Cre­at­ing buzz with their cus­tom rus­tic fur­ni­ture

The Hamilton Spectator - - HAMILTON BUSINESS -

“We make cus­tom rus­tic fur­ni­ture,” says owner Rich Brack­ett. “We were re­cently con­tacted by the Ti­cats at Tim Hor­tons Field. They wanted a bar put in, and a ta­ble and a bunch of benches. Now we’re cor­po­rate spon­sors with them.” “We did a 30-foot bar,” he adds. “They gave us three weeks and we did it in a week.” They also sup­ply re­tail stores: “all the Ter­ras, a lot of Home Hard­wares and we sup­ply Home­Sense. “The buy­ers come here and look at our prod­ucts and they put in their or­ders for sten­cilled signs. We do a full line of Cana­di­ana that’s very pop­u­lar all over the coun­try.” Rus­tic De­signs also crafts one-of-a-kind items such as live edge ta­bles, benches and other cus­tom work. One friend, a me­tal fab­ri­ca­tor, makes legs for the ta­bles. “I source all my ma­te­ri­als lo­cally through guys who have saw mills and kilns, who har­vest a re­new­able resource.” Brack­ett is qual­i­fied as a heavy equip­ment op­er­a­tor. He learned to make rus­tic fur­ni­ture while liv­ing in Whistler, B.C. His lat­est ca­reer be­gan a few years ago when his wife, An­drea Boecker, wanted him to make some barn doors for a bed­room closet. “I made her the barn doors; one thing led to an­other. I started mak­ing peo­ple some ta­bles and other knick-knacks ... I came up with some ideas for this and that. “Some stores ap­proached me and so I started sell­ing in re­tail, and man­u­fac­tur­ing this stuff in my one-car garage in Burling­ton. It got to the point that my wife (who is now his busi­ness part­ner), said, ‘Hey, this is grow­ing be­yond the one-car garage and we have to take the next step and get a shop and go for it — or just work con­struc­tion.’ “I couldn’t do both. It was just get­ting to be too much for me.” The cou­ple has been in busi­ness for three years. Three months ago, they ac­quired space in the Cot­ton Fac­tory. “Things have just kind of sky­rock­eted from here.”

Rich Brack­ett of Rus­tic De­signs by Rich with a live edge ta­ble he made from black wal­nut, and var­i­ous sten­cilled barn board pieces.

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