We recently had a conversation with Ergonofis Co-founder, Sam Finn. Ergonofis is a Canadian startup that crafts beautiful standing desk work spaces designed to keep you healthy and moving throughout your day. As Co-founder Sam Finn elegantly puts it, “Our mission is quite simple: we want to help people enjoy their workdays and, ultimately, inspire them to move a little more every day. Making a difference in people’s lives is what truly matters to us and what drives us to keep innovating. We’re not in the desk business – we’re in the mouvement business”
F24: “Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Sam. Can you tell us a little bit about what first sparked the idea for Ergonofis?”
Sam: “Yeah definitely! It was quite a long process but It started when I was roughly 21 years old. When I was 21 I launched an online personal fitness training business and had to use car tires to build a desk that I could stand at. When I did that, two things happened: I realized that standing all day isn’t necessarily better, and I realized that my clients were willing to kill themselves in the gym, but were careless about the way they spent their day at the office. I knew the dangers of sitting for prolonged periods of time, and thought “why can’t we apply a more preventative approach, rather than just treating the symptoms in the gym?”And that’s when it hit me, and I decided to build Ergonofis: I prefer, fundamentally, to go a bit deeper than the often superficial motives for exercising I observed as a trainer in the industry. I felt I could have a more direct impact on actual health and wellness if I chose to stop doing the online training service and focus on Ergonofis. I could have a much bigger impact if I focused on where we spend so much of our lives – at work.”
Here’s what happens to your body when you sit for most of the day (6 or plus hours)
F24: “What does the the unique process of making a desk look like at Ergonofis?”
Sam: “My partner, Kimberley, focuses mostly on the industrial design aspect, and I focus on designing manufacturing processes that align with our vision of building beautiful, ecologically conscious products. In terms of both design and manufacturing, we have unique differentiating traits from competitors; the wood we use, the quality we deliver, and how we structure our business.
It depends on the model, but for, say… the walnut slab, for any of our higher end products, we apply a custom process where we source the wood together with the client to find just the right slab tailored to their aesthetic preferences. We then move it to our nearby production center and begin to work on the wood with unique treatments and varnishes that minimize ecological impact, but without sacrificing quality. Our tops are the least transformed products available because we use solid wood. This also means that our desks are much more durable than traditional veneered wood or laminate tops. Wood is a traditional renewable resource but in order to minimize the ecological impact we have, we only source our wood locally, significantly cutting emissions by eliminating transit of exotic woods. We plant 3 trees for every desk that we sell; again to be aware of the impact we are having on our immediate environment.
Inlaying the digital interface elegantly was something we hadn’t seen in the market, and so we developed a unique process that was surprisingly challenging to perfect and really really get right every time: conditioning the wood to move with the inlaid touchscreen, rather than warp over time – the slot for the display needs to be durable to move with the wood without damaging as it expands with changing temperatures and humidity. ”
F24: “Will you use more woods in the future?”
Sam: “It really comes down to our environment – we really only use local woods and pride ourselves on this detail. We focus on walnut, maple-wood, cherry-wood, and ash because they can be sourced nearby, but also fit our design standards well…the walnut is definitely our best seller though!”
F24: “Whats in store for the future at Ergonofis – what cool new products are coming next!”
Sam — “As we grow we consistently reinvest in our product offering and further refine and deliver top tier quality for our customers. One product we are currently working towards launching is a smaller version of the ‘Sway‘ model – mostly for people in an urban environment working from home with a laptop. Keep an eye our for that!”
F24: “Here are FactoryTwoFour, we explore “the original lifestyle.” What does ‘living the original lifestyle’ mean to you? ”
Sam: “Thats a great question. I’d say that living the original lifestyle, first of all having the courage to be who you truly are and not what society wants you to be or not what you want to look like on Instagram. I think that’s step one. For me personally its about building stuff, together with other people, and to keep fighting when everyone expects you to quit, and learning as much as I can while I’m still breathing. If I can keep doing that, them I’m original by my standards.”