Meet the Xylem team series: Hi Brandon!

Brandon has been working as Xylem Design’s web developer and system administrator since 2013. You are probably asking yourself “WOW, so is he is a genius?” And, yes, he is.

Brandon is the man with the plan when the office internet goes down, your email script is just too tiny, or the spinning wheel of doom shows up to haunt you right as you were about to confirm a customer order.

Brandon has made Lean as much a digital philosophy as a manufacturing one — he leaned out our extensive library of photos by developing a tagging system for our Flickr (have you checked it out? Please do!) Not to mention leaning out his morning routine by programming an alarm clock to trigger bright lights and sounds to smooth out his entrance into a new day. (Again, he’s a genius).

But just because he’s a genius, doesn’t mean he isn’t just like you and me — he loves chowing down on a burrito and drinking a New Belgium Trippel just as much as the next guy.

Hi Brandon 👋🏻!


Meet the Xylem Team: Hi Amy!

Meet Amy!

Amy is our cut-to-the-chase money whiz and straight-shooter numbers queen. Working as Xylem’s bookkeeper and admin assistant since 2013, Amy has leaned out the office by digitizing three “massive” file cabinets of records, eliminating about 80% of unnecessary documents — not your typical bookkeeper’s office space!

And don’t even try permanently borrowing one of her signature purple pens — each are carefully labeled with a sticker of her face. So she’ll know, and you will, too.

You can talk Amy into teetering down steep mountain cliffs in an off-road monster machine, but good luck talking her into a beer (a Noco native, at that!).

You better believe she loves a good margarita.

Hi Amy 👋🏻!


Meet the Xylem Team: Hi Aaron!



Aaron “Woody” Hocking is a lean, mean cowboy, always prepared with a tape measure or a wise-crack, just in case. Over the past four years of work at Xylem Design, Woody has contributed to some of our biggest custom projects.

Today he is Head of Production/Operations on the floor and his greatest Lean improvement is the Operations Kiosk he dreamed up and built. It’s home base for our factory floor, sort of like a fancy mission controls center.

Woody might be up at 3:30 a.m. tending to his ranch of goats, chickens, horses, ducks and turkeys, but you’ll never see him break a sweat — or drink any of that local, micro-brew stuff.

So grab a Budweiser and try to keep up!

Hi Aaron 👋🏻!

How to clean your pedestal

You’ve received your Pedestal Source product in the mail, unpacked it following our handy dandy instructions and now it’s time to spiff it up! We inspect each product for scuff marks, chips, imperfect edges and more at the final detailing booth before shipment.

But while all of our products leave the workshop in perfect condition, there may come a time when you want to clean it. To help you keep your pedestal in mint, factory condition, we recommend following these cleaning instructions, tips and tricks.

1. Use multi-surface Pledge as a cleaning agent for acrylic, wood veneer, metallic and laminate surfaces. You can also use ammonia-free Windex on acrylic surfaces.  

  • Do NOT use any cleaning chemicals with ammonia, such as Windex (unless it is ammonia-free Windex)

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2. We recommend using a microfiber rag to administer the chemical and another microfiber rag to follow and dry. Microfiber rags prevent the surface material from being scratched by the more abrasive fibers in most rags.


3. Spray Pledge directly to surface of product OR rag, wipe until desired clean is achieved and follow with the dry rag.

4. Avoid rubbing the edges and corners of your pedestal while cleaning. We color-match the edges and sometimes apply a small amount of wax material at the corners for a seamless finish. Cleaning the edges and corners can rub the finish away, exposing the edge of the laminate or substrate.

4. Repeat as needed.

5. Enjoy :O)

Meet the Xylem Team: Hi Seth!

Seth is the master of commands in Xylem’s sales and marketing office. The son of a furniture builder, Seth has been rooted in the world of woodworking since childhood and began working in Xylem’s shop as a punk college kid in August 2008. Needless to say, Seth’s knowledge, knack for leadership and facial hairs have grown tremendously within Xylem Design over the past few years. Seth leaned out our sales strategy by establishing follow-up practices to increase our business’s engagement with our customers. Lean’s “5 S” is a foundational tenant in his personal growth — you’ll find him up at 5:30 a.m. before work reading and writing (his labor of love), nourishing his mind and soul emotionally before getting down to business at Xylem. Ever want to grab a beer and pick his brains about poetry, yerba mate, or the future of AI? He loves New Belgium’s Eric’s Ale — hint hint.

