Allied Maker, a Long Island-based lighting design and manufacturing studio, is run by husband and wife Ryden and Lanette Rizzo. While she handles the creative vision of the brand, he is the principal designer. They met back in 2013 in his garage, and she happened to be his neighbor. We instantly fell in love with their story that was shared to us by our lovely girls at NES creative. 

Flanelle : The backstory about Lanette being Ryden’s neighbor is just so cute! Can we have the extended story about that?
Allied Maker : We were living across the street from one another and had mutual friends but hadn’t met. We were both dating other people at the time. One person in particular kept saying to me (Lanette), “You have to meet Ryden, you’d love him”. One day, I was brought over to Ryden’s house by this friend. Allied Maker, at the time, was a small but mighty shop that was in a two car garage. It seems so cliché to say that it was love at first sight, but it really was. We both were totally taken by each other. It wasn’t long before we separated from the people we were dating. Our taste and aesthetic were so in sync. We knew very early on that it would grow effortlessly into the life, relationship and business we have now.

Ryden, what is your background and what brought you to want to expand your knowledge to lighting?

My background is actually in graphic design. My father is a jewelry designer and I grew up in his shop. It’s funny that lighting was the ultimate destination for my career, because lighting fixtures are sometimes referred to as jewelry of the home. During a break in college, I took a workshop in Vermont on guitar building and that is where I fell in love with woodworking. When I returned, I yearned for the practice of working with my hands to create something tangible.

 

You use a lot of natural textures and materials, why ?
We love natural materials because of the organic beauty it provides to our collection.

What is the reality of having a business with your loved one ? What are the challenges and opportunities ?
For us, it’s been really natural to work closely together building a business. It’s not for everyone for sure. We both have clear, distinct strengths that we give space for the other to express. Ryden has such a beautiful creative process and I enhance that process through revision as we are working together on a finished product. Sometimes one of us is inspired by a material or concept and the other rounds out that idea. We try to never step on each other’s toes and really find the place where we actually agree. If one of us doesn’t agree, chances are there is a better solution just waiting to be uncovered.

What are your plans for the future ?
We are currently in the process of opening our showroom in Tribeca. This space will not only be a showroom space but we are also hoping that it will function as a space to exhibit some of our more playful creative work, not just production pieces. We are also working on a full renovation of a mid-century house close to our studio that was originally built by the humble architect Jasper Ward. Also, our studio is growing and we are also looking for ways to bring even more of the processes in house to help support our vision. It’s important for us to keep tweaking the way the business functions so that it expresses work that we are continually proud of.

You can find more of their designs at www.alliedmaker.com