Red Barn Reclaimed Wood Makes The Stuff You Love To Pin On Pinterest

Red Barn Reclaimed Wood makes home decor that turns any space into a picture-perfect room.

Jay Durst and his wife Maggie found themselves in a pickle in December 2014. It was the holiday season and they needed to find some presents for their family and friends. Rather than rush out to the stores, the Dursts decided to get creative and make their own gifts. They built cute little storage crates out of old pallets. They were perfect for storing throw blankets and a big hit with their family.

Jay and Maggie decided this was something that they wanted to share with others outside their family, so in January 2015 the couple founded >Red Bard Reclaimed Wood. Jay does most of the building while Maggie adds the finishing touches to each piece and cleans them up a bit. You can find their goodies on Etsy and in various craft stores around town.

While I was asking questions Jay about Red Barn Reclaimed Wood, I was systematically planning how I’d love to decorate my apartment.

Me: So where do you get the wood for your projects?

Jay: The wood we use is all reclaimed. We don’t actually ever purchase any wood, we work hard to find it. We have been able to make some connections along the way to help us out with that, but we always grab wood that will end up in a landfill. If someone happens to offer us wood—say someone is having a fence torn out—we always create something from that wood as a gift and a thank you back to them for not just finding us, but having the initial thought that the wood could be reused. It doesn’t have to be thrown away.

Me: So what kinds of wood do you work with? What’s your favorite?

Jay: We use quite a variety of wood for sure. Most of it is oak or pine, but there are some items that we are not sure of. We’ve never really been good at identifying the different types of wood. We use a lot of floorboards from old homes, and the tongue and groove stuff is normally pine, while some of the older wood from barns in oak or chestnut. A lot of the old fence board wood we use is cedar as well.

Our favorite is the old cedar. The smell when you cut into it is like fresh chocolate chip cookies for a woodworker! The shop—the garage—smells so good those days.

Our items always change. A lot is based on the wood that we have available at the time we are creating. If we stumble across some cool old wood, we will try to really use it in a unique way. When it’s gone, it’s gone, and we are off to the next batch of ideas, kind of coming up with something new with each wood score we get.

Me: What’s your favorite item to make?

Jay: A new thing we have started making is our anniversary and wedding signs. We have made a number of them this year, and they are a nice challenge to make because of the smaller letters we cut out on the scroll saw. It takes a fair bit of concentration and patience to make the small cuts and not break the letters or cut your fingertips.

The wonderful thing about these pieces is that folks trust us to create something for their loved ones. They trust us to make a unique, one of a kind gift. We believe it is a big deal to have someone trust you to create something for them, and we sincerely appreciate and respect each and every order as well as the folks that put their trust in us for that special piece.

Me: Is this just a side gig? What’s your full-time job?

Jay: It is currently the side hustle. My full-time job is Safety Director at a trucking company called Arctic Express which is also in Hilliard. It is also a family run business. My father started the company in 1981 and I have been there for roughly 18 and a half years.

How many products to you typically have in your inventory?

Jay: We rarely have items sitting around in stock. We have partnered with three stores right now and stock them as much as we can. Our Etsy sales are made when an order comes in.

We are currently in Ivory Barn in Reynoldsburg, Feather Your Nest in Pickerington, and then in Coffee Connections in Hilliard. It was our partnership with Coffee Connections last September that really catapulted us forward. We do a ton of custom work, with most of it being from word of mouth.

We are constantly making things. We currently have a waiting list for custom work and squeeze in product for the stores in between creating those custom pieces. At one point, we had a six-month waiting list for custom pieces. We have ramped up production to get that down to a month or so, depending on the piece someone is looking for.

Me: Do you take custom orders? Have you ever gotten any crazy requests?

Jay: We love custom orders! We haven’t had any orders that were really crazy. Most are some variation of a piece we have already done, but we thoroughly enjoy what our customers can come up with as far as ideas. It’s a fun challenge to take something that someone else has thought up and try to create that for them. Some folks have half of the idea kind of plotted out and will tell us to finish it up. It’s still surreal to think that people are snatching up our creations to hang on their walls, and even more so to be told they trust us to finish up their idea for a piece.

Me: How long do you see yourself running Red Barn Reclaimed Wood?

Jay: We have no plans to stop anytime soon, not until we’ve achieved world domination. Kidding, kidding! We would love to open our own storefront someday and have a place we can do workshops and classes as well as find other small businesses that need a jump start, bring them in and give them a chance to sell alongside us. Doing this full time is the end goal. We love interacting with people, developing relationships with customers. Folks love to hear the story of where the wood came from. When we are able to tell the story about a piece, to share the history of the wood, things take on a new meaning and significance.

Want to connect with Red Barn Reclaimed Wood? Check out their Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram.

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