Toledo woman on furniture reality TV show ‘Framework’Written by Joel Sensenig | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s not every day you get instructed by a Grammy Award-winning rapper on how to make a stylistically appealing ping-pong table.
Toledo resident Lacey Campbell recently found herself in that position while she was starring in “Framework,” a reality TV show about furniture designers currently airing on Spike TV (Tuesdays at 10 p.m.). The series made its debut Jan. 6.
“Framework” is a nonscripted show that takes 13 budding furniture designers and gives them assignments, such as building a piece of furniture out of boat materials or transforming an item as mundane as a ping-pong table into a work of art.
Hip-hop star Common is host of the show, which also features professional furniture designers Nolen Niu and Brandon Gore. One by one, contestants who don’t impress the judges are kicked off the show.
The last designer standing wins $100,000.
While Campbell, 32, is contractually bound to keep mum on exactly how long she lasts, she hinted that she will have her eyes glued to Spike for a while.
Being on the show was an experience Campbell said she won’t soon forget.
“‘Framework’ was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she said. “Being on a reality TV show, they try to throw every sort of twist or turn that you couldn’t possibly see coming.”
Campbell applied on the final day the show was accepting applications. To tape the show in California, she had to leave her job of four years at Sauder Woodworking Co. in Archbold, where she had been a designer.
Females are still a considerable minority in the furniture design world. Of the show’s 13 contestants, three were women.
Campbell’s appeal to producers? Not only can she both design and build furniture, she was willing to be on TV and could spend as much time as necessary in Los Angeles. Plus, she has personality: The former roller derby girl was a member of the Glass City Rollers, competing under the moniker “Rita Disassemble.” She had to hang up her skates after hurting her shoulder due to excessive body-checking collisions.
“I loved it, but I just kept getting hurt,” Campbell said of her time in roller derby. “It was making it really difficult for me to draw. … I miss it so much. It’s like guys who play football, there’s this [desire] to do it. There’s just something amazing about knocking someone on their butt.”
Being on the show gave Campbell a boost in confidence and vision for her future as a furniture designer.
“It’s interesting being around 12 other people that have the same passion and drive,” she said.
“The energy alone with these people, it just makes you not able to sleep. You’re vibrating with energy because you’re so excited about going into the shop and seeing what tools are going to be there and what kind of wood they have stocked and what sort of work bench we get to be at, and ‘Oh, my God, there’s so many clamps!’
“Just being in an environment like that, it’s hard to focus. It was one of the most amazing things that I’ve ever done in my life. It was … epic,” she said, giggling with excitement.
Campbell’s shop is located in her detached two-car garage in south Toledo. There, she has a number of furniture pieces ready to be repaired, refinished, stained, welded, upholstered or in some other way made ready for purchase. Last year, she constructed her own spray booth in the garage.
Some pieces she sells online via Craigslist or Etsy, and other projects are commissioned works for private individuals or businesses.
Soon, Toledoans will have a chance to drink locally produced craft beers or ponder their next tattoo on one of Campbell’s pieces. She is working on a community table to be placed inside Black Cloister Brewing Company, set to open Downtown in February.
“It’s supposed to look like it was pulled out of the 16th century,” Campbell said.
She’s also working on a coffee table to be used at Ink and Iron Tattoo Parlour and Gallery, 1505 Adams St.
For more information, visit laceycampbelldesigns.com.