Johan Schmidt, who was born in Rhede, West Germany, comes from three generations of woodworkers. His grandfather owned a small furniture factory in East Germany on the Baltic Sea. His father, Johannes A. Schmidt, was formally trained in a German guild and later owned his own home building company after the family moved to the United States.
Schmidt grew up working on building projects with his father. At age 20 he began his own business building homes and specializing in millwork and staircase installations. His background and expertise fit perfectly in his latest venture, Windsor chair making and custom furniture designs. Johan studied chair making with Mike Dunbar at The Windsor Institute in Hampton, New Hampshire, and with Troy Beall of the Annapolis School of Woodwork.