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Meet Alex Dunham and Jennifer Bakija of Brokenpress Furniture Design and Fabrication in Jefferson Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Dunham and Jennifer Bakija.

We’re a husband and wife business based in the northwest side of Chicago featuring the work of Alex Dunham, in partnership with Jennifer Bakija, better known as Ladybird.

We are both longtime fans of mid-century styling. Alex’s background is 20+ years in music and finish carpentry, plus 15 years in furniture making. Jen has a 20-year background is in graphic design & photography with some dabbling in marketing.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
With custom furniture making, it’s often feast or famine. It’s based on when people are ready to add something to their home. Furniture is very tactile. We’ve found that a print ad and/or a photograph can draw interest, but ultimately meeting with Alex solidifies what Brokenpress really has to offer. There’s been so many clients that come in wanting something specific, and after Alex speaks with them, sees their space, and understands their needs, he redirects them to something that they’re even happier with. This is completely contradictory to a catalog or a showroom, where you have settle for something mass produced with no options to customize.

We have found that local festivals are a great way for the Chicago public to see our work. Everyone loves to give rubs (to the furniture) in person! They can really see and feel the craftsmanship and finish, ask questions, get a sense of scale and customer service.

Brokenpress Furniture Design and Fabrication – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are a husband & wife custom furniture design and fabrication company out of Chicago’s NW side. We’re on the border of Jefferson Park and Portage Park. We’re best known for our mid-century leanings. Our motto is: Mid-Century Modernized.

The majority of the work is designed by Alex, however, he has built many items designed by architects and interior designers. He has a strong rapport with the clients and professionals, understanding the subtleties and nuances of their needs and wants.

We’re known for and most proud of our quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail; that’s what sets us apart from others.

Each piece is built 100% by Alex. From designing options for the client, to selecting the lumber (and he’ll source the perfect species), building with impeccable craftsmanship, applying hand-rubbed tung-oil finish and delivering/installing the piece, it’s all him. It’s not just a piece of furniture, it’s a piece of his life.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for us is very simple. It’s every completed piece. It shows anyone how proud we are of anything we produce.


  • $100 design fee, which is applied to the final contracted price.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Alex and Ladybird Photo – Cozzie and Pea Photography
Fireplace surround – Mark Dawursk
All other photos by Jennifer Bakija

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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