Urban Hardwoods Finds A New Home In Belltown
Home + Design By Brad Nehring on May 2, 2011
Hand-crafted and environmentally-friendly, a local furniture favorite makes the move from Sodo to First Avenue.
Jim Newsom, founder and owner of Urban Hardwoods, knows a thing or two about local timber. For the past 15 years, his company has created gorgeous furniture by using tree species native to the Northwest. Last month, the company’s new showroom – a 6600 sq. ft space located in the heart of Belltown – opened its doors, and Newsom couldn’t be more thrilled.
“I think Belltown is the best area in the city,” he said. “It’s great for foot traffic, and you can get here from anywhere in the city. We expect to do quite well out here.”
Before he was a business owner, Newsom made his living as a furniture maker in Burien. Whenever he visited the beach, he would marvel at the multitude of unused, perfectly workable wood that was literally floating by in Puget Sound. “I was watching all this beautiful material pass by,” Newsom said, “and I thought, ‘I could really do something with this.’”
So, he purchased a tugboat to haul these logs and large pieces of driftwood onto the beach. He recalls one specimen – a large madrone log – that he cut open with a chain saw after it washed up on shore.
“It was beautiful,” Newsom said. “I had no idea how gorgeous it was inside, and I thought, ‘this is furniture.’ [From then on], I was out to find the stuff that was going to waste, and do something with it.”
Eventually, he acquired a sawmill and a large wood kiln as well. In 1998, Newsom founded Urban Hardwoods and set up shop in Sodo’s industrial district. Since then, his mission to create beautifully crafted furniture from local timber material has been a hallmark of the company.
“It’s a business I’m really proud of,” he said, “because it’s completely responsible and it’s green, but the most important aspect to our products is that it’s the finest quality of furniture you can find.”
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Post Date: 5/2/2011