April Community Spotlight: Purposeful Design

Purposeful Design: Rebuilding Lives, Building Furniture

To kick off our monthly blog series spotlighting local not-for-profits, civic, and other organizations, we are highlighting a dear partner of ours, Purposeful Design. Doesn’t their tagline just say it all! In case you aren’t familiar, take a few moments to get to know Purposeful Design and how IDO was introduced to this unique, Indy-based organization.

Founded in 2013, Purposeful Design began as a small woodworking business providing employment for Indianapolis-area men who struggled to find jobs for various reasons. David Palmer, the founder of Purposeful Design, volunteered weekly at Wheeler Mission leading bible studies for men who found themselves unemployed, homeless, broken by addiction, and living on the streets. Many of those men at the mission told David that what they needed the most was a job. So, a simple prayer about what to do related to this need led him to start Purposeful Design.

In the past 8 years, 135 craftsmen have come through the doors of Purposeful Design, leaving the street and homelessness behind them. While learning the art of furniture-making, they are also building a foundation necessary for successful employment and living: discipline, trustworthiness, and relationship skills. The combination of an ordered lifestyle centered around work, new relationships, and habits put them on the road to becoming self-sufficient and capable of earning a living wage. They are proud to offer apprenticeship and employment tracks that help men get and stay on their own two feet.

Since 2013, Purposeful Design has evolved into designing all types of high-quality, custom furniture pieces from desks to metal bases and everything in between. With this increase in production and awareness in the community, Purposeful Design has grown significantly. Their new facility, which they own and operate, has plenty of room to grow and expand. They currently service the education, hospitality, healthcare, and business industries within Indiana. However, they have an ambitious growth vision: “100×10”. They want to employ and train 100 men per year in 10 cities across the country. Their growth vision is still in the early stages of planning but they are excited to replicate this model in other cities very soon.

It was July 11, 2016, when our IDO team was first introduced to Purposeful Design. We had scheduled a tour (thanks Robin Hensley) at their facility to get to know more about their organization and products. At that time, Purposeful Design was renting a small, previously abandoned church, where their entire operation was housed. Still new to our woodworking friends, we were anxious to support them in any way we could and of course, support their mission. We quickly placed our first (small but meaningful) order of a side table for a nursing mothers’ room at one of our client’s sites. It takes just one side table to make waves! Quickly this organization gained awareness in the community and today, we are proud to have placed a plethora of orders on behalf of our clients. We are proud to showcase a custom conference room table and credenza in our newly renovated IDO Incorporated office to further support their mission inside of our walls.

We love our Purposeful Design friends so much that we have committed to additionally support them via their PD Partners Program.  We are passionate about supporting the vision David Palmer started in 2013 and want to elevate their success as much as possible. If you would like to know more about Purposeful Design and their products or become a PD Partner, you can visit their website below or we would be ecstatic to make a personal introduction to their Sales Director, Margaret Carter.


IDO Team
Written by IDO Team