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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pride in the USA

For the last couple of weeks, I've asked readers whether they care if items are made in the USA, and my in-box has filled with a resounding "Yes!" This country is so large, the workforce so varied and talented, and the quality of American workmanship so great, that everyone except manufacturing's CEO's and the politicians that support them are left scratching their heads as to why we would ever depend on imports from around the world.

Then with the power of the Internet and social media, I came across a company called Rock Creek Creations (http://www.rccoklahoma.com/) that makes the kind of furniture our grandfathers made - solid, well-built, with an eye for detail and craftsmanship - and made completely in the USA.

Rock Creek Creations began when two long time friends (one with the ability to create and one with a designers eye and salesman) decide to put their talents together to create heirloom type furniture made from recycled wood found in old barns and houses - the older the better.

They believe in recycling the wood, turning it into beautiful pieces of durable furniture that people can hand down for generations. They love the idea that their work is made in the USA and also that they're helping the environment by keeping materials out of landfills and saving other trees from being removed for the purpose of building new furniture.


ABOUT THE FOUNDERS

Craig Day is 50 years old. He's a Craftsman, Carpenter and Designer for Rock Creek Creations. He was raised on his family's ranch (Rock Creek Ranch) in Oklahoma and turned master craftsman. His grandfathers were cabinet builders and carpenters; he says that growing up on a ranch, you learn how to build. He started building because he wanted nice furniture, not something made in China held together by glue and brad nails. He wanted stuff his four kids couldn’t tear up. 

It wasn’t until friends would come to his house, see what he had done and their reaction to the furniture before he realized he could really turn his love for building and recycling into something that could allow everyone to enjoy the furniture he builds.

Brad Heath is 42 years old. He is a Designer and he also handles Sales and Acquisitions for Rock Creek Creations. He is a United States Air Force veteran, married and the father of three. California born and raised, he currently lives in Jenks, OK, a suburb of Tulsa.

Brad says he's known Craig for several years. He was one of those people that looked at something he had built and thought, "Wow, I would pay top dollar for that." The partnership was a natural fit. When it comes to how they approach the business and the customer care they provide, Brad challenges any of those big chain stores to do what they do and treat people the way they treat them. It's the type of attitude folks used to have, which got lost by many in recent years.



ON THEIR PRODUCTS


Craig says that some people that make furniture are using really expensive tools and he simply doesn't do that. He wants to build like our forefathers did. Early on, he couldn’t afford the jig and the router or the fancy tools, so he just did it by hand. Now he says he can cut a dovetail as tight as any jig. There’s old school ways of building, and that is the furniture that is still around today.

Brad adds that what they build has impressed not only local people in Oklahoma and the surrounding state, but celebrities like Drew Scott from HGTV’s Property Brothers who said he loved one of the tables they recently built. This type of furniture and old world style craftsmanship really speaks to anyone who appreciates the effort that goes into turning an old piece of a barn lumber into an heirloom piece of furniture.

Craig adds that their products are built to withstand life. You also benefit from it being the centerpiece of a room. You can use what they build, and Craig says, "Don’t be afraid to let life happen around what you buy from us."
They have certain items that they sell and are always available. “The Bench” is their signature piece and you can see a photo of one on our website. But each one is unique. The measurements are the same, but the grain in the wood is always unique. 

A customer can look through their options and order the same style or they can help them design a custom piece incorporating certain elements they are looking for in an item. They number and brand every piece they make. If it’s sold or passed down, the new owners can contact them for the history of the item. Each piece gets a unique serial number and is registered with them for future reference.


And RCC creates more than just furniture. They make cedar lined humidor boxes for cigars, wooden toy guns and have the capabilities to build planter tables, shelving, table tops and chicken coops using wood from old decks and fence.

They can ship anywhere in the U.S. They crate and ship, but it can be expensive depending on the weight and size of the item. But they've been known to jump in the truck and make a delivery.


HOW TO CONTACT THEM

Their website is www.rccoklahoma.com.  Their site is a showcase for some of the items they offer. A potential customer can contact them if they would like pricing or to inquire about a custom ordered item.

You can also connect with them on social media, as I did. They are on Facebook at Rock Creek Creations and on twitter @rockcreekcreati (There is a limit to the characters on Twitter, so the name is truncated intentionally.)


If you know of products Made in the USA that you'd like to see profiled on this blog, please contact me at patricia [at] pmterrell [dot] com. I love profiling craftsmanship right here in the Good Old USA!


2 comments:

maggiethom said...

Love it. What beautiful furniture. I love when people reuse old things and make them into something new.

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, Maggie. I thought it was beautiful too, and I love the fact that they use the old wood from barns and the like. Everything truly looks like furniture that could become precious family heirlooms.