How this father-son team built a multi-million-dollar design firm with clients like Ford, Obama Foundation, others

Abu Mubarik May 20, 2024
Father-son duo John and Joshua Johnson. Photo Credit: Space Continuum

Meet father-son duo John and Joshua Johnson; they are behind a multi-million-dollar furniture and interior design firm known as Space Continuum. It is a venture that John founded in 2016 after working in corporate America, according to AfroTech.

Since its founding, the company has secured contracts with clients like Harrah’s Casino, Honda, Ford, Exelon, the University of Chicago, the Memphis Airport Authority, and the Obama Foundation. In 2018, the Obama Foundation even named Space Continuum Supplier of the Year.

Furthermore, the firm has worked on projects such as the Logan Art Center, University of Chicago Theological Seminary, Rush Transformation Hospital Chicago, Illinois, and the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

John evolved from working in corporate America to dealerships, where he planned construction projects and offered design and installation services. MillerKnoll, a major manufacturer, approached him about launching his own dealership in Chicago, increasing its minority presence in the sector.

“A lot of the corporate clients were saying, ‘Listen, we have initiatives that we need to meet and we’re asking, how can you help us meet those particular initiatives?’ With me already being in the marketplace and with my history and experience, everyone knew of me,” John told Afrotech.

“So, they approached me and asked, would I consider becoming a MillerKnoll dealer, which I did. And we have worked as a MillerKnoll dealer, working with a lot of the matrix clients here within this marketplace to meet those corporate diversity goals.”

One year after establishing the company, John brought in his son, a strategic decision to maintain the minority footprint, Afrotech said. Joshua has a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing and has 15 years of experience in the tech industry.

Joshua, who will take over from his dad, currently serves as the company’s vice president of new business development.

“I’ve been around the furniture industry. I am familiar with how to process goals… and of course, like my father stated, there are not many of us in that environment, so we’re pretty much a fly on the wall,” Joshua explained. “As far as the legacy standpoint, when he asked me to come back, I was familiar with the business. I saw different ventures that we can branch off into and grow the business and continue to build on its success.”

John continued, “He has come in, done a marvelous job taking hold of a lot of the managerial tasks. Now, he’s out in the forefront representing the business, and he’s going to take it to what I call new frontiers. The foundation, business, commercial planning, interior design services, etc., it will always be there, but he’ll be able to add on to and grow it even much more than I’ve had the opportunity to do.”

Certainly, the company is now not only focused on furniture and interior design but has also become a distributor of EV charging stations for commercial and residential use largely thanks to Joshua.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 20, 2024


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