to be able to provide people with an investment: furniture that only gets better with age.
What is your earliest memory associated with what you do now?
I was working in a furniture shop, building high-end pieces that would sell to customers for $10,000 plus, while not even making enough money to buy the raw materials used in building said pieces. I wasn’t impressed by what people wanted at the time, either. Timeless Vintage pieces that have held up for 60 years were built with care, and will likely outlive the new high-end designs. Buying vintage allows you to preserve natural resources, while still enjoying and appreciating certain woods that aren’t available because of deforestation laws. Vintage is the way of the future.
When did your occupation become real to you? Like, you knew this was what you were going to do?
I knew Home Union was going to do well when I saw how much energy my wife, Meghan, put in from the start. I had to keep up, and match that energy-which truly isn’t something I’ve ever done before. It came to fruition because of her. We started small, out of our apartment, and then a storage space, then an appointment-only showroom, to our brick and mortar storefront at 369 Hooper St. in Williamsburg.
How does Brooklyn/your neighborhood particularly inform your work?
I’ve seen what it’s like to live in Brooklyn. When you’re young, you move a lot. Sometimes less than a mile from where they have lived previously. For this you need well-made furniture that lasts. Not a disposable pieces. What we do at Home Union is source quality pieces that have lasted, and will continue to last.
What do you feel is most challenging about being where you are now?
I feel the challenges I face in Brooklyn are also what may help Home Union flourish. More people are continuing to flood in, but along with this is coming a certain investment of the people who are moving in. You can tell they want to be here for longer than a year or two. The people moving into these new buildings won’t settle for corporate-bought, assemble-at-home furniture that will only last a few years. They’re likely to invest a little more into something they can keep forever.
What’s most rewarding?
The most rewarding thing is seeing how empowered people feel when they’ve upgraded their furniture and home. You have to work hard to live here, and you should be able to enjoy the home you invest so much into. It also never gets old to be able to choose from any type of cuisine, hear a dozen languages a day, and really feel akin to the people around you in this borough.
What’s your most significant accomplishment to date?
I don’t know if I would call it an accomplishment, but it changed my life when I began dating my wife, Meghan. She is a no-nonsense type, go-getter. Great style, beautiful, smart, and enthusiastic. Without her, Home Union just wouldn’t have happened. She keeps me in check, and she’s what motivates me every single day.
Who/what inspires you?
Music from simpler times. Post-Modern authors and poets. I’m inspired by people who put their heart into their work, even if that work isn’t glamorous. Work hard. You’ll be happy you did later.
Thinking about the future, where do you see yourself in the next 30 years?
I see myself tinkering as I do now. Building things, fixing things, and being an absolute nerd about vintage guitars and amps. I see myself loving my wife and the life we’ve made together; so long as she hasn’t tired of my undying interest in trivial information.
What’s next for me?
Hoping for another busy year at Home Union; and hoping to have a year full of writing, reading, listening, performing, fixing, and loving.
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