Jeff Podergois started a new business and coined a word for his new trade. He is a “corrunista” (like “barista”), one who works with corrugated cardboard and “transforms something common into something uncommon.”
A designer of trade show exhibits and the owner of Smart Exhibits in Minneapolis, Podergois recycles scrap from his trade-show projects and from local Liberty Carton Company, transforming it—with a die cutter and flatbed printer—into ornate and durable wine racks. “They’re solid as a rock,” he says, and the composition of layered cardboard allows for greater versatility than wood. Next, he’s designing cardboard furniture for his Corrunista start-up.