Hi Seth 👋🏻!


New CRI 95 LED Bulbs!

Not all light is created equal. A good way to measure a bulb’s ability to illuminate an art piece is referring to the CRI — Color Rendering Index. The scale runs up to 100, meaning colors illuminated from the light source are 100% realistic and natural. To give you some points of reference, cool white fluorescent bulbs have a CRI of around 62 (top picture), while the highest quality bulbs are typically 90+ (bottom picture).


Now you can go au naturale with a CRI LED bulb option for our Overhead Lighting product! Our LED bulbs have a CRI rating of 95, meaning your art piece (even more important than your strawberries) will be represented in all of its original artistic intent.

You can continue reading about CRI, temperature and wattage in our lighting guide. We know once you’ve tried this bulb, you’ll never go back. To prove it, our overhead lighting integration with CRI 95 LED bulbs are on sale now! 

Meet the Xylem Team: Hi LJ!

Born Loren Jones, LJ is the shop’s Chief of Kaizen Operations and second in command (Yeah — it’s a big deal. He’s a big deal.) He started with Xylem Design as an entry level custom woodworker in 2011 — and the rest is history. He was at our founder’s side as they championed a Lean movement in the business beginning in January 2013, assisting in the implementation of the first two Lean practices EVER at Xylem: daily meetings and cleaning the bathroom (the ultimate sign of respect and something each team member takes turns doing).


LJ has since Leaned out his life by enacting strict regulations regarding his possessions: for every item he brings home, two must leave! (We hope this doesn’t apply this to his underpants, but you can’t stop the Lean machine, ya know…)

You can find LJ sipping on New Belgium’s La Folie — which may be more indicative of LJ’s personality than nearly any other words we could try to describe him by. I mean, just look into those eyes…

Hi LJ 👋🏻!

Meet the Xylem Team: Hi Wendy!

If you’ve ever called in to Xylem Design, there’s a good chance you’ve had the pleasure of talking to the luminous Wendy.


One of our spunkiest customer care specialists, Wendy will celebrate her first year with Xylem in December.

Her favorite Lean improvement since joining the team has been “Fix what bugs you,” which she’s manifested in her own personal kitchen. She thinks beginning each day — at work and at home — by sorting your space is the quickest way to Lean out your life and conquer.

If you ever get the opportunity to grab a beer with Wendy, she’ll most likely be sipping on her fave Fort Collins brew, 90 Shilling. 

Hi Wendy 👋🏻!

Custom Capabilities Part II: Lighting

We think your piece deserves to be seen at any time of day. Every intentioned detail of it. How do we make that happen? Let us shed some light on the situation.



Ambient light

Our ambient-lit displays work by diffusing a light projected within the pedestal up through a frosted acrylic top, creating a soft glow that plays well with opaque and translucent pieces.




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Our spotlight concentrates a beam of light coming up and out of a variable-diameter hole in the middle of the pedestal’s top surface, covered by a frosted acrylic disk. This feature fills and illuminates your glass or semi-opaque piece, ideal especially for pieces with color and nuance.
Although the standard light aperture is 2 ¾”, we offer an array of customization.15533992704_4172347d0c_o

Corner Lights


Corner swivel lights, sometimes referred to as eyeball lights, are small, round, and movable spotlights that create spectacular drama by highlighting the piece’s natural contours.

Depending on the height of your piece, you’ll want to make sure you provide enough top surface display space to achieve the proper angle. Check out the graphics and descriptions on this page to better understand what angles you might need. Again, we can help design and discover the custom option to best display your piece so don’t hesitate to call.



Overhead Lights


What could endow your piece with more reverence than a halo? These telescoping, stainless steel rods integrate seamless out of the pedestal top and cradle a rotating, 7.5 watts LED bulb that illuminates your piece from above for a heavenly glow.  While the rods come in 36” or 60” lengths, they can be adjusted down to any height using the retractable, telescoping feature.

