Happy Summer! I hope wherever this post finds you, you are taking some time to slow down the pace a bit. The year is going by quickly — we are already more than halfway through 2017! Now is the time to enjoy life, the sunshine, and the important people that surround you.

Speaking of important people, I thought we should switch gears a bit for this July post and shine a light on a couple that has been a part of this story. Almost a year ago, I traveled out west to attend several trade shows that were happening the same week (you can read that post here). There are literally thousands of prospective vendors to vet out, and I had carefully marked on a map which ones I wanted to spend time talking with. So, I sat down at a table in one of the showroom corridors to figure out where I was headed next.

Out of the blue, this guy comes over and asks if he can share a table to eat his sandwich, and I gladly obliged knowing seating during lunchtime was becoming hard to find. He introduced himself as Cliff and asked my name and what company I came from. I told him and explained that I owned a soon-to-be retail shop that focused exclusively on eco-friendly home goods and gifts. His eyebrows went up as he casually said, “Oh, well, my company happens to create eco-friendly products.”

For the next hour, my mother and I chatted with Cliff and his wife and business partner, Jan, in their showroom. I was deeply impressed with Cliff’s artistry and how his wife’s executive background compliments his in the day-to-day operation of their company, Recherche Furnishings. You’ll want to pronounce that REE-SHARE-SHAY. So, let me share with you the story of this award-winning, family-owned company based in North Texas.

Recherche Furnishings began as a custom wood furniture manufacturing company in 2010, but it evolved into its present line of rustic home decor when a friend of Cliff’s asked to borrow his nail gun in 2014. When his friend returned his nail gun, he brought his old fence pickets with him and gave them to Cliff. Using the old fence pickets, Cliff created a rustic wood picture frame that became the prototype for their popular “Naturals Reclaimed Frame” line. Each one stays true to the reclaimed/recycling theme, as each frame backing is produced with recycled cardboard. Further, drink tabs are cleverly repurposed as the wall hanger on the back of each frame. To date, thousands of frames have been sold keeping thousands of pounds of wood, cardboard, and drink tabs out of landfills.

Since that time, people across the US have sent in drink tabs, saved old cardboard, and called in when fences have blown down in storms. The collection of these reusable items will continue as long as people continue to demand eco-friendly products. For their accomplishments, Recherche Furnishings was awarded the 2015 Keep Texas Beautiful Business of the Year and was a finalist for Keep America Beautiful for their environmentally sound practices and products.

For me, one of the most awe-inspiring aspects of this company was learning their efforts to give back don’t stop there. Through the “Turning Wood To Water” campaign, 10% of reclaimed wood product sales are donated to a local charitable organization that drills water wells in Africa, ensuring the availability of clean water for those communities.

Recherche means elegant, extravagant, or one-of-a-kind in French. True to their name, Recherche Furnishings has created beautifully unique and multi-functional products. In 2015 and 2016, they expanded their lines of decor to include rustic reclaimed flags, key holders, angels, magnets, ornaments, and rustic cut metal. Better yet, every item is made right here in the United States.

During some tough moments on the journey, Cliff and Jan have offered incredibly thoughtful words of encouragement and support. I am convinced that meeting Cliff and Jan “by chance” a year ago is part of the divine plan as I work my way down the path of opening this shop. I am deeply grateful for their partnership, their friendship, and very much looking forward to showcasing their brand at Green Haven Living.

See you soon.


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