“The American Dream” is a phrase spoken often. Its definition is fluid, but, perhaps most simply, it can be defined as the belief that anyone, with enough hard work and dedication, has the potential to reach success. Some say that The American Dream is a relic of the past, an aspiration that’s no longer achievable. For Sean Dineen, CEO of Iron Age Office, that sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth.
After graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a Graphic Design Degree, Sean set out for America to pursue his passion of Soccer. He began coaching youth soccer camps, living with a different host family each week. Eventually, he ended up in the home of the Stephens family. Michael Stephens, father of the family, became fast friends with Sean. As the owner of Southern Machine & Fabrication (SMF), Michael possessed an interest in the process of creating. After some conversation, Michael and Sean realized that they shared a seminal passion: craftsmanship.
Upon coming to this realization, the pair began discussing ideas for creating a desk that possessed the high-quality craftsmanship that both men appreciated. The ultimate result of these conversations was the Carruca, a desk that would go on to define the Iron Age look for years to come. With a 1.75” solid maple wood top and carbon steel frame, the Carruca possessed not only a bold look, but also an unwavering commitment to quality. It was a desk built to last a lifetime.
Excited by their design and subsequent creation, Sean began contemplating the idea that people would be interested in having a Carruca desk of their own. Beyond that, the duo considered the idea that a market existed for high quality, durable, modern office furniture. The selection could expand past desks to include conference tables, storage units and even workstations. Once the ideas started flowing, Sean and Michael knew that they’d passed the point of no return. Iron Age Office had been born.
Once the idea for IAO had been established, the pair moved quickly to begin putting the plans into action. Busy with operations of his own company, Michael tasked Sean with running the day-to-day operations of Iron Age Office. Sean, along with a small group of employees, began operating out of a small, unused section of SMF’s facility. At first, IAO would fulfill small orders for home offices, typically consisting of a single desk. As time went on, however, the orders grew more ambitious.
Established from the get-go was the mentality that every piece of furniture shipped out of Iron Age’s doors must be built to last a lifetime. Sean felt strongly that if the quality weren’t the number one priority, the company shouldn’t exist. To achieve this standard, all the furniture would be handcrafted. This meant that cutting the wood, welding the metal, and every step in between would be completed by human hands. This commitment would extend the time needed to complete the products, but more importantly, would ensure that every piece received the care and attention it deserved.
Before long, Iron Age had outgrown its space, and in 2017, the team moved into a new facility in Cartersville, GA. This provided them with the space they needed to expand and grow out of SMF’s shadow. The additional space enabled IAO to begin fulfilling larger orders. Instead of creating one desk for a home office, the team was now making eight desks for a commercial office space. That’s not to say that smaller orders were now being neglected; part of the beauty of Iron Age Office is that it’s able and willing to accommodate orders of any size, keeping in line with Sean’s original vision.
As the orders grew, so too did the team. Skilled craftsmen, from welders to woodworkers, were attracted to the top-notch products that IAO was producing. As the shop filled with talent, Iron Age’s own office also began to blossom with skilled individuals to help manage operations, handle sales, and grow marketing efforts. After a few productive years in Cartersville, Iron Age Office moved up yet again, this time to an 80,000 square foot facility in Kennesaw, GA.
Since the move, growth for IAO has skyrocketed. The company is now capable of fulfilling orders of virtually any size but is still eager as ever to supply products for home offices, just as it did when Iron Age first began. Countless new product additions have also helped to assert Iron Age Office as one of the most flexible and varied manufacturers in the industry. Ultimately, the most important constant for IAO is the commitment to quality. No matter how large a project is, it receives near obsessive levels of care and attention.
For as long as Iron Age manufactures furniture, it will unapologetically raise the standard of quality across the entire industry. Countless brands like Papa John’s, Harley Davidson, Jack Daniel’s, and John Deere proudly rep IAO furniture, and our extended family grows larger by the day. There’s truly never been a more exciting time for Iron Age Office. The best part? We’re just getting started.