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Rising Stars: Meet David & Jill Collard

Today we’d like to introduce you to David & Jill Collard.

Hi David & Jill, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Our love for creating unique furnishings began when we started building furniture for our own homes using reclaimed, upcycled materials.

David’s father was a carpenter and from the time David was a young man, his dad taught him about the different species of trees and the beauty of woodworking. This sparked his love for building and with that love, he started his own business building custom homes in Illinois, and did so for 25+ years.

Jill’s mother was an antique dealer who taught her how to recognize pottery markings, furniture styles, and the value of antiques. This inspired Jill’s love for antique and vintage items and sparked her entrepreneurial spirit.

Friends and family were our first customers. As they would visit us they would joke that they were “shopping our house” and then ask us to build similar items for them. When our business first began we sold at area craft shows and then later built an antique & craft mall that showcased our furniture, as well as many other dealer booths.

We operated the store with our 4 young children learning the trade of building, repurposing, reselling, marketing, and business management. Our kids become young “pickers” as we bought estates and climbed through old buildings and barns. They each have a part, from the workshop, collaborating on designs, to social media marketing, merchandising, and sales management.

We love working as a family and building upon one another’s strengths. We strive to create sustainable, structural, functional designs that preserve the natural patina and luster of the aged lumber, antique hardware, and architectural elements. Our designs are often inspired by the reclaimed materials that we find. We build a variety of dining tables, kitchen islands, buffets, TV consoles, beds, benches, and chairs. We create lighting using barn beams, vintage buckets, baskets, and a variety of old containers.

We also build hand-crafted home decor and household items such as charcuterie boards, kitchen risers, shelving, and garden and porch decor. We enjoy creating one-off designs and love the idea that each piece is unique since the age, patina, and natural wear of the lumber and vintage items we use have their own character with marks of distress and time-worn imperfections that only add to their story.

Our story of starting Vintage Reclaimed Home Furnishings began as part of our journey to the Smoky Mountains as young newlyweds. I remembered standing by a stream in Gatlinburg outside Alewine Pottery, listening to a couple singing bluegrass music accompanied by a dulcimer and a banjo, feeling like I was in the center of God’s beauty on earth. I dreamed for years of someday making the Smoky Mountains our home.

We revisited Alewine Pottery last year and told them the story of how we fell in love with the Smokies at their store and that was on a search for property in the area. Nearly 30 years later, in a big leap of faith, we sold our business and made the move from Illinois to Tennessee with plans to once again, start a family business.

Though we were unsure of the area market, design styles, or demand for our designs, we decided to do what we knew best and began connecting with locals to reclaim lumber salvaged from the barns and buildings of the Smoky Mountains. We began building furniture, marketing, and developing our Facebook and Etsy shops.

We soon learned that Alewine Pottery had started a second location and reached out to them to share our portfolio of creations. In February of this year, we opened our store within the Alewine Pottery, Wears Valley location. The address is 3234 Wears Valley Rd. Sevierville, TN. Store Hours are: Mon-Sat 10 am-5 pm.

Our products are also available on our Facebook and Etsy shops. https://www.facebook.com/vintagereclaimedhome/ or https://vintagereclaimedfurn.etsy.com.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The biggest challenge has been getting re-established in business to reach customers.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Our products are hand-crafted from authentic 100+-year-old solid wood lumber, architectural salvage, and antique hardware. They are individually designed and built in our workshop.

Our creations are built with sustainable materials that have great integrity in both structure and design.

What matters most to you? Why?
From a business perspective, quality is what matters most. Quality in the whole experience from our relationship with the customer to the quality in the integrity of our products.

We care about creating lasting relationships with our customers and want them to have products that will last through generations.

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