In our next Artisan Spotlight, we're showcasing our favorite hardwood floor partner, LV Wood. Besides sourcing and supplying some of the most beautiful woods on the market, like all of our partners, they are an artisan that holds values dear to their hearts and focus on the greater good. We connected with current Principal and son of the founder, James Caroll II, to learn a bit more about them. Read on below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from? How’d you get started in your trade?
I was born in Buffalo NY and lived there until 2005. I spent some time working in Italy and then moved to NYC. Growing up, my father was a master antique refinisher and had a company restoring woodwork in gilded age mansions in Buffalo. He segued into wood flooring in 1985. Pops and I founded LV Wood together in 1999 and started doing projects in NYC. Soon after I was looking to make the move downstate and open a showroom.
What is your day to day like?
I now live in the Hudson Valley, Cold Spring to be exact. I commute on the train every day, it's about 2hours door to door each way, but the tradeoff is well worth it. Especially in the summer :) When I get off the train @ GCT I either head straight to the showroom to work with my team there, or I head off to job sites or AD visits. Sometimes I am a bit of a ping-pong ball, but that's just the nature of what we do and I don't mind hopping around the city on most days.
What helps you find inspiration?
Getting outside and enjoying nature is 100% necessary for me to function well. It clears my head and makes room for new ideas. I am a fly fishing guide on the side, working most summer weekends on rivers in the Catskills. I travel for fishing a lot as well, and when I'm not fishing I hike with my dogs on the amazing network of trails we have in Cold Spring. I also love working with my hands outside - splitting and stacking wood was a forced pastime in our family, ironically I love it now.
Where is your studio located and where do you source your materials from?
We are in the Flatiron district on 20th between 5th & 6th. Our lumber is sourced from all over the country and all LV brand floors are made in the USA or Canada. We also import some EU made oak, and that is the only material we do not develop/produce ourselves.
What's your favorite thing about collaborating with designers and how has that helped you grow?
Architects and designers are a very interesting group of people. The unique characters and personalities I encounter every day engage my interests and my own personality. I believe I that's a big part of why we have been so fortunate in building long-lasting relationships with many of our AD clients, some of which we have been working with since before LV even had a real presence in NYC.
What does sustainable design mean to you and how do you implement them into your creations
LV sources raw materials from verifiably sustainable mills that are fully vetted, and work to improve forest health and longevity via strategic harvesting. When I first started working in this industry some of the most popular products were exotic woods from Africa, Central & South America, Asia, etc. Reading reports of tree poaching (yes this is a real thing!) and smuggling of near-extinct tree species showed me the true nature of the exotic wood industry and lead me to terminate our exotic wood program. After doing so our sole focus was on products made in the USA utilizing only domestic wood species. This has since become the basis of our brand.