The Furniture From TY Fine Furniture Is So #Goals

If you haven’t heard of TY Fine Furniture, get ready to bust open that piggy bank you’ve been shoving money into since you were 5-years-old. This stuff is just too cool. Sorry, Mr. Piggy.

Tarik Yousef, owner of TY Fine Furniture via TY Fine Furniture Facebook

Tarik Yousef, the owner that puts the “TY” in “TY Fine Furniture,” first started making furniture when he was a student at The Ohio State University. He started small and was just building furniture in his basement. Friends, family, and local businesses started catching on to just how awesome his pieces were.

The custom fine furniture store has only grown since then. TY Fine Furniture sells furniture all across the United States. The Columbus business has even sold pieces in Europe.

TY does such great business because the products are high quality. Yousef never uses plywood or stains. Everything is made with the best materials he can find, and he uses natural oils to seal his pieces.

“I’m a stickler for how things are made,” said Yousef with a laugh.

We sat down at a beautiful table that would look great in just about any dining room so he could tell me a little more about the business. Now, I like to think I know a bit about woodworking since my dad is a carpenter, but Tarik was great at explaining stuff to me. Here’s everything we talked about.

New showroom is officially open! #grandopening Come check out all the new products.

A post shared by TY Fine Furniture (@tyfinefurniture) on

Me: So you have two locations right now?

Tarik: Yeah. We have a shop downtown and then we have the showroom [in Clintonville]. It used to be shop and showroom down there, but it was just too small and we weren’t able to offer our customers what they were asking for, essentially.

We just moved into this place three or four weeks ago. We’re just settling in and figuring it all out. But it’s been good.

Me: In this showroom, what’s the stuff that you’ve created?

Tarik: If it’s solid wood, in our showroom, it’s made by us 95 percent of the time. The upholstery we bring in, and the mattresses, and some other stuff.

Me: The lamps. Are they something that you bring in, too?

Tarik: We bring those in. Those are fair trade, they’re handmade, and each one has a sustainable story behind it. The big thing is, they’re trying to get people in the Philippines work. They’ve developed this really cool line of lamps. Everything is made from locally-sourced things that are sustainably harvested.

Me: Where do you get the slabs?

Tarik: We source them from all over the place, really. Any sawmill. But there are a lot of sawmills out there specializing in slabs now. A lot of times, I’m going to this sawmill here and I buy one. And then I go to that sawmill there, and I pick out my favorite there. It’s not just me picking up the phone and being like, “Yeah, just send me 10 slabs this week.”

Usually, each sawmill has about one or two that I’m okay with and sometimes it takes years to find the right piece, like that sycamore slab. I was there at the sawmill as it was being cut off the tree and I was just like, “Sold! I’ll take the next three.”

Me: On average, how much does one of these weigh?

Tarik: 400-500 pounds. We had to deliver a slab about the size of that big sycamore piece over there to a customer in a fourth story loft. And the stairs were like, it was really old, and the stairs just zigzagged up. We had to send four guys and it was a chore to get it up there. But it was awesome. It looked awesome in the space, too.

Me: And hopefully it will never need to leave?

Tarik: And hopefully it will never need to leave.

Me: What is one of your favorite pieces to make?

Tarik: Our modern bed has definitely been one of my favorites. It’s a piece I designed probably ten years ago, maybe more.

I have a file on my computer that’s concepts that I’ve put together and have never had time to actually do anything with. [The modern bed design] sat in there for years. We were wholesaling to other stores and I brought it up to multiple stores. They all shot it down. Finally, I was just like, “I’m doing this. This is awesome. It’s a great design and it needs to be made.”

It’s been our best seller.

Me: What’s been one of the most difficult pieces you’ve ever made?

Tarik: Really it comes down to scale. When projects get bigger they definitely get on the difficult side. We’ve done some stuff where it’s just heavy and big.

I did a coffee table for a guy in Florida and it was like five feet by five feet and it was a 4-inch-thick white oak top. At that time, it was just me by myself. So just moving each piece was a logistical set of issues.

We did JFK Jr.’s estate up in Connecticut last year. It’s owned by somebody else now, but they did the guest house. They spent $400 million a guest house. We had to do a lot a lot of complex stuff, and we were doing it from such a distance that it was challenging. We spent a lot of time there, and the logistics of it all was pretty demanding.

But that was fun! How often do you get to do that kind of stuff? It’s just such a cool property. It was a masterpiece, really. The designer did an incredible job.

Me: Would you open another showroom?

Tarik: Possibly? But it’d be years without a doubt. We’ve explored the concept of multiple showrooms in Columbus and I’m not sure there’s a necessity for it. So the next step would have to be out of state or out of the city, at least.

But one step at a time.

Me: What is your favorite part about making furniture?

Tarik: I love the creative process. I like being a small business owner, especially in a creative field because you get to do a bit of everything. One minute you get to meet with customers, the next minute you’re designing a piece, the next minute you’re fine tuning and engineering it. It’s really the whole process and I really enjoy that.

I like wood. I’ve worked with a lot of different materials and nothing’s ever been nearly as exciting to me as wood. It’s just warmer. It’s more interesting. Each species has its own personality and the way it wants to be worked with. It’s not metal, it’s not plastic, it’s a very different, interesting material.

A lot of people feel like anybody can do it. But to do it right, not everybody can do it.

Because I know you want one of those tree slab coffee tables as badly as I do, visit the new TY Fine Furniture showroom located at 4555 N High St. Or you can shop online here!

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