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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Seeing the Light

A year ago, brothers Kyle and Kory Miller, who both live in Evansville, would go months without talking. To them, that level of interaction was completely normal — they both were busy with their own jobs and lives — what was there to say?

That all changed in the summer of 2014 when Kyle, 31, and Kory, 27, collaborated to create furniture and lamps made from hardwoods and metals with an industrial and minimalist feel and presented their company, Miller Made Collective, at a Sunday Market craft fair hosted by Old Town Ladies & Gents and Bippus Frames.

“Working together is probably the best part of this,” says Kyle, who works as a tool and die maker in Newburgh, Indiana, and is married to Leah Miller, a hairstylist at Old Town. “Our relationship has grown through this and it was to the point where there wasn’t any reason we wouldn’t talk to each other, but a month or two would go by and we wouldn’t think much about not seeing each other or talking to each other.”

“Now we are forced to talk to each other, and that’s a good thing,” adds Kory, who as his fulltime job works as the kitchen manager at Turoni’s Pizza & Brewery at 408 N. Main St.

The response to their products was immediate and as a result, the Millers landed “a huge job” creating all the custom lighting for the expansion of Piston’s, a bar located at 2131 W. Franklin St. Jason English, the owner of Piston’s, saw Miller Made’s booth at the Sunday Market and contacted them for a quote. The Miller brothers installed 110 lights and wired it all by hand. Miller Made also won first place at the East Bridge Art and Music Festival in September in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Above, Miller Made Collective creates lighting, furniture, and home accents made from hardwoods and metals with an industrial feel.

Their most popular items include lamps, lanterns, and custom-made wooden record crates. Their products are sold on Etsy. To create those pieces, Kyle and Kory begin by discussing the design concept with the client, decide on the dimensions, and sketch — and argue — where to go from there.

“We draw and argue back and forth. Arguing is how we work things out and we always pull through,” says Kyle, who jokes that he’s always been just old enough to beat up his little brother.

After coming to a decision on how to put their own twist on the project, the brothers work to procure the materials, which can come from anywhere — antique shops, online, through a neighbor’s kindness, you name it. Then the craftsmanship begins. These skills Kyle and Kory attribute to their father Brent Miller, who instilled the Do-It-Yourself mindset in the boys at an early age. Their stepmother Tresa Miller also stands by this philosophy as owner of Grateful Threads Fabric & Furnishings, 426 Carpenter St.

Customers at Grateful Threads can purchase some of Kyle and Kory’s furniture pieces at the store, which is where they do a majority of their work in the wood shop addition.

For more information about Miller Made Collective, visit them on Instagram at @millermadecollective or email info@millermadecollective.com.

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