We love challenges here at Georgia Artisan. Last year we took on one our biggest challenges to date when we built 40 Custom FarmHouse tables for a wedding venue in Chicago. Our shop specializes in making every table special with its custom sizing and requests that come with each order.
After a wildly successful year, The Brix decided to expand and open another wedding venue cater to smaller parties and events. Rob Gorman, the owner, attributed their success to the venue’s top quality amenities, which include our reclaimed farmhouse tables. Wanting to replicate his past success, Rob commissioned us to build 31 more tables for his new venue.
This table is actually a variant from our popular farmhouse table design, it still features larger wide boards on top with an apron underneath and large square legs on the corners. However, this design has a few modifications to make it better suited for use in a venue. First, this is actually a folding table, the legs are on special hinges that allow the legs to foldout and lock in use and then fold back in to allow for moving and storing. Second, this table features a 1.5” trim piece that goes around the entire table, this acts a bumper to protect the table. Lastly, this table has the table top surface planed. This gives it a subtler rustic look and allows us to create a smoother surface that is easier to clean.
The hardest part of making that many tables out of reclaimed material is not carpentry but actually the wood supply. It requires a massive amount of reclaimed wood that has all the same look and feel and is the right size. Our designs usually have some room for adjustments on the spot to allow for wood variations but this project would not allow for any small adjustments because they need to be identical in every way. We actually started collecting wood for this project in July all the way through November.
One trait the company has that I’m particularly proud of is how well we document everything and keep up with the records. Before we started, we had several planning meetings where we looked at all 40 production order sheets that we used to make the original tables to see where we had issues had last time and planned around it. With an updated plan and updated worksheets, we were ready to go to the saws!
Our next challenge was space. We have a large warehouse with 14,500 SF, and most of it is in use. We normally are able to build 8- 10 tables through our production each week. After building the tables, we would also need to finish, package, and ship them.
Oh and it’s a wedding venue! So there is no tolerance for being even one day late. So we decided to plan to have the tables finished 5 days in advance to allow for some buffer in case a winter storm, flu epidemic, power outage (although we do have 2 generators and experience running in the dark!) and any other disruption that might have delayed us.
Three weeks pass and everything is in order, right on track we are leaving the weekend before the wedding venue opens up for the first wedding on New Year’s Eve. So with all of the venue’s tables, a rolling table rack, and another table order in the region loaded in the trailer on Friday. I leave to grab our bags at the house and head to Chicago. I did a quick inspection of the trailer once more and I noticed a trailer wheel cockeyed by 20 degrees!
Here was the emergency we planned for. Our big trailer was obviously broken with no easy fix and was likely going to take more than a week to fix, and all I had left was a smaller 12’ trailer. After a little panic, a few phone calls and 2 or 3 sketches, my high school geometry allowed me to fit everything into the smaller trailer. And finally we were off to Chicago!
The greatest feeling in business is work so hard on a project and then get to see it go into its home. We fret over the smallest things from how dark the knots are to any other small thing on the table. So being able to see how every little one of these details fit into the space is really amazing. Our work ends when the customer is happy – no matter if it is only a chair or if it is a whole trailer of tables, we work until the customer is happy with what they have ordered from us. And that is exactly what we did with the new venue, the Industria right in time for the new year.
“Georgia Artisan created a custom table specific to our wedding venue requirements and has delivered over 70 beautiful and unique tables. They are our “go to” place for furniture as they carefully listen and support us with passion and excellence. Georgia Artisan’s tables are often mentioned as one of the key elements that couples and guests love in our venue.” – Rob Gorman, Brix on the Fox Owner