Urban Hardwoods held a grand opening Aug. 22 for its new showroom in the Brierwood Shopping Center, Bellevue, WA. The 2,500-plus-square-foot facility replaced the company’s former Seattle showroom.
“We had a little over a dozen customers visit,” said Travis Gnehm, sales director of Urban Hardwoods. “(That) may not seem like much, but it is actually a fair amount for our specialty business and during COVID times,” Gnehm said. “We were not sure what the turn-out would be and we’re prepared to stagger visitors as a safety precaution. Out our entire team thought it was very important to have a formal announcement/event of our new location, COVID-time or not. We received a lot of support from the community about the opening via email and phone calls from clients and members of the community (who viewed) celebrating a new business opening during these times as a good sign in 2020. During the grand opening, several of our tables found a new home with customers – which is always special.”
Urban Hardwoods specializes in crafting custom live-edge tables and furniture from locally salvaged wood predominantly sourced felled urban trees within a 20-mile radius of its workshop in Seattle. The company’s main customers include Interior designers, homeowners and commercial clients such as hotels, corporations and restaurants. “We receive a lot of attention from hobbyists and professional woodworkers. and they are always welcome, but they are not part of our customer base generally,” Gnehm said.
Gnehm said customer reactions to salvaged urban wood furnishings have evolved considerably over the past three years.
“I think three years ago, customers were more cautious about ‘salvaged wood’ and ‘local custom furniture,’ sometimes equating those things to making ‘rustic’ furniture or having a wide range of quality.,” Gnehm said “I think Urban Hardwoods has always led the pack when it comes to design and marketing salvaged wood furniture, and today most of our customers know that ‘salvaged wood’ – especially from Urban Hardwoods – represents refinement, craftsmanship, and natural beauty. Additionally, the term ‘salvaged wood’ has expanded to mean more than just ‘live-edge’ tables: ‘salvaged wood’ means sustainably sourced wood, which customers seek-out and see great value in.”
In addition to the new Bellevue showroom, customers can visit Urban Hardwoods’ workshop, which has an adjacent mill yard.
“Several years ago, we started to recognize the trend of how many of our customers would first visit our showroom, but eventually ended up at our workshop to hand-select the perfect slab for them,” Gnehm said. “Our process is simply more meaningful to our clients when they have a hand in personally selecting their wood. Seeing all the things we do behind the scenes to make it happen is very interesting to the public.
“When we opened up the Bellevue showroom, one of our goals was not to just have ‘another showroom,’ but rather have this showroom be an extension of our workshop in downtown Seattle. At our Bellevue showroom, customers can see both finished furniture pieces ready for delivery next day or they can see raw boards that our staff can discuss about the many ways to approach designing their custom order.”
Learn more at urbanhardwoods.com.