American Icon and Furniture Craftsman Tom Moser Opens Georgetown Showroom
By Virginia Coyne
Tom Moser celebrated his 80th birthday this year by opening a new Thos. Moser store in Cady’s Alley, just a few doors down from his former showroom at 34th and M streets, N.W., which was shuttered in 2013. It’s a location with a warehouse atmosphere, sparsely accessorized and no-nonsense, a reflection of the strong, lumberjack of a man who left his job as a tenured college professor in the early ’70s to make 18th century-inspired American furniture with his hands.
When he left teaching, Moser promised his wife “no dirt floors like the hippies.” He said he would maintain a middle class lifestyle for themselves and their four boys. “My only intent was to make enough money to keep the wolf away and to feed the kids,” Moser says.
Fast-forward 43 years and his Auburn, Maine-based company now employs 70 master craftsmen, whom he trains on the job, and boasts seven showrooms across the United States. Moser’s made-in-America handiwork is admired and owned by collectors worldwide.
The artisan wants his work to be seen as utilitarian art, something a buyer will have for a lifetime. “I always fear that somebody will look at a piece and say ‘I can get one of those for half that price. Why should I buy yours?’ Well, maybe what we have is collectible and maybe it will appreciate in time and maybe you’ll pass it to your children and they’ll pass it to their children,” Moser says. “It has a provenance. It’s made in America. It’s made by craftsmen here in Maine. It has a story.”
Thos. Moser Handmade American Furniture, 1028 33rd Street, NW. www.thosmoser.com