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Founder of Cisco Home, Cisco Pinedo, Passes Away at 59

Furniture World News Desk on 2/23/2023

On February 11th, the home furnishings industry lost a well-respected entrepreneur and universally loved leader when Cisco Pinedo of Cisco Home passed away unexpectedly while on vacation with friends in Mexico. He was 59 years old.  

A stalwart innovator in our industry for more than 30 years, Cisco was a pioneer of the sustainable design mindset and a pillar in the Los Angeles and High Point design communities. Quickly recognizing the waste generated by manufacturing, Cisco embraced a conscious approach to upholstery and manufacturing from his start in the late 1980s, years before the competition took notice of the issue. He spearheaded the use of sustainable materials in upholstered furniture, including non-toxic foams, FSC-certified wood, natural fabrics, and traditional textiles from indigenous communities from around the world. He was instrumental in banning flame retardants in the manufacturing of furniture. He was committed to American made goods, manufacturing in Los Angeles and North Carolina. His line now includes upholstery, handblown glass lighting, metal work, and case goods made from repurposed materials.

An immigrant from Jalisco, Mexico, Cisco first entered the industry as an upholstery apprentice in South Central Los Angeles, leaving high school to support his family at age 16. After mastering his craft, he ultimately turned his passion into a lifelong business. By age 26, Cisco opened his own upholstery shop in a garage next to his apartment that quickly grew to a small factory employing other family members and friends. After the LA riots in 1992, as businesses fled the South Central neighborhood he considered his home, Cisco moved his business back into the heart of the impacted community, and in 2003 built the award-winning LA Design Center.

Cisco’s mindful approach to life permeated every aspect of his businesses, including his real estate developments. In 2002, Cisco revitalized the old Highland Mill in High Point, North Carolina, an abandoned 23-acre cotton mill built in the early 1900s, transforming it into a vibrant 150,000 SF creative hub, rebranded as Mill Village. Over the years, Cisco has invited many young artisans, craftsmen, and emerging brands to feature their products at The Mill. While his visionary building design is known throughout the High Point industry community, his warmth was most often felt through the meals he cooked for friends and clients during High Point Markets. Ever an eye toward the future, Cisco recently developed two properties in Round Top, Texas. The Cisco branded property, known as Cisco Village, is a 6-acre creative marketplace intended for year-round operation with curated vendors. And Oakbones, a quilting retreat turned 30-bed modern cabin camp with a 15,000 SF event space completing later this year. Oakbones was his final design project, and he was thrilled to build a gathering space for family and friends for generations to come. Recognizing the important interplay with architecture and design, Cisco’s projects were inspired by the good bones he found in existing structures, giving them the Cisco touch. 

Cisco was committed to the social conditions that impacted him and was instrumental in founding two nonprofit organizations to provide opportunity to those of disadvantaged backgrounds and communities. 

  • META (Making Education The Answer) provides mentorships and higher education scholarships to Latino youth in Southern California. Since its inception, META has provided over $650,000 in scholarships.

  • Refoundry trains formerly incarcerated people to repurpose discarded materials into home furnishings and mentors participants in business ownership or career-track jobs. Since its inception, Refoundry helped participants launch 10 businesses that employ more than 100 people.  Refoundry was recently featured on Apple TV series, Gutsy. 

Over his 30-year career, Cisco has received many awards, including The AIA National Institute Award in 2004, The Bruner Foundation Rudy Bruner Silver Medal for Urban Excellence in 2007 and AIA/Los Angeles Decade Award in 2006 for the LA Design Center as well as the KCET Local Hero of the Year Award in 2007 and the MED Week Manufacturing Award in 2007.

Cisco will be remembered as a vibrant innovator, passionate business force, fearless entrepreneur, dedicated social advocate, and a loved, husband, son, father, brother, grandfather, and friend. His generosity knew no bounds, and his love for family and sense of home was the source of his energetic, loving spirit. He is survived by his wife, Alba, three daughters, Maurishka, Natalie, and Amanda, and granddaughter, Mara.