For customers who already have their pedestal at home, an overhead light kit can be ordered and easily retrofit into your existing display. Check out the instructional video for further installation instruction.

Showcase Light


This is the ultimate light package to gift your piece — our showcase comes fully integrated with an acrylic dust cover and down-lighting installed in the overhead hood. For even more ambiance, we can customize your case with bottom lighting, including an ambient-lit base, corner lights and spotlights. This combination of top and bottom lighting creates an attractive balance and plays well with the translucent dust cover.

Sign White Lights


Capture anyone’s attention with the magnetizing glow of our Sign White Acrylic Lighted Pedestals. A vertical, low voltage LED system distributes light evenly across the surface of the pedestal. Controlled by a remote control, you can fine tune the coloring and brightness to whatever best fits the situation. 


Sleeve with Ambient Light


For a particularly unique way to bring your piece to light, our translucent, acrylic sleeves with ambient light is an excellent choice. Think our ambient top pedestals sheathed in a translucent sleeve for an intriguing glow effect.


There’s more to this lighting thing than you probably want to know — but of particular importance is the bulb.  It’s the heart of your lighted pedestal and can give off all the right feels — or all the wrong ones. There are three major decisions to keep in mind when choosing your bulb: type, power and warmth.


The default bulb that will come with your lighting system is a 4,100K neutral white CFL bulb.  For safety purposes, DO NOT use incandescent bulbs. This could burn your house down! And it won’t be nearly as cool as David Byrne makes it sound.

Our standard ambient and spotlight pedestals come standard with CFL bulbs. Our corner, overhead and display case lights come standard with LED bulbs. This can be changed if you have a preference of one or the other non-standard options — just give us a call!

We recommend using LED bulbs in our lighted products. LEDs have an average lifespan of about 25,000 hours, 15,000 more hours than a typical CFL! If you are using CFL bulbs, we recommend 14-25 watts. DO NOT use bulbs more than 25 watts in strength! Again, this could burn your house down.


Bulbs can produce a range of temperatures and dramatically change the “feel” of your piece in the room. Many of our products come standard with either warm, cool, or neutral temperatures — if you have a preference of which, please give us a call and let us know!

Remotes, Foot Switches and Cords

We have three standard options for turning up the lights on your pedestal: remote, foot switch, or side switch.

Foot Switch

Our non-adjustable CFL bulbs that come standard in ambient and spotlight pedestals are typically turned on and off using a footswitch, connected by a chord to your pedestal. Chords come standard in black, but we also offer clear, brown and white chords. Just let us know you’d like a different color when you order, each pedestal is built-to-order.

Side Switch

For something a bit more discrete and convenient, we can install a switch on the backside of your pedestal for $25. These come in white or black.



Some lighting options include a remote control — you can adjust the color, temperature, or brightness of your lighting within a 20-meter radius using the AAA battery-powered remote. Not all of our pedestals can be outfitted with adjustable bulbs, so if you have any doubts or need clarification, please call us!

Xylem Hosts Global Lean Leadership Summit


We know it’s been a minute since you’ve heard from us, but we have an excellent excuse. In mid-August we were honored to host the second annual Global Lean Leadership Summit!




Our factory just about busted at the seams with the influx of new ideas, shared knowledge and more than 70 Lean business leaders from 6 countries.

We wouldn’t be doing our part of “yokoten” (“best practice sharing”) if we didn’t share with you what we learned. So for your learning pleasure, please find the summit presentations on our YouTube channel.

For a quick recap, hear from Paul Akers — of FastCap and 2 Second Lean — about how the weekend went below.



Thank you for journeying with us on the path of continuous improvement. We hope it’s added value to your lives. It’s transformed Xylem’s.


“The entire team at Xylem was so engaged…Everyone was so passionate and positive about their respective roles within the organization.  Their happiness was genuine and infectious.  What an amazing group that gets to work together, every day.  Everyone was excited to speak about their work experience and share their story of Lean, all while keeping  a genuine smile on their face as if I was doing them a favor by asking about their day.  Just wonderful!”

-Robert Smith, Scott Safety