luckiest of numbers for Flux Design owner/president Jeremy Shamrowicz
is 13: 2013 is the 13th year that his company (located in Riverwest)
has been in existence. And the DIY (Do It Yourself) cable network has
begun airing the first of 13 episodes of "Made in
Milwaukee," a reality show featuring Flux in action.
Flux has 20
full-time employees housed in an 18,000-square-foot space, working
with steel, concrete, plastic and wood. Flux constructs everything
from furniture and fixtures to ornate, gigantic pieces of art for
residential and commercial projects. Flux has worked on more than 50
local restaurants including Swig, Louisa’s Trattoria, Trinity Irish
Pubs and Water Buffalo.
The company has
always been known for its non-linear vibe. Designers play video games
on a mammoth screen, hold Nerf-gun wars or intense air hockey games
when they feel blocked creatively. That reputation earned them a spot
on national cable TV.
looking for an interesting, energetic group that was kind of crazy for
a show where people design stuff, build it and install it,"
Shamrowicz says. The network consulted a Chicago design magazine for
tips about candidates in the Windy City. "The first words out of
the editor’s mouth were, ‘Milwaukee. Flux Design,’"
DIY gave the
green light for a pilot and then signed Flux to a 13-episode deal.
"Made in Milwaukee" airs Friday nights at 10. Shamrowicz
chose the title among many suggested names, which included the word
"Flux." "I want people to know this city is kick-butt;
they don’t know how cool it is," he says.
On each episode,
Shamrowicz talks with a homeowner about a certain project, but doesn’t
tell the homeowner exactly what he’ll do, revealing the finished
product at the end of the show.
irrepressible Shamrowicz and his animated crew create intriguing,
unconventional yet functional designs, intellectually bouncing off the
walls and brainstorming on the fly. "I wanted to put something in
each of these shows that has uniqueness."
The Flux crew
often wears kilts on the job. "My wife likes how they look and
they have pouches for our tools," Shamrowicz says. He admits he
was taken aback the first time he saw the show. "I told the guys
that they never told me I acted that goofy."
which had prospered through word-of-mouth referrals, is now enjoying a
sizeable bump in business because of "Made in Milwaukee."
who gathers his crew every Friday night to watch the show at a local
establishment they worked on, envision himself as the Bob Villa of the
21st century on national TV? "We’ve sat down as a group and
decided we could do seasons and seasons of this. There’s lots to do.
We love building unique spaces in houses. We feel if you’re going to
build something, make it cool."