Monday, March 21, 2011

Sustainable furniture refinisher helps clients see potential in reclaimed pieces

Showcasing experienced entrepreneurs offers an added marketing communications or social media element to help promote their businesses. In addition, it provides a forum through which they can share solutions to unique business challenges that might be the answer to a similar challenge with which yet another entrepreneur is struggling. This openness of information flows with the following story offered by

Kelly Rauch, owner
P:773-467-9063, C:773-297-6396

Twice is an environmentally-sustainable custom furniture, upholstery, drapery and wall finishes studio. We acquire and refurbish reclaimed vintage and antique items that have been discarded. We find most of our pieces through auctions, garage sales, and estate sales across the country. While we do sell some re-purposed pieces that we completely refinish in our store, we are mostly interested in getting people to come in and select unfinished pieces that we can custom finish according to their personal tastes and requirements. At the same time, we encourage people to bring in existing pieces that can easily be refreshed and reused as opposed to needlessly tossed away. We also work with designers who are looking for one-of-a-kind pieces or custom wall or furniture finishes for whom we can put together an entire room schematic. On the other hand, they can give us just an idea of what they are looking for so we can suggest an item that they might select and sell to their client.

We’re unique in two ways. One is that we are a little old school in the sense that we have everything in one place. All of our artisans are in-house under one roof. This includes an upholstery and drapery workroom, as well. Secondly, we are the only business in the entire Midwest that belongs to the Sustainable Furnishings Council which is a non-profit balanced coalition of industry players founded to promote sustainable practices among manufacturers, retailers, and consumers alike.

Ideally, our clients are interior designers, architects, and homeowners who share our sustainable practices mindset and are incorporating these ideals into their own businesses or lives. They need to be in tune with the moral and ethical purpose behind what it is we do.

Our number one challenge is getting people to see past the current condition of the pieces they’re looking at and see the potential and possibilities that lie within them. Designers don’t have this problem. They can envision what an unfinished piece will look like once it is completely refurbished with new wood treatment, fabric and detailing. However, we have a difficult time getting retail clients to experience the same vision.

What seems to be working rather well, is our taking a rough piece and refinishing it as far as we can – treating the wood, replacing any necessary springs, doing the re-stuffing and then covering the piece in a basic muslin. While it is rather costly, getting pieces to this more final stage seems to give potential buyers a better idea of what the finished product will look like. All that's left for them to do is select a fabric and let us finish our magic.

No comments:

Post a Comment