Here’s why. Bruce lives on an island in the Puget Sound where he owns and operates a small furniture making business with his wife, their two young children, and one employee. Everyone is involved – Bruce’s wife keeps the books and works in the shop on occasion and his kids sweep the floor after school for spending money. Dennis, Bruce’s only employee, is completely dependent on his job to support his own family, which includes a special needs child. Everyone works hard and takes a great deal of pride in what they do. The dusty bulletin board is filled with pictures of things they have made over the years. Bruce points at one photo of a recently completed Queen Anne dining table. “I earned about $10 / hour making this table”, he laments, “but it turned out great and the owners loved it, so it was worth it”!
Millions of American manufacturing jobs have been outsourced overseas within the last few years and many millions more are vulnerable. The news is filled with stories about outsourcing as the furniture industry gradually moves overseas in an effort to find cheaper labor. Working conditions are often secondary to profitability and injuries are a part of the daily routine.
Bruce and Dennis have never had a serious shop accident and they go out of their way to wear dust masks while sporting hearing and eye protection. The radio plays in the background while each of them thinks about the piece that he is currently making and about how that table or chair will be used in the home where it will end up. Each scratch is carefully scraped and sanded away with the utmost care that can only be given to custom furniture. The tooling is adequate, but Bruce would someday like to buy a new, more powerful table saw, but for now the old one will have to do. They have moved away from toxic finishes and are now using more environmentally friendly finishes in an effort to preserve their health.
It’s folks like this who have furnished American homes for the last 2 centuries and we at Artisan Crafted Home are continuing that tradition. We not only rely on our dedicated workers but also on our incredible customers who make the choice to have their furniture made the old way – with personal attention to detail, with a spirit of cooperation among fellow woodworkers, and with a grand sense of pride that will always be a part of the history of that special piece of furniture.
A Gift of Handmade Furniture
A gold watch, an engraved pen, a silver frame, we often commemorate life's important events with a gift of enduring value and personal significance. One consideration for a gift that is of the highest quality and uniquely personal is that of custom made furniture. These are gifts that will not only stir the heart of your loved ones, but will also become part of the rest of their lives as treasured family heirlooms. The greatest gifts are ones that we not only use and cherish forever, but that will always remind us of the special time when they were given.
One such example is our Japan Chest. Certain to make an impression and with a special personalized carving or inscription on its lid will turn it into a family heirloom for generations. Is there a new baby in your friend’s family? A simple chest like this can become a treasure that will follow that new little person into adulthood. Fill it full of baby things and bring it to the baby shower! Imagine the surprise.
Celebrate an anniversary with a beautiful mirror inscribed with the dates of marriage on the back. You will think of not only yourself as you look into the mirror, but also your special partner who gifted you this beautiful piece!
A new graduate can write their first book at a desk that not only fits them perfectly, but carries an inscribed quote from their favorite author along its outer edge.
The possibilities are endless.
Meaningful customization can be conceptual as well. Consider the newlywed couple, ready to start their new life in a home of their own. The kitchen table is a central anchor to a family home, and can take on new meaning when it is constructed from hardwoods native to the region of the bride and / or groom. These small touches and the stories behind them are meaningful and enduring gestures of love to those we care about most.
When you’re trying to think of a gift that really stands out not only in quality, beauty, and lasting value, but also in deep meaning and heartfelt intention, look to the hands of our master craftspeople for a unique and enduring choice.