It all started on August 19th 1990 when Riley Janzen was born. Growing up in Blueridge, on the North Shore of Vancouver he always had a woodworking shop in the basement of the house. Him and his father refinished their family home after the design of his mum. These were the first steps for Riley into building and designing homes.
Riley always has loved to work with wood and was already a super creative person in his very young years. Since his father is a machinist by trade, Riley went to school as a machinist as well. Soon after he graduated, he found that metal work only is not the real thing for him…
He started working for a start-up company that developed a high class cooling system for computers. In this time he increased his machining skills, as well as designing and problem solving. He was fascinated by solving design “problems”. Riley worked there for around two years before he went back to woodworking. He went through cabinet making, CNC machining to building houses as a carpenter. He always felt that all this is not “the real deal” for him… besides his jobs he had quite a few custom projects to build for friends that moved into tiny homes and condos. No furniture you can buy of the shelf would fit these small corners and spaces… So Riley built them whatever they needed – and found a market for custom furniture.
Riley’s “real deal” has always been to create THE place to go to when it comes to custom furniture. A One-Stop-Place where people are heard and where he can design and work with them - together - to make them exactly what they want and not what a designer wants them to have. From the first sketch together, to the professional drawings over the build of the furniture piece to the last stroke with the finishing brush - he wants to make sure that people are a part of designing their custom furniture piece.
In July 2016 Riley got the chance to set up a work shop in Coquitlam in a free workspace of a very dear friend. It was a test to try and see if his vision of a design and woodworking shop is possible. With lots of help of friends and family, Riley started making the first custom pieces in the name of RJ Designs. It all started as a part time job which soon, in October 2016, turned into a fulltime job for Riley.
In January 2017 RJ Designs moved into a wood working shop in Strathcona. The shop was built in the 1930s.The high ceilings and skylights make the workshop the perfect working environment. Now, RJ Designs continues to make customers happy with passion and love to wood, detail and perfection. Giving home décor and furniture pieces THE look nobody else does, makes RJ Designs absolutely unique.
Riley creates and designs happily on a daily basis in the name of RJ Designs together with his girlfriend Amelie, who is helping on a part time basis since the beginning.
RJ Designs sources its wood locally from several saw mills or from donations. The exotics being used are mostly from South Africa and South America. RJ Designs tries to use every bits and pieces of all pieces of wood cut. That is the reason why RJ Designs makes stunning cutting boards, coasters, long boards, cribs, down to ear rings and so much more.