The business of Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage (formerly Mid-Century Vibe) is constantly shifting as the market shifts. Any number of factors can cause these alterations in our business model. These include customers’ tastes changing over time, our inability to find enough mid-century modern pieces to refinish, a change in our interests regarding merchandise, or a particular customer demand we see. For example, we are moving away from selling small household items because Erik has become more interested in designing and building furniture. (He is keeping YouTube busy with all the woodworking videos he is watching.)
We were in the shop yesterday building a prototype for a coffee table. We’re still in the construction phase, so no pics to show yet.
Today we were back in the shop, learning how to use the router and a circle jig. We purchased the circle router from Rockler in order to make round table tops. Erik discovered that our old router would not fit the jig, so, after reading the jig’s packaging to determine which routers it would work with, he went and bought a new router.
We got the router set up and went to attach it to the jig. It was supposed to attach via 3 holes in the router. We could not find 3 holes on the jig that would align properly with the router. We worked at this for probably an hour, thinking we had to be missing something, but, no, the jig simply wouldn’t align with our new router. We were not happy campers.
I suggested we use the Rockler jig to create our own jig, which is exactly what we did.
Once we finished making the jig, we turned our attention to making the small table top (23″ diameter) that we intended to make with the Rockler jig. You can see the table top next to the router and jig in the photo above.
Here it is again, in all its glory. In order to finish it, Erik will attach edge banding, stain it and lacquer it. We are incredibly pleased with the result so far, especially after problem-solving the non-working jig.
Good news! Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage has a new home (which is why we now feel bona fide) in Little Falls, MN.
It’s been a long time coming. We lost the shop space we were renting last November. Erik searched for other rental possibilities but couldn’t find anything appropriate. As winter turned to spring, he started looking for buildings to purchase. This particular one was not yet for sale, but Erik contacted the owners and they said they had been intending to list it. We agreed on a purchase price and had a closing date set in May.
Alas! The May date was fouled up by some title issues that took time to work through. We officially closed on the building last Monday. Woohoo!
Appropriately enough, our “new” shop is a mid-century building, having been constructed in the 1960s. Note the lovely turquoise siding. Like most of the furniture we pick to restore, this building needs a lot of TLC, which we will give it as we can afford to make improvements. (For those interested in the history of the building, it originally served to house garbage trucks and was most recently used for vehicle storage.)
We’ve started on renovations, with Erik and our son Sebastian building shelves to store furniture and spending the entire past week moving accumulated inventory into the space.
Purchasing this shop would not have been possible without the help of Erik’s parents, who provided some capital toward the project, and our credit union, which had faith in our vision. The previous owners, Lynn and Keith, allowed us to use the shop through the summer and paint a room for our photo studio. Thanks to everyone who has assisted us in growing our business.
At Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage we are continually looking for new avenues through which to offer our vintage mid-century and modern items. While we’ve been using Etsy for some time to offer small items, we did not have an online method for sales that we could manage that dealt with the shipping of large items, like our furniture. And then we stumbled upon Chairish.
Chairish started a number of years ago as a way individuals could move higher-end used furniture without running it through Craigslist. Chairish curates the items its sells, so a certainly quality level has to be met. Over the years, Chairish has shifted focus and brought on professional dealers in housewares and furniture along with individuals.
The great thing about Chairish is that it helps arrange shipping of large items for sellers. Buyers pay for white-glove service, which means that the shippers come in and wrap the item being purchased and transport it carefully to its delivery location. For a small business like ours, this is a huge help, so we’ve signed on with Chairish, in addition to our other sales avenues.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly at warner (dot) erikg (at) gmail (dot) com.
Update (December 13, 2015) – After giving Chairish a whirl, we have found it isn’t the venue for us, so if you click the Chairish link, you’re not likely to find anything there. Please do check our Etsy Shop, stop in at MidModMen+friends in St. Paul, MN, or contact us directly.