Creating buzz with their custom rustic furniture
“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.