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When seeking a custom furniture manufacturer that fuses quality, beauty and function into their pieces, Dr. Sofa delivers all of that and more with every project they take on. Working with them on a custom banquette for a galley-style kitchen in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood, Dr. Sofa proved to be not only good at what they do, but collaborative and informative throughout the entire process. Born from a few phone calls and a crude sketch on our part, the company's founder, Shlomi Eini, took the reins and turned an idea into reality with his talented team who are experts in the art of furniture making.

Passionate about furniture from a young age, Mr. Eini built his reputation in the tri-state area as someone to trust when it came to furniture modification for clients who had pieces too large or awkward to fit into the sometimes tiny entryways, stairwells and elevators that New York living offers. Building upon that reputation, he began using years of creative experience to offer customers truly one-of-a-kind furniture that would be a permanent staple and sometimes solution for their homes. The banquette he created for the Ultimate New York Apartment falls in line with this thought as it was critical to have something in the kitchen that offers seating yet fits the very specific dimensions of the space. There is a long wall located directly opposite kitchen cabinets where the banquette would be placed - but needed to allow enough room for walking. The resulting banquette sofa with channeled backing is not only visually appealing but offers end tables for beverages, performance fabric in case of spills and soft-close drawers for storage under the entire piece. The banquette is a true work of art and function.

The banquette sits in the kitchen of the show space against a hand-painted wall covering created by Stephanie Dedes Reimers, founder of Sarkos. The wallcovering, which is a matte black with constellation-like silver leafing, is juxtaposed against the soft velvety white performance fabric used by Dr. Sofa and his team - making for a stark but warm feel in the space. We spoke with Mr. Eini about his company, past projects, present work and the future of Dr. Sofa. Mr. Eini's story is not only incredible, but admirable and inspirational to anyone who is brave enough to follow their life's passion.

IC: Where did the idea for Dr. Sofa spring from?

DS: I started my business back in 1999 with no assets or financial investments at all. It was just me traveling through subways with a tool bag and an idea on how to solve the problem of getting large furniture through small entryways. Many of my customers would be amazed as I took apart their sofa and would comment that it looked like I was doing surgery. Besides the surgery, I also ended up relieving their stresses so they nicknamed me, "The Surgeon", thus came the name "Dr. Sofa."

IC: Where did you get your passion for furniture?

DS: I am the third generation in my family in the furniture business. Since a very young age, I would play in my father and grandfather's workshop - building almost anything I could think of on my own, tree houses, wood scooters and more. As I grew, I discovered a passion for painting and sculpting. It was natural for me to blend my two loves of art and furniture into a division - Amazing Upholstery - where we build custom pieces.

IC: What has been the most complicated sofa deconstruction job in your history?

DS: Years back we got a call from a famous rapper. His sofa was a special order 17-foot long tufted sofa with Swarovski crystal buttons. They tried everything to fit it into his Chelsea apartment, but nothing worked. So, they called me. I had to deconstruct the sofa entirely - and it still didn't fit. The operation took me about 14 hours in total. Since then, I have taken-on many challenges including steel-framed sofas - finding a way to deconstruct and reassemble the pieces while maintaining the integrity of the frames and the design of the sofa. Today we count wall units, sofas, armoires, dressers and more as our "patients".

IC: What has been the most gratifying custom furniture job you've completed since you began?

DS: We have built many custom pieces for celebrities in New York City and that gives us a certain level of satisfaction that we are hired by a group of people who can really go anywhere for custom work. We have also been contracted by several Fortune 500 companies to create show pieces for their lobbies. We have done hundreds of unique custom designs for WeWork locations nationwide. But, if I have to choose a favorite, it would be our work for American Dream Mall in Secaucus, New Jersey. We built four sofas, each about 50-feet long and unique in both shape and design. We had to construct them in a way that maintained the original design yet where they could be installed in sections due to the length. Not to mention, the sofas had to be constructed and upholstered to stand up to the abuse of high traffic - and accommodate up to 100 people in one sitting. Mission accomplished! That is my most gratifying project to date.

IC: What are you most proud of in your experience working with upholstery and furniture?

DS: I am most grateful and proud that what we do helps others solve what they consider to be very difficult problems - be it fitting a sofa or building a unique piece. My team and I find it very satisfying to come to the rescue of our clients and mostly getting positive feedback. We never get tired of hearing, "Amazing job! Thank you."

IC: What is the Dr. Sofa ethos when creating custom furniture?

DS: I would say that turning a customer's vision into reality is our ethos because we want to encourage customers to dream - because we can make it for them!

IC: Where do you see the future of Dr. Sofa, the brand?

DS: My vision is to continue to expand into other urban cities around the nation, bringing the same talent, design and beauty that Dr. Sofa and Amazing Upholstery currently deliver in the tri-state area.