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Maria Yee Collection


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If arriving at good design is a journey, Maria Yee's life journey lends itself to her designs. The passage from concept to creation fuses the wisdom gained through passionate pursuits and a unique vision for California contemporary living.

Maria's father, a professor of architecture, sparked her interest in design at an early age. However, the fanatic anti-intellectual radicals imprisoned her parents during the Cultural Revolution. She was sent to work in a rock quarry at the age of 15.

Maria's resilient spirit enabled her to survive the ordeal. Undaunted, she apprenticed as a machinist and obtained an education in mechanical engineering. Witnessing the destruction of many of China's historic treasures incited a passion in her to revitalize the art of traditional furniture making. She organized a group of expert craftsmen to handcraft museum quality Ming Dynasty reproductions.

Paying homage to classic workmanship, Maria successfully developed the ExclusiveJoinery™ system for handcrafting solid hardwood furniture in pure joinery without nails or screws. She is the first one to do so in a modern manufacturing environment. Inspired by California's redwood forests and Central Coast, Maria channels her
energy to create her patent-pending BambooTimbre™ from rapidly renewable bamboo. To foster the environment, she is increasing the use of vegetable-tanned leather for upholstery.

In 1988, Maria founded her namesake company in California. Today, Maria Yee, Inc. is critically acclaimed for its California contemporary designs and philosophy of
environmental responsibility.