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A Brief History of Sapele & Hide

Get to Know Us

Hi I'm Scott Bruni, founder and chief craftsman (and shipper, janitor, accountant...) for Sapele & Hide. Some of my most treasured memories from childhood are being in my grandfather's workshop and watching as he turned rough lumber into beautiful pieces of functional art. I was a woodworker before I was big enough to grasp the tools. I've had an appreciation for figured woods and fine leather for as long as I can remember. I've also, despite a former life in business and engineering, had a strong need for creative expression. I made my first campaign chair roughly a dozen years ago after my first African safari. The ingenious construction and rugged yet elegant design had me hooked. I find applying those construction elements while combining exotic materials with an eye towards aesthetics, to be exceptionally rewarding. The great appreciation of my clients is frosting on the cake.


After 25+ years in management consulting and corporate roles it was time to focus on passion rather than engineering corporate profits. Enter Sapele & Hide. While I've been building chairs for well over a decade and have product in 8 states and provinces at the time of this writing, I'm officially a custom products startup as of the fall of 2021. Wish us luck and please let us serve you.

For those curious about the name, I appreciate it might seem unusual. "Sapele" (pronounced sah-PEEL-AY), is an African tropical hardwood used in many of our chairs and highlights the connection to Africa and the safari experiences that inspired our first campaign chair. Likewise, the iconic tree on our logo takes us back to the African savanna teaming with exotic wildlife. The "& Hide" reminds us that our combination of skills, while not unique on their own, blend to bring truly unique and luxurious products to our clients.

Thanks for visiting. I hope the products and photographs here inspire you as making them have inspired us. Please let us know if we can help.

"There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne- bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive"

Karen Blixen, Author "Out of Africa"

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