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Totally Bamboo: A story of innovation


Tom and Joanne take a break in their handcrafted chairs.

 

Tom and Joanne, fine-tuning a product design in their San Marcos offices.


Long before inventing the world's first bamboo cutting board, Tom and Joanne Sullivan specialized in producing beautiful, luxuriously crafted director's chairs for the film industry. From their studio in North Hollywood, they designed and created custom chairs for—arguably—the most aesthetically discerning clientele on the planet.

 


In their quest for a lighter chair, they began experimenting with bamboo, which they knew to have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than oak. The resulting chair design was not only lighter, but stronger than anything Tom and Joanne had made before.

Intrigued by this sustainable, highly renewable material, Tom and Joanne set out to discover what other products could be improved if they put their art and design backgrounds to work to re-imagine them in bamboo. After developing an engineered bamboo harder than maple and ideal as a cutting surface, they introduced the world's first bamboo cutting board in 1999.

"This ensures the best quality materials reach the best producers, all while building a fair and sustainable economic model for everyone."
But Tom and Joanne wanted their housewares line to be more than just beautiful. Each item had to be thoughtfully crafted for functionality but also be ecologically and socially sound. After determining Moso was the best bamboo species for their products—and for the planet—the next step was to identify bamboo crafting specialists in the region where Moso grows.

Today, each Totally Bamboo product that Tom and Joanne design is produced by an ISO certified niche manufacturer working directly with family-owned bamboo farms.
This arrangement and proximity ensure the best quality materials reach the best producers, all while also building a fair and sustainable economic model for everyone.

In the 18 years since they introduced the first bamboo cutting board, Tom and Joanne's little "NoHo" company has grown exponentially. Today, Totally Bamboo is the foremost innovator of artistically designed bamboo kitchen accessories with a conscience. This legacy is why Totally Bamboo can proudly call itself first in bamboo.