Hans Wegner proudly showed his scale models of chairs to Marissa Halewijn Brown in his studio, carefully describing the love that went into each prototype. Marissa, a young industrial design graduate from Rhode Island School of Design in the early 90’s, had been brought to Denmark by her father, Dale, an accomplished career Time Life writer on assignment to share his love of Danish design. The trip proved formative to her career.
Marissa's high esteem for craftsmen lead her to be hired by Dakota Jackson, as Director of his high-end custom furniture studio. By the late 90’s Marissa opened her own studio in Tribeca with furniture designer Michael Havely Graves, joining many of her contemporaries in making their mark on the industry, such as David Weeks and Jeffrey Bernett.
Eventually her unique experience in design combined with her intimate connection to the factory floor attracted Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. As Design Director for Martha Stewart, she designed and managed furniture across a variety of home and living spaces. Marissa evolved her design to answer to large scale production while navigating licensed partnerships for Macy’s, The Home Depot, Bernhardt, Staples, Home Decorators collection, and others.
In 2018 the CEO of Stickley, impressed with Marissa’s deep knowledge of materials, process, and trends, decided it was fate. He invited her to become Stickley’s Director of Design.
Outside the industry Marissa has long maintained a home in Brooklyn with her three girls, filmmaker husband, and their dog. They make annual trips to North Pitcher, NY to a pragmatic farmhouse that has been in her family for 180 years. In an age with digital tools and shortcuts, she still embraces the tactile respect for craft that Wegner once lovingly displayed.