Halton Hills Custom Furniture Business Awarded Starter Company Plus Grant

Longtime Halton Hills resident Craig Totten has taken his passion for woodworking and launched a business venture that delivers one-of-a-kind custom solid wood furnishings and cabinetry. In the early years of the pandemic, Craig started making raised garden items as a side project out of his home. He approached nearby garden centers to gauge demand and received an instant purchase order. Craig then realized this woodworking hobby could potentially transition into a full-scale business. Having acquired the fundamentals of woodworking in high school shop class, he is a self-taught artisan who believed that more knowledge in the field was necessary. Craig invested in himself and travelled to Perth, ON, where he attended the Rosewood Studio of Fine Woodworking. While there, Craig learned how to use hand tools and perfected the art of designing and producing fine furniture. After his time at the Rosewood Studio of Woodworking, Craig then began making furniture pieces for his inner circle of friends and family. Interest began to grow in his hand-crafted furnishing, and it became apparent that the business could be sustainable. As a result, N44 Studio was formally established in 2023.

Man at workbench making furniture

 Photo Credit: Allison Clark Photography

When Craig was looking to build out the business, he connected with the team at the Halton Region Small Business Centre to learn about the basics of business planning. He was encouraged to explore Starter Company Plus, a program that assists entrepreneurs looking to build their small businesses, providing training, mentoring, and an opportunity to compete in a pitch competition to be awarded a $5,000 grant. Craig participated in the Starter Company Plus Pitch Competition in early January 2024 and was awarded one of five $5,000 grants out of a cohort of 10 businesses from across Halton Region.

Currently operating as a one-person operation, Craig makes his products in a shared shop space in Hamilton, ON. His ultimate goal is to expand the business's capacity by hiring apprentices from different post-secondary institutions, opening up his own shared shop space for production, and making it available for other craftsmen to rent in the Halton Hills area. Working with Craig on a piece is a very collaborative process. Starting with an in-depth consultation, he then creates 3D renderings of the purposed piece to ensure the furnishing meets the client’s needs. Craig takes pride in his commitment to customer service by sending progress pictures of pieces to clients throughout its production, allowing the photos to tell a story of how the piece came together.

To further explore N44 Studio's beautifully hand-crafted pieces visit their website - www.n44studio.com

Bike on top of a wooden console
Bike Console - N44 Studio
Craig has a love for the Town and the Region. Raising a family with his wife in Halton Hills, he enjoys supporting local businesses and is an avid cyclist. He created the above console to display his passion for cycling in his work.
furniture styled in white room
The Sanctuary Collection - N44 Studio

N44 Studio's first collection - a stunning embodiment of quiet luxury, this collection is meticulously crafted from locally sourced hardwoods, providing a solid and enduring foundation.