In his grandfather’s joinery shop, he learned how to work with wood at an early age. After receiving his baccalaureate and completing an apprenticeship as a joiner, he went on to study design in Kassel. In 1992, together with two partners, he founded the office Lepper Schmidt Sommerlade there. Since then he has been developing internationally successful products for renowned clients. He established his own studio in 2011 after the death of Christian Lepper.