“While I may have left the restaurant scene, I'm still getting my hands dirty while standing on my feet all day and designing around food. And still wearing an apron.”

Meet The Makers

Vu Nguyen - Virginia

Practicing his craft in a small, one-person shop in a small central Virginia town at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Vu Nguyen is thankful every day to do what he loves: to create objects mindfully and intentionally for the benefit of the people who come to own and use them. Prioritizing quality and craftsmanship over quantity and speed is at the core of Vu’s work.

For a long time Vu thought his calling was in restaurants. In his younger days, after time at an international school in Bangkok and university in Virginia, Vu spent two years on the line in local eateries before promptly opening his own establishment. Six years later he would open his second. As it turned out, this was not an easy life he had found himself in, and in spite of his desire to brighten people’s days with good food, the demands of an industry not known for its easy-going nature caught up with him.

The personal connection, the artful and creative nature, and the focus on sustainable production and ethical consumption that the restaurant world offered him, are the characteristics Vu would carry over. After a time with Corry Blanc and the team of artisans at Blanc Creatives, Vu began The Dustworks, and has not looked back. His eye for simple, elegant, and functional design is matched to tools ranging from oyster shuckers to kitchen knives to spatulas, and as Vu’s offerings expand, so do our eyes widen with each new creation.