Unique Short Tree Design & Upholstery in Rochester Hills will mark its fifth anniversary on July 15 – a remarkable achievement, considering the COVID-19 pandemic threatened its existence.

“We were open just six months before the pandemic hit,” said founder and owner Tammy Packard. “The good news was that we didn’t have a lot of processes set up and the bad news was we were just starting out and needed to make money to survive.”

The company specializes in commercial and residential furniture – creating safety walls for hospitals, restaurant booths and benches, and residential work including reupholstering and renovating pieces to keep them out of landfills.

When Packard saw that Oakland County and Automation Alley were providing 3D printers and training to small- and medium-sized businesses during the pandemic, she applied and was accepted.

How the company has used the 3D printer is an example of why Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties’ officials agreed to join or expand participation in Automation Alley’s Project Diamond, an acronym for Distributed Independent and Agile Manufacturing On Demand, and why Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to make it a statewide initiative.

Read this Oakland Press article in full here.